Administrative Officer - Research Office
Location:EMBL-EBI Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category:Staff Member
Contract Duration:3 Years
Grading:4 or 5 (monthly salary starting at £2,368 or £2,552 after tax). For more information about pay and benefits click here
Closing Date:25th February 2018
Reference Number:EBI_01129

Job Description

The post-holder is responsible for providing a PA and administrative service to the Joint Head of Research, Dr Nick Goldman, to Director Emeritus Professor Dame Janet Thornton, and to the Research Group Leaders at EMBL-EBI (rGTL). The post-holder supervises a full time administrative assistant.

The post-holder and assistants form the “Research Office” within the EMBL-EBI’s Administration team, and the post-holder reports to the Joint Head of Research, Dr Nick Goldman.

The Research Office team supports the research and teaching activities of EMBL-EBI's 15 Principal Investigators and approximately 100 research staff and students working for them. This position is the lead person who performs these tasks.

The tasks include:

  • Personal Assistant to the Head of Research and Director Emeritus Professor Dame Janet Thornton. Providing administrative service to the Research Group Leaders including diary management, as required.
  • Supervision and line management of the Research Office Assistant, including overall workload of the Research Office.
  • Organise and take minutes for rGTL meetings (monthly) and Tools meetings (monthly), and produce minutes to an accurate and high standard.
  • Coordination of logistics for research meetings, PhD interviews (twice a year); rGTL retreat (twice a year); PhD students’ presentation day (once a year) and group retreats/events as required.
  • Keep a schedule of reminders for recurring tasks and provide proactive updates and preparation for the Head of Research for upcoming tasks.
  • Arrange complex travel plans; visitors' travel arrangements; for rGTLs as required.
  • Act as the main point of contact for answering external queries concerning the EMBL PhD programme and Research Group related enquires.
  • Act as an interface between the Research groups and administrative staff. Circulate communications to EMBL personnel, electronic or otherwise.
  • Be the EMBL-EBI administrative point of contact for PhD students based at EMBL-EBI; administrative services for Thesis Advisory Committees (membership; procedures; recording); Sanger Institute links; PhD thesis records; liaison with EMBL EICAT, EMBL Graduate Office and Graduate Committee.
  • Assist the Head of Research in respect of PhD student affairs in relation to University of Cambridge: CAMGRAD and student reports; Board of Graduate studies links; School of Biological Studies links; University Partner Institute status; University fellowship applications; University fees; University registration, thesis submission, deferrals, intermissions, etc.
  • Assist the Head of Research in respect of post-doc affairs in relation to Cambridge University: training opportunities within School of Biological Studies and high-level links with Cambridge University, joint research meetings.
  • Monitor spend against relevant budgets, including pre-doc budgets, and liaise as appropriate with Grants Office/Purchase/Personnel over payment of fees, payment of ‘top up’ etc.
  • Coordinating non-scientific aspects of grant applications, grant progress and reporting, for grants belonging to individual groups.
  • Undertake project work as required.
  • Maintain web/confluence/wiki pages and mailing lists (as appropriate).

At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind. Working for EMBL-EBI gives you an opportunity to apply your skills and energy for the greater good. As part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by 23 member states and two associate member states and proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 600 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

Qualifications and Experience

You will have at least 3-4 years of working in an administrative environment, and preferably an academic environment. Some supervisory experience is desirable. Experience working with PhD students together with knowledge of UK university procedures would be desirable.

The ability to work independently, work under pressure and to tight deadlines, to manage a wide workload (whilst paying attention to detail and changing priorities) and to use own initiative are essential. The successful candidate will also need to demonstrate an ability to work both independently and within small teams. Excellent interpersonal skills. Discreet and diplomatic communication and work sometimes necessary. The successful candidate is likely to be educated to degree level or equivalent.

You will be computer literate, and with good knowledge of Microsoft and Google Office products and preferably databases such as SAP/Filemaker.

An ability to speak a second language (especially German, French, Spanish or Italian) is desirable but not essential.


EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme and health insurance, educational and other family related benefits where applicable, as well as financial support for relocation and installation.

We have an informal culture, international working environment and excellent professional development opportunities but one of the really amazing things about us is the concentration of technical and scientific expertise – something you probably won’t find anywhere else.

If you’ve ever visited the campus you’ll have experienced first-hand our friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere, set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. Our staff also enjoy excellent sports facilities including a gym, a free shuttle bus, an on-site nursery, cafés and restaurant and a library.

Application Instructions

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV, with two referees, through our online system.

Additional Information

Applications are welcome from all nationalities - visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

EMBL-EBI is committed to achieving gender balance and strongly encourages applications from women, who are currently under-represented at all levels. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

The initial contract is for a period of three years with the possibility of a fixed-term extension.

Applications will close at 23:00 GMT on the date listed above.