Help with creating your About the Job document

You may find the following useful when creating this document for your own posts. These are provided to help generate some ideas about criteria to include within your About the Job for these types of jobs. They are not definitive specifications, you will need to amend them to suit the needs of your post.

If there are any specialist/niche posts that you would like some assistance with, please contact your usual HR contact.

Please remember to use the most current template before sending completed ATJs onto your HR team.

Role descriptions:

Person specification

Succinctly describe in a numbered list all the key criteria that you will be basing the recruitment assessment and selection exercise on. This will include the skills, qualities, and strengths the candidate will need to be successful. Consider not only the qualifications and skills needed for the role, but also any gaps that will complement and create greater strength in your existing team. Therefore, don’t just copy and paste criteria from a previous vacancy. If it’s not essential criteria, make sure this is clear, and include it after listing the essential criteria. Some examples to get you thinking:

  1. An expert in the field of … and have substantial experience of [doing this..]
  2. You will be a scholar in […] with an emerging or established international reputation in […]
  3. Demonstrated capacity / potential to deliver research excellence and a compelling vision for making a broader contribution to the research profile of the department.
  4. You will understand and translate [eg strategy, policy…]
  5. An effective communicator, confident translating ideas and adapting messages to best effect…..
  6. You are comfortable with challenging traditional perceptions and ideas, and place a high importance on innovation and creativity…
  7. You will demonstrate leadership potential, comfortable bringing people together and getting them to perform at their best…
  8. An expert in getting relationships right, influencing stakeholders and building successful relationships.
  9. You have high level ….. skills and you can demonstrate how you have used these skills in previous roles…
  10. You may be educated to degree level or have equivalent experience. Either way, you will be a recognised professional in your field.
  11. A real passion for teaching at all levels and openness to new ways of delivery and assessment.
  12. A culturally agile, dynamic and vocal team member with a global mind-set who actively supports the values of diversity and collegiality and seeks to work across boundaries.
  13. Experience of the X sector / knowledge of X is beneficial but not essential to the role.]

Role descriptions

Use this section to define/describe the role. Succinctly describe in a number list the main responsibilities and accountabilities of the role, ideally in order of priority/importance. Some examples for different job categories are below:

