Finance Officer

Durham University

Finance Officer (
Job Number:
Institute of Medical Humanities
Grade 6:  £29,605 – £36,024 per annum (Pro Rata)
Fixed Term  Part Time
Contract Duration: 36 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 21
Working Arrangements: Exact work pattern to be negotiated with line manager, but we are open to agreeing times to fit caring or other responsibilities.
Closing Date
: 27-Nov-2023, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

The University

At Durham University we are proud of our people.  A globally outstanding centre of educational excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.  Across the University we have a huge variety of roles and career opportunities, which together make us a large and successful community, which is a key hub of activity within our region and nationally.  Whether you are at the very start, middle or end of your career, there is a role for you. We believe everyone has their own unique skills to offer. We would be thrilled if you would consider joining our thriving University.  Further information about the University can be found here

The Role and the Department

The Discovery Research Platform for Medical Humanities (DRP-MH) at Durham University aims to empower health and wellbeing researchers from different sectors and disciplines to co-develop new and experimental approaches to tackling health challenges, including mental health and health inequalities. It is a £9m award which aims to transform the way research is undertaken in the field of Medical Humanities. 

The Platform involves researchers from departments across the Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences. It will also engage with and support international research networks, and a wide range of voluntary and health sector partnerships. The DRP-MH is hosted by the Institute for Medical Humanities (IMH) which is focused on improving health by understanding hidden experiences. The Institute and Platform are currently located in the Confluence building on Durham University’s Science Site.

The position offers an exciting opportunity for an experienced administrator to join a newly created dynamic and friendly team. As the Discovery Research Platform Finance & Administration Officer, you will work closely with the Platform and Institute Directors and Operations Manager to play a key role in the operational running of budgets, process data and information recording, and assessment data, to ensure activities, budgets and documents comply with internal University and external funder regulations, policies, and procedures. You will also work with the Leads on Communications, Engagement, Research  and Creative Facilitation; key academic Lab and Site Leads in the Platform; Institute for Medical Humanities staff and a variety of administrative teams across the University, to deliver excellent financial and administrative support. This will include setting up systems to help with the tracking of requisitions, managing and maintaining financial and budget records and reconciling expenditure queries. You will also assist the Operations Manager in forecasting and reporting on the budget. You will act as a source of expertise and advice to the team, assisting them in the delivery of the DRP-MH and Institute vision and strategy.

The role also includes ensuring compliance, monitoring and evaluation of outputs and open access policies. You will support the ethics and data subgroup, arranging meetings, booking rooms, distributing meeting documentation, arranging catering, setting up and clearing the meeting rooms when required.

The Discovery Research Platform is a new and exciting place to work. Our offices in the Confluence building on Durham University’s Science site offers a friendly and pleasant environment in which to work; with the flexibility of having quiet dedicated office space, alongside an open plan area, meeting room and a well-equipped staff room.

This post will be office based, but with an element of flexibility.

Working at Durham  

A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits: 

•    27 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 39 days per year.  The University closes between Christmas and New Year 
•    No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered.  We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies.
•    Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.
•    On site nursery is available and access to holiday camps for children aged 5-16 throughout the year.
•    Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers).
•    There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally.  There is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the University.  All staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities. 
•    The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community
•    Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions. 
•    We offer generous pension schemes. 


Durham University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion

Our collective aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and we believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  As a University equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  We also live by our values and our Staff Code of Conduct. At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.

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.  If you have taken time out of your career, and you feel it relevant, let us know about it in your application.  If you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

What you need to demonstrate when you apply/Person Specification  
When you apply it is important that you let us know what skills/experience you have from a similar role and/or what skills/experience you have which would make you right for this role. Please provide a table in your covering letter providing evidence and examples against each criteria to allow shortlisting to take place. Further information about the role and responsibilities is at the end of this job description. Where a criterion has an asterisk* next to it, it may be given additional weighting when your application is considered
Your application should cover the following criteria:

Essential Criteria

1.    Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics or a Post-16 qualification or equivalent experience.
2.    Experience and expertise in the development and delivery of budget management and administration services. 
3.    Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues.   
4.    Experience of implementing policies and procedures. 

