Systems Developer, Management Development

Durham, United Kingdom
£33,797 - £40,322 per annum
13 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
26 Jan 2021
Contract Type
Full Time


Grade 7: - £33,797 - £40,322
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 26-Jan-2021, 7:59:00 AM

Job Family: Estates and Information Infrastructure 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 VALUESWe 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 manage and maintain the integrity of University buildings, estates and information services.

Overall family purpose

  • Ensure safe, sustainable and fit for purpose buildings, internal and external environments in and on which to conduct University business.
  • Liaise and engage with stakeholders across the University to identify and plan infrastructure projects to update and improve services and facilities.
  • Align services to meet organisational strategic and operational objectives.
  • Design new, adapt existing and implement services, working with external contractors and suppliers.
  • Manage and monitor systems, mechanisms and processes to ensure compliance with internal and external regulations.
  • Implement procedures to ensure safe and secure buildings, facilities, estates and information networks.
  • Design and construct real and virtual test environments to ensure the most fit for purpose technology and services are available to underpin University business needs.
  • Manage technology driven services and third-party platforms to underpin teaching, learning, research and administrative activities across the University.
  • Engage with external suppliers, contractors, manufacturers and developers to ensure the highest-standards and quality of buildings, estates and information services.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically sustainable approach to delivering infrastructure services across the University;
  • Develop an academic estate that will allow the University to deliver world-class education, research and student experience;
  • Ensure the long-term availability of suitable residential accommodation;
  • Ensure the continuing renewal and maintenance of our estate;
  • Improve the environmental sustainability and ease of travel around our estate and city locations;
  • Support and facilitate a first-rate digital learning environment and experience on a par with the best in the UK;
  • Running and ongoing development of a first-rate digital learning environment on a par with the best in the UK
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • 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

In January 1833 Bishop William van Mildert donated 160 volumes to found the University Library, located on Palace Green and in the same year Durham’s first university museum opened to the public. Today the University Library and Collections offers spaces, collections, expertise and services supporting education, research, the wider student experience and cultural and educational outreach. Collections and services operate across a wide estate of libraries, archives, museums, galleries and exhibition spaces, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site on Palace Green. Our nationally and internationally recognised collections span early books, archives and manuscripts, museum objects and art, print and electronic materials and include a repository of digitised materials, research outputs and research data. Our users encompass anyone engaging with our collections, services and facilities in person or remotely, this includes university staff, researchers from around the globe, students in higher education from Durham and other universities, school pupils and teachers, Durham’s local residents and tourists.

We are an ambitious and developing team with a focus on providing the best experience for our students, researchers and the wider community. We are valued partners working with students, professional services and academics across the University, and professionals and organisations regionally, nationally and internationally.

The University Library and Collections is made up of six sections: Collections; Customer Services; Education, Learning and Engagement; Research and Systems; Museums, Galleries and Exhibitions; and Finance and Administration. Staff work flexibly between the sections, 7 enabled by cross-cutting groups, Collections, Education, Engagement, User Experience, Operations, Research, Staff Development and a Programme and Project Steering Group.

The Research and Systems Team, under the leadership of the Head of Research and Systems, provide services in two key areas of departmental activity. Our services are developing to support scholarly communications and the move to open research, providing advocacy, support and training on best practice in areas such as research data management and bibliometrics. The team contributes to training and support for research staff and students as part of the University's approach to supporting digital literacy and engagement with a wider approach to digital scholarship. Our systems underpin the core activity of the Library and University but extend to enabling innovation in education and research, particularly digital scholarship.

This is an IT management development role. The successful candidate, in addition to existing systems development skills, will have the ability and potential to develop management and leadership attributes and skills. The role holder will undertake a two-year management programme that leads to a formal qualification (up to 20% of time will be devoted to training and development).

The qualification will form part of the development plan for the successful candidate. This will be focussed on the requirements of the grade 8 role and will be developed in conjunction with the successful candidate, taking into account their individual requirements. This plan will be regularly reviewed and will form the basis on the assessment to move to the grade 8 role.

Upon successful completion of the programme the role holder will move to the Grade 8 post (Senior Manager: Library Systems), the draft job description is included with the recruitment pack. The post holder will work within a team of systems developers until successful completion of the management development programme.

