Computing and Software Admin Support (10135)

At the SKAO we are coordinating a global effort to deliver one fo the largest science facilities on the planet. The SKAO telescopes will be next-generation instruments that will help to answer key questions in astrophysics, drive technological innovation and support human capital development. 

More than a dozen partner countries and over a thousand scientists and engineers around the world are already on board, making the SKA project an international collaboration like no other, and one of the most ambitious science and engineering endeavours of the 21st century.

Headquartered in the UK, with telescope sites in Australia and South Africa, the SKAO will be one observatory operating two telescopes, an endeavour spanning three continents. Multinational by design, in early 2021 the SKAO became an intergovernmental organisation, one of only a select handful of science infrastructures to do so worldwide.

Our Global HQ is located near the buzzing city of Manchester at the historic Jodrell Bank Observatory, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Cheshire countryside. It is home to a rapidly expanding international team of more than a hundred, working in a highly collaborative and inclusive way, in coordination with SKAO teams in Australia and South Africa as part of a global astronomy and engineering community.

Being part of Team SKA means contributing to something extraordinary: a uniquely exciting project to advance human knowledge that will last for decades. In return, we offer a diverse multicultural working environment, 30 days annual leave plus public holidays, a generous pension scheme, regular social events, a family-friendly environment and much more. Come and join us!

Computing and Software Admin Support

An amazing opportunity for an experienced, efficient and well organised professional to join a busy, international team.

Job Location
UK (Head Office)
Area / Department
Business Support function
Contract Type
Competitive salary with generous pension, healthcare and leave benefits
Closing Date
Ref No

The Role

The SKAO Computing and Software team is looking for an admin support to join their busy team of engineers.

Reporting to the Observatory Lead for Business Administration, the Computing and Software Admin Support will support the Solution and Program Teams with day-to-day organisational work while having the opportunity to use the latest technologies, allowing the teams to focus on guiding the activities of a large number of Agile Teams in delivering the computing and software solutions for the SKA Observatory.

The post holder will be an individual contributor coordinating activities across the business in multiple functional areas. The successful candidate will be a well organised and efficient team player with excellent attention to detail and a demonstrated ability to learn.

Full-time hours will be 35 hours per week and flexible working may be considered compatible with reviews, milestones and office activities. Relocation assistance and support will not be available for this role.

Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Duties

The main functions of this role will be:

  • Coordinating and scheduling meetings, workshops and training sessions
  • Assisting with the coordination of larger events such as Program Increment Planning, and Inspect and Adapt Workshops
  • Maintaining shared project calendars for solution and program level events
  • Recording meeting minutes and actions
  • Tracking and following-up on outstanding action items
  • Using tools such as Confluence, Jira, Miro and Slack on a daily basis to prepare and maintain shared workspaces, create Jira tickets, Miro boards, Slack channels and Confluence pages, add people to them etc.
  • Maintaining an up-to-date database of project contacts and team members
  • Coordinating administrative tasks associated with changes to team composition e.g. requesting user accounts
  • Supporting contract management activities such as preparing time charge orders
  • Formatting and reviewing documentation and presentations
  • Occasionally travel to SKAO partner sites worldwide (usually for one week, 1-2 times per year)

The above responsibilities are not exhaustive and a flexible approach and willingness to adapt to unexpected and changing needs and priorities as well as performing further general administrative tasks is essential.

Mandatory Knowledge, Skills and Experience

The successful applicant for this role will have:

  • Completed secondary school education 
  • Experience in an administrative support role (typically at least three years)
  • Experience in coordinating events, workshops and/or training sessions
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills
  • Excellent communication skills with distributed, highly specialised project teams and stakeholders
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Advanced knowledge of the Microsoft Office software suite including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, as well as productivity software such as video conferencing tools 
  • Ability and willingness to learn new skills or systems
  • Be a flexible team player who is adaptable to change and able to work under own initiative
  • Ability and willingness to travel to SKAO partner sites worldwide as required (usually for one week, 1-2 times per year)

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience

The ideal candidate would also have:

  • An administration qualification
  • Experience working in a multicultural environment and across different time zones
  • Proficient with software tools that enable collaboration such as Google docs/sheets, Confluence, Miro, Jira

Equality Diversity and Inclusion Statement

SKA Observatory recognises that our diversity is a strength. We aim to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone feels they belong, and diverse perspectives and ideas thrive. As such, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion are at the core of SKA Observatory’s agenda.

Our aim is to recruit and retain the most talented individuals, regardless of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, nationality or background. 

 Women have traditionally been under-represented in the fields of science and engineering; SKA Observatory welcomes and encourages female applicants.  
Where applicants with a disability need facilities or adjustments to enable them to participate in the recruitment process, these will be provided.

SKA Observatory welcome all candidates, especially those from member countries.

The “How to Apply” information contained within the SKA Observatory recruitment portal provides more detail regarding our application and selection approach.