This is an exciting opportunity to join the College of Social Sciences’ Research Support Office. We’re a high-performing, well-regarded team of fourteenthat provides academic colleagues with a range of advice and guidance. We facilitate applications for research funding, manage the set-up and support for successful grants, and maximise the potential influence and impactof the College’s research.
The Research Projects Facilitator (Post-Award) leads a team of three that provides our post-award function. You will facilitate high-quality support to academic colleagues who hold funded research projects by ensuring they have the necessary information and guidance to start their project, that their budgets are monitored and kept in good order, and that any governance or reporting requirements are met. There will be opportunities to get involved in projects that span research support, for example, in arranging events aimed at our early career researchers.
We’re looking for someone who takes pride in the provision of excellent customer service, and who enjoys a varied workload. You’ll work closely with academic colleagues to understand and anticipate their needs, and be proactive, hands-on, and able to lead discussions with colleagues across the University, for example in Finance, HR, and Legal Services, to understand and seek solutions to a range of challenges. You will be numerate and good at handling a range of information – but this is a generalist post, and no specialist knowledge is required to join us.
You will line manage two administrators, and report to aHead of Operations.
This post will suit a variety of colleagues. It may be that you’re looking to expand your knowledge of the University’s operations, or to deepen your experience in research support. This post offers the opportunity to do both, and you’ll also be able to gain experience of working with senior colleagues, including the College’s Director and Deputy Director of Research, and have the opportunity to build a network of contacts across the University. This post offers an exciting chance to shape the post-award team’s services, and to make a tangible difference to the College’s research culture.
- Lead the College’s the post-award function, working closely with the Head of Operations, colleagues in the Research Support Office at College and University levels, and the Research Planning Partner, to ensure alignment and effective working relationships.
- Provide a ‘one stop shop’ for resolving or signposting queries from a range of stakeholders in respect of all post-award activities.
- Maintain excellent working relationships with key partners including Finance, HR and Procurement to ensure alignment of process and ability to resolve queries and plan services effectively.
- Monitor and review the performance of the function to ensure that it is efficient and effective and aligns with College and University expectations as well as those of the academic community.
Ongoing Service Delivery
- Provide a first point of contact source of expertise to Principal Investigators (Pls) for the lifecycle of their projects, from setting up and managing their project(s), milestone tracking and reporting through to co-ordination of project closure activity.
- Deal with complex queries, for example recruitment and contract extensions for grant funded posts, and being a key conduit between the Pl, HR and Finance.
- Oversee procurement processes and ensuring University policies are adhered to.
- Ensure Pl’s have access to timely and accurate budget reports and supporting their interpretation of these where appropriate.
- Oversee the College’s Research Risk Assessment and Mitigation Plans process, including promoting the process, supporting the completion of paperwork, and the coordinating the approval of activities.
- Coordinate ‘non-research’ bids, for example tenders for the provision of Continued Professional Development, from supporting the development of applications to managing the approval of contracts.
- Proactively seek and respond to feedback on the service provided with a view to continuous service improvement. Using a broad range of data to identify opportunities for improvement and to evidence success of key initiatives.
- Make recommendations for service enhancements and resource requirements to the Head of Operations as a result of such reviews.
- Support the Head of Operations, Director of Operations and the Director and Deputy Director of Research on College-wide initiatives.
Line manage two Administrators, ensuring all appropriate HR procedures are in place including induction, ongoing training and development and Performance and Development Reviews (PDRs).
And any other duties commensurate with the grading of the post as directed by the Head of Operations.
Required Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications, Experience
- Educated to first degree level (or equivalent) or equivalent relevant experience
- Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to build networks quickly and effectively and to have credibility with senior managers, academics and colleagues at all levels across the College
- Excellent written communication skills and the ability to produce a variety of documentation for a range of audiences
- An ability to work under pressure and manage competing priorities
- Supervisory or management experience, with the ability to build, motivate, and manage the performance of teams
- Experience of using financial data or management information to facilitate decision making
- Proven commitment to the delivery of exceptional customer service
- Able to apply a significant amount of initiative and professional, independent judgement
- Experience of supporting research(for example professional services support to REF, research finance, post-award administration, PGR
We welcome informal discussions about the role. Please contact Richard Charlton, email@example.com
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.