Systems Developers are responsible for the configuration, management and development of the department’s IT systems and their integration into web sites and apps. These include the core discovery system, library management system, archives and museum systems and repositories, as well as ancillary systems such as access control, link resolver and the departmental wiki. The systems deployed are a mixture of commercial and open-source applications, with locally developed software where necessary. Close working is required with systems suppliers, and with Computing and Information Services colleagues who maintain operating systems, networks, storage, source control, continuous integration, and web content management systems. The role is predominantly project-based and seeks to identify, and address stakeholder needs and deliver a high-quality user experience. This requires building good working relationships with professional colleagues within the department, and a broad understanding of the metadata used to describe the collections.

Core responsibilities:

  • Recognised professional practitioner and service specialist in information systems. 
  • Implement changes to the design and development of service processes, techniques and deliverables for one or more service strands or project streams. 
  • Provide specialist expertise and support with complexity of data and information sources, interpretation and analysis. 
  • Contribute to development of operational service activities to ensure excellence in the stakeholder experience. 
  • Collect and analyse stakeholder feedback to help define needs and requirements and the design and planning of services. 
  • Internal and external relationship development and partnership working, networking and participation to engage and influence future services and the University reputation. 
  • Identify and design systems to meet service objectives and outcomes. 
  • Deliver training, teaching and/or development delivery for stakeholders. 
  • Maintain an awareness of IT developments in the sector and how these can be used to deliver service enhancements and meet University business goals, and provision of advice using specialist knowledge. 
  • Contribute to and lead business meetings, working groups and sub-committees at departmental and operational service levels.

Role responsibilities:

  • Provide management for the delivery of high-quality library, archive, museum and repository technology services across the University. 
  • Take responsibility for the design, set-up, maintenance and integrity of relevant IT systems and technologies. 
  • Provide specialist technical problem-solving advice to inform activity and project planning, continuous improvement and service development. 
  • Act as a point of contact for service colleagues and stakeholders to interpret and resolve complex infrastructure, architecture and technical problems. 
  • Make decisions about the nature and level of problem solving, physical and analytical tools, techniques and protocols to deliver project and service objectives, providing advice and making recommendations for resolution as appropriate. 
  • Collaborate with other specialists within the Service and across the University, regarding the use of modelling and analytical tools, methods and standards to deliver integrity and consistency with service delivery. 
  • Schedule and monitor maintenance and installation works, projects and work streams across the department. 
  • Provide regular status reports and identify risk management and contingency planning to other service staff, specialists, users and managers. 
  • Liaise with internal and external agencies, suppliers and partner organisations where appropriate. 
  • Design, build and maintain complex, specialist library systems to support teaching and research. 
  • Take responsibility for monitoring and updating risk assessments and safety procedures, providing guidance to others where necessary. 
  • Develop, modify and optimise protocols and methodologies. 
  • Any other reasonable duties. 

Specific role requirements

In exceptional circumstances, to provide out of hours on-site or on-call cover in support of the Library’s key IT systems.

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 briefly describing how your experience, strengths and potential are relevant to this role; 
  3. The person specification and Realising Your Potential Approach grids. Please copy and paste the grids from this job description into a separate Microsoft Word document, complete the evidence columns and submit this alongside your other application material.  

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; Matthew Phillips, Head of Research and Systems; m.e.phillips@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 emails.

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to convey technical concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences. 
  • Proven experience of scripting languages and web server technologies (for example, PHP, Ruby and others)
  • Ability and desire to successfully develop management skills and attributes to lead a team of system developers.
  • Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships.
  • Ability to solve problems and resolve issues, plan solutions and make pragmatic decisions.
  • Ability to deliver IT projects.
  • Knowledge of and commitment to IT system best practice including issue tracking, testing, documentation and version control.
  • Ability to manage workload and prioritise effectively working under own initiative or collaboratively in a small team within a pressurised environment.
  • Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).

Desirable Criteria

  • Professional practitioner with knowledge and expertise in library, archive or museum IT service provision.
  • Relevant industry and professional recognition and certification of achievement of skills and knowledge.
  • Experience of creating and maintaining complex relational databases, for example normalising data and running queries using SQL
  • Experience in systems integration, the use of APIs, data feeds, and scheduling automated tasks
  • Experience of assessing requirements and writing clear and concise specifications for development, procurement or enhancement processes.

Realising Your Potential Approach

  • EMBRACING CHANGE -  Creating a climate that encourages innovation and receptivity to change.
  • WORKING TOGETHER  -  Working across boundaries to develop relationships with other teams.
  • ACHIEVING RESULTS -  Critically evaluate the success of projects to disseminate lessons that can be learned 

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.