Department of Physics
Grade 7: – £33,797 – £41,526 per annum
Fixed Term – Full Time
Contract Duration: 24 month
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 11-Jun-2021, 6:59:00 AM
Durham University is one of the world’s top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, 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 a comprehensive service and deliver the efficient administration and governance of the University.
Overall family purpose
- Deliver direct and indirect services to stakeholders.
- Provide advice and answer queries as part of an enquiry-desk/help-desk function.
- Respond to and manage requests for information and resources.
- Deliver services to meet regulatory requirements and procedures.
- Plan and deliver a joined-up approach to University business and people services.
- Align business processes and services to meet operational and strategic policy objectives.
- Deliver business processes to ensure effective management, governance and the economic viability of the University.
- Encourage, collaborate and participate in the development of productive cross-institution relationships and working.
- Provide excellent professional services that meet strategic and operational goals and business needs.
- Carry out monitoring, analysis, development and planning to design new services and service updates for continuous improvement whilst meeting changes in regulations.
- Engage with specialist professionals, consultants, and suppliers to exchange knowledge and facilitate partnership working.
- Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.
- Align and deliver programmes and activities to meet operational and strategic objectives to enhance the stakeholder experience.
- Engage and encourage participation with external professionals, schools, alumni and donors.
Link to key strategic plan
- An economically sustainable approach to delivering Professional Services across the University;
- A joined-up approach to University professional services, regardless of location or line management;
- A culture and practice of continuous improvement;
- Design services that meet business need;
- A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
- Support and facilitate programmes that offer intellectual challenge, cohesiveness and a strong sense of progression;
- Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.
Department and Role Purpose
The Department of Physics at Durham University is one of the very best UK Physics departments with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students. Ranked in the top 10 in REF2014 in terms of grade point average, 96% of Durham Physics research was considered either to be of “internationally excellent quality” or “world leading”.
Durham University is part of the pan-European International LOFAR Telescope, which is a new-generation radio telescope operating at low frequencies, and a pathfinder instrument for the upcoming Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The contribution from Durham involves leading the development of a prototype software infrastructure for achieving the highest resolution imaging possible with LOFAR to make it easier for astronomers to use this capability of the telescope.
You will take a leading role in the development and deployment of the latest data processing frameworks and develop new techniques and functionality to handle the processing of high resolution LOFAR data. The post will be based at Durham, embedded in an expert scientific team, but you will collaborate with scientists and software developers at international institutions. This post has a specific focus on data processing for high resolution imaging with LOFAR, which is a separate stream of the general software development efforts by the software team at ASTRON in the Netherlands. There will also be a focus on implementing the latest data processing framework on IRIS, the digital research infrastructure for the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). Emphasis will be placed on delivering maintainable code, incorporating tests at all levels, and providing appropriate documentation.
- Recognised professional practitioner and service specialist.
- Implement changes to the design and development of service processes, techniques and deliverables for one or more service strands or project streams.
- Provide specialist expertise and support with complexity of data and information sources, interpretation and analysis.
- Contribute to development of operational service activities to ensure excellence in the stakeholder experience.
- Collect and analyse stakeholder feedback to help define needs and requirements and the design and planning of services.
- Internal and external relationship development and partnership working, networking and participation to engage and influence future services and the University reputation.
- Identify and design activities to meet learning objectives and outcomes.
- Deliver training, teaching and/or development delivery for stakeholders.
- Maintain an awareness of current policy for University business goals such as widening participation and access, and provision of advice using specialist knowledge.
- Contribute to and lead business meetings, working groups and sub-committees at departmental and operational service levels.
- Responsible for managing small budgets for consumables and some capital items, keeping records and processing invoices.
- Provide management for stakeholder service areas and/or processes ensuring a high-quality and timely service to all stakeholders, including prospective, existing and past students and staff.
- Contribute to operational leadership teams and decision making to shape the nature and level of support services.
- Analyse service data and provide reports to Service Heads making recommendations for improvement as appropriate.
- Provide proactive and comprehensive input and support to Head of Services, School and/or Department to achieve strategic and operational priorities.
- Provide advice to stakeholders in relation to University, School and or Department policy, procedures and regulations.
- Ensure the review and improvement of systems and procedures in line with University, School, Department or unit frameworks.
- Distribute service information and provide advice to stakeholders regarding compliance and regulations.
- Ensure regulations and procedures are updated to take account of internal and external changes.
- Coordinate and oversee committee working and deal with complaints.
- Provide training and/or instruction to stakeholders.
- Awareness of the external environment and sector best practice to support high quality services.
- Implement changes to the design and development of service processes, techniques, and deliverables for the LOFAR high resolution imaging project stream.
- Make decisions about the nature and level of problem solving, physical and analytical tools, techniques, methodologies and protocols to deliver project and service objectives, providing advice and making recommendations for resolution as appropriate.
- Collaborate with other software developers using the Agile software development practices across international institutions, regarding the use of software development tools, methods and standards to deliver integrity and consistency with service delivery
- Plan, review, monitor, and investigate mechanisms to ensure all organisational stakeholder requirements have been met.
- Any other reasonable duties.
Specific role requirements
- May be required to travel internationally for work visits.
Recruiting to this post
In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above (including those listed in the section ‘Realising Your Potential Approach’).
