Senior Research Administrator

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND

Senior Research Administrator (
Job Number:
Department of Engineering
Grade 6: - £27929 - £34308 Per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date
: 04-Dec-2022, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

Job Title:  Senior Research Administrator   
Grade:  Grade 6 
Salary range:  £27,929 - £34,308 pa       
Working arrangements:  09:00 - 17:00 Monday to Friday, 35 hpw
Closing date:  23:59 Sunday 4th December       
Potential interview date:  tbc  

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

The Department of Engineering is consistently one of the very best UK engineering departments with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students.  The Department is ranked 4th in the Complete University Guide, 5th in the Guardian University Guide and 6th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 in the UK for General Engineering.  Ranked in the top six in the UK for overall profile in REF 2021 (with 95% of publications rated as 4* and 3*), this dynamic Department is an excellent place to work.  The strategic vision for the Department includes a planned growth in excess of 50% over the next five years, with a significant enhancement of the research challenge portfolio and a drive to enrich our undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research provision.  It is an exciting time to join this expanding Department and make your mark.

The Department holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, recognising our commitment to diversity within all aspects of life in the Department and reflecting the supportive, collegiate and positive environment within the Department.

The post holder will be responsible to the Department Manager, and will be expected to provide high level administrative support to the research environment of the Department and, in particular, to the Director of Research, Director of Impact and Research Staff Support Lead. They will be responsible for the maintenance of research management information, including information collated for the Research Framework Exercise (REF), support the application for external research funding, and act as Secretary to Research Committee, managing the business and associated activities outside of the meetings, including events management. The post holder will proactively engage with academic, administrative, research and technical support colleagues, within and external to the Department, including the central Research Office and with industry, to provide specialist support for the full range of research-related activities.

We are looking for someone who is passionate about working in an educational environment, making a difference and achieving results. You will be an adaptive individual with strong time management skills and an ability to develop and nurture relationships with others. You will also have a keen eye for detail, a commitment to the principles of continuous improvement and a drive to get things done.

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. 

  • We are operating a hybrid working policy to look at how best our staff can work flexibly and on and off campus, based on job role and business need.

•    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, inclusion and values

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 asterix* 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.  
  • Strong digital competence with demonstrable skills in using core digital tools including internet, email, digital communication tools, Microsoft 365 applications, digital booking systems, project planning, financial systems. 
  •  A good standard of education to at least A level.
  • Evidence of personal development to maintain skills and professional recognition.  
  • Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues.  
  • * Experienced service provider with knowledge and expertise used to contribute to the delivery and development of services, events and activities within the organisation.   
  • Experience of implementing 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.
  • Experience of working in higher education.

    Desirable Criteria


  • A degree or equivalent qualification or experience.
  • A good knowledge of the research environment in Higher Education.
  • Knowledge of the funding landscape within the Higher Education Sector will be a significant advantage

    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 cover letter explaining why you are applying for this post
    • A table in a separate Word document 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, Dr Ruth Vater ( would be happy to speak to you. 

    Typical Role Requirements

    Role Delivery


    • Provide specialist research support with problem solving and query handling. 
    • Reactive and proactive service provision with others to deliver an excellent stakeholder experience. 
    • 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.
    • Interpret, curate, design and present research information, data, equipment and resources. 
    • Carry out more in-depth investigations, searches and research information and data to identify trends and patterns. 
    • Accountable for managing/maintaining financial and budget records related to research activity, liaising with relevant colleagues to set and track expenditure against an agreed financial plan and reconciling expenditure queries. 
    • Manage specific projects to develop and enhance research activities.
    • Manage resources to achieve defined targets and outcomes.
    • 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.
    • Record data and information accurately, provide reports and distribute information to key internal and external stakeholders.
    • A commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s values.


    Planning and Organising


    • Plan and organise own workload within the context of the cyclical nature of research activities and their internal and external deadlines. 
    • Implement and monitor protocols, procedures, processes and regulations related to research activities. 
    • Implement and monitor recognised procedures to ensure compliance and meet University values of inclusion, diversity and participation. 
    • 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. 
    • Develop, implement and enforce recognised procedures to ensure compliance, co-ordinate effort and contribute to Departmental research objectives. 




    • Support the capture of business requirements from users and work with colleagues to translate these into recommendations for future service provision. 


    Communication and Networking


    • Relationship building, network participation internally and externally to build and update knowledge and skills. 
    • Engage with external peers and specialists to exchange knowledge and information. 
    • Supervises service users and stakeholders undertaking research activities, events, project work and exhibitions to further develop an effective research environment. 
    • 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. 
    • 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. 
    • Establish, maintain and develop productive and ongoing relationships with stakeholders to influence perception of the University. 


    Knowledge and Experience


    • Experienced service practitioner, planning and co-ordinating of projects and work streams with inter-related activities. 
    • Take responsibility for day to day decision making within own area of responsibility for operational aspects of service delivery, translating external requirements into practical application and advice. 
    • Provide professional guidance and advice to staff and students with the operational running of budgets, processes, data and information recording.
    • 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  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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