Academic

Chair
  • Contribute fully as researcher, teacher and leader, in fulfilment of the ideals of ‘The Sheffield Academic’.
  • Lead collaborative and/or research group activity within the Department and establish productive research links and collaborations within the wider University and beyond.
  • Establish, lead and sustain a world-class research programme.
  • Personally conduct and publish internationally-recognised, innovative research and scholarship, and generate research income from external funders.
  • Develop funding strategies, student recruitment, including preparation and submission of research proposals to appropriate funding bodies in order to generate income (and manage external research grants).
  • Disseminate research findings through internationally recognised peer reviewed conference and publications outputs.
  • Encourage and mentor research activities of other staff.
  • Undertake knowledge-transfer activities and collaborative research and consultancy projects.
  • Manage, supervise and support research students.
  • Design and deliver high-quality, research-led teaching for compulsory and elective modules across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, including: identifying learning objectives, determining appropriate curricula, selecting teaching methods and resources, preparing teaching material, communicating subject-matter, encouraging and supporting student inquiry.
  • Contribute to teaching policy and the implementation of new pedagogical/innovative approaches to teaching.
  • Conduct assessment of undergraduate and postgraduate student work, including: design of assessment approaches and criteria, provision of formative and summative feedback (oral/written), marking of coursework and examinations to agreed deadlines.
  • Supervise and assess undergraduate research projects and postgraduate research dissertations.
  • Carry out module and programme evaluation and implement teaching quality assurance and enhancement strategies.
  • Provide, as appropriate, pastoral care for students such as acting as Personal Tutor. If necessary refer students to the appropriate authority for guidance and collaborate with colleagues to identify and respond to students’ needs.
  • Play a full part in the leadership and administration of the Department through carrying out administrative roles, as assigned by the Head of Department, through membership of the Department’s committees, and in the Faculty and University as appropriate
  • Contribute fully to the management and leadership of the Department, Faculty and University.
  • Plan and prioritise own daily work and forward-plan up to five years for some tasks. For teaching, plan up to one year ahead, or in the case of significant programme changes or new programmes and modules, up to two or more years ahead of their introduction.
  • Any other duties commensurate with the seniority of the post.
Senior Lecturer
  • Contribute fully to the Department of XXX as a teacher, researcher, and leader.
  • Design, deliver, assess and evaluate high quality research-led teaching programmes, which will include identifying learning objectives and selecting appropriate curricula, selecting teaching methods, resources and reading, and determining, designing and producing study material.
  • Conduct innovative research and scholarship of an international reputation, evidenced by publications in top internationally rated publications and journals in your own field.
  • Generate income through research grants and/or through success in growing research student numbers.
  • Develop funding strategies and manage external research funding.
  • Initiate and lead substantial research programmes, encouraging and supporting the activities of other staff as appropriate.
  • Prepare and implement student assessments, which will include designing assessment instruments and criteria; marking assessments, ensuring adequate moderation; providing feedback; judging whether student circumstances should be taken into consideration in the assessment; and collating and providing final assessments of students.
  • Undertake personal tutor/pastoral responsibilities for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • Develop a strong national and international professional profile by, e.g., refereeing papers, editing journals, refereeing research grants, external examining, organising conferences, committee membership and involvement with professional bodies.
  • Contribute to the life of the Department, the Faculty and the wider University community through administrative responsibilities and committee membership as and when appropriate.
  • Actively explore new research and scholarly pursuits and innovate in teaching and administration, leading new initiatives as appropriate.
  • Plan and prioritise research activities, up to five years ahead, as appropriate. For teaching, plan up to two years ahead to ensure smooth operation.
  • Carry out other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.
Lecturer
  • Contribute fully as researcher, teacher and leader, in fulfilment of the ideals of ‘The Sheffield Academic’.
  • Conduct personal research by determining and implementing research objectives in line with departmental and faculty strategy.
  • Identify appropriate and varied sources of funding, and prepare research proposals for funding bodies.
  • Manage or co-manage external research funding.
  • Contribute to, and build cross-research group activity, where appropriate.
  • Disseminate research findings through conference presentation, publications in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals, and produce other appropriate outputs (e.g. patents).
  • Attract and supervise high-quality research students and staff.
  • Design, deliver, assess and evaluate high quality research-led teaching programmes, which will include identifying learning objectives and selecting appropriate curricula, selecting teaching methods, resources and reading, and determining, designing and producing study material.
  • Prepare and implement student assessments, which will include designing assessment instruments and criteria; marking assessments, ensuring adequate moderation; providing feedback; judging whether student circumstances should be taken into consideration in the assessment; and collating and providing final assessments of students.
  • Undertake personal tutor/pastoral responsibilities for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • Develop a strong professional profile by, e.g., refereeing papers, editing journals, refereeing research grants, external examining, organising conferences, committee membership and involvement with professional bodies.
  • Contribute to the life of the Department, the Faculty and the wider University community through administrative responsibilities and committee membership as and when appropriate.
  • Actively explore new research and scholarly pursuits and innovate in teaching and administration.
  • Plan and prioritise research activities, up to five years ahead, as appropriate. For teaching, plan up to two years ahead to ensure smooth operation.
  • Carry out other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.

