Senior Research Administrator

Durham, United Kingdom
£26,715 - £32,817 per annum
31 Mar 2021
End of advertisement period
14 Apr 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Department of Computer Science

Grade 6: - £26,715 - £32,817 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 14-Apr-2021, 6:59:00 AM 

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.

The Department and role purpose

The Department of Computer Science at Durham is a rapidly expanding department that has just moved into a new purpose built building. There are new staff, new programmes and new research areas. This is an exciting time to join a vibrant, collegiate and friendly department.

The Senior Research Administrator 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 they 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. They will also be responsible for liaising with the central Research Office and academic colleagues to provide specialist support for the full range of research related activities.

Core responsibilities:

  • 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 and other research related activities.
  • Take responsibility for day-to-day decision making within own area of responsibility for operational aspects of research service delivery, translating external research body requirements into practical application and advice.
  • Plan and organise own workload on a day-to-day basis within the context of the cyclical nature of research activities and their internal and external deadlines.
  • Provide 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, 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.
  • Manage resources to achieve defined targets and outcomes.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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.

Specific role requirements

  • Work outside normal office hours during peak periods.

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.

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

What you are required to submit

  • A CV;
  • A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;
  • Evidence of how you meet the essential criteria listed in the person specification.

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

Recruiting to this post:

In order to progress to the assessment stage of the recruitment process, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification. It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider the desirable criteria but we would urge candidates to provide evidence for all criteria.

Please note that some criteria will only be considered for those candidates who proceed to the assessment stage.

Contact details

For further information please contact; Gordon Love (g.d.love@durham.ac.uk).

Durham University Job Family

Job Family: Business Process and People Services

Our characteristics: We are welcoming, collegiate and inclusive.    

Our values: We are motivated, inquisitive, challenging, rigorous and innovative.

Family key attributes

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

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.

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.

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.

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.
  • A good standard of education to at least ‘A’ level (or equivalent) 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. 
  • Experience of independently taking day to day decisions on appropriate courses of action to resolve complex problems
  • Ability to collate, analyse and present data and information clearly and concisely.

Desirable Criteria:

  • A degree or equivalent qualification / experience
  • A good knowledge of the research environment in Higher Education.

Realising Your Potential Approach

The Realising Your Potential Approach clarifies the behaviours expected to be demonstrated by all staff across Professional Services in the University regardless of their role. Along with the core responsibilities, role responsibilities and the person specification, the Realising Your Potential Approach behavioural indicators are used to inform the recruitment and selection process. Further information on the Realising Your Potential Approach is available here.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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