Research Finance Administrator

Fulltime Permanent University of Birmingham
  • Post Date : June 4, 2021
  • Salary: £23699 - £25458
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Job Description

Research Finance Administrator – Finance Office – 48850 – Band 500

– (210000S4)

Position Details

Finance Office

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £23,699 to £25,458, with potential progression once in post to £29,471

Band – 500

Full Time – Permanent

Closing date – 8th June 2021

Our offer to you

People are at the heart of what we are and do.

The University of Birmingham is proud to have been a part of the City of Birmingham and the wider region for over 100 years, and we are equally proud to be recognised as a leading global university. We want to attract talented people from across the city and beyond, support them to succeed, and celebrate their success.

We are committed to helping the people who work here to develop through our sector-leading Birmingham Professional programme which provides all professional services staff with development opportunities and the encouragement to reach their full potential. With almost 5,000 professional services jobs in a wide-range of functions in Edgbaston and in our campus in Dubai, there are plenty of opportunities for you to be able to develop your career at the University.

We believe there is no such thing as a typical member of staff and that diversity is a source of strength that underpins the exchange of ideas, innovation, and debate. We warmly welcome people from all backgrounds and are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where diversity is at the heart of who and what we are, and how we work.

Supporting our people to achieve a healthy work/life balance is important both to our employees and to the success of the University and, depending on the role, we offer a variety of flexible working arrangements. We therefore welcome discussions on all forms of flexible working. In addition, you will receive a generous package of benefits including 40 days paid holiday a year, one paid day a year for volunteering, occupational sick pay, and a pension scheme. We also have three high quality subsidised day nurseries.

The University is situated in leafy Edgbaston and there are excellent transport links to our beautiful campus, including main bus routes and a train station on site. On campus we have a state-of-the-art sports centre with pool, shops, places to eat and drink, our own art gallery, museum and botanical gardens.

Find out more about the benefits of working for the University of Birmingham

Working Context
Department – The Research Finance Team is part of the Research Support Group, which provides a coordinated and high quality support service to the University research community in the preparation and approval of research contracts, the financial administration of externally funded research grants, the co-ordination of the ethical review process, and the oversight of research governance. The Research Support Group is committed to delivering a consistently proactive, efficient, approachable and knowledgeable service which enhances the ability of our academic staff to increase research income in a highly competitive funding environment.
Team – The Research Finance Team is responsible for all accounting matters relating to the £122m externally funded research turnover in Academic Budget Centres. Provision of professional expertise and advice on research strategy, research management information and reconciliation to financial accounts. Costing, pricing and administration of externally funded research projects (at both pre and post award stage).
Job Summary
Provide financial management and administration relating to research grants and contracts including costing and pricing applications, processing offers and maintaining appropriate systems records, invoicing sponsors in accordance with contracts, handling regular correspondence and dealing with queries.
Assist, with supervision, in ensuring that the production of annual budgets and accounts for activities within the specified areas is both timely and accurate for inclusion within Management Information and Annual Accounts. Provide accountancy and administration support to senior members of the Team.
Engage in ad hoc task within the Accounting Section.
Main Duties
  • Provide assistance and advice on costing and pricing external contracts within specified guidelines, taking account of specific Funder requirements and full economic principles to ensure that the income to the University is maximised. This might include, for example:

  • Providing staff costings for particular grades of staff over a defined period of time. These costings may or may not include assumptions for pay awards and other incremental progression. This will be achieved by using the Research Accounting System Costing Tool. More complex, day rate costings will also be produced.

  • Ensuring Principal Investigators consider all costs that can be reclaimable under sponsor conditions, such as Estates & Indirect costs, Technician Support and Specialist facility costs.

  • Ensure that proposals sent to sponsors are numerically accurate and that any VAT issues have been taken account of.

  • Clerical duties including DHL, filing and archiving

  • Ensuring that non sterling proposals have the correct University’s internally agreed exchange rate

  • Contributing to the review and setting up of systems to enhance service and outputs

  • Financial management and administration of research accounts across a full range of sponsors including complex charity, overseas, commercial, government funded initiatives, ERDF and European funding. This requires specialised knowledge of sponsors financial rules and regulations to ensure that the income to the University is maximized. Duties might include, for example:

  • Ensuring all approvals is in place before project set up.

  • Setting up awarded grants and contracts within the University Research Systems and ensuring all data is accurate and in accordance with the specific terms and conditions.

  • Ensuring that invoices and claims to sponsors are sent in accordance with the terms and conditions of contract in a timely manner and resolving any related queries.

  • Reviewing the financial position of grants and contracts periodically (at least every four months) and ensuring that any potential financial problems are highlighted and resolved by liaising with the Principal Investigator and/or School Administrator

  • Manage the processing of offers from Research sponsors, including liaison with academics, sponsors, Research & Innovations Services and other team members

  • Resolve contractual issues, ensuring that contracts do not unduly disadvantage the university’s cashflow position or represent undue risk. This involves discussion and agreement of payment terms and the VAT status is correct via the Contract Officer and Team Leader. It may also involve liaising directly with external Funder and the VAT accountant.

  • The Postholder will also be responsible for ensuring that all requirements for clinical trials work have been met, including sponsorship, insurance cover, indemnities etc.

  • Working closely with colleagues with Research & Innovation Services to support the University’s participation in various EU & other institutional strategic-funded schemes.

  • Advising and liaising with Human Resources regarding all new staff appointments and extension of contracts for existing staff. Responsibility for ensuring that all staff costs can be met from the budgeted sum available, taking into account the effect of both incremental and estimated pay rises.

  • Monitoring and updating information as regards those projects that are still live but whose end dates have expired. This will involve liaison with both academic and departmental staff in order to resolve outstanding issues.

  • Liaising with External Auditors on project audit in accordance with Funder Terms & Conditions

  • Contribution to improving and developing systems and procedures to enhance service and outputs

  • Dealing with internal and external correspondence, answering standard and some complex queries independently and proposing solutions, some of which would need further consideration by the Research Team Leader.

  • Ad-hoc jobs for the Research Finance Team Leader & Research Finance Manager including assistance with business plans, production of reports and management information, re-organisation of paper and computer records.

Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications & Experience Required
  • Ideally some formal relevant training (such as AAT, other Finance/Accountancy/Business qualifications)

  • Previous experience within accountancy/financial environment or administrative environment.

Skills and Experience:
  • Must be numerate, excellent general computer skills, particularly spreadsheets experience of Excel, Coda and Business Objects would be an advantage.

  • Excellent personal organization skills and a proven ability to priortise tasks effectively in order to cope with a high volume of work and still meet demanding work deadlines

  • Excellent communication skills and proven ability to provide an exceptional support service by responding to requests from internal and external customers promptly and professionally.

Informal enquires to Joanne Hawkins, email:

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.

Primary Location GB-GB-Birmingham
Job Clerical/Administrative
Organization Finance Office
Schedule Regular
Job Posting 25.05.2021, 9:43:06 AM
Grade (for job description) Band 500
Salary (Pay Basis) 23,699.00
Maximum Salary 29,471.00
Advert Close Date 08.06.2021, 5:59:00 PM

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