Research Administrator

Durham, United Kingdom
18 Jan 2023
End of advertisement period
31 Jan 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

Department of Philosophy

Grade 4: - £21,630 - £ 23,144 per annum (pro rata)
Fixed Term - Part Time
Contract Duration: 24 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 10
Working Arrangements: To be agreed
Closing Date: 31-Jan-2023, 7:59:00 AM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable.

The University

At Durham University we are proud of our people.  A globally outstanding centre of educational excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.

Across the University we have a huge variety of roles and career opportunities, which together make us a large and successful community, which is a key hub of activity within our region and nationally.  Whether you are at the very start, middle or end of your career, there is a role for you. We believe everyone has their own unique skills to offer.

We would be thrilled if you would consider joining our thriving University.  Further information about the University can be found here

The Role and the Department

This post is fixed term for 24 months and is part-time, 10 hours per week (0.2857FTE) and therefore the salary is pro rata to the salary shown. 

The Philosophy Department at Durham University is a centre for world-leading research in a wide range of fields, with four main research clusters: ‘Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics’; ‘History of Philosophy’; ‘Mind, Language and Metaphysics’ and ‘Science, Medicine and Society’. It is home to the Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS), and has strong links with several interdisciplinary research centres such as the Centre for the Ethics of Cultural Heritage. At postgraduate and undergraduate level, students can choose from a wide range of topics spanning the whole discipline of philosophy. The Department has one of the largest PhD programmes in the UK, and many of our students go on to pursue highly successful academic careers.

The role of Research Administrator is funded by the Access to Work scheme. Responsibilities include proof reading, organising grant proposals, obtaining image rights, compiling bibliographies of 18th—20th century books, supporting the drafting of critical literature reviews, submitting weekly reports, filling out government proformas, planning research events, and other ad hoc duties as required.

Specific Access to Work requirements

  • Proofreading books, articles, book chapters, book reviews, letters, etc.
  • Organising grant proposal documents.
  • Obtaining photographic reproduction permission from libraries, and co-ordinating payments.
  • Compiling bibliographies of 18th to 20th century history science, medicine and philosophy books.
  • Critically assessing secondary sources relevant to advanced research projects in intellectual history.
  • Submitting a brief weekly summary of activities completed.
  • Filling out various proformas issued by government agencies.
  • Planning workshops, symposia and conferences.
  • Other ad hoc in Durham City duties as required.

Working at Durham 

A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits: 

  • 27 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 39 days per year pro rata.
  • No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered.  We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies.
  • Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.
  • On site nursery is available and children’s clubs in the summer holidays. 
  • Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers).
  • There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally.  There is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the University.  All staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities. 
  • The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community
  • Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions. 
  • We offer generous pension schemes.

Durham University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Our collective aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and we believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.

As a University equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  We also live by our values and our Staff Code of Conduct.  At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.

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.  If you have taken time out of your career, and you feel it relevant, let us know about it in your application.  If you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

What you need to demonstrate when you apply/Person Specification

When you apply it is important that you let us know what skills/experience you have from a similar role and/or what skills/experience you have which would make you right for this role.  Further information about the role and responsibilities is at the end of this job description.  Where a criteria has an asterisk* next to it, it may be given additional weighting when your application is considered. 

Your application should cover the following criteria:

Essential Criteria 

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. 
  • Good digital skills including experience in using core digital tools including internet, email, digital communication tools, Microsoft 365 applications, digital booking system.
  • Evidence of excellent academic proof-reading skills of draft essays and books written in English.
  • Experience working with online databases relevant to the history of the humanities.
  • Experience drafting bibliographies relevant to the history of the humanities.
  • MA in the humanities, or humanities-related discipline.
  • Experience writing secondary literature reviews relevant to the history of the humanities.

Desirable Criteria

  • Familiarity with the history of science, technology and/or philosophy.
  • Experience with organising academic events, including research workshops.
  • Experience as a research assistant/administrator.
  • Experience obtaining photographic reproduction permissions from libraries. 
  • Experience performing research in manuscript-based archives or special collections in libraries.
  • Experience performing PhD level research in the humanities. 

How to apply

To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above.  Where there are desirable criteria we would also urge you to provide any relevant evidence.  Please don’t forget to check if there is any weighted criteria (see above).

While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview. 

Submitting your application

We prefer to receive applications online.  We will update you about your application at various points during the 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 shows examples of how you meet all of the criteria within the Person Specification  
  • A writing sample of an academic essay or thesis chapter that is 3,000 words
  • The name and contact details of two referees.

Contact details 

If you would like to have a chat or ask any questions about the role, Professor Matthew Eddy, Chair in the History and Philosophy of Science, would be happy to speak to you.  m.d.eddy@durham.ac.uk

Interviews are anticipated to take place week commencing 13 February 2023.

Typical Role Requirements

Service Delivery

  • Focus on checking stakeholder requirements to ensure the delivery of excellence with the frontline stakeholder experience. 
  • Respond to service users answering and recording standard queries and bookings for activities and/or events. 
  • Solve day-to-day routine problems and source background information within the role. 
  • Operate a booking and enquiry service and process requests finding solutions or escalating queries where necessary. 
  • Apply professional and regulatory procedures and processes and use of systems. 
  • Apply standard professional and recognised regulatory procedures to process, check and reconcile anomalies within data and information sets. 
  • Compile, record, store and archive data and information to ensure the accuracy and safety of information. 
  • Use standard office-based digital systems, tools and equipment to carry out data recording, communications and networking. 
  • Process and update key business documentation. 
  • Make venue, catering, travel and/or equipment arrangements for events, meetings and activities. 
  • A commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s values.


  • Contribute to the planning of team activities, work and deadlines to ensure the smooth running and timeliness of service. 
  • Record data and information accurately and provide reports as required to team members and more experienced staff. 
  • Assist team members to organise, plan and prepare for events, meetings and activities. 
  • Work with team members to ensure the smooth running of administrative processes to support people and business activities.


  • Provide a responsive and proactive support service for stakeholders.  
  • Flexible in approach to accommodate the needs of team members and/or service users. 
  • Liaise with internal and external suppliers, contractors and professional specialists to pass on information. 
  • Liaise and collaborate with staff in other areas of the organisation to ensure a seamless, smooth and efficient service. 
  • Resolve queries and requests for information and advice and escalate more specialist and complex queries or issues to more experienced team members.
  • Liaise with representatives from other service areas, professional organisations and agencies where necessary. 
  • Provide service and support for networks, committees and meetings, to draft and distribute documents and communications in standard professional formats. 
  • Liaise with internal and external suppliers and specialists with the organisation, planning and delivery of services, activities and events. 
  • Any other reasonable duties.

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 Privacy Notices - Durham University which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

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

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