In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application.
Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage.
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
- A CV;
- A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;
- The person specification and Realising Your Potential Approach points. Please copy and paste these lists from this job description into a separate Microsoft Word document, complete the evidence for the criteria highlighted in BOLD font and submit this alongside your other application material. Criteria not marked in bold are also essential to the role but will be assessed from the CV and covering letter, however they are not intended to be scored as part of shortlisting.
Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.
For further information, please contact;
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.
We will notify you on the status of 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 ensure you receive all emails
Person specification – skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required
- Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop excellent working relationships both internally and externally.
- Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
- Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).
- Experience with signal processing and mathematical tools for data processing / analysis.
- Knowledge of and commitment to software development best practice including issue tracking, testing, documentation and version control.
- Ability to develop excellent working relationships both internally and externally.
- Ability to manage workload and prioritise effectively working under own initiative or collaboratively in a small team.
- Ability to work to specifications required by the stakeholders (e.g. meeting specific outcome requirements)
- Ability to solve problems and resolve issues, plan solutions and make pragmatic decisions.
- Experience with relevant scripting languages (python and C++)
- Knowledge of the Common Workflow Language (CWL)
- Experience with using queueing systems on computing clusters.
- Experience of Linux or UNIX, and MS Windows operating systems.
- Experience of release and deployment management tools (e.g. version control, preferably GitHub, automated testing, etc.)
- Demonstrable ability to teach or train others with specific technical skills.
- Demonstrable experience in creating interactive, data driven web applications or content.
- Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
Realising Your Potential Approach
DEVELOPING MYSELF AND OTHERS – Showing commitment to own development and supporting and encouraging others to develop their knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable them to reach their full potential for the wider benefit of the University.
- Supporting others to undertake alternative duties, such as short-term secondments
- Encouraging others to contribute to institutional-level activity
- 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 – Adjusting to unfamiliar situations, demands and changing roles. Seeing change as an opportunity and being receptive to new ideas.
- Creating a climate that encourages innovation and receptivity to change
- Leading by example in supporting the University to break with traditional methods
- Communicating upwards to influence policy formulation
- Proactively scanning the wider external environment to seek opportunities to develop the University
- Adapting departmental plans to reflect changes in the wider environment
RESPECTING OTHERS – To embrace diversity by promoting and maintaining an inclusive and supportive work and study environment that enables all members of our University community to achieve their full potential.
- Acting fairly and respectfully towards others in both verbal and non-verbal communication
- Practices being non-judgemental towards others – avoids making decisions or judgements about people based on their sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion or belief, colour, nationality, ethnic origin or age
- Behaving responsibly by reporting any incidents of bullying, harassment and victimisation
- Showing a commitment to improving the institution with regard to respecting others by attending designated training sessions to keep abreast of equality legislation and learning more about the needs of minority groups
- Recognising when someone is being discriminated against and taking appropriate action
- Challenging questionable behaviour and practices which are not in keeping with respect for others.
- Acting as a role model to others by setting high personal standards in both verbal and non-verbal communication
- Being fair and objective when selecting staff and choosing on the basis of ability
- Selecting individuals for training and development fairly
- Show a commitment to improving the institution by ensuring all staff undertake equality and diversity training to raise awareness
- Act responsibly by monitoring staff workloads to ensure fair work allocation
- Respecting confidentiality and demonstrating sensitivity if a team member wishes to discuss an equality and diversity issue with you and then taking appropriate action
- Ensuring communication with the team is regular, clear and consistent to create an open, transparent working environment
- Treating all members of the team in a fair and consistent manner
- Developing awareness of the wellbeing of all members of the team and supporting them appropriately
- Acting on complaints of inappropriate behaviour following the University policies and procedures
- Leading on relevant Equality and Diversity Charter recognition/award attainment
- Proactively monitor data regarding the protected characteristics, recognise trends and put in place appropriate action
- Actively promoting family friendly/flexible working policies
- Proactively mentor and sponsor under-represented groups to encourage progression
- Communicate effectively by developing networking activities across departments
- Valuing the contributions of all by publicising success stories, for example: achievements, awards and prizes, role models from under-represented groups
- Actively working in partnership with diverse groups
- Promoting an open and fair culture throughout the University
WORKING TOGETHER – Working co-operatively with others in order to achieve objectives. Applying a wide range of interpersonal skills..
- Working across boundaries to develop relationships with other teams
- Reflecting the principles of responsible University and the University values in dealing with people and conducting business
PROVIDING LEADERSHIP AND DIRECTION – Seeing the work that you do in the context of the bigger picture and taking a long-term view. Communicating vision clearly and enthusiastically to inspire and motivate others.
- Ensuring plans are consistent with the objectives of the University
- Not losing sight of the vision in dealing with day-to-day pressures
- Breaking down ‘silo’ thinking and encouraging a University wide perspective
FINDING SOLUTIONS – Taking a holistic view and working enthusiastically and with creativity to analyse problems and develop innovative and workable solutions. Identifying opportunities for innovation.
- Being open to and applying good practice and fresh ideas from inside and outside the University
- Exercising judgement in line with University strategy and priorities
- Actively seeking new ideas and approaches from outside the University
- Identifying and pursuing opportunities to work in partnership with external organisations to generate and develop ideas
DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.