Project Assistant

The Institute

The mission of the Economic and Social Research Institute is to produce high quality research, relevant to Ireland's economic and social development, with the aim of informing policy-making and societal understanding. It achieves this primarily through its research output which is supported by a funding model which draws upon different funding sources. These include a direct government grant from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, national research funding (e.g. Science Foundation Ireland/Irish Research Council/Health Research Board), grants for research programmes, commissioned research and EC funding. The Institute has over 120 staff including economists, sociologists and other social scientists, in addition to support and technical staff.


The Institute seeks to appoint a Project Assistant on a two-year, fixed-term contract in the Project Office, the principle functions of which are:

  • Offer support and advice to researchers in relation to administration activities, e.g. projects, programmes, business development and conferences;
  • Management of the information systems in relation to time recording, cost allocation and resource planning;
  • Assist in the preparation of financial reports on projects and programmes, i.e. cost statements, work-in-progress, outturn reports, liaising with external clients and auditors;

Role responsibilities:

  • Reporting to the Research Funding and Project Office Manager, the role of the Project Assistant is to support the above and in particular to be responsible for the following tasks:

Tenders/Business Development

  • Assist researchers in preparing and submitting tenders, e.g. charge-out rates, standard documentation, approval procedures, meeting client requirements, etc.;

Project Administration

  • Maintain administration files on projects and programmes;
  • Manage the project office email address; ? Prepare and submit cost statements to clients;
  • Raise invoices and ensure income is received. Follow up on outstanding income;
  • Provide project audit information as required by client auditors;
  • Organise payment for subcontractors and Network Partners, if applicable.
  • Collate and analyse all travel and conference costs

Management Information

  • Manage timesheets system, i.e. ensure all research staff complete timesheets in a timely fashion (monthly at minimum) and on a consistent basis;
  • Liaise with researchers and provide assistance with timesheet set-up and training;
  • Update quarterly Research Funding Report, e.g. new projects, budget changes, etc.;
  • Assist with the research budgetary process.


  • Assist and co-ordinate with the administration of conferences and workshops, e.g. arranging venue, publicity, bookings, collating conference material and managing all aspects of the event on the day, following agreed checklists; 
  • Organise travel if required for external speakers and network participants.


  • Assist the Accounts Office and Head of Accounts on an ad hoc basis;
  • Assist with other administration activities, including reception cover, as required.

The Candidate:

Key Criteria, Qualifications, Experience and Skillset:

  • A third level qualification in a business or related discipline;
  •  Relevant work experience, ideally in an academic project administration environment;
  • Experience of financial administration;
  • Experience of collaborating and working effectively in a team environment;
  • Strong communication, presentation and interpersonal skills;
  • Experience of dealing with third parties (e.g. suppliers, partners, etc.), in person and over the phone;
  • Ability to plan, organise and prioritise tasks, with a keen eye for detail;
  • A high level of competence in Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access);

Essential Attributes:

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Excellent computer skills and highly proficient in Microsoft Office;
  • Excellent organisation skills including time management;
  • Keen attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team;
  • A strong commitment to delivery of quality results to tight deadlines;
  • Flexible and adaptable;
  • Self-motivation, self-awareness, initiative, drive and integrity.

Desirable Attributes:

  • Knowledge of updating a website; 
  • Knowledge of Survey Monkey;
  • An interest in pursuing a career in finance/ research administration;
  • Research Office experience.

Terms and Application Procedure:

The successful candidate will receive necessary in-house training and dedicated supervision. The ESRI also has in place an Education Support Policy.

The working week will be 37 hours and flexi-time will apply. The role will be filled on a two year fixed- term contract basis at Clerical Officer level, of which the salary scale for new entrants to the Irish public service is in the range €23,572- 37,204. The salary scale entry point for this role is €23,572.

To Apply:

To apply for this position please click on the 'Apply Online' button. The closing date for applications is 5pm Friday, 5th July 2019. 

All applications will be acknowledged. Late or incomplete applications will not be processed.

The ESRI is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to accommodating the needs of people with disabilities to enable them to participate in the selection process. Please let us know if you have any particular requirements should you be invited for assessment/ interview or that you wish us to take into account when considering your application.

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