Teaching

University Teacher (Grade 8)
  • Design teaching programmes for modules, identifying learning objectives and selecting appropriate curricula; selecting teaching methods, techniques, resources and reading; determining, designing and producing study material; planning module delivery and planning for contingencies.
  • Lead, co-ordinate, support and contribute to the teaching team as a team co-ordinator or member.
  • Deliver teaching modules, communicating subject matter and encouraging critical discourse to develop rational thinking; observing and reacting to student interventions; giving appropriate academic advice.
  • Carry out assessment for modules, designing assessment instruments and criteria; marking assessments, ensuring adequate moderation; providing written/oral feedback; liaising with external examiners in connection with the approval of assessments, marking criteria, marked scripts and final marks; attending exam boards; and collating and providing final assessments of students.
  • Carry out module and overall course evaluation, including facilitating student feedback; reflecting on own teaching design and delivery; and implementing ideas for improving own performance.
  • Conduct personal research; identifying literature and updating own knowledge; assessing the validity of the relevant literature and its contribution to the development of own field.
  • Participate in faculty/school/departmental committees; contribute to LPC and wider departmental policy development through contribution of own specialist expertise; continue professional development.
  • Keep in touch with developments in practice in your area of expertise.
  • You will be expected to plan and prioritise your own daily teaching and administrative tasks along with participating in longer term planning through contribution to policy development.
  • Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.
Teaching Associate (Grade 7)
  • Teach on a specified course.
  • Supervise students on School Experience.
  • Provide pastoral care to students. This will involve being a personal tutor.
  • Contribute to links with partner schools in the local region.
  • Interview potential students. This will include assessing applications, carrying out interviews and providing feedback.
  • Contribute to university-based mentor meetings.
  • Plan and prioritise own daily work and monitor the work of students on a daily basis.
  • Plan for teaching ahead for new course delivery.
  • Deal with reactive requests, such as those relating to teaching, student support and administrative tasks, on a daily basis.
  • Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.
Teaching Assistant (Grade 6)
  • Deliver predetermined activities to support teaching staff by undertaking delivery of seminars, tutorials, and other small group work to develop student skills, under supervision or in liaison with senior colleagues.
  • Assist in the organisation and running of examination/assessment activity in liaison with senior colleagues.
  • Carry out related marking; with supervision from senior colleagues where appropriate.
  • Provide guidance on the preparation of assignments.
  • Provide support to undergraduate projects.
  • Assist with course evaluation, including facilitating student feedback, reflecting on own teaching delivery; and implementing ideas for improving own performance.
  • Liaise with senior colleagues regarding contributions to module development, planning of teaching and monitoring student progress.
  • Keep abreast of current literature in the subject areas being taught.
  • Carry out administrative duties relating to the delivery of teaching support as assigned by the Head of Department.
  • Deal with reactive requests such as those relating to teaching support, student support and administrative tasks, on a daily basis.
  • Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.

Research

Research Fellow
  • [Insert duties specific to role]
  • Conduct personal research of international standing, which includes identifying literature and updating own knowledge; assessing the validity of the relevant literature and its contribution to the development of own field. Write up research work for publication and give presentations at conferences.
  • Determine research objectives, and initiate and implement a programme of research. This may include managing time, materials, finance and equipment.
  • Disseminate research findings/results through the production of papers for high quality journals and presentation either in-house or at national/international conferences or seminars.
  • Identify and generate appropriate sources of funding and prepare research proposals for funding bodies.
  • Apply for, manage or co-manage external research funding over period of grant(s). Prepare at least one grant application with PDRA staffing and one without over the period of this post.
  • Utilise research grants, report research budget management across relevant projects.
  • Provide support to senior colleagues for research proposals and funding applications.
  • Involvement in professional activities such as refereeing papers, editing journals, refereeing research grants, external examining, organising conferences, committee membership and involvement with professional bodies on accreditation.
  • Supervise or co-supervise undergraduate/postgraduate project students and/or PhD students. Manage Research Assistant(s) and/or Research Associate(s) if requested.
  • Delegate and monitor the work of research students.
  • Deal with reactive requests relating to supervising research staff and students.
  • Participate in consortium meetings and seminars.
  • Plan several months in advance to meet deadlines for journal publications and to prepare presentations and papers for collaboration meetings and conferences.
  • Maintain representation and standing by active membership of research and professional committees and groups.
  • Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.
Research Associate
  • [Insert duties specific to role]
  • Manage data collection and storage on a day-to-day basis.
  • Liaise closely with other academics, advisers and administrators relevant to the study.
  • Collect and analyse a variety of primary and secondary quantitative and qualitative data from multiple sources.
  • Take a lead role in the analysis and writing up of survey data, using multi-level modelling.
  • Read and review literature as appropriate.
  • Assist in the writing of the project website/blog, newsletters, reports and scholarly publications.
  • Contribute to conference presentations, practitioner workshops and research advisory group meetings, as well as assisting in the running of them.
  • Attend project meetings and research advisory group meetings.
  • Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.
Research Assistant
  • [Insert duties specific to role]
  • Plan and undertake the research and development necessary to achieve the aims of the project.
  • Contribute to the writing of research reports, progress reports, presentations and any other reporting obligations.
  • Disseminate the results via journals, conference presentations, and project meetings.
  • Maintain accurate and complete records of all findings.
  • Develop his/her scientific background, specialist knowledge and scientific contacts.
  • Participate in project meetings.
  • Attend national and international conferences and workshops to present the research results to a wider audience and stay up to date with current advances in the field.
  • Collaborate with the project partners.
  • Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.

