Senior Research Administrator

Durham, United Kingdom
£26715 - £32817 per annum
Apr 30, 2021
End of advertisement period
Jun 01, 2021
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Education
Contract Type
Full Time

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role. 

Family key attributes

Roles in this family provide a comprehensive service and deliver the efficient administration and governance of the University.

Overall family purpose

  • Deliver direct and indirect services to stakeholders.
  • Provide advice and answer queries as part of an enquiry-desk/help-desk function.
  • Respond to and manage requests for information and resources.
  • Deliver services to meet regulatory requirements and procedures.
  • Plan and deliver a joined-up approach to University business and people services.
  • Align business processes and services to meet operational and strategic policy objectives.  
  • Deliver business processes to ensure effective management, governance and the economic viability of the University.
  • Encourage, collaborate and participate in the development of productive cross-institution relationships and working.
  • Provide excellent professional services that meet strategic and operational goals and business needs.
  • Carry out monitoring, analysis, development and planning to design new services and service updates for continuous improvement whilst meeting changes in regulations.
  • Engage with specialist professionals, consultants, and suppliers to exchange knowledge and facilitate partnership working.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.
  • Align and deliver programmes and activities to meet operational and strategic objectives to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Engage and encourage participation with external professionals, schools, alumni and donors.

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically sustainable approach to delivering Professional Services across the University;
  • A joined-up approach to University professional services, regardless of location or line management;
  • A culture and practice of continuous improvement;
  • Design services that meet business need;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Support and facilitate programmes that offer intellectual challenge, cohesiveness and a strong sense of progression;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.

The Department and role purpose   

The School of Education has a vacancy for a Senior Research Administrator who will provide strategic administrative support for the research environment of the School. 

The post holder will provide high level administrative support for the research environment of the department.  The post holder will also be responsible for the maintenance of research management information, including information collected for the Research Excellence Framework exercise (REF). Working closing with academic staff responsible for research s/he will act as secretary to Research and Ethics Committees, managing the business of the committees and associated activities outside of the meetings including events management.  

Core responsibilities: 

  • Supervisory responsibilities for services, resources and people.
  • Provide line management, induction and ongoing development support and training to the Research Administrator.
  • Responsibility for the ADR process for the Research Administrator, including identification of development needs where appropriate.
  • Experienced administrator working with the central Research Office and academic colleagues to providing specialist support to the full range of activities related to the research environment.
  • Plan and organise own workload on a day to day basis and allocate and monitor work activities for the Research Administrator within the context of the cyclical nature of research activities and their internal and external deadlines.
  • Handle the vast majority of welfare issues when line managing the Research Administrator, referring more complex issues to senior colleagues.
  • Responsible for organising and overseeing all day to day aspects of research service delivery.
  • Work with academic colleagues to ensure robust management systems are in place to ensure policies related to research, research impact and behaviour are implemented effectively.
  • Providing specialist research support with problem solving and query handling to staff at all levels, in particular academic colleagues.
  • Reactive and proactive service provision with others to deliver an excellent stakeholder experience. 
  • Relationship building, network participation internally and externally to build and update knowledge and skills. 
  • Supervises service users and stakeholders undertaking research activities, events and project work to further develop an effective research environment.
  • Implement and monitor protocols, procedures, processes and regulations related to research activities.
  • Carry out more in-depth investigations, searches and research information and data to identify trends and patterns. 
  •  Implement and monitor recognised procedures to ensure compliance and meet University values of inclusion, diversity and participation.
  • Contribute to business meetings, working groups and committees to help shape service delivery and stakeholder expectations, acting as Secretary and taking forward agreed action points where appropriate. 
  • Accountable for managing/maintaining financial and budget records  related to research activities, liaising with relevant colleagues to set and track expenditure against an agreed financial plan and to flag and manage issues that arise. 
  • Support the capture of business requirements from users and work with colleagues to translate these into recommendations for future service provision.

Role responsibilities: 

  • Manage and organise professional business and administrative service processes, staff, activities, events and/or resources in order to deliver operational aspects of research, research impact and the research environment. 
  • Manage specific projects to develop and enhance research activities.
  • Supervise staff and/or manage resources to achieve defined targets and outcomes. 
  • Develop, implement and enforce recognised procedures to ensure compliance, co-ordinate effort and contribute to departmental research objectives.
  • Provide professional guidance and advice to staff with the operational running of budgets, processes, data and information recording. 
  • Ensure projects, team activities, budgets and documents comply with internal University and external regulation, policy and procedures. 
  • Record data and information accurately, provide reports and statistics and distribute information to key internal and external stakeholders.
  • Use a range of digital media and tools to communicate with a diverse range of key stakeholders, both verbally and in written format who may need to access information across different geographic and time zones. 
  • Develop, plan and deliver internal and external events and activities for stakeholders. 
  • Establish, maintain and develop productive and ongoing relationships with stakeholders to influence perception of the University. 
  • Any other reasonable duties.