Project Officer

Posted to IASSIST on: 2014-05-05

Employer: UK Data Service / Digital Preservation Coalition

Employer URL:


Project Officer Job Description Grade: 6 or 7 (UK UCU/UCEA National Agreement point 25-39) Internal Liaison: Executive Director, Business Manager, Head of Workforce Development and Skills, Head of Advocacy and Communication, DPC Board, DPC Members External Liaison: TIMBUS Project, Prospective DPC members, Digital preservation and cognate professionals world wide Duration: Fixed term contract until 31 December 2014 Purpose: To deliver and maximise benefits that will accrue to DPC members from the Coalition’s participation in research projects, thereby maximising the impact of those projects.

  1. Introduction The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) seeks to employ or second a Project Officer to help deliver its commitments to a number of research projects, especially the TIMBUS (Timeless Business Processes) Project, an initiative co-funded by the European Commission; and a new research project on the preservation of social media Applications should be submitted by email not later than 1200 on Wednesday 21st May Shortlisted candidates should be ready to present themselves for interview on Friday, 30th May 2014.

  2. About this post This is an exciting opportunity to work in a high-profile and wide-ranging role. Recruitment will be to the DPC offices in London, Glasgow or York or and is available immediately for 12 months full time. You will work internationally with the world’s leading authorities in digital preservation, developing and communicating first-class research, connecting leaders and professionals from different sectors and disciplines, and helping to influence public policy. You will have the opportunity to develop an exceptional international portfolio of professional contacts and you will gain experience in the operation of EC-funded research. You will be a motivated researcher with strong communication skills, have experience with new media, knowledge of digital preservation – or with a proven capacity to learn quickly. You will be able to engage others with the outcomes of cutting edge research.

  3. About the Digital Preservation Coalition The DPC is an advocate and catalyst for digital preservation, enabling our members to deliver resilient long-term access to content and services, and helping them derive enduring value from digital collections. We raise awareness of the importance of the preservation of digital material and the attendant strategic, cultural and technological issues. We are a not-for-profit membership organisation and we support our members through knowledge exchange, capacity building, assurance, advocacy and partnership. Our vision is to make our digital memory accessible tomorrow. Digital preservation is characterised by a supportive, international and vibrant community which is growing rapidly. Cross-sector and interdisciplinary collaborations are highly valued and they create the conditions for creativity and innovation in the face of shared challenges. The DPC was founded in 2002 and occupies a distinctive position within this community. It works with and on behalf of the leading experts in the field internationally and it has a world class reputation. At the time of writing the DPC has forty seven institutional members in the UK and Ireland as well as a number of international partners and allies around the world. It is funded principally through member subscriptions and receives around half of its funds through externally sponsored projects. It is currently a partner in four major projects funded by the European Commission – TIMBUS, APARSEN, 4C and E-ARK and it employs five full time staff with offices in London, Glasgow or York. It is governed by a board of directors constituted from its full members. For more information about the DPC, see

  4. Current DPC Research Projects In the first 6 months, the primary focus of this post will be to deliver DPC commitments to the TIMBUS project as it heads towards completion in December 2014. In the second 6 months, the post holder will support a range of research projects, especially a new collaborative project with UK Data Archive co-funded by ESRC on the preservation of social media. The DPC is a partner in the TIMBUS project that is co-funded by the European Commission. It started in April 2011, runs until end of December 2014, and is an ‘Integrated Project’ – a project which supports research to achieve a specific objective and where the primary outcome is new knowledge. The TIMBUS Project focuses on resilient business processes. It makes the execution context, within which data is processed, analysed, transformed and rendered, accessible over long periods. TIMBUS also considers the dependencies on third-party services, information and capabilities that are necessary to validate digital our digital memory accessible tomorrow information in a future usage context. TIMBUS delivers activities, processes and tools that ensure continued access to services and software to produce the context within which information can be accessed, properly rendered, validated and transformed into knowledge. The project is organised into nine work packages. The DPC is involved in three work packages: ‘Exploitation’, ‘Engineering Services and Systems for Digital Preservation’ and ‘Dissemination and Training’, and is the project lead for the latter. ‘Dissemination and Training’ constitute the DPC’s largest contribution to the project. The work package has been singled out for particular praise in recent reviews and core tools, relationships and controls are already well established. As work package lead, the DPC is responsible for co-ordinating and ensuring the development and delivery of training materials derived from the TIMBUS Project, for managing and performing dissemination tasks and for managing the project contributions to standards. Whilst the post holder will be expected to contribute to all of these from time to time they will be largely engaged in the ‘Dissemination and Training’ work package. The DPC also participates in other current and future externally funded projects. The successful candidate may be expected to contribute to them in a role similar to the one described for TIMBUS. For more information about the TIMBUS Project see: The DPC will shortly start a new collaborative research project with the UK Data Archive on the preservation of ‘big data’, funded by ESRC. DPC is a partner in two components of this research with responsibilities for original research on the preservation of social media and the preservation of transactional data. Deliverables from these work packages will include consultation and briefing for DPC members and the completion of ‘Technology Watch Reports’. The project is still in development so the candidate will be expected to contribute to research design, to lead research

