Birmingham Global Project Officer – External Relations – 97157 – Grade 7
Birmingham Global, Department of External Relations
Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK
Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,942 to £40,322, with potential progression once in post to £42,792
Full Time/FTC until 31st October 2023
Closing date – 21st June 2021
Birmingham Global (BG) is located within External Relations, which is responsible for strategically seizing and managing opportunities that will enhance the profile and reputation of the University. Birmingham Global is responsible for the delivery of the University’s International Strategic Framework. It manages relations with key international partners in priority regions, including Europe, and supports academics, professional services colleagues and students to engage in the University’s wide-ranging international opportunities.
One of our current flagship activities is EUniWell – the European University for Well-being – one of 24 consortia selected as a new ‘European University of the Future’ through the European Commission’s European Universities initiative. Based on a shared vision for improving European citizens’ quality of life, EUniWell unites seven leading European universities, – Birmingham, Cologne, Florence, Leiden, Linnaeus, Nantes, and Semmelweis – with 102 cross-sectoral associate partners, drawn from 7 diverse European regions. The EUniWell Alliance has successfully attracted €7m external funding from Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 to date.
Birmingham Global is responsible for the project management of the University‘s engagement in EUniWell. This role will work closely with the BG EUniWell Project Manager, and related work-stream leads across the University’s Colleges, to support the delivery of the University of Birmingham’s EUniWell commitments. The post-holder may be required to undertake occasional overseas travel, including weekends and bank holidays.
The Project Officer will implement programme plans to ensure identified project outcomes are successfully delivered within schedule and on budget. This work includes: coordinating the project planning and progress reporting, overseeing the monitoring and mitigation of risks, and issues monitoring. They will support academic and professional services colleagues from across the University involved in delivering this exciting new development.
The role will support a range of project development activities across the University in relation to the identified project/s. The post-holder will provide high-level support for project management and financial administration, including monitoring overall external funding contract compliance. Due to the nature of the project, the list of duties is indicative only and may change, so the post-holder will need to be flexible and adaptable in their approach to project support, in line with External Relations’ Values and Behaviours.
- Develop best practice tools for project execution and management to ensure project timelines and milestones are tracked appropriately and run to schedule.
- Design and maintain a project reporting system including regular updating in terms of project progress, upcoming meetings and events. This includes working with the Project Manager and external partners to deliver the formal reporting compliant with funding regulations.
- Review and report on project progress to improve effectiveness, efficiency and delivery on key performance indicators and milestones, dealing with issues as they arise and escalating appropriately where necessary.
- Proactively manage changes in project scope, identify potential risks, manage dependencies, and devise contingency plans. Early communication with the Project Manager and work stream leads to provide options and resolutions for ensuring project issues are mitigated successfully. This requires professional judgement and political sensitivity to successfully address a range of diverse stakeholder requirements.
Financial project management:
- Understand and monitor the complex financial budget in order to ensure UoB and external partners meet the contractual outputs and outcomes within budget.
- Develop an expert understanding of current processes and workflows, and a regard for the systems and services that are used by the University.
- Lead on the processing of day-to-day project expenditure; ensuring the robust maintenance of all financial documents; and troubleshooting any financial issues in coordination with the Project Manager, Central Finance and other stakeholders as appropriate.
- Work with a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders to support the objectives and deliverables of the project. Implement stakeholder management and maintain regular contact with stakeholders to: understand requirements; generate and negotiate solutions; and maximise engagement in the initiatives UoB is leading on.
- Support a range of sub-projects, work-streams and working groups within the overall project. Develop and implement project plans to achieve desired outcomes.
- Provide secretarial support for project work-stream meetings and related working groups, and support the Chairs in agenda-setting, collating and distributing required paperwork.
- Contribute to developing and delivering communication initiatives and strategies to support and grow engagement with work programmes.
- Identify and embrace opportunities for collaboration with other projects and initiatives across the University.
- Liaise with external partners to provide a coordinated approach to project management. Identify the impact on other projects and co-ordinate with related project managers to resolve issues.
- Organise and manage meetings as required with internal and external organisations and make appropriate travel, catering and accommodation arrangements.
- Ensure quality assurance and compliance with external regulations, including relevant paperwork and deadlines
- Ensure project information is shared effectively and utilises appropriate systems.
- Undertake other duties as required commensurate with the role’s grade.
- Qualifications at least to first-degree level.
- Knowledge of, and commitment to, the Higher Education sector, with a strong belief in the importance of universities in society and an awareness of the issues that they face
- Relevant project management experience in a complex organisation, with strong and demonstrable planning, project management and IT skills
- Substantial project management experience, preferably using project tools such as Prince 2
- Effective financial management and experience in managing complex budgets
- Problem-solving and organisational skills to deal with challenging situations autonomously, and prioritise workloads in the face of conflicting demands
- High level of literacy and attention to detail to formulate clear, concise operational plans to deliver the University’s partnership objectives
- Ability to work effectively as a team member and to co-ordinate the work of others towards a common goal
- Excellent interpersonal skills, including cultural sensitivity, tact and diplomacy, with the capability and confidence to build effective and trusting relations with a variety of internal and external stakeholders
- High level of enthusiasm, personal commitment and adaptability, with a positive response to change
- To constantly exhibit values and behaviours consistent with the University and External Relations frameworks
- Experience of international travel and work to support partnership development would be an advantage
- 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.
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.