Job description


  • Entry level
  • No Education
  • Salary to negotiate
  • Cardiff


Cardiff University School of Social Sciences is seeking to recruit a PA and Research Administrative Assistant for the Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement. The successful candidate will provide a research based professional administrative service to DECIPHer, engaging and completing a range of routine tasks to meet operational and customer service requirements. You will also support and provide guidance on project research support, ensuring the senior DECIPHer Researchers are supported and key duties undertaken.

This is a full time post, 35 hours per week, fixed term until 31st March 2020.

Salary: £19,202 - £21,414 per annum (Grade 3)

Responsible to: Mrs Zoe Macdonald.

For further enquiries, contact Zoe Macdonald: or Tel: 029 2251 0094

Interviews will be held on Thursday 13th June 2019.

Date advert posted: Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Closing date: Friday, 31 May 2019

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

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 who have the ambition to create a University which seeks to fulfil our social, cultural and economic obligation to Cardiff, Wales, and the world. 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

Key Duties

Undertake a variety of administrative duties as part of a Professional Services Team to support researchers at DECIPHer, to develop good practice within the team and assist colleagues in their work.

Act as first point of contact for a range of enquires from internal and external customers in a professional manner, establishing their requirements and adapting the standard responses accordingly and cover other DECIPHer reception duties, as required.

Establish working relationships with key contacts to help improve service levels and collaborate with others in order to make recommendations for developments of established processes and procedures.

Specific Duties

Plan and organise meetings and events, circulating papers, taking minutes, ensuring any travel arrangements are made and equipment and rooms are booked.

Provide administrative support for the Deputy Director of DECIPHer including diary management, printing meeting papers, arranging meetings for internal and external contacts and allocating time for other workload.

Provide administrative support to the Principal Investigators of projects within DECIPHer. This may include diary management, scheduling and servicing meetings, making travel arrangements, processing data and formatting project reports.

Provide administrative support for specific research bids and projects as necessary, which may include updating project web sites, email and twitter accounts with information supplied by DECIPHer colleagues, liaising with schools, maintaining and interrogating project databases, filing systems and producing documents for bids, fieldwork and reports.

Gather and analyse data to update administrative systems with accurate information, establishing basic trends and patterns in any data submitted.

General Duties

Ensure that an understanding of the importance of confidentiality is applied when undertaking all duties.

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

NVQ 2/GCSE level A-C or equivalent.

Significant experience of working in an administrative or office environment.

Proficient in using common office IT packages (e.g. MS Office).

Ability to set up standard administrative systems and procedures.

Ability to communicate effectively and professionally with a wide range of people.

Ability to work as an effective team member, providing advice and guidance to other team members where necessary.

Proven ability to deal with escalated requests for information or service, resolving customer issues where appropriate.

Ability to plan, prioritise and organise own workload within established time scales.

Ability to use initiative in solving problems and responding to queries ensuring compliance with standard procedures and practices.

A willingness to undertake further training and development.

Desirable Criteria

A-Levels or equivalent.

Experience of supervising others.

Experience of working in a Higher Education environment.

Fluency in Welsh, written and oral.


The Person Specification is split into 2 sections: essential and desirable. Please demonstrate clearly how you meet all of the essential criteria. Where possible you should give examples of how, when and where you have used your experience, knowledge, specific skills and abilities to match those required for this particular job role.

Please ensure that you communicate this fully by creating a supporting statement document, listing all of the criteria and commenting against each one as to how you meet them. This will need to be completed before you begin making your application on line as you will be required to upload it. When uploading the supporting statement the document title needs to read “supporting statement, along with your name [and should also detail the post reference number ending in BR]” (relevant to the job you are applying for).

The desirable section contains a list of skills, qualifications and experience that it would be beneficial for the jobholder to have.

All short-listing decisions will be based initially on essential criteria, with desirable being used to further select or deselect candidates as appropriate.

We interview those candidates who are the closest match to the identified criteria.

Additional Information

The DECIPHer (Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public HEalth ImpRovement) Centre is a strategic partnership between the Universities of Cardiff, Bristol and Swansea.

DECIPHer’s aims are to conduct research that:

Will lead to measurable improvements in the health of children and young people.

Identifies policies and interventions that are readily adopted, implemented and maintained in the real world and are effective in improving health and reducing health inequalities.

The principal objectives of DECIPHer’s core funding are to develop and ensure the long term sustainability of DECIPHer as:

A platform for internationally excellent multidisciplinary research in the development and evaluation of complex interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people and address health inequalities.

An internationally excellent environment for multidisciplinary public health improvement research career development.

A focal point in Wales and the South West of England for collaboration between academia, policy, practice and the public in public health improvement research that will maximise its relevance, innovation, translation and impact.

This is to be achieved through a focus on four core research programmes:

Multiple risk behaviours in young people

Health promoting schools and other youth settings

Complex intervention research methodology

Data linkage and natural experiments

The resultant infrastructure provides a world class platform for the production of competitive project, programme and career development proposals, taken forward across the strategic partnership in three broad priority areas relating to the health of children and young people: Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs; Obesity, Physical activity, Diet; Mental health and Wellbeing.

School of Social Sciences

The School of Social Sciences is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in research and teaching across a range of subject areas, including social policy, sociology, criminology, education, human and social psychology, and social work.

Over 220 staff are involved in a substantial programme of research - both fundamental and strategic. Since its creation in 1999, the School has received over 25 million pounds for funded research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework the School was ranked third for research quality in Sociology and joint fifth for research quality in Education. Cardiff University was ranked fifth overall for research quality.

The School hosts a number of research centres and institutes, including the Universities’ Police Studies Institute (UPSI), now part of the University’s Crime & Security Research Institute; Wales Institute for Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD); Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE); the Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHER); Cardiff Unit for Research and Evaluation in Medical and Dental Education (CUREMeDE) and the Seafarers’ International Research Centre (SIRC).

Further details of the School's activities can be found on our home page:

Cardiff University School of Social Sciences holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award that recognises good employment practice and a commitment to develop the careers of women working in academia. Cardiff University is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity. For this vacancy, we actively encourage women to apply. We will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share o

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