We are seeking a motivated Centre Administrator to support our growing team in delivering our portfolio of activities including our development programmes, events, and research.

The John Smith Centre exists to make the positive case for politics and public service; promote civilised debate and defend representative democracy; and support people with talent but not the means to access politics and public life. We do this through advocacy and events, academic and think tank-style research, and paid internships and development opportunities.

Deadline for applications: 1 August.

Vacancy Ref : 091569


Job Purpose

The John Smith Centre Administrator will provide efficient, proactive and flexible administrative support to the Director, Centre Development Manager, and John Smith Centre staff across all the Centre’s activities.

As a core member of the team, the post holder will undertake a wide range of administrative duties including supporting the delivery of the Centre’s development programmes, events and research activities; acting as a point of contact for enquiries to the Centre; and maintaining the John Smith Centre office.
The Centre offers hybrid working, with staff splitting their time between attending work on campus and working remotely.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

1. Provide efficient, proactive and flexible administrative support to the Director, Centre Development Manager, and John Smith Centre staff to support the delivery of the Centre’s portfolio of work.

2. Support the delivery of our portfolio of development programmes, including assisting with recruitment, training, and evaluation activities; creating communications for participants and partners; answering queries; and monitoring timesheets.

3. Support the delivery of the Centre’s online and physical events, lectures and seminars, including monitoring registrations; creating marketing assets; liaising with suppliers; attendance at events; note taking; and captioning event recordings.

4. Act as a point of contact dealing with internal and external enquiries from programme participants and partners, university staff, the public, supporters, the media, and related organisations, providing advice and guidance related to the work of the Centre and ensuring more in-depth enquiries are referred to the appropriate person.

5. Active management of correspondence [email, mail, phone calls, social media], ensuring all communications are logged appropriately in the Centre’s CRM system. Deal efficiently with high-volume inboxes, prioritising emails, and dealing independently with those which can be actioned/progressed.

6. Support the maintenance of the Centre’s website, social media accounts and other forms of publicity, including the online Research Hub.

7. Facilitate and co-ordinate meetings ensuring all necessary pre-meeting arrangements are in place, for example, booking of appropriate room; preparation and distribution of agenda and associated papers; post-meeting actions; preparation of Minutes etc, as appropriate.

8. Provide diary management support and organise travel and relevant insurances, visas, etc. for staff, board members, programme participants and partners, liaising as necessary with travel agents, internal colleagues and external institutions/companies. Prepare comprehensive itineraries in advance of travel and process expense claims in a timely manner.

9. Support the induction of new members of staff including producing induction packs, arranging equipment, and setting up meetings with key stakeholders.

10. Maintain the John Smith Centre office including organising the installation of equipment, raising IT and estates requests for staff and ensuring they are resolved appropriately. Liaise with internal colleagues and external suppliers to purchase equipment, stationery and other supplies as required, raising purchase orders and following processes.

11. Liaise with the Development & Alumni Office to deliver the Centre’s fundraising and alumni-engagement strategies and plans.

12. Contribute to a culture of continuous improvement by suggesting service improvements and implementing new processes to enhance quality of service.

13. Draft reports, letters and emails as required.

14. Undertake any other reasonable duties as required by the team.

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience


A1 Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework Level 7 [Advanced Higher / Scottish Vocational Qualification Level 3, Higher National Certificate] or equivalent, and experience of personal development in a similar role.
A2 Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft packages, including Excel, Outlook, Word, Power Point and Teams.

B1 Knowledge of the University’s various systems, processes, and departments.
B2 Familiarity with the John Smith Centre, our mission, and activities.
B3 Knowledge of British and Scottish politics.


C1 Meticulousness, excellent planning and organisational skills and the ability to work to tight deadlines.
C2 Ability to use initiative and judgement to resolve issues independently and make informed decisions effectively.
C3 Ability to prioritise and respond effectively to planned and reactive work requests
C4 Proven interpersonal, communication (oral and written) and customer service skills, and an open and friendly manner.
C5 Ability to work both independently and flexibly as part of a high performing team.
C6 Excellent attention to detail and to production of accurate, high-quality outputs.
C7 Tact, diplomacy, discretion, and ability to maintain confidentiality.
C8 Excellent IT skills consistent with the needs of the role.


E1 Demonstrable relevant work experience with qualifications above or evidence of progression and development gained through working in a similar role
E2 Experience of creating external and internal communications.
E3 Experience of applying judgement, policies, and procedures.

F1 Experience within a higher education setting, including knowledge of administrative and organisational systems.
F2 Experience of website management and social media.
F3 Experience of using Canva, HubSpot and/or JotForm.
F4 Experience of managing events.

Job Features

The post is based at the University of Glasgow and the post-holder will be an employee of the University of Glasgow.

Planning and Organising
Plan and organise a varied workload, covering a variety of short, medium, and long term projects, ensuring that they are completed in an efficient and timely manner, whilst at the same time responding to moment-to-moment queries.
Work flexibly to respond to changing priorities and remain responsive to institutional needs.

Decision Making
Prioritising workload on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Respond to enquiries appropriately or take the appropriate action to escalate to another member of the team to respond to more complex queries.

Internal/External Relationships
Internal – John Smith Centre staff and Management Board; School, College and University colleagues including academic, finance, IT, external relations, and fundraising; University students and programme participants.
External – Academics from other institutions, think-tanks, politicians; civil servants; policymakers and leaders across the public, private and third sectors; the media; supporters and prospects; members of the public; service suppliers and event contributors.

Problem Solving
Determining how best to deal with enquiries in order to bring them to a satisfactory conclusion.
Being proactive in troubleshooting issues related to the Centre’s work, including the Parliamentary Internship Programme.

Flexible approach to workload content and supporting activities of the team is required.
Occasional evening and weekend work is necessary at times.
The position may involve some travel within the UK and the post-holder should be willing and able to travel on John Smith Centre business at times.
Access to confidential and sensitive information, which needs to be treated with discretion and in accordance with University guidelines and data protection legislation.

Standard Terms and Conditions

Salary will be on the Management, Professional and Administrative Grade, Level 5, £22,847 – £27,116 per annum.

This post is part time (28 hours per week) and offered on a fixed term basis for 2 years.

New entrants to the University will be required to serve a probationary period of 6 months.

The successful candidate will be eligible to join the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) Pension Scheme.

It is the University of Glasgow mission is to foster an inclusive climate, which ensures equality in our working, learning, research and teaching environment.

We strongly endorse the principles of Athena SWAN, including a supportive and flexible working environment, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in promoting gender equality.

The University of Glasgow, charity number SC004401.


Deadline for applications: 1 August 2022.

Vacancy Ref: 091569