Senior Project Manager

Durham, United Kingdom
£41,526- £49,553 per annum
22 Jul 2021
End of advertisement period
09 Aug 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Vice-Chancellor's Office

Grade 8: - £41,526- £49,553 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date:
 09-Aug-2021, 6:59:00 AM 

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.

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.

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 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   

Durham is one of the UK’s most distinctive, leading universities. We are in the world top 100 Universities, and attract the very best academics and students who are the heart of our world-leading research and teaching capabilities, shaping the future with their ground-breaking work. We have an ambitious strategy that will build on our world-leading research, education, and wider student experience. Over the next ten years we will be investing in our people, estate, and IT infrastructure to ensure that we remain one of the World’s great Universities.

The post will be based in the Strategy Delivery Unit, which is focussed on co-ordinating and facilitating the implementation of the University’s ambitious strategy via the Portfolio Management Office, Business Improvement Team, and driving delivery through project and programme support. The Project Manager will be part of this team but will deliver key strategic projects across the University 

The purpose of the role is to manage the delivery of projects within assigned time, cost and scope parameters. The role will be required to:

  • Lead the planning and implementation of project initiatives
  • Identify and manage project dependencies and the critical path
  • Oversee and manage project scope, tasks, deliverables, and timelines
  • Collect and analyse stakeholder feedback to help define needs and requirements and the design of key deliverables
  • Matrix manage staff teams
  • Facilitate the delivery of benefits

Core responsibilities:

  • Provide expert professional subject expertise and problem-solving skills.
  • Act as a recognised Project Management practitioner delivering a range of strategic projects shaping activities, processes and systems, including a project portfolio that often involves complex projects with diverse stakeholders, significant risk, and / or large budgets.
  • Lead the design, development and implementation of project deliverables and embed required organisational transformation to support the delivery of the programme.
  • Ensure appropriate Project governance arrangements are in place, monitor and map performance, provide progress reports, maintain RAID logs, and identify and progress mitigating actions to ensure key deliverables and targets are met.
  • Oversight of short term or temporary project teams/strands, taking responsibility for decision making as appropriate and delegating authority and responsibility within relevant project teams to make decisions about the quality, level and nature of service and resources necessary to meet operational and strategic business objectives. 
  • Engage with key stakeholders, both internal and external, to influence opinion, delivery and reputation of services.
  • Build and establish contacts and networks with key stakeholders, internal and external staff, suppliers, contractors and industry specialists to ensure an effective stakeholder engagement plan is in place to support the delivery of the projects.
  • Act as specialist point of contact dealing with complexity of data and information sources, interpretation and analysis.
  • Significant input into the scoping and resource planning across a range of activities at operational and possibly strategic level.
  • Carry out project scoping, initiation, planning, implementation, and assurance for large scale/University wide initiatives.
  • Responsible for shaping the development and learning of others outside of team, through the design and delivery of training sessions.
  • Lead on the design, implementation and monitoring of policy and quality standards, procedures and systems ensuring effective working and continuous improvement.
  • Promote and develop a deep understanding of organisational policy and external developments.
  • Ensure all activities, processes and transactions are accounted for accurately and promptly to meet regulatory and professional service and policy standards.
  • Implement processes to manage the integrity and security of all commercially and professionally sensitive and personal data.
  • Lead internal business meetings, working groups and sub-committees at operational service level to influence governance, organisational policy and standards for the service.
  • Responsible for allocating and monitoring financial budgets and resources.

Role responsibilities:

  • Manage quality and regulatory audit process for student and staff services over-arching systems and procedures.
  • Work with team members and stakeholders to build and maintain excellent working relationships.
  • Contribute to operational leadership teams and decision making to shape the nature and level of support services.
  • Provide professional guidance to stakeholders regarding welfare, employment and wellbeing.
  • Lead and deliver professional development and support initiatives that would apply across the University.
  • Produce communications for promotion and reporting purposes, designing and structuring information and fact, applying creative and innovative principles to influence and engage.
  • Deliver professional expertise with investigative and service methodologies, make recommendations and identify priorities to develop business plans and achieve business outcomes and objectives.
  • Maintain an oversight of the service and performance metrics to provide reports for higher level managers and committees.
  • Represent the service and University at promotional events and contribute to the delivery of presentations at conferences.
  • Develop external relations, identify and develop opportunities for communities of practice, employers, alumni and donors via extra-curricular activities and increased levels of participation.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

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.

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. The person specification. Please provide evidence of how you meet each point of the Essential and Desirable Criteria from this job description (this can be done in a table format in a separate Word document).

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

Interviews are to be held on 25th August 2021. 

Contact details

For further information please contact: Sian Broadhurst, Sian.Broadhurst@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.
  • Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  • Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).
  • Experience of providing Professional Project Management leadership for complex projects.
  • 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.
  • Experience of creating and implementing change management strategies to fully realise project benefits.

Desirable Criteria 

  • Experience of working in a Higher Education environment.
  • Experience of managing commercial contracts.
  • Experience of designing and implementing new policy and procedures to improve service delivery and optimise digital transformation.
  • Continuing professional development required to maintain professional recognition.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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