Senior PGR Administrator

Durham, United Kingdom
£26,715 - £32,817
11 Nov 2020
End of advertisement period
25 Nov 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Department of Physics
Grade 6:
- £26,715 - £32,817
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 25-Nov-2020, 7:59:00 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.
  • due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.Have

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 Department of Physics at Durham University is one of the very best UK Physics departments with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and the employability of our students.  The Department has particular strengths in Astronomy, Atomic and Molecular Physics, a variety of areas in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, Instrumentation and Elementary Particle Theory, and hosts the Institutes for Computational Cosmology and Particle Physics Phenomonology.

The Department is committed to research-led and small group teaching alongside larger lecture formats.  The Complete University Guide ranks Durham’s Physics Department in fourth place nationally based on entry requirements, student satisfaction, research and graduate prospects.  Courses currently taught in the Department include a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and integrated Master’s degrees in Physics, Physics and Astronomy and Theoretical Physics.

The Senior Postgraduate Research (PGR) Administrator is responsible for the provision of a professional and efficient service and delivering high quality support to academic department(s), staff and students as well as external stakeholders, collaborators and sponsors etc. They will work with colleagues in relevant central PS Departments, particularly the Academic Office, Research and Innovation Services, Student Finance and Immigration, Support and Well-being Directorate to ensure that staff, PS colleagues and students receive the necessary advice and guidance to ensure compliance with postgraduate research student policies and contractual obligations. The post holder will also provide postgraduate research students and their supervisors with appropriate support to ensure an excellent research and learning experience and to deliver the Department’s strategic objectives with respect to successful Postgraduate Research student outcomes.

The Senior Postgraduate Research Administrator will work independently, resolving problems and queries using their own knowledge and initiative. The role holder will work closely with the Director of Postgraduate Studies and leads of Doctoral Training Centres (DTC) as appropriate.

Core responsibilities:

  • Experienced postgraduate research student administrator, planning and co-ordinating of projects and work streams concerned with the support of postgraduate programmes and inter-related activities, which may include multiple internal/external partner schemes such as Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) programmes. The role holder will take responsibility of all aspects of the PGR process from recruitment and induction, through to thesis submission and examination.
  • Plan and organise own workload with or without involvement with project work streams.
  • Specialist administrative support with problem solving and query handling, particularly with regard to advising academic staff and students on postgraduate research programme requirements and regulations, sponsor requirements, UK Border Agency requirements etc.
  • Reactive and proactive service provision with others, in particular the Academic Office, Research and Innovation Service, Student Finance and Immigration to deliver an excellent stakeholder experience.
  • Relationship building, network participation internally with key PS Departments and externally, for instance postgraduate research sponsors, external University partners/collaborators, industry etc. to build and update knowledge and skills. Engage with external peers and specialists to exchange knowledge and information
  • Supervises service users and stakeholders undertaking postgraduate research student activities, events, project work and exhibitions, such as Open Days, PG Fairs, Conferences, seminar programmes.
  • Implement and monitor learning and teaching protocols, procedures, processes and regulations of relevance to postgraduate research programmes and immigration issues.
  • Monitor and report on postgraduate research student data, including admissions; international student numbers; completion rates etc., highlighting trends and issues.
  • Carry out more in-depth investigations, searches and research information and data to identify trends and patterns in postgraduate research student recruitment, progression, success and satisfaction rates.
  • Take responsibility for day to day decision making within own area of responsibility for operational aspects of  postgraduate research student support translating internal and external requirements into practical application and advice.
  • Implement and monitor recognised procedures to ensure compliance and meet University values of inclusion, diversity and participation, signposting PGR students to appropriate support services as required.
  • Contribute to business meetings, working groups and committees to help shape service delivery and stakeholder expectations with respect to postgraduate research programmes, particularly with respect to the development of Doctoral Training Centre/Partnership programmes and achieving targets with respect to PGR student recruitment and attainment of successful outcomes.
  • Accountable for managing/maintaining financial and budget records of relevance to PGR programmes.
  • Support the capture of business requirements from users and work with colleagues to translate these into recommendations for future postgraduate research student service provision.

