Advanced Technician Teaching and Research

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 17 Feb 2023

Department of Psychology

Grade 5: - £24,285 - £27,131 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 17-Feb-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     

Founded in 1952, the Department of Psychology is consistently ranked as one of the very best in the UK with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and student employability. The department is committed to creating and maintaining a research environment that spans the entire breadth of psychology. Currently the department’s research falls within three groupings: Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Science, and Quantitative Social Psychology. There is a vibrant research culture with a weekly departmental research seminar series.

The department is extremely well-equipped for research, including facilities for fMRI, TMS, tDCS, EEG/ERP, VR, eye movement tracking, and biophysiological recording. The department also has a motion capture lab for analysis of visuomotor action and experiments in immersive VR, a ‘bar’ lab for naturalistic studies in health psychology, and setups for psychophysics including an echo-attenuated chamber. The department benefits from full IT and mechanical research support from departmental technicians between 8:30 and 16:30 Monday to Friday.

We offer a prestigious Psychology undergraduate programme (C800), a new undergraduate programme in Behavioural Science (C803), as well as a suite of masters programmes. Our single honours Psychology programme achieved 91% satisfaction with our students in the 2020 NSS and we are privileged to work with outstanding students who are attracted to Durham from across the globe.

The post holder will be responsible for assisting with the day-to-day technical functions and operations in Psychology Department, providing technical and engineering related assistance throughout a busy suite of teaching laboratories plus a large and diverse selection of research laboratories, thereby ensuring smooth and efficient operation throughout both areas.   

The post holder will be required to provide flexible technical support as part of a technical team supporting all teaching and research activities conducted within Psychology Department. Primarily servicing the needs of teaching, while supporting research in periods of lower demand assisting undergraduates, postgraduates, post doctorates and academic supervisors with regard to everyday laboratory requirements.

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.  The University closes between Christmas and New Year.
  • 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     

You can choose to add add desirable criteria. 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: 

Where a criterion has an asterix* next to it, it may be given additional weighting when your application is considered.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally. *
  • Strong digital competence with demonstrable skills in using core digital tools including internet, email, digital communication tools, Microsoft 365 applications, digital booking system, project planning. *   
  • Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent experience).   
  • Post-16 qualification or equivalent experience. 
  • Excellent proven knowledge and expertise of computer programming skills to create, build and construct software and resources for experimental usage standard tools e.g. C++, Python, E-prime, Matlab.*
  • Knowledge and expertise of creating and managing Databases and related data storage facilities*.
  • Proven competence to support IT hardware, software and peripherals for experiments*. 
  • Evidence of continuing professional development.
  • Demonstrable ability to proactively work with team members to ensure delivery of high quality services.
  • Ability to solve problems and resolve issues, plan solutions and make pragmatic decisions*.
  • Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues*.
  • Experience of working in a team. 
  • Experience of managing time in order to meet deadlines.
  • Driving Licence holder. 
  • Desirable Criteria:  

    • Experience of monitoring activities of self and others to ensure health and safety regulations are adhered to. Confidence using basic hand tools. A basic knowledge of electronics with experience of soldering. Experience with running 'networked clusters' and 'linux'.
    • Willingness to learn advanced computing skills to support research, such as packages for the analysis of neuroimaging data or creation of VR environments.

    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 supporting statement which shows examples of how you meet all of the criteria within the Person Specification     

    Contact details      

    If you would like to have a chat or ask any questions about the role, mrs Elaine Stanton (Senior Technical Manager) would be happy to speak to you.

    Typical Role Requirements

    Service Delivery

    • Resolve queries and requests for information and advice and escalate more specialist and complex queries or issues to more experienced team members.  
    • Identify priorities and monitor processes and activities to ensure success.  
    • Support the capture of business requirements from users and work with colleagues to translate these into recommendations for future service provision.  
    • Advise others and make recommendations into work processes and procedures for consideration by senior management to improve services.  
    • Liaise with others to identify resource requirements, store and deliver resources and keep accurate records of stock levels.  
    • Prepare safety documents and risk assessments for teaching, research and learning activities, e.g. COSHH.  
    • Support and assist with the provision of health and safety whilst adhering to set guidelines.  
    • Utilise new and existing resources to deliver, research, teaching and/or learning objectives.
    • Prepare and set-up equipment and facilities for the delivery of research teaching and learning activities, including various outreach activities and summer schools.
    • A commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s values. 
    • The role will require an element of physical manual handling, which can include lifting and transporting equipment and deliveries.

    Planning and Organising

    • Plan and organise own workload with or without involvement with project work streams.
    • Organise and schedule resources, activities and events.


    • Act as more knowledgeable team member without responsibility for team members.  
    • Contribute to collaborative decision making within the team with service provision to deliver an excellent stakeholder experience in accordance with policy and procedures.   
    • Collaborate with team members and academic staff to implement service alterations and plan the future development of laboratories.  
    • future development of the department.
    • Respond to stakeholder needs to deliver and shape an excellent stakeholder experience.
    • Work collaboratively across the organisation and/or externally with colleagues and stakeholders to deliver a service.
    • Provide guidance and advice to resolve problems and queries for a broad range of service users.
    • Liaise with contacts and participate in networks and communities internally and possibly externally, contributing to effective collaborative working.
    • Liaise with outside agencies, local authorities, industries, visitors, academic staff, students and colleagues across the University to ensure a smooth and efficient service.
    • Assist and advise students working in research laboratories on technical aspects of their research projects.

    Knowledge and Experience

    • Apply theory and practice, from academic and professional development and previous knowledge within a service team. 
    • Provide guidance and advice to resolve problems and queries for a broad range of service users. 
    • Provide demonstrations and instruction to others outside the team. 
    • Apply technical knowledge and skills to build, adapt, construct and repair fabric, fittings, buildings, services and equipment using new and existing resources. 
    • 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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