Technical

Research Technician
  • Assist the PI as required in the execution of research experiments.
  • Record and analyse research data and present findings accurately.
  • Present data and results to the PI and other members of the research group as required.
  • Assist with general laboratory maintenance, including ordering, routine maintenance of equipment, consumables, stocks, etc.
  • Maintain comprehensive, accurate and tidy records of research work, cell lines usage, etc.
  • Assist with maintenance of lab databases, including CoSHH, stocks, etc.
  • Attend all required safety and training courses, and comply with required safety, licensing and ethical regulations at all times.
  • Assist in the preparation of supporting documents, such as posters, papers, reports and grant applications as required.
  • To be able to quickly adapt and transfer skills to new technology and innovations and to work flexibly across laboratories and sites as required. Take responsibility for self-development and on the job learning; keeping abreast of developments in techniques and technology.
  • Any other duties that commensurate with the grade of the post.

Administrative

Departmental Manager (Grade 8)
  • Work in partnership with the Head of Department to develop and deliver the Department’s strategy.
  • Lead and implement significant and specific elements of the Department’s strategy, working collaboratively across the Department with both academic colleagues and senior members of the Department and Faculty to ensure these are delivered effectively and efficiently.
  • With the Head of Department, be responsible for the financial planning and management of the Departmental budget, including budget allocations, forecasting and the provision of statistical information and modelling in relation to financial performance (eg business plans, scenario planning). Working with the Faculty Finance Manager, provide financial management advice and information as required.
  • Ensure that the administration meets the needs of the Department in terms of structure, processes and quality of service. This includes understanding and anticipating the needs of the Department, maintaining and developing existing systems, processes and service provision, ensuring they remain fit for purpose regarding compliance with current and future objectives, internal and external regulations or codes of practice.
  • Set standards and embed quality of service and professionalism in the administrative functions within the Department, working collaboratively and leading the Department’s administrative team(s) to review and improve processes and develop a culture of service excellence.
  • Lead the administrative functional areas (HR, Finance, Teaching and Student Support, Research, Consultancy, Marketing) including managing team leaders.
  • Manage and coordinate HR activity for contract monitoring, ensure compliance with procedures and regulations (including SRDS and staff recruitment), provide advice and assistance to the Head of Department on HR issues.
  • Motivating and developing staff and ensuring an appropriate level of skills and knowledge, including managing the training and development and performance management of all clerical, administrative and secretarial staff within the Department.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of Faculty strategy and objectives through leading and working on projects at Faculty and sometimes University level.
  • Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.
PA to HoD (Grade 6)
  • Support the Head and Deputy Head of Department by organising and maintaining their diaries with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Organise meetings and appointments, including timely reminders.
  • Organise UK and overseas travel, including transport, accommodation and any other arrangements necessary.
  • Organise meetings with large sets of people from both inside and outside of the Department and University.
  • Support the organisation of international conferences and other departmental events involving staff, students and visitors.
  • Service departmental committees, primarily Executive and Staff meetings but also any other meetings as required. Request agenda items, prepare and circulate the agenda and papers, preparation and circulation of minutes.
  • Act a primary e-Recruiter in the department: acting as the main point of contact for recruitment issues, liaising with departmental staff and the Department of Human Resources. Co-ordinate the progression of recruitment activities through the e-Recruitment system from requisition through to appointment.
  • Provide administrative support for HR activities such as staff induction, probation, promotion cases, SRDS, staff recruitment, contract extensions and monitoring of open-ended research staff and ensure reporting requirements are met.
  • Provide administrative support for the Bank Workers processes (for example Eligibility to Work checks), including liaison with HR and finance.
  • Provide general administrative support for senior academic staff in the department.
  • Undertake other activities as required to ensure that all administrative activities within the department are undertaken in a timely and efficient manner, working closely with senior colleagues.
  • Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.
Student Support Officer (Grade 5)
  • Provide examination support including checking marks, formatting papers, liaising with academic staff and external examiners.
