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Research Support Administrator

Physics and Astronomy, School of Physics and Astronomy, School of Mathematics

Birmingham, United Kingdom


  • Posted on: 24th Jan 2022
  • Salary: £27,924 to £30,497, with potential progression once in post to £34,304
  • REF: 98958
  • Closes: 17th February 2022
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time

Job summary

The Schools of Physics and Astronomy and Mathematics conduct world-leading research. The School of Physics and Astronomy has a wide-ranging research portfolio covering astrophysics, particle and nuclear physics, and quantum physics. Recent highlights include opening new windows on the universe with gravitational waves, through discovering and characterising planets around other stars, to developing a new generation of sensors utilizing quantum technologies, and unlocking the fundamental nature of matter at the CERN particle accelerator The School runs its own extensive facilities including one of the UK’s four Quantum Technology Hubs, state-of-the-art laboratories for developing new generations of sensors, and particle accelerators that have wide-ranging applications, including producing isotopes for the NHS. Researchers in the School have been associated with three Nobel prizes over the past ten years (through membership of collaborations, and two former colleagues winning the prize for work conducted in Birmingham).

The School of Mathematics is internationally renowned for its research. It spans a broad range of pure mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics with particular strengths in combinatorics, analysis, algebra and optimisation. There are also flourishing research groups in applied areas including continuum mechanics, geometry and mathematical physics, mathematical biology and healthcare, computational statistics and data science, topology and dynamics. The School is consistently highly ranked and is 5th in the Guardian league table 2021 and 5th in the Russell Group for overall satisfaction in the 2021 National Student Survey. The Research Support Administrator will play an important role in implementing our plans to deliver and expand on the world-class research produced by these Schools.

The post holder will support academics with managing grants and projects by ensuring that funds are spent and key milestones and reports are delivered on time, and to support other aspects of delivery of the Schools’ research strategies, including administering internal peer review and supporting interaction with external stakeholders. A key component of the position is to establish successful working relationships with academics and to interface with other teams across the University including Finance, HR, Contracts, Grant Set-Up and Support, Pre and Post Awards teams, IT and Marketing. The post holder will participate in committees/working groups related to research grants, take minutes and organize events related to post-award support.

Main duties

• Proactively monitor the financial status of awards and grants providing timely advice to grant holders on the management of funds, and to ensure that funds are spent on time and in accordance with funder rules
• Liaise with College Research Facilitator, Grant Set-Up and Support, HR, Contracts, Finance and other teams across the University to ensure the successful delivery of grants
• Identify and resolve research-related financial issues and report to grant holders
• Identify and resolve HR-related matters and report to grant holders
• Act as the Schools’ Super User for Worktribe, and any other research-related systems as required.
• Develop and maintain working relationships within the Schools, in particular with the Directors of Research and Directors of Innovation, grant holders, Professional Services staff.
• Participate in relevant research committees/working groups, including working with the Schools’ Research strategy Groups, and prepare papers and reports, as needed
• Develop and review the Schools’ research related processes, in conjunction with the Directors of Research, Directors of Innovation, Heads of Operations and Heads of School
• Support the Heads of School, Directors of Research and Directors of Innovation in preparation for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF) [or its equivalent successor] and internal assessment of research quality in support of promotions and reward.
• Actively participate in networking and training opportunities across the College and University, acting as a representative for the Schools as appropriate
• To undertake any other duties as reasonably required by the Heads of School and Heads of Operations.
• To promote equality and values diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.

Person Specification

• Honours degree or equivalent relevant experience in a similar role
• Hold GCSEs in Mathematics and English at C or above (or equivalent).
• Proven knowledge and understanding of the Higher Education environment and funding
• Experience of project management
• Strong communicator who is able to foster friendly and effective working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, and to build networks and work effectively within teams
• Evidenced excellent analytical and problem solving skills; highly numerate with excellent attention to detail
• Confident user of IT and various software packages, including Microsoft Office, and willingness to train on specialized software to support, inform and improve operational effectiveness.
• Proven ability to work independently, and to prioritise own workload; and to complete tasks accurately and to a routinely high standard
• Evidence of planning and organisation skills to achieve desired results: prioritises tasks and takes action to meet output needs in order of importance.
• Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly.

Informal enquiries can be made to Anna Jenkin -a.c.jenkin@bham.ac.uk

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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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