UCL Career Frameworks


Research - Grade 9 (Specialist Pathway)

Example job roles: Specialist Technician / Senior Technical Specialist, Principal Research Software Engineer, Principal Data Scientist, Principal Engineer

Level: Senior


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
  • By developing local procedures, establish and maintain a safe/compliant working environment within the specialist area
  • Hold specific safety responsibilities relevant to the specialism 
  • Ensure all safety paperwork relevant to the specialism is completed/reviewed 
  • Oversee completion of all compliance tasks related to the specialist area
  • Complete accident reporting and assist with investigations
  • Maintain in-depth and up-to-date health and safety knowledge relevant to the specialism

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
  • Undertake the procurement of equipment for purchases up to £50,000 
  • 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
  • Lead on/prepare outputs as appropriate to the role, contributing to the development of the individual’s or UCL’s reputation.
  • Specialise in a skillset deemed to be expert in their area and/or including project management of major technical projects
  • Hold responsibility for the overall technical project management of research projects, including the design and implementation of systems
  • Contribute to research outputs, including research papers, as a co- or lead author.
  • Apply for grant funding from appropriate external funding agencies and internal funding programs.
  • Work collaboratively with other research groups in UCL in addressing major research questions. This involves work at the cutting edge of the technology, where high level technical expertise in this field is required 
  • Lead your own research programme and disseminate research findings both within UCL, and externally in the form of publications, presentations and reports. 


Personal and professional development

Development options to consider when working towards this level

Learning on the job

  • Conduct outreach activities to work with academics e.g. summer schools
  • Seek out authoring opportunities e.g. contributing to books and research papers
  • Seek out opportunities to engage in TechTransfer projects

Learning from others  

  • Work shadow senior members of the team  
  • Attend and present at conferences 
  • Represent UCL/Faculty/Department through participation in external working groups/committees
  • Organise and present at various research technique workshops

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
  • UCL Leadership training

Transferable skills and competencies

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

Following instructions and procedures Formulating strategies and concepts

  • Thinking broadly
  • Approaching work strategically
  • Setting and developing strategy
  • Visioning

Working with people Persuading and influencing 

  • Making an impact
  • Shaping conversations
  • Appealing to emotions
  • Promoting ideas
  • Negotiating and gaining agreement
  • Dealing with political issues

Creating and innovating

  • Innovating
  • Seeking and introducing change

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.