Student Financial Support Manager

Updated: 19 days ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND

Student Financial Support Manager (
Job Number:
Academic Office
Grade 7: - £37,099 - £44,263 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date
: 29-May-2024, 6:59:00 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 Student Immigration and Funding Service (SIFS) works with internal colleagues and external bodies to provide high quality advice and support relating to immigration legislation and financial support for both undergraduate and postgraduate students and applicants. 

The Service is part of the Student and Academic Services Directorate which provides a professional administrative support service to staff, students and potential students of Durham University.

The Academic Registrar is the head of the directorate and is responsible to the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education) for its management.  The following services fall under the remit of the Directorate:

  •   Access and Engagement
  • Student Recruitment and Admissions
  • Academic Quality Service
  • Student Immigration and Funding
  • Student Registry

  All of the services are based at either the Palatine Centre or Mountjoy Centre in Durham City.

  The post holder will be responsible for a range of challenging duties in the area of postgraduate student financial support, covering the administration of internal and external sources of funding (in particular UKRI) for students and managing and developing the provision of information and guidance on financial support to prospective and current postgraduate students. 

You will play a key part in the running of a customer-focussed, efficient and professional service dedicated to ensuring that postgraduates applying to, and attending, Durham University receive service befitting a world-class university in the area of student financial support. 

You must also be a flexible team-worker able to take responsibility for managing a varied workload to a high standard.  A high level of accuracy, sometimes under pressure, is essential. You will be dealing with highly confidential, and potentially sensitive, information and must ensure that it is kept in accordance with the principles of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and in the strictest confidence.

The Student and Academic Services directorate, currently operates a hybrid working opportunity, allowing staff to share their workload, working both at home and in the office.

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 the 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 access to holiday camps for children aged 5-16 throughout the year.
•    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


1.     Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).

2.     Professional practitioner with knowledge and expertise in the delivery and development of postgraduate research funding, in particular UK Research and Innovation funding and other PGR funding within the organisation.

3.     Experience of implementing policies and procedures and supporting change and service improvements. 

4.     Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues; with knowledge relating to UKRI and postgraduate research funding.

5.     Experience of participating in internal or external networks to share and discuss good practice, develop strong and productive working relationships, and positively influence the University’s reputation

6.      Experience of managing and developing a team or team


7.     Excellent spoken and written communication skills including the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.

8.     Strong digital competence across a range of digital devices and apps including Microsoft Excel and Access Databases, other Microsoft 365 applications and accounts systems.

9.     Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.

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

11.    Experience of working in central administration within a HEI environment

12.    Experience of ensuring compliance against regulations within an academic environment.

13.     Ability to solve problems and decide on and plan appropriate solutions. 

Desirable Criteria

1.     Accountancy Qualification

2.     Experience of using Oracle Fusion Accounting software

3.     Committed to continuing professional development to maintain professional recognition.

4.     Experience of implementing policy and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area.

5.     Experience of managing and developing a team or teams and/or line management qualification.

6.     Experience of working with Research Councils, including using the JeS system.

7.     Experience of producing Financial Expenditure Statements and cross checking financial information.

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 or covering letter 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 Neville Hallam, Deputy Head of Service (Scholarships and Postgraduate Research Funding) E: [email protected]

Typical Role Requirements

Service Delivery/Development

·         Show a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s values.

·         Review and look for ways to improve systems and procedures that are relevant to your area of work in line with the University’s frameworks and Regulations.

·         Manage the delivery of all aspects of the work of the postgraduate team within SIFS and provide advice and support in relation to PGR UKRI funding across the University to a high standard.

·         Provide the best possible service by continually reviewing what is required from staff, students and senior management and contribute to ideas and service improvements in relation to university and UKRI postgraduate research funding.

·         Work with your team to look for ways to improve processes, services and the creation of final expenditure statements across all areas of your work.

Planning and Organisation

·         Manage the delivery of operational activities carried out by the postgraduate team within SIFS which you are responsible for.

·         Contribute to progressing the strategic and operational priorities of your service, supporting academic colleagues with their understanding of the UKRI regulatory frameworks.

·         Review data on the level of service provided by your area to recommend areas for future improvement.

·         Manage budgets and expenditure including buying (and returning) goods and services.

Team Development

·         Manage and monitor the performance, workload and expected outcomes of the SIFS postgraduate team and take action to respond anything that impacts on the service level provided.

·         Ensure that your team can deliver the required services by devolving and delegating responsibilities to appropriate team members.

·         Carry out regular performance reviews to provide feedback on objectives and expectations and identify any development needs.

·         Ensure that your team continues to develop by coaching and mentoring team members and delivering any training needs.

·         Support the welfare and wellbeing of your team referring more complex issues to specialist services.

•    Provide advice and share guidance with your stakeholders to ensure that the University’s policies, procedures and regulations are complied with.
•    Use your operational expertise to participate in business meetings, working groups and sub-committees.
•    Coordinate and oversee committees and other business meetings and deal with any related complaints.
•    Update policies and procedures in response to any internal or external changes.
•    Create positive working relationships, including internal and external networks, using your networks to increase your knowledge and skills and swap information with peers.

•    Any other reasonable duties.   

Useful links

If you would like further information you may find the following will help

Please review the following URL for information about the university’s PGR support and research degrees: Research degrees - Durham University

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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