Department of Chemistry

Grade 8: – £41,526 – £49,553
Open-Ended/Permanent – Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: Ongoing

Job Family: Technical, Research and Teaching Services

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are welcoming, collegiate and inclusive.
OUR VALUES: We are motivated, inquisitive, challenging, rigorous and innovative.

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world’s top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Business, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people’s lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.

Family key attributes

Roles in this family provide creative and analytical input to facilitate the delivery of world-class teaching, learning and research activities.

Overall family purpose

  • Support stakeholders to ensure the delivery of research, teaching and scholarly activities.
  • Align and tailor services to meet strategic and operational research, teaching and learning objectives.
  • Prepare and set-up equipment, apparatus and resources to ensure the successful delivery of scheduled academic activities.
  • Monitor, manage and maintain teaching, learning or research facilities, workshops, laboratories and experimental environments to ensure compliance with internal and external regulations.
  • Contribute guidance, advice and/or professional expertise to increase intellectual and creative capacity for world-class teaching and research outputs.
  • Actively participate with peers and specialists internally and externally to expand knowledge and practice.
  • Design and construct equipment, environments, tools, techniques and methodologies to meet research and learning objectives.
  • Adapt and develop equipment, techniques and methodologies to meet research and learning outputs and timescales.
  • Engage and network with internal and external specialists and experts to facilitate knowledge exchange and enhance research, teaching and learning activities.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically sustainable approach to delivering technical and experimental support services across the University;
  • Support and facilitate world-leading research across all academic departments;
  • Support and facilitate research that has a positive impact on global, national and regional challenges and which benefits culture, society, health, the economy and the physical environment;
  • Support and facilitate a rewarding research environment and an exceptional research-led learning experience;
  • Support and facilitate programmes that offer intellectual challenge, cohesiveness and a strong sense of progression;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged

The Department and role purpose   

Durham Chemistry is a world top 100 chemistry department (QS World University Subject Rankings 2020) and one of the very best in the UK, with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students. Ranked fifth overall in REF2014 and first for impact, we are an active and vibrant department with many of our staff internationally-acclaimed researchers. We have a strong cohort of early career researchers, future leaders, pursuing innovative research agendas. Our research is concentrated on six research areas, supported by world-class facilities, including high quality analytical and spectroscopic support: Functional Molecules & Materials, Physical Organic & Assembly; Computational & Dynamics; Soft Matter & Interfaces; Catalysis & Sustainable Chemical Processes; Bioactive Chemistry & Synthesis.

Ranked second in the Guardian University Leaugue Table 2021 and fourth in the Complete University Guide 2021 our undergraduate programmes are highly rated outside of the Department and well received by our students (89% in overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2020). We offer both Bachelors (BSc) and Integrated Masters (MChem) which can include a year in industry or overseas. Our Integrated Masters degrees are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). At postgraduate level our students come from all over the world to carry out research. Durham Chemistry (along with Durham Physics and in partnership with the Universities of Leeds and Edinburgh), is home to the Centre for Doctoral Training in Soft Matter for Formulation and Industrial Innovation, SOFI2 CDT. We are a partner with the University of Newcastle in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Sciences for Medicine. Each year we admit around 120 single honours undergraduates and around 40 PhD students.

The Department has been awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Award recognising our commitment to advancing women’s careers in STEM academia and reflecting the supportive and positive environment within the Department.

The Senior Technical Manager role requires an excellent all-rounder with the ability to:

  • Work closely with the Department Manager and Head of Department to deliver the strategic development of all technical, laboratory and analytical facilities in the department with an operational focus, ensuring that technical provision is aligned with University Strategy and developments in technical provision elsewhere in the University.
  • Lead and manage the departmental technical team both in business as usual and also in ensuring responsiveness to change, maximising technical capacity to deliver departmental strategy.
  • Lead on strategic management of Health and Safety in the Department and hold overall responsibility for the health and safety operations of all of the department’s buildings, equipment and personnel, including supervision of the Departmental Health and Safety Co-ordinator and deputising this role during periods of leave/absence.
  • Act as a key channel of communication between academic staff and technical staff, both within the department and across all academic, College and other professional services departments.
  • Liaise with other departments and functions to:
    • Co-ordinate and plan building maintenance work and other improvements to departmental infrastructure facilities, overseeing regular inspections to identify works to be added to the maintenance plan.
    • Co-ordinate the provision of infrastructure and technical service across the University and to provide strategic input to the development of current and future facilities.

Core responsibilities:

