Senior Administrator and PA

Contract Parttime University of Birmingham
  • Post Date : June 4, 2021
  • Salary: £25088
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Job Description

Senior Administrator and PA – Metabolism and Systems Research – 97327 – Band 500

– (210000S2)

Position Details

Centre for Systems Modelling & Quantitative Biomedicine (SMQB), Institute of Metabolism & Systems Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

As this vacancy has limited funding the maximum salary that can be offered is £25,088 pro rata

Band 500

Part Time – 18 hours per week (0.5FTE) / Fixed Term Contract to 31st July 2026

Closing Date: 6th June 2021.

Interviews and online assessment tasks will take place on Zoom on 24th 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

Job context

You will join a professional services team which is passionate about providing excellent administration support for the Centre for Systems Modelling & Quantitative Biomedicine (SMQB) and its Director, Professor John Terry.

You will undertake administration and PA duties for Professor Terry and additionally you will have the opportunity to contribute or take a lead in all aspects of administration supporting the Centre and delivery of the SMQB programmes, including research, learning and community & public engagement activities. In particular, to support the delivery of Professor Terry’s EPSRC Established Career Fellowship which focuses on the accurate diagnosis, prognosis and management of epilepsy, to advance understanding and treatment of the serious brain condition. You will work closely with a diverse group of people including managers, academic staff and patients and the public to deliver the research, learning and engagement programmes of the fellowship and the Centre. You will act as the primary contact to coordinate public and user engagement activities within the Fellowship.

You will be an experienced administrator with experience of providing a professional service within a varied environment. You will have excellent interpersonal skills with demonstrable ability of building and managing positive working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders at all levels of an organisation including members of the public involved in user engagement research activities. You will be familiar with managing processes, analysing information and suggesting improvements. You will be adept at applying organisation skills, time management skills and accuracy to ensure the smooth running of operations.

Job Summary

As a senior administrator and personal assistant within a team/department you will provide support for a broad range of administrative duties, some of which may be complex. You may also be responsible for managing other staff or for supporting colleagues and sharing knowledge. You will use your excellent organisational skills and attention to detail to ensure the people you support are well prepared, and that the tasks you carry out are completed to a high quality in a timely manner.

Main duties

  • Undertake complex diary management and meeting planning, usually 6-12 months ahead, making decisions on the best use of time. This will require you to understand the priorities and deadlines you and your manager(s) are working to and will involve developing relationships across the University and beyond.

  • Proactive inbox management, with confidence to make decisions on behalf of others where appropriate.

  • Dealing with a wide range of more complex enquiries and correspondence independently, or exercising judgement to redirect them to senior colleagues or other departments within the University.

  • If in a supervisory role, you will line manage all staff and take responsibility for co-ordinating and prioritising the work of others, normally as the head of a small team or sub-unit of a team. If not in a supervisory role you will still be expected to act as a role model and coach members of the team.

  • Maintain high profile working relationships with key stakeholders, fielding enquiries and ensuring that appropriate information is disseminated to stakeholders as appropriate.

  • Proactive preparation and collation of meeting-related papers, working collaboratively to determine what information might be required in advance of a meeting, articulating clear deadlines for submission and proactively chasing where necessary. This may include attending meetings to provide high-quality committee support, taking minutes and following up as appropriate.

  • Arranging complex UK and overseas travel, including booking flights, hotels, transfers, and organisation and planning of itineraries, ensuring best use of time and taking into account budgetary constraints.

  • Organisation of events including booking a venue, sending invitations, arranging refreshments, liaising with speakers, manage bookings, co-ordination of colleagues, advertising, collating feedback and reporting back.

  • Collate, analyse and interpret data. This may include identifying and resolving issues with the data.

  • Will manage some smaller projects on own initiative, but will also carry out desk research and source data from internal and external sources in order to contribute to wider projects.

  • Support the management, development and implementation of operational processes and systems.

  • Will be responsible for one or more of the following:

  • monitoring budgets including processing payments, authorising expenditure, raising concerns where finances are not in line with the budget,

  • procuring goods and services through the University system,

  • updating and writing contents for the department’s communications eg intranet pages

  • dealing with health and safety and facilities issues,

  • HR-related tasks such as managing staff absence, induction, or dealing with leavers

  • dealing with arrangements for international visitors

  • monitoring internal procedures/compliance and ensuring these are followed and disseminated as appropriate.

13. Supports equality and values diversity, moderates own behaviour to avoid unfair discriminatory impact or bias on others.

Required Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications, Experience

  • Educated to A Level standard, or equivalent level 3 qualification such as a Level 3 NVQ, or level 3 national diploma or relevant work experience evidencing the skills and ability to undertake the role.

  • Minimum of grade C in Mathematics and English at GCSE or equivalent level 2 qualification.

  • Previous administrative or PA experience.

  • Highly proficient IT skills, in particular the ability to handle complex electronic diaries and emails, the wider MS Office suite of programmes including excel and powerpoint, and some experience of using an enterprise resource planning package. The post holder should also be confident and able to quickly learn new IT skills and software packages as required.

  • Proven ability to plan ahead and anticipate requirements, proactively planning own (and sometimes others’ workloads) to manage time effectively, progress tasks concurrently and work to deadlines.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to write for different audiences, and to required deadlines.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills. The postholder must inspire confidence and command authority with a range of colleagues and provide excellent customer service at all times.

  • A high degree of professionalism, tact, and diplomacy, and the ability to exercise discretion regarding the handling and management of sensitive information/issues.

  • A high degree of initiative, personal judgement, resourcefulness, flexibility, and a self-motivating approach.

  • Ability to work effectively in a large, complex organisation, and to develop a good understanding of how the University and higher education institutions work.

  • Ability to understand policy and procedures and how to apply these.

  • Understands the importance of equality and diversity in the workplace.

  • Ability to identify and respond to equality and diversity issues in line with relevant policies and procedures.


This role will require you to exercise personal initiative within and beyond the department.

You may manage a team or budgets.

Planning and organising

This role will require you to work independently on daily, weekly and monthly tasks but also on projects with medium-longer-term horizons without daily supervision. You may manage other staffs’ workloads.

Problem solving and decision making

You will work under the direction of the senior manager you support, but you will have a significant degree of autonomy. You will deal with the more complex queries and be expected to resolve any problems in your area of responsibility. You may also manage the workload of others or coach others to achieve results. You will take day to day decisions on managing the diary, emails, preparing papers and booking travel.

Internal and external relationships

You will be liaising with a wide range of internal colleagues and stakeholders, likely to be University-wide and with external stakeholders.

Please attach a copy of your CV with your application.

Informal enquires to Rebecca Ward, SMQB Centre Manager, 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 Metabolism and Systems Research
Schedule Temporary
Job Posting 23.05.2021, 6:00:00 PM
Grade (for job description) Band 500
Salary (Pay Basis) 23,699.00
Maximum Salary 25,088.00
Advert Close Date 06.06.2021, 5:59:00 PM
Fixed Term Contract End Date 30.07.2026

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