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Teaching and Research Technical Officer

Requisition ID:  20340

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Open Ended
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  07-Jun-2022


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


What’s in it for you? Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.

Newcastle is an inclusive global University community where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


Salary: £31,406 to £33,309 with progression to £40,927 per annum


Closing Date: 7 July 2022


The Role


Applications are invited for the position of Teaching and Research Technical Officer, based within the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics at Newcastle University, working in the School’s E-Learning Unit and with the School’s Senior Computing Officer. 


The award-winning E-Learning Unit within the School supports technology enhanced learning through development of e-learning software, including the Numbas mathematical e-assessment system, and the Chirun tool for developing accessible mathematical learning material. The Unit supports e-learning activity in the School, including computer-based assessments and exams, and supports the wider community of users of the Numbas software at Newcastle and around the world.


Potential applicants should have excellent communication skills and demonstrable ability to master new mathematical software and systems. Applicants will have a broad knowledge of University teaching of mathematics and statistics as well as a familiarity with web development tools and Unix/Linux operating systems.


The successful applicant will work with members of the E-Learning Unit to develop software and systems, and with academics in the School to develop appropriate technology enhanced solutions for their teaching, including mathematical computer-based assessments. The successful applicant will deliver training material in the use of mathematical software and work with the Senior Computing Officer to maintain the School’s computing infrastructure to support teaching and research. Good time management and organisational skills are essential. 


Please provide evidence of how you meet the essential criteria required for the role by uploading a letter of application (of no more than 2 pages) along with your Curriculum Vitae (CV)


All applicants who fulfil the criteria in the job description are welcome; we would particularly welcome applicants from groups who are currently underrepresented in mathematical sciences in the UK.  The School is committed to pursuing equality of opportunity and promoting an inclusive culture.


For informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Chris Graham via email:


Main Purpose

As a member of the School’s E-Learning Unit, the Teaching and Research Technical Officer plays a vital role in supporting technology enhanced learning through development of e-learning software, School web applications and support for teaching and research computational infrastructure. The postholder will report to the School’s Director of Education.

Key Accountabilities

E-learning development

  • Development of the Numbas e-assessment software and tools, supporting the lead developer
  • Development of the in-house Chirun software to support the provision of accessible mathematics teaching material
  • Collaborate with academic colleagues to develop appropriate technology enhanced learning solutions, including mathematical computer-based assessments using the in-house Numbas system
  • Maintain and develop extensive knowledge to keep abreast of the latest/most relevant technologies
  • Undertake relevant training and development activities in order to develop an awareness of own professional development needs
  • Development of software used by the School to calculate assessment statistics and produce summary documents

Teaching and research computational support

  • Pedagogical and software support for undergraduate and postgraduate students. To include support in Python, LaTeX, Fortran, R and other mathematical software
  • Delivery of short courses or training sessions in the use of mathematical software
  • Development and maintenance of internal web applications for the School
  • Support the Senior Computing Officer with the maintenance of the School research computing networks and faculty HPC provision

Dimensions Staff

  • The post holder will work as part of a team which includes the Senior Computing Officer, the Director of E-learning and the Director of Education
  • The School has around 60 academic staff, 80 postgraduate students, 700 undergraduate students and service teaching (equivalent to around 300 full-time undergraduates) of mathematics and statistics to disciplines including engineering, biomedical sciences and psychology
  • Computer based assessment is used extensively in the School.  In a typical year there will be around 100,000 student sessions both on and off-campus
  • There is not normally any responsibility for managing other staff, but the post holder would supervise any temporary support required to assist them with special projects or events


  • Academic teaching and research staff
  • Undergraduate students
  • Postgraduate researchers
  • External academics using the School’s e-learning software

Member of:

  • E-Learning Unit
  • Mathematical Education research group
  • School Teaching and Learning Committee
  • Board of Studies


The Person


Knowledge Skills and Experience 

  • Postgraduate degree in Mathematics, Physics or a STEM subject
  • Broad knowledge of undergraduate curriculum across Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics
  • Demonstrable expertise in one or more mathematical or statistical packages (e.g. R, Python, LaTeX)
  • Good knowledge of web development tools (e.g. HTML, JavaScript, CSS)
  • Good knowledge of Unix/Linux operating systems


  • Software development experience in a commercial or higher education environment
  • Understanding of software development tools and methodologies, including programming languages, documentation, testing, version control, issue tracking and continuous integration


Attributes and Behaviours 

  • Excellent communication skills for teaching, supervision and advice
  •  Ability to master new mathematical software and systems
  • Proven analytical and problem solving capacity
  • Ability to work effectively in a team and relate well to others
  • Good planning and organisational skills
  • Effective management of work schedule with only limited guidance



  • Development of software or high level scientific computing programmes
  • Development of website content or familiarity with an education virtual learning environment
  • Working with Unix/Linux operating systems and software


  • Teaching, tutoring or supervision of undergraduate mathematics students

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 20340