Assistant Technician

Durham, United Kingdom
£18,212 - £ 19,623
29 Sep 2021
End of advertisement period
06 Oct 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Department of Biosciences

Grade 3: - £18,212 - £ 19,623
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 06-Oct-2021, 6:59:00 AM

Job Family: Technical, Research and Teaching 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 provide creative and analytical input to facilitate the delivery of world-class teaching, learning and research activities.

Overall family purpose

  • Support stakeholders to ensure the delivery of research, teaching and scholarly activities.
  • Align and tailor services to meet strategic and operational research, teaching and learning objectives.
  • Prepare and set-up equipment, apparatus and resources to ensure the successful delivery of scheduled academic activities.
  • Monitor, manage and maintain teaching, learning or research facilities, workshops, laboratories and experimental environments to ensure compliance with internal and external regulations.
  • Contribute guidance, advice and/or professional expertise to increase intellectual and creative capacity for world-class teaching and research outputs.
  • Actively participate with peers and specialists internally and externally to expand knowledge and practice.
  • Design and construct equipment, environments, tools, techniques and methodologies to meet research and learning objectives.
  • Adapt and develop equipment, techniques and methodologies to meet research and learning outputs and timescales.
  • Engage and network with internal and external specialists and experts to facilitate knowledge exchange and enhance research, teaching and learning activities.
  • 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 technical and experimental support services across the University;
  • Support and facilitate world-leading research across all academic departments;
  • Support and facilitate research that has a positive impact on global, national and regional challenges and which benefits culture, society, health, the economy and the physical environment;
  • Support and facilitate a rewarding research environment and an exceptional research-led learning experience;
  • Support and facilitate programmes that offer intellectual challenge, cohesiveness and a strong sense of progression;
  • 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 Department of Biosciences is composed of academic staff and research fellows with research and teaching interests that span the broad spectrum of the Biosciences. The Department studies biology from the smallest to the largest scales; from the structures and functions of biological molecules, through to cells, tissues and organisms and to the entire global ecosystem. The interests of academic staff include all types of living organisms, from bacteria, through the plant and animal kingdoms, to human health and disease.

The primary role is to provide assistance in laboratory/field course based work and the Health and Safety regulations related to such activities and able to work on set tasks as part of a team. The role involves a diverse array of activities (e.g. assisting with the setting up and clearing of laboratory classes, assisting in the delivery of teaching aids for academic staff, assisting in the transportation of materials and equipment, assisting in other areas of Department activity consistent with the grade).The role is diverse and involves assisting in a broad range of activities within the Department which help deliver the Department's teaching and research programs.

Core responsibilities:

  • Provide a highly responsive and/or frontline service to stakeholders.
  • Assist team members within a wider service team with a rotation of tasks and duties or with own small area of day to day responsibility.
  • Respond to service users logging and recording queries and information systematically in accordance with procedures.
  • Operate a system to record, dispense and distribute resources and information as required.
  • Assist team members to concentrate effort on a more regular basis to achieve common goals.
  • Apply skills and techniques to operate and use a range of everyday task or job specific equipment, tools and resources.
  • Follow a set of pre-determined tasks and objectives, with some discretion for variation, referring to team members where necessary.
  • Gather and collate data and information for others to use for evaluation and decision making.
  • Contribute to the tidying, set-up and maintenance of facilities, equipment and resources for class practicals, field courses, workshops, open days.
  • Liaise with representatives from other teams/service areas where necessary. 
  • Collaborate with team members to identify work flows, timescales and where support is required.

Role responsibilities:

  • Assist team members with the set-up and operation of a range of standard tools and equipment, e.g. autoclaves, centrifuges, microscopes, microbiological safety cabinets and other scientific instruments).
  • Provide resources, help sheets and guidance notes to stakeholders with various processes, procedures or techniques for experimental purposes.
  • Assist team members to construct, calibrate and/or repair mechanical, electrical, electronic and digital equipment and tools  e.g. microscopes and automatic pipettes  under the supervision of more experienced staff.
  • Assist others within the team to carry out and record routine standard annual maintenance checks and risk assessments.
  • Assist team members to carry out stock and inventory checks.
  • Carry out daily tasks within a research or teaching facility to ensure it is in a safe working order for stakeholder use.
  • Respond to first-line queries from suppliers, contractors and representatives from professional bodies where necessary.
  • Assist team members where necessary to review and update risk assessments.
  • Follow predetermined procedures and techniques, working accurately to complete specified tasks. Identify areas that could be made more efficient as knowledge of the procedures/techniques develop.
  • Learn new procedures and techniques from other staff and convey with explanation such techniques to others in the team or to students.
  • Directly assist disabled students in practical classes, projects and field courses and workshops.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Specific role requirements:

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 
  3. Examples of how you satisfy the person specification.

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; John Summerill (john.summerill@durham.ac.uk), Tel: 0191 3341245

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:

  • Good oral and written communication skills.
  • Good IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  • Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent experience).
  • Evidence of personal development to maintain skills.
  • Experience of managing time in order to meet deadlines. 
  • Experience of working in a technical environment setting up resources, tools and equipment to meet teaching and research outputs.
  • Experience of working in a team.
  • Health and safety compliance knowledge.
  • Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers of colleagues.  
  • Ability to solve problems as part of a team and resolve straightforward issues.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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