  • Provide coursework and dissertation support including administering hand-in procedures, checking marks and liaising with staff, as above.
  • Produce academic timetables for all levels of students including allocation and booking of rooms. This will involve the use of the timetabling software (CMIS) for which training will be provided.
  • Provide support for Research, including Research Excellence Framework (REF) co-ordination.
  • Collate completed student evaluation questionnaires, monitor and check the results. Produce a report summarising the qualitative comments made by students.
  • Take minutes and produce draft agendas for the department-level committee meetings.
  • Provide guidance and support to students in person, over the phone and via email.
  • Plan your own workload in consultation with appropriate colleagues, and manage unscheduled tasks as required.
  • Ensure tasks are completed in a timely and efficient manner prioritising effectively to plan for conflicting deadlines.
  • Work on own initiative, flexibly and largely unsupervised; recognising when to refer matters to senior colleagues.
  • Work collaboratively as part of the administrative support team and providing cover for other members of the team, as required (including sickness, holiday cover and the service needs of the department).
  • Responsible, as part of a team, for the smooth running of the departmental office, as well as working with the team to maintain high levels of student satisfaction.
  • Work with faculty colleagues across departmental boundaries to improve processes and service delivery as relevant and within the scope of the role.
  • Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.
Administration Assistant (Grade 4)
  • Provide a high quality administrative and clerical service, including diary management and date setting; accurate minute taking and subsequent write up, ensuring timely follow-up of actions from meetings are received, and collating and distributing papers.
  • Carry out general administrative/clerical duties including photocopying, filing, maintaining departmental databases, word processing, producing documents using Microsoft Office packages i.e. Excel and other in-house systems, record keeping.
  • Prioritise and plan own workload according to operational demands.
  • Respond to routine and non-standard telephone and email enquiries.
  • Prepare requisitions, orders, sales invoices etc. using the University’s SAP system in accordance with the University’s financial directives.
  • Organise room and catering bookings.
  • Maintain electronic mailing lists.
  • Work as a member of a busy team providing assistance and support where required.
  • Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.
Departmental Support Assistant (Grade 3)
  • Work as part of a team to ensure the smooth running of the Department including undertaking administrative work, working on the reception desk, filing, photocopying and archiving material as required as well as working with the team to improve student satisfaction.
  • Provide assistance and information to students (including assisting students with the hand in process via Turnitin) whilst judging when, and who else, to involve.
  • Support the delivery of events, including open days, student recruitment activities, ceremonies, intro week events and Careers Workshops.
  • Make appropriate arrangements for visitors to the Department including arranging parking.
  • Online filing of enquiries via the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
  • Maintain stationary stocks including reviewing stock levels, ordering and goods receipting items via the SAP finance system when appropriate.
  • Deal efficiently with all incoming and outgoing mail and deliveries, and to manage student mail, including clearing uncollected post.
  • Assist with publicity and marketing within the department, promoting the work of the Department via Facebook, the webpage, and being involved in the Department’s Publicity group.
  • Work with Faculty colleagues across Departmental boundaries to improve processes and service delivery as relevant and within the scope of the role.
  • Undertake training and development, where necessary, in areas relevant to main activities and responsibilities.
  • Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.

Facilities

Cleaner
  • Clean specified areas using the appropriate cleaning techniques, materials and equipment.
  • Clean other areas as requested by the Team Leader to cover for absent staff and respond to occasional cleaning requests from departmental staff.
  • Use cleaning equipment and materials correctly and safely in accordance with Health and Safety regulations. Clean equipment regularly and store away after use.
  • Make requests for cleaning equipment and materials to the Team Leader.
  • Report any cleaning equipment faults, damage or maintenance issues to the Team Leader.
  • Ensure the safekeeping of keys during working hours. Turn off alarms and lock doors after cleaning as appropriate.
  • Answer queries from students, staff and visitors in the building.
  • Carry out a thorough deep clean of specified areas according to business needs.
  • Carry out cleaning tasks in accordance with the University’s guidelines. Work to a cleaning schedule.
  • Prioritise own work and work around users of the building and ensure that areas which are used first are cleaned as a priority.
  • For each task, organise the relevant cleaning materials and equipment and display safety signage.
  • Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.