Gray Laboratory Cancer Research Trust
Old Road Campus Research Building
Roosevelt Drive
Oxford OX3 7DQ
Professor W Gillies McKenna, MD, PhD
FRCR, FIBiol, FMedSci
Job description and selection criteria
Job title
Personal Assistant to Professor Seymour
Medical Sciences
Old Road Campus Research Building, Oxford OX3 7DQ
Grade and salary
Grade 5: £24,057 - £28,695 p.a. (pro rata for part time hours)
Part-time up to 18.25 hours per week over 5 days
Contract type
Fixed term until 31 March 2017 in the first instance
Reporting to
Professor Seymour
Vacancy reference
The University
The University of Oxford is a complex and stimulating organisation, which enjoys an
international reputation as a world-class centre of excellence in research and teaching. It
employs over 10,000 staff and has a student population of over 22,000.
Most staff are directly appointed and managed by one of the University’s 130 departments or
other units within a highly devolved operational structure - this includes over 6,500
‘academic-related’ staff (postgraduate research, computing, senior library, and administrative
staff) and over 2,700 ‘support’ staff (including clerical, library, technical, and manual staff).
There are also over 1,600 academic staff (professors, readers, lecturers), whose
appointments are in the main overseen by a combination of broader divisional and local
faculty board/departmental structures. Academics are generally all also employed by one of
the 38 constituent colleges of the University as well as by the central University itself.
Our annual income in 2011/12 was £1,016.1m. Oxford is one of Europe's most innovative
and entrepreneurial universities: income from external research contracts exceeds £409m
p.a., and more than 80 spin-off companies have been created.
The University of Oxford is a member of the Athena SWAN Charter and holds an institutional
Bronze Athena SWAN award.
For more information please visit
Medical Sciences Division
The Medical Sciences Division is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for
biomedical and clinical research and teaching. We are the largest academic division in the
University of Oxford.
World-leading programmes, housed in state-of-the-art facilities, cover the full range of
scientific endeavour from the molecule to the population. With our NHS partners we also
foster the highest possible standards in patient care.
For more information please visit:
Oncology Department
The Department of Oncology within the Medical Sciences Division was created in October
2010, under the headship of Professor Gillies McKenna. The aims of the Department include
the development of truly multidisciplinary and collaborative oncology research in Oxford.
Working closely with colleagues in the new state-of-the-art NHS Oxford Cancer Centre,
research can be rapidly and efficiently translated into cutting-edge clinical treatment for
cancer patients.
The Department incorporates the Cancer Research UK-MRC Gray Institute for Radiation
Oncology & Biology, as well as a number of internationally recognised research groups
working in oncology and related fields. Currently the Department has activities on four sites
in Oxford these are the Old Road Campus Research Building, the Weatherall Institute of
Molecular Medicine, the Radiobiology Research Institute, and in the Oxford Cancer Hospital.
The University of Oxford, Department of Oncology has over 400 staff and more than 120
graduate students, and is one of the largest departments in the Medical Sciences Division.
The Department of Oncology also hosts the CR-UK Cancer Research Centre and the
EPSRC/CR-UK-funded Oxford Cancer Imaging Centre.
For further information please visit:
The successful applicant will be employed by the Gray Laboratory Cancer Research Trust, a
wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Oxford.
Job description
Overview of the role
This is a responsible role requiring efficient administrative and secretarial skills combined
with a professional, proactive and flexible approach to work. The successful applicant will
have a ‘can do’ attitude combined with the experience, skills and attributes to handle a wide
range of confidential information with tact and diplomacy and to be comfortable with shifting
Working closely with Professor Seymour in the Department of Oncology, the postholder will
be responsible for a range of activities and will need to pro-actively manage their time and
prioritise accordingly.
The postholder will be responsible for providing administrative support which will include:
Making appointments, arranging meetings and diary management, using initiative to
make considered judgments.
Preparing and circulating papers for meetings (including committee meetings), taking
and publishing minutes and prompting on forward actions when requested.
Providing administrative support to Professor Seymour across the full range of his
responsibilities, including course administration.
Managing meeting room bookings, arranging refreshments and accommodation for
visitors, as appropriate.
Making travel arrangements for Professor Seymour to attend meetings and
conferences both in the UK and overseas. Producing itineraries and travel
Providing full administrative support on financial matters, such as completing travel
claims, including appropriate financial coding, and liaising with the finance office to
progress claims to external bodies following seminars or lectures.
Assisting Professor Seymour in carrying our administrative tasks in support of his role
as Director of Graduate Studies and in handling administration for the MSc course in
Experimental Therapeutics, liaising with staff in the central University.
Providing general administrative assistance in relation to new starters, visitors and
students, including liaison with departmental operational teams.
Assisting with preparation of presentations and reports using Microsoft Word, Excel
and PowerPoint.
Dealing effectively with postal correspondence, telephone calls, emails and faxes;
replying to a range of issues of behalf of Professor Seymour, or researching and
preparing information and drafting responses.
Allocate ad hoc tasks to administrative staff.
Providing administrative assistance for the departmental seminar series, including
liaison with speakers, preparation of itineraries, hotel, refreshments and travel
Supporting in the preparation of grant applications, returns to funding bodies and
other documentation.
Ensuring staff/student computing facilities are running to University standards,
through liaison with local IT staff.
Ensuring printers, shredders and other administrative equipment is operational at all
times; this may involve liaison with local facilities staff.
Assisting in updating the departmental website and information screens as
Working as part of a team with the other Personal Assistants in the Department of
Oncology. Providing cover for other PAs, where necessary, in these circumstances
the line manager will oversee workload.
Oversee local kitchenette facilities to ensure they are maintained in a manner
appropriate to a professional organisation.
Monitor departmental noticeboards to keep them up to date and ensure appropriate
funder branding is displayed appropriately.
Setting up, maintaining, and improving as appropriate, filing systems.
Other duties commensurate with the position and grade.
Selection criteria
Educated to at least A-level or equivalent, with a qualification in a science subject.
Excellent secretarial skills, including proficiency in touch typing.
Demonstrable experience as a Personal Assistant, including experience of diary
management, making travel arrangements and arranging/coordinating meetings.
Organised and able to prioritise activities appropriately and work to deadlines, while
progressing a wide range of tasks.
Ability to work under pressure without supervision and use own initiative.
Excellent IT skills including a high level of competence in Outlook, Word, Excel and
Demonstrable ability to communicate effectively, both orally and with a high standard of
written English.
The ability to build effective working relationships with immediate colleagues and to
deal appropriately with a wide range of contacts including senior academics, clinicians,
students and other university staff.
Evidence of attention to detail and ability to work methodically.
Flexible, collaborative team player.
Willingness to take on new tasks.
Experience working in a confidential environment and handling sensitive personal data
with tact and discretion.
 Experience of working in a University department.
 Experience of updating websites.
 Experience of working in a scientific/clinical environment.
Working at the University of Oxford
For further information about working at Oxford, please see:

Job Description - Department of Oncology