Internal Only – Operational Officer

Cardiff University


School of Medicine

Managerial, Professional and Specialist Staff – MPSS


This post is currently open to employees of Cardiff University only.  Please do not apply if you do not have a current contract of employment with the University.

Internal Only – Operational Officer
Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neuroscience
Cardiff University School of Medicine
College of Biomedical and Life Sciences

The National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) brings together world-leading researchers from Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor Universities to learn more about the triggers and causes of mental health problems. This is a rare opportunity to join the highly successful and innovative NCMH team based at Cardiff University’s flagship Hadyn Ellis Building- Cathays. 

Working closely with the Centre Manager, you will assist with the operational running of the Centre, providing high level administrative support for NCMH activities. You will also be responsible for the line management of the NCMH administrative team, managing the performance, induction and development of the team, as necessary. 

The role requires a proactive, highly organized individual, capable of balancing multiple priorities. The ability to problem-solve and build relationships with key stakeholders is essential. The successful candidate will have substantial experience of research administration and of providing a service in the field of mental health research. Experience of working in a higher education environment would be an advantage, as would the ability to speak Welsh. 

For informal discussion please contact Sarah Knott – Email: [email protected]
The post is full time (35 hours per week), available immediately and is fixed term until 31st March 2025.

Salary: £29,762 – £34,314 per annum (Grade 5).
Appointments to roles at Cardiff University are usually made at bottom of scale unless in exceptional circumstances

Closing Date: Friday, 24 March 2023

External applications are currently not being considered for this post.  If the decision is made to open the post to external candidates, the strapline at the top will be removed and you will be given ample time to apply – please check back periodically for details.

Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received.

Cardiff University offers many excellent benefits, including 45 days annual leave (including bank holidays), local pension scheme, a cycle to work scheme and other travel initiatives, annual increments within the pay scale, and more.  It is an exciting and vibrant place to work, with many different challenges and is a proud Living Wage supporter

The majority of roles at Cardiff University are currently operating under “blended working” arrangements, with staff having the flexibility to work partly from home and partly from the University campus depending on specific business requirements. Discussions around these arrangements can take place after the successful candidate has been appointed.

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds. We therefore welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of sex, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, trans identity, relationship status, religion or belief, caring responsibilities, or age.  In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrangements.

Job Description

Job Purpose

Support the University within the National Centre for Mental Health, carrying out supporting work, providing advice, guidance and support, and leading projects within this area.

Duties and Responsibilities

Key Duties
•    Provide professional advice and guidance on NCMH administrative and operational processes and procedures to internal and external customers, using judgement and creativity to suggest the most appropriate course of action, and ensuring complex and conceptual issues are understood.
•    Provide high level administrative support for a range of NCMH administrative activities such as finance, recruitment, resource (e.g., office equipment or space management), meetings/events, research, internal communications and general office management support, proactively changing the delivery accordingly as required.
•    Co-ordinate and prepare documentation associated with the Centre’s reporting requirements.
•    Investigate and analyse specific issues within the operations of the NCMH, creating recommendation reports, as appropriate.
•    Deliver the expected services of NCMH, proactively changing the delivery according to customer requirements.
•    Collaborate with others in order to make recommendations for developments of established processes and procedures.
•    Establish working relationships with key contacts, developing appropriate communication links with the University’s Schools/Directorates and outside bodies as required.
•    Create and/or collaborate with specific working groups from colleagues across the University to achieve the objectives of the NCMH.
•    Manage NCMH administrative assistants to accomplish key objectives of the Centre.
•    Undertake the training and induction of others, as appropriate. 

Specific Duties
•    Deputise for the NCMH Manager, including, but not limited to, the following capacities:
o    Co-ordinating wider team activities to ensure that available resource is deployed effectively and efficiently to meet the overall demands of the Centre.
o    Leading on the production and verification of both internal and external reporting, in particular to Health Care and Research Wales and in relation to grant acquisition, publications and financial monitoring.
o    Undertaking time-limited project-based work to support both planned and new NCMH milestones and objectives.
o    Co-ordinating wider NCMH activities, updates and reporting, involving both Bangor and Swansea in addition to other external stakeholders. 

General Duties
•    Ensure that an understanding of the importance of confidentiality is applied when undertaking all duties
•    Undergo personal and professional development that is appropriate to, and which will enhance performance.
•    Abide by University policies on Health and Safety and Equality and Diversity.
•    Perform other duties occasionally which are not included above, but which will be consistent with the role.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria 

Qualifications and Education
1.    Degree/NVQ 4 or equivalent Professional membership/experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience
2.    Specialist knowledge of appropriate administrative systems and processes, in particular, finance, people management and research grant administration.
3.    Ability to demonstrate professional knowledge within specialist discipline to give advice and guidance to internal and external customers, with experience of networking with other higher educational organisations and funding organisations.
4.    Substantial experience of supporting and managing a service in the field of mental health research. 

Customer Service, Communication and Team Working
5.    Experience of managing the work of a diverse team, including dealing with performance and welfare issues.
6.    Proven ability to communicate conceptually detailed and complex information effectively and professionally with a wide range of people.
7.    Evidence of ability to explore customers’ needs and adapt the service accordingly to ensure delivery of a quality service.

Planning, Analysis and Problem solving
8.    Evidence of ability to solve expansive problems using initiative and creativity; identifying and proposing practical solutions and resolving problems with a range of potential outcomes.
9.    Evidence of ability to work unsupervised to deadlines, planning and setting priorities for own work and that of others and monitoring progress.

10.    A willingness to undertake further training and development.

Desirable Criteria 

11.    Postgraduate/Professional qualification.
12.    Experience of working in a Higher Education environment.
13.    Fluency in Welsh, written and oral.

Additional Information

IMPORTANT: Evidencing Criteria

It is School of Medicine’s policy to use the person specification as a key tool for short-listing. Candidates should evidence that they meet ALL of the essential criteria as well as, where relevant, the desirable. As part of the application process you will be asked to provide this evidence via a supporting statement.

Please ensure when submitting this document / attaching it to your application profile you name it with the vacancy reference number, in this instance for this post, 16119BR

If candidates do not provide written evidence of meeting all of the essential criteria then their application will not be progressed. The School of Medicine welcome the submission of CVs to accompany evidence of the job-based criteria.

Job Category

Health, Management & Executive, Medical & Dental

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