Senior Research Support Officer

London (Greater) (GB)
£32,676 - £37,297 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
20 Jul 2021
End of advertisement period
17 Aug 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Job description

The role holder will act as the departmental research administration lead, providing high quality research support to academic staff, including pre- and post-award grant processes, impact, as well as working to support the implementation of new, and the improvement of existing, processes.

The Department of Physics has had a distinguished scientific tradition since its foundation in 1829.

The Department is growing, and this is reflected in the expansion of the research function and its responsibilities. The ideal candidate will have experience of office administration and dealing with financial processes, ideally in a Higher Education setting, and be able to build strong working relationships with both administrative and academic colleagues to support a wide range of research activity.

The post will report to the Department Manager.

We currently hold a silver Athena Swan award and Juno Champion status from the Institute of Physics (IOP). We offer a welcoming environment and welcome applications from applicants of all backgrounds.

The Department is committed to both educational and research excellence with a wide variety of BSc, MSci, and postgraduate programmes driven by research.

The Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences  (NMES) comprises Chemistry, Engineering, Informatics, Mathematics, and Physics – all departments are highly rated in research activities and have a wide-ranging portfolio of education programmes.

Celebrating diversity and supporting staff is important to us and we offer a range of provision including flexible working, caring support (including a Parenting and Carers Fund and the Carer’s Career Development Fund), training, and a variety of diversity and inclusion networks. Staff can apply for flexible working to help them balance the demands of their professional and personal commitments and we offer comprehensive leave policies for parental, adoption, surrogacy, dependant, and shared leave.

The university is making investment in NMES and both student and staff numbers are growing. Our staff come from over 45 countries and 56% of our students are from outside the UK. Principally located on the Strand Campus in the heart of central London, further details available at and

This post will be offered on an indefinite, full-time contract.

Key responsibilities

  • To engage proactively with academic staff in relation to funding calls, working with the Research Development Manager (RDM), assisting academic staff in identifying funding opportunities and providing expert guidance on funder regulations, terms and conditions of awards, and internal and external processes and policies.
  • To act as the first point of contact for research systems, developing a high degree of expertise with systems including WorkTribe, PURE, and funder portals.
  • To support the preparation of grant applications, including creating staff costings using WorkTribe, entering information in funder portals, coordinating internal peer review, checking compliance with funder and College policies, and obtaining internal approvals.
  • Supporting the grant application process including assisting staff with non-scientific aspects of the proposal, maintaining accurate records of previous, current, and planned grant applications, and ensuring grant applications are progressed in a timely manner to meet internal and external deadlines.
  • To proactively monitor the financial status of awards and grants, providing timely advice and regular updates to PIs and relevant professional services colleagues.
  • To support the recruitment of research staff and the administration of their contracts, working with colleagues in Department Operations and HR.
  • To ensure compliance in the reporting of research outcomes on ResearchFish.
  • To act as secretary to the Department Research Committee.
  • To coordinate and maintain oversight of Research Facilities and wider research resources within the Department.
  • To develop and implement Department-specific guidance and processes.
  • To update Department research webpages, SharePoint, and information on the institutional research management system (PURE).
  • To support staff in meeting the requirements of College, REF, and funder Open Access policies.
  • To disseminate research news across the Department, surfacing and communicating success stories to the Faculty External Relations team.
  • To support the organisation of events, seminars and colloquia.
  • To maintain oversight of internal departmental funding schemes.
  • To provide administrative support for preparations for submission in the REF exercise, including coordinating output reviews and entering information on PURE.
  • Assist academic staff in recording impact evidence on PURE.
  • Providing advice on REF Open Access policy to academic staff, and to monitor compliance through PURE.
  • To work with the Postgraduate Research Administrator to ensure that information in PGR records is complete, accurate, and up to date.
  • To facilitate the engagement of research staff (postdoctoral researchers) in the Department.
  • To participate in institution-wide networks, contributing to the alignment of the Research & Researchers function across the university.
  • To build and maintain effective relationships with academic and professional services staff across Departments, Faculty, and the College.
  • Assist the Head of Research, Head of Department, and Department Manager to develop and promote Departmental research strategy.
  • Support the Head of Research in implementing Department strategy and sharing best practice across different research areas.
  • Collate and provide data to support the Department in planning, reporting, and decision making.
  • Support external relationships e.g. supporting academic and industry networking activities.
  • Demonstrate commitment to personal development through attending internal and external training opportunities, reviewing professional publications, and establishing personal networks.
  • To act as an evacuation marshal.
  • To undertake any other duties which may be reasonably required.

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria

1.       Proven Professional Services skills gained within the Higher Education sector (or similar) and a knowledge of the regulatory, policy and procedural context

2.       Highly numerate with proven financial management and analytical skills

3.       Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate clearly and appropriately with a range of professional service and academic colleagues

4.       Proactive commitment to ensuring good practice and following process/procedure

5.       Ability to work under pressure in a busy environment

6.       Ability to work independently and as part of a team

7.       Ability to balance competing, shifting priorities under pressure of deadlines and workload

8.       Accuracy/ability to pay attention to detail

Desirable criteria

1.       Knowledge of Higher Education Research practice and policy

2.       Experience of supporting or contributing to the delivery of high-impact, quality research processes 

3.       Experience of using content management systems

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