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  1. To develop and implement detailed action plans, provide progress reports and manage budgets related to the following actions, in consultation with the DPC membership and the partners of designated DPC research projects:
  • Facilitating communications between research partners and with the DPC members and board;
  • Presenting and representing the DPC research projects to other stakeholders in digital preservation and cognate fields and to relevant standards bodies, in particular the DPC membership;
  • Coordinating, developing and delivering training based on DPC research projects;
  • Coordinating, developing and delivering dissemination activities based on DPC research projects;
  • Managing contributions to standards bodies from DPC research projects;
  • Raising awareness of digital preservation in the wider community;
  • Participating in and undertaking research and development on topics relevant to digital preservation.
  1. To shape, review and disseminate outcomes from research projects to the membership of the DPC, project partners and more widely;
  2. To manage, monitor and report project resources and expenditure within the research projects to ensure that costs are contained and outcomes maximised;
  3. To work closely with research partners and DPC members to ensure that DPC contributions to research projects are fully understood and fully supported by those involved;
  4. To ensure that quality criteria for DPC work packages in the research projects are met, monitored and maintained;
  5. To consult members of the DPC and encourage their participation in the research projects so that their needs are effectively articulated and met;
  6. To co-ordinate, support and encourage the diverse membership of the Digital Preservation Coalition in their participation with research projects, maximising the benefits to the DPC’s members and the impact of the project;
  7. To represent and support the work of the DPC and contribute to the Coalition’s vision and strategic plan.


Essential: Undergraduate degree (or equivalent) with relevant experience and appropriate work-based training.

Desirable: Postgraduate qualification (or equivalent) with demonstrable interest in a relevant

  • subject, including generic research skills and completion of a self-contained research project; qualifications in project management; demonstrable interest in digital preservation.


Essential: Working knowledge of digital preservation or cognate information management activities.

Desirable: Up to date understanding of digital preservation or cognate information management; knowledge of research methods; advanced use of communications IT and social media (publishing platforms, web content management with CMS (especially Joomla)).

Skills /abilities /competencies:

Essential: Proficient IT literacy; capacity to learn quickly and understand; attention to detail; strong interpersonal and negotiation skills; professional and trustworthy.

Desirable: Ability to inspire confidence and influence others; managing project budgets and resources; strategic thinker; adept at managing complex relationships.


Essential: Experience of communicating research OR Experience in digital preservation or cognate information management role.

Desirable: Has written or delivered communications plan; use of social media for marketing and communications; experience of managing projects; experience of business environments;practical experience in digital preservation.

Planning and organising:

Essential: Ability to manage own workload reliably and with minimal supervision; able to plan workload ahead; ability to work flexibly across a number of tasks simultaneously; ability to prioritise and meet deadlines.

Desirable: Ability to anticipate and avert difficulties; experience of managing projects in complex multi-stakeholder environments; experience with EC-funded or other grant funded projects;

Initiative and problem solving:

Essential: Proven initiative and judgement to resolve problems independently or through a support team.

Desirable: Creative flair; flexible and innovative approach to problem solving; ability to discern opportunities; ability to resolve problems where there is conflicting information and multiple competing solutions; capacity to anticipate problems and proactively mitigate them.

Motivation and Teamwork:

Essential: Ability to work in small and distributed teams; committed to collaboration; ability to plan with and obtain results from partners; willingness to pool expertise; diplomatic and courteous.

Desirable: Track record of seeing work through to completion; capacity to recognise needs of others and respond thoughtfully; capacity to lead and motivate a distributed group of partners.


Essential: First rate presentation and writing skills; capacity to listen and understand;

Desirable: Ability to communicate material of a specialist or highly technical nature; writing for the web; visual design; capacity to manage large volume of communications from multiple stakeholders.

Personal Attributes:

Essential: Flexibility in working practices and outlook (e.g. willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends when required); ability to travel in UK and Europe.

Desirable: Ability to start immediately.

Archived on: 2014-05-30