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Institute Operations Officer (IMH)

School of Psychology, Marketing and Communications

Birmingham, United Kingdom


  • Posted on: 16th Sep 2021
  • Salary: £27,924 to £30,497 with potential progression once in post to £34,304
  • REF: 98180
  • Closes: 07th October 2021
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time


The Institute for Mental Health (IMH) has been established to maximise the collaborative efforts of academics at the University of Birmingham and builds on the strong existing partnerships with practice in the NHS; established through Birmingham Health Partners, Forward Thinking Birmingham, and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Through interdisciplinary research the IMH works to improve the outcomes and care for young people with mental health problems. We will do this by working together to understand the causes of poor mental health, prevent mental health problems from developing, and respond to established illness by developing new treatments and services.

Summary of Role

The IMH Institute Operations Officer (IOO) will be the senior administrative officer of the IMH, School of Psychology. The role will play a central role in supporting the Director in the day-to-day management of Institute and will report to the School of Psychology Operations Manager.

Keys covers for post will cover:

  • Operational, Finance and Strategic Support
  • Marketing & Communications

Main Duties

Operational Support

  • Serve on and support Institute Executive Committees, preparing papers and reports as required and ensuring follow-up actions are completed in a timely fashion.
  • Assist the Director in managing relationships with key partners and sponsors, including the NHS, Third Sector etc.
  • Work closely with the Director and in partnership to support the operational requirements of the Institute.
  • Create and document guidance notes, procedures and forms for the IMH, and ensure internal and external collaborators are informed to follow them.
  • Providing expert advice on rules, regulations and guidelines for policies that will have an impact on the running of the institute, in particular partner organisations like the NHS and acting as a primary point of contact within the Institute about Data Protection, Information Security, Research Governance, and Immigration policies
  • Lead team meetings and individual team activity to include performance, staff recruitment, resourcing, quality assurance, prioritisation of work and staff welfare.
  • Oversee the delivery of high profile and/or complex projects and recruitment campaigns.
  • To identify and deliver improvements to processes so they remain effective and fit for purpose, ensuring that guidance and process maps remain up to date.
  • To manage resource required for Core Systems and other project related activity on top of the delivery of day-to-day administrative activities.
  • To strive for the team to achieve their service standards and work to achieve these through effective training and guidance, using appropriately directed strategies to support a commitment to quality.
  • Act as a source of information and expert advice on administration activities.
  • To advise colleagues on system activity and University policy and procedures when required.
  • Ensuring the values and behaviours framework is active within the office and being followed by individuals, fostering a positive working culture, and leading by example.

Finance Support

  • Monitoring of income and expenditure to ensure the Institute operates within the budgetary framework.
  • Coordinate the relevant annual budgeting review progress against targets, working with College Finance colleagues to develop a strategic overview of the Institute performance.
  • Developing and working collaboratively to form a strategy for maintaining/increasing the research grant income of the Institute and broadening the research portfolio.

Strategic Support

  • •Assist the Institute Director in preparing, developing, monitoring and evaluating the Institute’s annual strategy and formulating operational plans to deliver the strategy.
  • Provide executive support, work streams and working groups as required; setting agendas, collating and distributing papers and minutes and ensuring follow up action is taken.
  • Coordinate strategic planning and resource allocation (e.g. Compact process, production of business plans, expenditure projections and options appraisals).
  • Contribute to formulation of strategy and lead on operational implementation, independently making operational decisions to ensure successful delivery.
  • Review relevant key performance indicators and associated management information to inform changes to future strategy.
  • Report on projects progress, including preparation of reports, eg financial or other regular progress reports to internal and external stakeholders and presenting to key stakeholders.
  • Represent IMH management team at meetings.
  • Keep up to date with the current research literature and developments in the field.
  • Promotes equality and values diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.

Marketing & Communications

  • Work with the College Marketing and Communications team and leads in the IMH to develop and implement
  • A marketing and communications strategy in relation to research and educational activities. This will include:
  • Developing and implementing a communication plan for news, events and research impact, involving multiple online and physical channels, and presenting a joined-up approach, aligning with overall College communications
  • Developing and implementing a recruitment plan around the undergraduate and postgraduate educational products for both areas, including CPD provision
  • Developing high quality marketing and communication materials, and building on the existing on-line presence for both educational offering and research impact
  • Responding to central communication initiatives and ensuring any central changes are reflected on Institute pages as relevant and appropriate
  • Responding to ad-hoc requests for strategically important communications activities, and advising and implementing their delivery

In collaboration with colleagues in the IMH, take responsibility for developing content for communications for a range of audiences and via different channels. This will include:

  • Editing websites, blogs, social media and other relevant digital platforms
  • Producing bespoke e-news bulletins using appropriate software
  • Ensuring activity aligns with overall College and University communications, and is present in regular communications channels
  • Proactively Promoting IMH achievements, events, seminars, and journal clubs using the appropriate channels, including social media.
  • Be the focal centre for communication with the Institute Director for both internal and external contacts, promoting good working relationships with all contacts, ensuring that correct protocol is observed, including having an awareness of the teaching and research ambitions of the Institute.

Person Specification

Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications and Experience Required

  • Degree-level education or equivalent work experience or equivalent professional experience.
  • Significant experience of working in a communications environment
  • Significant previous experience in an Office Administration role
  • Demonstrable people; financial experience
  • Experience in financial understanding and dealing with policies, and processes relating to finance.
  • Experience of working with confidential data and information, with a working knowledge of data protection policies.
  • Ability to collate and analyse data.
  • Previous project management experience or Prince 2
  • A creative and innovative approach to problem solving
  • A proven, high standard of written and oral communication, and confidence of leading projects at all levels
  • Excellent IT skills, primarily use of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint
  • Confident and willing to quickly learn new software packages
  • Flexibility to take on a wide variety of tasks as necessary
  • Ability to manage own workload and work unsupervised, keeping to deadlines, prioritising tasks, and dealing with competing demands
  • Numerical, analytical, and reasoning skills as well as attention to detail.
  • Ability to present complex issues in report style and via presentations to an audience
  • Experience in working within a mental health setting or within the NHS or a similar setting is required as significant understanding of this area would be required.
  • Ability to acquire a working knowledge of the operation of the IMH’s processes.
  • Demonstrable experience of streamlining processes and experience in marketing initiatives such as social media platforms.
  • Prepared to undertake occasional work in the evenings and weekends with some nights spent away from home

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working.

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