IS Specialist

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

Computing and Information Services

Grade 7: - £33,797 - £40,322 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 09-Apr-2021, 6:59:00 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 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 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 

The Computing and Information Services (CIS) has an annual operational budget in the order of £10m, multi-million pound programmes of change within year, and approximately 140 staff who are predominately based at the Durham University campus. The Senior Leadership Team report directly to the Chief Information Officer with the following portfolios: Strategy and Change; Operations; and Information Systems. CIS provide academic, teaching and administrative services across the organisation that underpin the day-to-day activities of the whole organisation.

Recent infrastructure improvements include investment in a new network backbone, including new cable runs throughout the city to all of the Universities core buildings, new scalable user facing storage, and a new hosting environment. Corresponding business led investment also continues to be made with a new Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning suite, investment in research administration, and maximising the breadth of opportunities available to the University through Office365, alongside numerous other important initiatives.

CIS is a friendly, but demanding department, where much is expected and can be achieved by competent, self-motivated individuals who are demonstrable in their team work ability.   This role is for an experienced SQL Server Database Administrator with some knowledge and experience of Oracle.

The post holder will work within the Database Services Team and will be involved in the design, configuration, deployment, support and maintenance of database systems, middleware and applications while ensuring compliance with the department’s change management process. This will primarily be SQL Server technology, but ideally experience of Oracle database technology would be advantageous but training and development in this area would be given.

The position will require a high level of technical knowledge, experience of customer service delivery, risk management skills and the ability to convert business requirements into viable technical solutions.

The successful candidate will seek to expand and maintain up-to-date knowledge of key technologies, methods and approaches relevant to database technologies.

Core responsibilities:

  • Recognised professional practitioner and database administration service specialist.
  • Implement changes to the design and development of service processes, techniques and deliverables for one or more service strands or project streams.
  • 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 technology activities to meet learning objectives and outcomes.
  • Maintain an awareness of current policy for University business goals such as widening participation and access, 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 database management and infrastructure support services across the University.
  • Provide advice and guidance on best practice database administration methods, processes and techniques
  • Design and build SQL Server architectures including Always On Availability Groups and Clusters
  • Promote and foster positive and highly collaborative approaches to problem solving and project implementation, helping to motivate, mentor and coach project team members.
  • Provide 3rd line specialist support for University staff and student IT users with problem solving and query handling.
  • Provide a reactive and proactive service, working closely with 1st line support teams and end users to deliver an excellent stakeholder experience.
  • 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 University.
  • 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, local authorities, industries and visitors where appropriate.
  • 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  

  • Working hours will require all members of the team to provide working hours flexibility to cover 8am to 6pm plus occasional support for events outside of these hours and at weekends. As such 9am to 5pm is indicative.
  • Working outside normal office hours, including responding to significant incidents.
  • Being part of an on-call rota to provide out of hours support.
  • DBAs will be expected to maintain a core set of skills and to cover for each other as required

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 
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.

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

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 the essential criteria in the person specification, this will require completion of the 'Questionnaire' application section.  

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; d.j.crooks@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

  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop excellent 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 relevant professional qualification or extensive experience).
  4. Educated to degree level (or relevant professional qualification or extensive experience).
  5. Detailed knowledge and experience of implementing, supporting and maintaining SQL Server (2012 to 2019) databases
  6. Detailed knowledge and experience of upgrading and migrating SQL Servers systems.
  7. Experience and knowledge of working with Microsoft operating systems
  8. Detailed knowledge and experience of using database management software and tools to: monitor systems, collect routine database performance statistics, create reports and make proposals for improvement
  9. Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships.
  10. Ability to solve problems and resolve issues, plan solutions and make pragmatic decisions.
  11. Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.

Desirable Criteria

ITIL Foundation

Detailed knowledge and experience of documenting procedures and scripts, as appropriate

Experience of developing and implementing a patching and upgrade policy based on Microsoft’s release cycle

Detailed knowledge and experience of implementing and supporting SQL Always On environments - SQL Clustering

and High Availability Groups

Knowledge and experience of implementing and supporting Microsoft Business Intelligence Stack with SSIS, SSRS and SSAS (2017+)

Knowledge and experience of implementing and supporting Oracle (11g, 12cR2, 18+) databases

Knowledge and experience of Oracle Weblogic and Fusion Middleware

Experience and knowledge of working with Linux operating systems

Relevant industry and professional recognition and certification of achievement of skills and knowledge (e.g. MCDBA).

Continuing professional development required to maintain professional recognition.

Regulatory, local and national professional knowledge and experience of compliance.

Ability to deliver infrastructure projects.

Health and safety compliance knowledge.

Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.  

Experience of implementing policy and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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