Project Administrator

Durham, United Kingdom
£26,715 - £32,817 pro rata
14 Sep 2020
End of advertisement period
16 Oct 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

Department of Geography

Grade 6: - £26,715 - £32,817 pro rata
Fixed Term - Part Time
Contract Duration: three years (01/01/21 – 31/12/23)
Contracted Hours per Week: 21
Closing Date: 16-Oct-2020, 6:59:00 AM

Job Family: Business Process and People Services

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are a globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, in a unique and historic setting.

OUR VALUES: We are inspiring, challenging, innovative, responsible and enabling.

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Business, 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 s ervices 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 Department of Geography, Durham University, seeks to appoint a project manager for a period of three years to to support the organisation and administration of the research project entitled ‘Sajag-Nepal: Preparedness and planning for the mountain hazard and risk chain in Nepal’. The project is funded by the UK Global Challenges Research Fund and runs from 2020 to 2023, and aims to improve decision-making and preparedness in Nepal in order to mitigate the impacts and reduce the risks from the mountain hazard chain, including earthquakes, monsoon rainfall, and landslides.

The project involves close collaboration between physical scientists, social scientists, and a wide range of partner organisations in Nepal and elsewhere, including government departments, national and international NGOs, and the UN. The objectives of the project are to (i) contextualise the contemporary multi-hazard and systemic risk landscape in Nepal, to understand how risk is produced, experienced, and negotiated by households and communities, and to embed this understanding in hazard and risk reduction and management; (ii) transform the earthquake planning process into national-scale preparedness planning for catastrophic multi-hazard events triggered by rare damaging earthquakes; (iii) transform the monsoon planning process into seasonal planning for monsoon-related multi-hazard events at a scale that is appropriate for local government decision-making; (iv) Develop new protocols for embedding local, natural and social scientific knowledge of the mountain hazard and risk chain in preparedness and response.

The successful candidate will be based in the Department of Geography, and will work alongside the Principal Investigator, Co-Investigators, and project partners in order to effectively manage the project.

The project manager will be responsible for:

  • Providing support to the PI and the wider group of project partners around reporting, insurance, human resources, risk management, and any other emergent issues arising from the collaboration;
  • Providing logistical support for international travel and fieldwork, including the organisation of project meetings;
  • Coordinating internal and external project communications via a range of different media;
  • Collation and tracking of project outputs and impacts, including progress reports, updates, and publications. This will include uploads of project outputs to the project website and to ResearchFish, as well as other forms of reporting as appropriate.

The candidate should have excellent organisational skills and the ability to meet strict deadlines, and should enjoy working independently and proactively. Excellent communication and team-working skills are essential, with the flexibility to communicate with a variety of different audiences and to move across a range of different activities.

This post is part time (21 hours per week) and fixed term for 3 years (01 January 2021 to 31 December 2023).

Core responsibilities:

  • Experienced service practitioner, planning and co-ordinating of projects and work streams with inter-related activities.
  • Plan and organise own workload with or without involvement with project work streams.
  • Specialist support with problem solving and query handling.
  • 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.
  • Engage with external peers and specialists to exchange knowledge and information.
  • Supervises service users and stakeholders undertaking activities, events, project work and exhibitions.
  • Interpret, curate, design and present artefacts, information, data, equipment and resources.
  • Implement and monitor protocols, procedures, processes and regulations.
  • Monitor and report incidents.
  • Carry out more in-depth investigations, searches and research information and data to identify trends and patterns.
  • Take responsibility for day to day decision making within own area of responsibility for operational aspects of service delivery, translating external requirements into practical application and advice.
  • 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.
  • Accountable for managing/maintaining financial and budget records and reconciling consumable expenditure queries.
  • Involved in the purchase and return of goods and services.
  • 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, activities, events and/or resources to achieve defined targets and outcomes.
  • Develop, implement and enforce recognised procedures to ensure compliance, co-ordinate effort and contribute to team goals.
  • Provide professional guidance and advice to staff and students with the operational running of budgets, processes, data and information recording and assessment data. 
  • Ensure projects, activities, budgets and documents comply with internal University and external regulation, policy and procedures.
  • Ensure accuracy by instituting recognised and routine checks, assessment criteria and techniques.
  • Record data and information accurately, provide reports and distribute information to key stakeholders in the process or service.
  • 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.

Specific role requirements

The successful candidate will be expected to attend regular project management meetings in the UK as well as annual project meetings in Nepal, and will thus require a willingness and ability to travel internationally. The candidate must be fluent in speaking and writing in English; knowledge of Nepali would be beneficial but not essential. As the post is part-time, it may be possible to arrange parallel part-time study that is complementary to the wider project.

Recruiting to this post

In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above (including those listed in the section ‘Realising Your Potential Approach’).

In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application.

Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage.

Please Note: Candidates applying via Redeployment are only eligible to apply for a post at the same Grade or lower.

How to apply

We prefer to receive applications online. Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit

  1. A CV; 
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out below;
  3. A document which provides examples of how you satisfy both the person specification and the Realising Your Potential Approach criteria. Please ensure you give detailed examples of how you meet these criteria if requested.

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.

Contact details:

For further information please contact: Professor Alexander Densmore, Department of Geography, Durham University, a.l.densmore@dur.ac.uk

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system.  Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria

  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.
  2. Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  3. Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent experience).
  4. Post-16 qualification or equivalent experience.
  5. Evidence of personal development to maintain skills.
  6. Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues
  7. Experienced service provider with knowledge and expertise used to contribute to the delivery and development of services, events and activities within the organisation
  8. Experience of implementing policy and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area
  9. Ability to effectively network and exchange advice and information for development purposes.
  10. Management and coordination of research and/or relevant practitioner networks that span a wide range of organisations, including academic and non-academic partners
  11. Compliance with regulatory and organisational guidelines, including the preparation and submission of reports to research funders
  12. Experience of procurement, administration, and logistical support provision for complex projects.
  13. Experience of financial management, reporting, IPR concerns, and ethical issues with large research projects
  14. Excellent media and communications skills, including print, web and social media

Desirable Criteria

  1. Experience of working with governmental and non-governmental organisations
  2. Experience or interest in environmental issues, hazard, risk, and resilience
  3. Organisation of outreach activities and publicity materials associated with complex projects.
  4. Experience of working with a range of academic and non-academic partners.
  5. Knowledge and experience of Nepal.
  6. Experience of research monitoring and reporting.
  7. Preparation and submission of reports to funding agencies, such as UKRI and/or the Global Challenges Research Fund.

Realising Your Potential Approach

Provide excellent professional support to the PI, co-Is, and other members of the project team

  • Engage positively with the team in Durham and internationally

Finding solutions

  • Being open to and applying new ideas from partners across the project

Working together

  • Working across boundaries between disciplines, institutions, and countries

Achieving results

  • Being effective in communicating and gaining buy-in from partners, and understanding the partners and their roles and expectations

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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