5.    Excellent spoken and written communication skills including the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.
6.    Strong digital competence across a range digital devices and apps including digital communication tools, Microsoft 365 applications, business systems.
7.    Committed to continuing professional development.
8.    Ability to plan and organise  involving the service work to tight deadlines without compromising on quality. .
9.    Ability to solve problems and decide on and plan appropriate solutions.
10.    Ability to participate in networks to share and discuss good practice and exchange information.

Desirable Criteria

1.      Professional experience of working within a higher education setting.

2.      Previous experience of budget management, within higher education setting and research funding context.

  3.    Possess, or working towards the Association of Accounting Technicians qualification or equivalent.

How to apply

To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above.  Where there are desirable criteria we would also urge you to provide any relevant evidence.  Please don’t forget to check if there is any weighted criteria (see above).

While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.  

Submitting your application 

We prefer to receive applications online.  We will update you about your application at various points during the process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails 
What you are required to submit:
•    A CV 
•    A covering letter, which includes:

o   examples of how you satisfy the eight personal specification/essential criteria (above). Please ensure you give relevant examples of how you meet these criteria (maximum of 200 words per criterion)

o   a brief outline of why you are interested in this role.

Contact details 

If you would like to have a chat or ask any questions about the role, Carolyn Blake (Operations Manager) would be happy to speak to you. Please drop them a line to [email protected] to arrange a convenient time.


Typical Role Requirements

Service Delivery
•    Show a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s Institute’s and Platform’s   values.
•    Ensure that the University’s procedures and values are always reflected in all aspects of the service provided and adapt ways of working where this is not evident.
•    Provide specialist advice and make decisions to resolve problems relating to the services you are responsible for example reconciling of budgets and expenditure queries.

•    Use your experience and problem-solving skills to investigate and resolve issues relevant to your role such as monitoring/maintaining budgets and evaluating outputs and open access policies and make recommendations based on your findings.
•    Provide the best possible service to Platform Directors, Operations Manager, Platform and Institute leads and colleagues, by reviewing and making suggestions to improve the service.
•    Collect and record data and information accurately liaising with Post-Award to ensure accurate information is available for the financial management of awards to ensure funder compliance.

•    Organise and analyse data and statistics to ensure it is accurate and provide reports to senior colleagues.

·      Ensure compliance, monitoring and evaluation of outputs and open access policies. 

•    Implement any changes or processes to ensure the accuracy and integrity of data and information

·       Arrange meetings including venues, catering, travel, distribution of documents minute taking setting up and clearing meeting rooms and taking a lead on fully servicing the ethics and data subgroup.


Planning and Organising
•    Plan and organise own workload to deliver the role, with minimal supervision.

•    Plan, manage and deliver assigned projects, activities and events  for example regular budget updates, providing support to the ethics and data subgroup and work in relation to the outputs and open access policies, in accordance with agreed objectives.
•    Supervise the work of staff and teams involved in delivering robust financial services in line with university and external regulations.

•    Seek feedback from Platform members and collaborators, colleagues, Post Awards, and anyone else you come across as part of your role to ensure that the service is updated to meet customer expectations.
•    Set up, manage, and maintain financial and budget records reconciling expenditure queries for the Platform,  including buying (and returning) goods and services and provide related advice and guidance to other staff.

•    Develop and improve services by taking part in meetings, working groups and committees.
•    Create good working relationships, including Platform leads and members, Post Awards,   internal and external networks which allow you to increase your knowledge and skills, while swapping information with peers

·        Use a range of tools to communicate with a diverse range of key stakeholders, both verbally and in written format who may need to access information.

•    Any other reasonable duties.


Useful links
If you would like further information, you may find the following will help:

Discovery Research Platform for Medical Humanities at Durham University:

Institute for Medical Humanities at Durham University:

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 Privacy Notices – Durham University  which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.  

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.


View or Apply
To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this job posting.

Job Location