Senior Project Manager

Updated: 6 months ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

Senior Project Manager (
Job Number:
Vice-Chancellor's Office
Grade 8: - £44,414 - £52,841 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Working Arrangements: hybrid working with minimum 2 days based at Durham University main campus
Closing Date
: 21-Mar-2023, 7:59:00 PM
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. We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things professionally and personally.  
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.  We would be thrilled if you would consider joining our thriving University. Further information about the University can be found here

The Role and Department

The University has an ambitious strategy to build on our world-leading research, education and wider student experience. Over the coming years we will be investing in our people, estate and IT infrastructure to ensure we remain one of the world’s great universities. We are looking for a Senior Project Manager to deliver major projects. 

The Strategy Delivery Unit is focussed on co-ordinating and facilitating the implementation of the University’s ambitious strategic plans. The Portfolio Management Office (PMO) sits within this unit and its purpose is to ensure that the University’s investment in change is aligned to its strategy whilst defining and maintaining the standards of programme and project management. 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  
The successful candidate will be an experienced project manager with a good understanding of project and change methodologies and techniques. They will be able to build trusted relationships with teams across the university, will be a good communicator, and will be tenacious and pragmatic. They will have experience of delivering change in complex environments, plus, they will be excited about - and motivated by – Durham University’s ambition and the opportunity to play a key part in making it happen.

Further information about the role and the responsibilities is at the bottom of this job description.

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: 

•    30 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 42 days per year.  
•    The University closes between Christmas and New Year
•    We offer a generous pension scheme, As a new member of staff you will be automatically enrolled into this University Superannuation Scheme (USS). 
•    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.
•    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. 
•    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).
•    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. 
•    A salary sacrifice scheme is also available to help you take advantage of tax savings on benefits. 
•    If you are moving to Durham, we can help with removal costs and we have a dedicated team who can help you with the practicalities such as house hunting and schools.  If you need a visa, we cover most visa costs and offer an interest free loan scheme to pay for dependant visas.


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 and the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.  
•    Excellent digital competence with demonstrable skills in using core digital tools including internet, email, digital communication tools, Microsoft 365 applications, project planning and financial systems. 
•    Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).  
•    Experience of providing professional project management leadership for complex projects.
•    Continuing professional development required to maintain professional recognition.  
•    Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.    
•    Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.  
•    Ability to solve problems and resolve issues, plan solutions and make pragmatic decisions.

•    Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships, to influence perceptions of the University.  


•    Experience of managing commercial contracts.

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. It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider any desirable criteria, but we would urge candidates to provide evidence for all criteria.  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 throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to make sure you have not missed any of our updates.
What you need to submit   

•    A CV: and   
•    A supporting statement which outlines how you meet all of the criteria within the Person Specification.    
Contact details   
For a chat about the role or any further information please contact Nick Benbow at .

Further information about the role

Role Delivery
•    Responsible for project management across different areas. 
•    Oversight of short term or temporary project teams/strands, taking responsibility for decision making as appropriate. 
•    Lead on the design, development and implementation of project deliverables and embed required organisational transformation.
•    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.

•    Ensure all activities, processes and transactions are accounted for accurately and promptly to meet regulatory and professional service and policy standards. 
•    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 projects and performance metrics to provide reports for higher level managers and committees. 
•    Responsible for allocating and monitoring financial budgets and resources. 
•    A commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s values.

Planning and Organising
•    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. 
•    Promote the improvement and efficiency of departmental services by implementing and managing review and improvement procedures. 
•    Implement processes to manage the integrity and security of all commercially and professionally sensitive and personal data. 


•    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. 


Build and establish contacts and networks with key stakeholders, internal and external staff, suppliers, contractors and industry specialists – and ensure an effective stakeholder engagement plan is in place to support the delivery of the projects.
•    Responsible for shaping the development and learning of others outside of team, through the design and delivery of training sessions. 
•    Lead internal business meetings, working groups and sub-committees at operational service level to influence governance, organisational policy and standards for the service.  
•    Provide professional guidance to stakeholders regarding welfare, employment and wellbeing. 
•    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. 


Knowledge and Experience
•    Provide expert professional project management expertise and problem-solving skills. 
•    Act as a recognised project management practitioner delivering a range of strategic projects, shaping activities, processes and systems.
•    Act as specialist point of contact dealing with complexity of data and information sources, interpretation and analysis. 
•    Promote and develop a deep understanding of organisational policy and external developments.  
•    Lead and deliver professional development and support initiatives that would apply across the University. 

•    Any other reasonable duties.   

Useful links

If you would like further information about our University Strategy you may find the following will help: 
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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