Role responsibilities:

  • Manage and organise professional business and administrative postgraduate research student service processes, activities, events and/or resources to achieve defined targets and outcomes.
  • Coordinate and schedule the allocation of undergraduate demonstrating and marking work to PGR students; monitoring of and compliance with Tier 4 employment guidelines and adherence tp UK Border Agency requirements; processing payments (using ORACLE Fusion) to PGR demonstrators and markers in accordance with University HR guidelines.
  • Develop, implement and enforce recognised learning and teaching 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 postgraduate research student programmes, processes, data and information recording, reporting and  and assessment of student progression and completion data. 
  • Ensure projects, activities, budgets and documents and where appropriate budgets comply with internal University and external regulation, policy and procedures.
  • Ensure accuracy by instituting recognised and routine checks, assessment criteria and techniques.
  • Record postgraduate research student data and information accurately, provide reports and distribute information to key internal and external stakeholders such as academic staff, internal PS Departments, external research sponsors and collaborators.
  • Use a range of digital media and tools to communicate financial data and advice 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, such as Open Days, PG Fairs, training events and placements.
  • Establish, maintain and develop productive and ongoing relationships with stakeholders to influence perception of the University.
  • Membership of and Secretary to the Postgraduate Committee and the Postgraduate Staff Student Consultative Committee.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Specific role requirements

  • Willingness to work outside of normal contracted hours if and when the need arises.

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.

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 above;
  3. Examples of how you satisfy both the person specification and the Realising Your Potential Approach criteria. This may require completion of the 'Supporting Evidence' application section if specified by the recruiting manager. 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: Claire Davies, Department Manager, Department of Physics (physics.manager@durham.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 email

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria 

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.
  • Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  • Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent experience).
  • Post-16 qualification or equivalent experience.
  • Evidence of personal development to maintain skills.
  • Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues.
  • Experienced service provider with knowledge and expertise used to contribute to the delivery and development of services, events and activities within the organisation. 
  • Experience of implementing policy and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area.
  • Ability to effectively network and exchange advice and information for development purposes.

Desirable Criteria

Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).
Experience of working in a diverse, multicultural environment.

Realising Your Potential Approach

DEVELOPING MYSELF AND OTHERS - Showing commitment to own development and supporting and encouraging others to develop their knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable them to reach their full potential for the wider benefit of the University.

  1. Effectively developing and maintaining personal networks of contacts where it assists with the role
  2. Reacting professionally when faced with challenging situations
  3. Taking an active interest in what is happening more widely in the University and informing others where appropriate

EMBRACING CHANGE - Adjusting to unfamiliar situations, demands and changing roles. Seeing change as an opportunity and being receptive to new ideas.

  1. Adapting approach to respond to changes outside University
  2. Communicating change in a positive manner through influencing and persuasion

WORKING TOGETHER - Working co-operatively with others in order to achieve objectives. Applying a wide range of interpersonal skills.

  1. Co-operating willingly to support the achievement of team goals
  2. Communicate effectively by sharing relevant information and keeping others informed
  3. Recognising and respecting the roles, responsibilities, interests and concerns of colleagues and stakeholders

FINDING SOLUTIONS - Taking a holistic view and working enthusiastically and with creativity to analyse problems and develop innovative and workable solutions. Identifying opportunities for innovation.

  1. Sharing learning and experience to facilitate others’ decision making
  2. Seeking input from others to develop team solutions

PROVIDING EXCELLENT STUDENT SERVICES AND PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT - Providing the best quality service to all our students, customers and stakeholders. Building genuine and long-term relationships through everyday interactions in order to drive up service standards and to enhance their experience.

  1. Seeing things from your customers’ viewpoint
  2. Listening, questioning and clarifying in order to understand students’,  customers’ and stakeholders’ needs
  3. Using feedback to drive improvements
  4. Tailoring communication to meet students’,  customers’ and stakeholders’ needs
  5. Fostering a continuous improvement philosophy
  6. Delivering consistent service standards

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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