Senior Research Administrator

Durham, United Kingdom
£27,116 - £33,309 per annum
22 Sep 2021
End of advertisement period
06 Oct 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Durham Law School

Grade 6: - £27,116 - £33,309 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 06-Oct-2021, 6:59:00 AM

The Department and role purpose   

Durham Law School is one of the leading research-intensive Law Schools in the United Kingdom, with a strong and growing international profile in research (ranked 50th in the QS world rankings for Law and Legal Studies in 2021). Following significant investment in academic positions, the Law School has over 60 academic staff and plays host to a number of research groups reflecting the breadth of the School’s research expertise (including in relation to International Law, Public and Human Rights Law, and Commercial and Corporate Law). Our staff are also engaged with University-wide research initiatives including via the Global Policy Institute and the Durham Global Security Institute. The holder of this post will play a key role in the design and delivery of a post-REF2021 research strategy for the Law School.

The post holder will work closely with the academic Director of Research and Director of Postgraduate Research to provide high level support for the research environment of the department, including:

  • The management and administration of processes and events to ensure a thriving research culture and environment;
  • Maintaining research management information, including information collected for the Research Excellence Framework exercise (REF) and Higher Education Business and Community interaction Survey (HE-BCI)
  • Managing research governance, including acting as secretary to Research Committee and other committees as required.
  • Managing applications to postgraduate research programmes in the Law School and providing support to postgraduate research students throughout the programme lifecycle.

Core responsibilities:

  • Experienced administrator working with Research and Innovation Services and academic colleagues to provide specialist support to the full range of activities related to the Law School’s research environment.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Providing 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.
  • Support the School’s research-facing webpages and social media accounts such as, Linkedin, Twitter etc.
  • Support the School’s staff and student hub. As well as, using software such as, Outfit and Camtasia.

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. Including where appropriate, supervision of staff and/or management of resources to achieve defined targets and outcomes.
  • 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, in person or online.
  • Establish, maintain and develop productive and ongoing relationships with stakeholders to influence perception of the University.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required


  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.
  • High standard of literacy and the ability to produce high quality reports, minutes and other documentation
  • Proven use of IT skills to enhance individual and shared ways of working (competency with standard office software is expected)
  • Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).
  • Evidence of continuing professional development relevant to the role.
  • Ability to engage meaningfully with both text-based and numerical data sources
  • Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues.
  • Evidence of expertise used to contribute to the delivery and development of services, events and activities
  • Experience of implementing and reviewing 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


  • A good knowledge of the research environment in Higher Education
  • Knowledge of working practices to support research in academic departments
  • Experience of conference or other event organisation, particularly in an academic context.

Realising Your Potential Approach

EMBRACING CHANGE - Adjusting to unfamiliar situations, demands and changing roles. Seeing change as an opportunity and being receptive to new ideas.

  • Taking a creative approach to change which challenges assumptions and is not based purely on enhancing existing practice
  • Viewing change situations as opportunities for improving and developing work

WORKING TOGETHER - Working co-operatively with others in order to achieve objectives. Applying a wide range of interpersonal skills.

  • Presenting own opinions and the interests of those you are representing at meetings in a convincing way

FINDING SOLUTIONS - Taking a holistic view and working enthusiastically and with creativity to analyse problems and develop innovative and workable solutions. Identifying opportunities for innovation.

  • Spotting an opportunity and taking action to do something about it
  • Identifying ways of resolving issues using own initiative

ACHIEVING RESULTS - Planning and organising workloads to ensure that deadlines are met within resource constraints. Consistently meeting objectives and success criteria.

  • Maintaining a high standard of work even when under pressure
  • Be organised by keeping track of a number of projects running simultaneously

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 (max 3 A4 sides) which details your experience, strengths and potential in relation to the requirements set out above in the Person Specification and the 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 https://www.dur.ac.uk/hr/realisingpotential/.

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage. Documents sent in addition to the two listed will not normally be considered by the recruitment panel.

Contact details

For further information, please contact the relevant School Manager: Richard Gwalchmai (richard.v.gwalchmai@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.

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

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

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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