  • Provide expert professional subject and managerial and leadership expertise, including advising and supporting technical service managers in the management of their facilities to optimise cost recovery from grants and external users.
  • Actively contribute to the delivery of the Department’s strategic teaching and research objectives through proactive leadership of technical services teams.
  • Work with the Department Senior Leadership Team and Department Manager to assess the forward needs of the Department in respect of space, plant, apparatus and general equipment and the integration of this with existing facilities and capabilities both within and outside the Department.   
  • Contribute to the long-term strategic planning and development of all aspects of the departmental infrastructure and the technical services in the Department to ensure that the evolving teaching and research needs continue to be met in a financially sustainable way.
  • Manage and develop service, infrastructure and people performance across one or more teams, including working with the Analytical Service Managers, Workshop and Laboratory Supervisors to identify and support training needs of technical staff in order to develop and enhance the capabilities of the support services to meet future needs.
  • Provide feedback on team and individual performance and identify development needs, conducting regular staff ADR and performance reviews.
  • Recruit, induct, train and develop new technical team members and, where appropriate, other team members.
  • Help to shape the skills and expertise of future team members and design work structures to meet operational and strategic goals.
  • Handle the vast majority of HR issues within a team, referring more complex issues to appropriate support services/senior management.
  • Liaise and engage with key stakeholders and internal and external contractors to influence opinion, delivery and reputation of services, including proactively engaging with both academic and technical support colleagues to ensure that all activities in the department are provided with an appropriate, effective level of service.
  • Contribute to the technical and analytical service scoping and resource planning across a range of activities at operational and possibly strategic level both within the Chemistry Department and the wider University.
  • Lead on the design, implementation and monitoring of policy and quality standards, procedures and systems to ensure effective working and continuous improvement.
  • Promote and develop a deep understanding of organisational policy and external developments.
  • Devolve responsibilities to team members to ensure continuity of service provision and encourage skills development.
  • Ensure all activities, processes and transactions are accounted for accurately and promptly to meet regulatory and professional service and policy standards.
  • Ensure all stakeholder-facing staff provide an accessible, friendly and professional service by shaping processes for inducting and developing staff.
  • Implement processes to manage the integrity and security of all commercially and professionally sensitive and personal data.
  • Lead internal business meetings, working groups and sub-committees at operational service level to influence governance, organisational policy and standards for the service.
  • Responsible for allocating and monitoring financial budgets and resources including maintaining budgets for departmental services, planned maintenance of plant equipment, building alterations and new construction.
  • Contribute to business plans to ensure the research, teaching and facilities needs of the Department are met in a financially sustainable way, including assisting technical service managers in the preparation of business plans for the purchase of new equipment and any consequent estates requirements.
  • Analyse stakeholder feedback, implementing and reviewing service provision.  

Role responsibilities:

  • Work within a teaching or research area of activity of national significance.
  • Contribute expert advice and guidance, collaborating with peers and academics to deliver teaching and/or research outputs.
  • Assess and design modifications and implement developments to deliver desired outputs.
  • Lead, design and deliver practical workshops, teaching and training sessions.
  • Manage or oversee the activities of a project team of technical staff to deliver support to research, teaching and learning activities.
  • Responsible for collecting and reviewing data on the workload of technical support services in the department and identifying best practise.
  • Ensure continuous improvement and knowledge base development for world class delivery.
  • Liaise with academic staff to build and maintain high-quality specialist technical support to underpin excellence in teaching, research and learning.
  • Implement and audit health and safety risk assessments and procedures to ensure compliance with University and statutory regulations.
  • Manage and monitor individual and overall health and safety assessments and procedures, ensuring compliance.
  • Deliver professional expertise with the design, construction and development of investigative methodologies to achieve teaching, research or learning objectives.
  • Identify, source and manufacture resources, materials, chemicals, tools, instruments, equipment and software critical to teaching and research delivery and suggest and obtain alternatives where necessary, liaising where appropriate with other Departments to share resources or optimise procurement.
  • Working with the Estates and Facilities Directorate in respect of maintenance and alterations to buildings, and capital works, forward planning of any works needed. Participating in major new build and refurbishment projects.
  • Contribute creativity and innovation to the teaching, learning and research delivery process and outcomes.
  • Take responsibility for supervising experimental procedures and processes out of normal programmed sessions, monitoring variables, capturing and analysing data and interpreting patterns.
  • Represent the faculty/school at promotional events and contribute to the delivery of presentations at conferences periodically as required.
  • Involved with activities and participate with others to generate external income, including involvement in research proposals.
  • Contribute to the planning, design and delivery of research outputs and prepare innovative teaching/research proposals.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

How to apply

We prefer to receive applications online. 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 https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit

  1. A CV;
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;

Contact details

For further information please contact;

Professor Karl Coleman, Head of Department (Chemistry) k.s.coleman@durham.ac.uk
Or
Lizzie Amies, Department Manager (Chemistry) elizabeth.amies@durham.ac.uk
Or
Sarah Wilbourn, Faculty Manager (Science) sarah.wilbourn@durham.ac.uk

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work. 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.

Person specification – skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.
  • Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  • Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent experience).
  • Educated to degree level in Chemistry or related subject (or equivalent experience).
  • Significant experience of facilities and technical management in an academic or industrial context.
  • Track record of management and development experience across a large technical service team or teams.
  • Demonstrable people, leadership and management skills.
  • Ability to contribute to planning at operational and strategic levels.
  • Professional practitioner in a technical area with specialist knowledge and expertise used to influence events and activities within the organisation.
  • Extensive knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines, including Health and Safety.
  • Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
  • Ability to solve problems and resolve issues, plan solutions and make pragmatic decisions.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships, to influence perceptions of the University.
  • Experience of developing and leading significant organisational change.
  • Experience of implementing policy and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area.
  • Demonstrable ability to teach or train others with specific technical skills, and the operation of standard and complex scientific, technical and creative equipment.
  • Relevant industry and professional recognition and certification of achievement of skills and knowledge.
  • Continuing professional development required to maintain professional recognition.
  • Expert knowledge and expertise in area of technical specialism, and the application of advanced skills to create, build, construct, analyse and realise new and innovative resources, equipment and research outputs.
  • Experienced practitioner who has led teaching/research project working within an educational, commercial or industrial environment

Realising Your Potential Approach
 
Developing myself and others

  • Showing awareness of the changing needs of the University and incorporating these into own and others’ development plans
  • Keeping up to date with what is happening in the wider HE environment and communicating this to your team where appropriate

Embracing Change

  • Creating a climate that encourages innovation and receptivity to change Communicating upwards to influence policy formulation

Respecting Others

  • Acting as a role model to others by setting high personal standards in both verbal and non-verbal communication.
  • Act responsibly by monitoring staff workloads to ensure fair work allocation.
  • Ensuring communication with the team is regular, clear and consistent to create an open, transparent working environment.

Providing Leadership and Direction

  • Not losing sight of the vision in dealing with day-to-day pressures.
  • Breaking down ‘silo’ thinking and encouraging a University wide perspective

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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