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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Anyone looking for a job?

Obviously with the current crisis (and that is what it is, my most honourable friends) in astronomy and particle physics funding many of us could well be considering where we might find new jobs.

Well the search is over, behold:


Job: Finance Director, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FACILITIES COUNCIL
Employer: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FACILITIES COUNCIL
Posted: 26 Mar 2008
Reference: 62/08
Location: Swindon, South West
Industry: Finance - General, Science - Research, Senior executive - General
Contract: Permanent
Hours: Full Time
Salary: c. £90k commensurate with experience

Sound good? The money is attractive but it would mean living in Swindon; is it nice there?
If your appetite is whetted listen to some more of the blurb:

This is your opportunity to take a seat on our Executive Board and help shape important funding decisions for some of the highest quality research carried out by the UK’s scientific community throughout the world.

Crikey! That sounds good, fancy helping to shape important funding decisions? Only for some of the highest quality research, though. the rest has been canned.

This prominent role, which involves travel as far afield as Chile, Switzerland and Hawaii, focuses on the technical aspects of a financial directorship that asks you to contribute significantly to the leadership, strategic development and management of the STFC.
Cool, chances to travel the world. Of course that may be cut down a bit depending on what actually gets through the (fatally flawed) programmatic review. No just sitting in an office playing with numbers here, no siree.

But what are the main challenges?

Your main challenge lies in working with existing funding levels to maximise research while managing expectations in an intelligent, sensitive and realistic manner.

Hmm, intelligent, sensitive and realistic, that would be a pleasant change. It's not clear to me that such a candidate would fit in with the current ethos, I imagine one or two feel out of place there already.

Maximising research within existing funding levels, well that goes well without saying, of course existing funding levels could well be less next time around, the CEO told the town meeting that he expected flat cash at the next CSR. Self fulfilling prophecy anyone?

What else?

Key skills will involve transmutation of aqua into a racemus based fermentation and perambulation over an aqueous body.

Okay I made those last bits up. Let's look at the rest:

A qualified accountant with extensive senior level experience, you excel in diplomatic and shrewd negotiation, and in evaluating complex financial issues.
Again that would make a pleasant change.

Perhaps whoever gets the job could then advise DIUS on how to evaluate complex financial issues so that we stop hearing about the '13.6%' generosity. I know quite a few particle physicists who have demonstrated exceptional ability in this area.

Not sure about the diplomacy though, hard to be diplomatic when you hold the person you are negotiating with in such low esteem. Then again, that would seem to fit, mutual contempt seems to be the order of the day.

So any takers?

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