CBRL UK Executive Officer

The CBRL is a British Academy-sponsored charity that promotes, sponsors, and carries out high-quality research in the humanities and social sciences throughout the countries of the Levant, with its UK office in London and research centres in Amman and Jerusalem.

CBRL is one of the British International Research Institutes (BIRI), a network of overseas research organisations that operate in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. All the BIRI conduct research, collaborate with overseas and UK-based partners, and provide facilities, training and financial, academic and logistical support to researchers. The BIRI also run events and outreach programmes, held in the UK and overseas. UK BIRI staff share office facilities at the British Academy.

We seek a UK Executive Officer to play a key role within the charity’s London office. Strong communication and organisational skills are required, and familiarity with the charity or higher education landscape and the Levant will be useful. Enthusiasm and initiative are equally important as this position’s line manager is often out of the country. The role is London based and a competitive salary of £28-35k is offered.  Managing the London office, dealing with daily enquiries, collating reports and managing Trustee meetings, this role is varied and interesting.  There is a financial element attached to the role and therefore previous experience in a financial role would be an advantage.

For more details and to apply click here.

Closing date: Monday 20 January 2020, but applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as we are considering candidates on a rolling basis. Interviews will be conducted. Start date: 1 March 2020 (before, if possible).

Job Purpose and Summary

The CBRL Executive Officer is responsible for the UK-based aspects of the CBRL, working closely with the overseas Institute Directors, and serves as the Secretary to the CBRL Committee of Management and its sub-committees. The Executive Officer will also work closely with the CBRL UK team which includes a Finance Officer, and collaborate with staff from the BIRI generally.

Reports to the CBRL Director. Oversees the administrative work of the part-time Outreach and Administrative Coordinator.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

UK Outreach, Events & Publicity:

  • Attendance at CBRL events to support the CBRL Communications, Development and Programme Manager (‘Development Officer’)
  • Responding to event enquiries from CBRL members and the public

Financial administration: 

Support the Finance Officer by

  • Banking any cash received in the office or at events
  • Forwarding finance related emails to the finance inbox
  • Coordinating and servicing the Finance and Governance Committee

Governance: Supporting the CBRL Committee and its sub-committees by

  • liaising with the Chair, the Hon Officers, the Director, and the British Academy
  • Planning, coordinating and servicing the quarterly cycle of Committee and Subcommittee meetings, including preparing agendas and circulating papers,
  • Taking minutes and following up on actions
  • Planning and coordinating the AGM and any exceptional events as required


  • Work with the part-time Outreach and Administrative Coordinator to manage the annual membership cycle
  • Process membership subscriptions and administer the membership and fundraising database
  • Communicate with the members & deal with general enquiries

CBRL Grants: The CBRL annually awards fellowships and grants for research and the UK Executive Officer administers these programmes by

  • Advertising award programmes
  • Receiving and collating applications for grants and affiliations
  • Liaising with external assessors, and circulating papers to committee and assessors
  • Communicating with applicants and grant holders & administering payment of awards
  • Receiving and monitoring award holder/affiliated project reports
  • Ensuring that all grant-holders provide details of publications, impact and other activity arising from CBRL funded projects, and collating these for eventual report.

Publications: The UK Executive Officer provides administrative support for CBRL’s academic publications:

  • Liaising with journal publishers, support online access/regular membership data mailing
  • Monitoring payments and stock levels
  • Liaising regarding permissions and fees relating to CBRL copyright

HR Admin: The Executive Officer will administer non-financial personnel matters for UK paid staff, supported by outsourced HR advisors:

  • Medical insurance
  • Administer UK based staff contracts and recruitment (supported by HR advisors)
  • Maintain staff personnel files

Constitutional and Legal matters: The Executive Officer will maintain CBRL UK statutory requirements by

  • Submitting statutory reports required by Companies House & the Charity Commission
  • Ensuring data protection and PCI DSS (payment card charity data security standard) certification

Other tasks: The Executive Officer will be required to support the CBRL Director and Development Officer on ad hoc projects such as implementing the new CBRL website and preparing the CBRL archives for an office move.


Person Specification

Experience / Skills


  • Previous experience of management and administration in small organisations, preferably charities / not-for-profits / academic institutions
  • Excellent written and spoken English
  • Demonstrable ability to write clearly and concisely for different purposes, e.g. reports, minutes, publicity material, websites
  • Evidence of strong organisational and time management skills, setting priorities and meeting deadlines for tasks
  • Evidence of strong IT skills (MS Office, databases, website and membership databases)
  • Must have the right to work in the UK


  • Experience working in an academic setting and academic grant processes
  • Experience working in a small, busy team
  • Experience working with finances
  • Knowledge of records management practice
  • Knowledge of website content management systems
  • Some knowledge of CBRL’s past activity and a basic understanding of our mission 
  • Knowledge of or an interest in the Levant and Middle East would be useful


Degree (or equivalent qualification or experience) essential

Personal Qualities:

  • Able to relate positively and proactively with people from within and outside the organisation and behave as an ambassador for the organisation
  • Strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills
  • Self-motivated, problem-solving with an open and positive attitude to change
  • Flexibility and ability to manage and prioritise tasks and to reprioritise in event of changing circumstances
  • Able to work independently on tasks with limited supervision
  • Logical and positive approach to problem solving


  • USS pensionable
  • Central London location
  • Opportunity to travel / a trip to the Levant region for work purposes
  • Work from home opportunities

CBRL aims to be an equal opportunities employer and we are determined to ensure that no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, age, disability, religion, belief, sexual orientation, marital status, or race, or is disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justifiable.

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