Call for Applications- Project Manager: Unacceptable Forms of Work

by | Apr 13, 2017

Reference Number: 005392

Post: Project Manager

Department: Durham Law School

Location: Durham City

Contract Type: Part Time, Fixed Term until 31 December 2017

Grade: Grade 7 (£32,004 – £38,183) pro-rata

Opening Date: 16 March 2017

Closing Date: 17 April 2017 (Midday)

The UN International Labour Organization (ILO) has called for workers to be protected from Unacceptable Forms of Work (UFW): jobs that “deny fundamental principles and rights at work, put at risk the lives, health, freedom, human dignity and security of workers or keep households in conditions of extreme poverty.” Eliminating UFW is among the pressing challenges of the early twenty-first century.

A Project Manager is sought for a new ESRC-funded project that responds to this challenge. Dr Deirdre McCann of Durham Law School is the Principal-Investigator on an ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) grant to fund a Strategic Network on Unacceptable Forms of Work: Global Dialogue/Local Innovation. The project is (1) establishing an international and interdisciplinary Network of researchers and policy-makers to tackle low-waged and insecure work; and (2) developing research agendas on effective regulatory intervention. The Strategic Network involves Dr McCann as Principal-Investigator (PI), Co-Investigators in Kent Law School and the International Labour Office (Co-Is), researchers from a range of disciplines in both Developing Countries and Advanced Industrialised Countries, and policy-makers at all levels. A one-year project, it will be conducted primarily through two Global Dialogue workshops that will bring together researchers and policymakers from all regions to design a global research agenda.

Applications are invited for a Project Manager who will play a key role in ensuring the overall success of the UFW project. The Project Manager will be based in Durham Law School. Working with the PI, he or she will oversee the day-to-day management of this ambitious, interdisciplinary project, to ensure that the Co-Is’ time is devoted to the network-building, research, and policy dimensions of the project. The Project Manager’s tasks will include organising workshops and project meetings, administering the Strategic Network grant, managing internal and national and international external relationships, and ensuring that the project timetable is met. Extensive skills will be required in project management and event planning together with excellent organisational and communication capacities.

The post is a fixed-term Grade 7/0.5 FTE position that will commence as soon as possible and is funded by an ESRC grant that will end on 31st December 2017. Days of work are open to negotiation but should include Wednesday and Thursday. 2 Informal enquiries are encouraged to Dr Deirdre McCann (

Key responsibilities As part of the day-to-day management of the project, the Project Manager’s main responsibilities will be:

  • Oversight of the project, crucially to ensure that project targets and milestones, including those agreed with the funder, are achieved;
  • Management of the project budget, including planning and budgeting to support the implementation of strategic objectives, research grant administration (e.g. management of financial accounting, ensuring that funders receive timely and accurate interim reports and final project report etc.);
  • Event management to support the two Global Dialogue workshops, Global Advisory Board meetings, and other project events (workshop organisation, global travel, visa preparation, security clearances etc.)
  • Effective liaison with internal Durham units, including the Research Office, coinvestigators in Kent Law School (UK) and the International Labour Office (Switzerland), and external partner universities and policy bodies (e.g. responding to queries from Network teams, liaising with finance teams of partner organisations to ensure clear audit trails that support Network spending and activities etc.);
  • Co-ordination of other team members e.g. Communications Technician, video production team, research assistants etc.
  • Initial drafting of promotional and policy materials and other elements of the project Communication Strategy (e.g. press releases, promotional materials, policy-briefs, emails, presentations), and of funding body reports and applications;
  • Additional organisational and administrative tasks relating to the management of the project as at the request of the PI.

Person Specification


  • Excellent communication skills, oral and written, to enable the Manager to engage effectively with a global network of researchers and policy-makers (essential);
  • Ability to work as part of a team and independently, using own initiative (essential);
  • First-rate time-management and organisation skills, including to work flexibly to balance competing priorities, to work under pressure with a high degree of accuracy, and to deliver results on time (essential);
  • Ability effectively to manage the grant award, including through preparation of reports and financial statements (essential);
  • Ability to support funding applications e.g. by identifying sources of funding and drafting preliminary grant applications (desirable);
  • An aptitude for drafting applied research materials in a range of formats e.g. policy briefings, newsletters, reports to government bodies, website materials etc. (desirable);
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint (desirable).
  • Language skills (French/Spanish) are an advantage.


  • Experience of project management (essential);
  • Experience of managing budgets, including planning, budgeting, and use of resources to support strategic objectives (essential);
  • Experience of managing grant-funded projects, preferably ESRC-funded (desirable);
  • Experience of event organization (essential);
  • Experience of preparing and supporting funding bids (desirable); · Experience of international projects (desirable);
  • Knowledge of Social Science environments (desirable)

Personal attributes

  • Educated to degree level at a high standard (or equivalent qualification/relevant professional experience) (essential);
  • Excellent personal organisation, attention to detail, commitment to high quality outcomes, ability to work under pressure, and ability to meet multiple deadlines (essential);
  • Dependability, self-motivation, ability to organise others, willingness to take responsibility for achieving project outcomes and timelines, and in particular to mae independent decisions with minimal supervision (essential);
  • Pleasant and collaborative but firm communication style (essential)
  • Willingness to work with partners from a range of countries and cultures (essential);
  • Interest in and enthusiasm for subject matter of the project (desirable).
  • Willingness to undertake international travel (desirable).

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