UCL Career Frameworks


Research - Grade 8 (Specialist Pathway)

Example job roles: Senior Technical Specialist, Specialist Services Research Technician, Senior Research Software Engineer, Senior Data Scientist, Senior Engineer, Senior Project Manager

Level: Advanced


Activities and responsibilities likely to be required when working at this level

Health & Safety responsibilities

  • Advise and oversee all equipment purchases relevant to the specialism ensuring compliance and alignment to facility priorities
  • Plan and oversee all maintenance and repair activities including the completion of in-house, highly skilled repairs and maintenance
  • Ensure that all equipment linked to the specialism is appropriately maintained
  • Lead investigations into new equipment purchases/modifications
  • Ensure all safety paperwork relevant to the specialism is completed/reviewed 
  • Oversee completion of all compliance tasks related to the specialist area
  • Maintain relevant up-to-date health and safety knowledge providing expert support/advice

Core responsibilities

  • May provide direct line-management support, schedule, prioritise and monitor work and performance in line with demands and deadlines 
  • Supervise other staff and students working within the specialism
  • Organise and facilitate meetings as necessary and attend and present at School/Department meetings and forums
  • Lead the introduction and development of new and cutting-edge equipment and techniques
  • Undertake the procurement of equipment for purchases up to £50,000 
  • Hold overall responsibility for ensuring that the specialist area delivers against the needs of teaching and research, and that all assets relating to the specialism are utilised
  • Provide highly-skilled and highly-specialised teaching, research and taught course support.  This will include the development of new techniques, new practical class activities and course/module planning 
  • Ensure that the management of facilities relating to the specialism is robust and compliant
  • Assess, develop and implement training and development arrangements relating to the specialism
  • Maintain in-depth specialist knowledge, sharing with others e.g.  presenting at conferences
  • Mentor/coach junior staff
  • Design and provide specialist training and training materials to research students and staff at all levels.
  • Conduct complex research experiments contributing to the experimental design


Personal and professional development

Development options to consider when working towards this level

Learning on the job

  • Lead on emergency response in areas of responsibility
  • Liaise with Department Safety Officer during their investigations
  • Participate in outreach activities and those which contribute towards Institutional Citizenship
  • Liaise with and learn directly from equipment specialists or application specialists
  • Provide data analysis for grant applications and manuscripts
  • Provide fundamental support to MSc PhD students on a day-to-day basis
  • Provide academic input as a thesis committee member or review MSc dissertations. 
  • Understand high value procurement and tender processes
  • Contribute to the text of funding applications, or apply for external funding

Learning from others  

  • Gain knowledge from others by visiting other sites with similar settings
  • Attend relevant conferences, presenting where appropriate
  • Attend builder user group
  • Attend safety standards meetings for specialist equipment/processes
  • Attend and participate in a range of meetings, e.g. Department/Divisional operations, team, strategic, committees (research and other)

Formal learning

  • Membership with relevant learned societies (e.g. RMS).
  • Accreditation/certification from a recognised professional body
  • Project Management and Continuous Improvement qualifications
  • Training on finance and admin responsibilities
  • Line management training

Transferable skills and competencies

UCL uses the Universal Competency Framework (UCF) to discuss transferable skills. Find out more details on the framework.

Deciding and initiating action

  • Making decisions
  • Taking responsibility
  • Acting with Confidence
  • Acting on own initiative
  • Taking action
  • Taking calculated risks

Leading and supervising 

  • Providing direction and co-ordinating action
  • Supervising and monitoring behaviour
  • Coaching
  • Delegating
  • Empowering staff
  • Motivating others
  • Developing staff
  • Identifying and recruiting talent

Planning and Organising 

  • Setting objectives
  • Planning
  • Managing time
  • Managing resources
  • Monitoring progress

UCL Ways of Working

These describe expected behaviours in line with UCL culture and values.  For Ways of Working indicators and steps to development please refer to the Ways of Working website

4 January 2024

Career Pathway roles are indicative and are not intended to be a description of the role in terms of responsibilty and duties.