Executive Assistant

Closing Date: 28.11.2019 Reference ID: DF04/2019 Salary: min. £30,000

About TSL:

The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) is a world leader in plant and microbial science that is dedicated to making fundamental discoveries in the science of plant-microbe interactions.  For more information please visit:

About the Role:

This role provides a full range of professional administrative and PA services to the Office of the Executive Director and Head of Administration.


        On Behalf of –  the Executive Director

  • Complex diary and inbox management on behalf of the Director
  • Making domestic and international travel arrangements to include liaising with host institutions in the UK and abroad. Oversee and follow-up travel and expense claims.
  • Organising meetings with international collaborators, research staff and research funders and drafting agendas, reports and minutes as required
  • Drafting general correspondence, data production and analysis and draft report writing
  • Drafting of briefing documents and analysis of policy documents
  • Attending and minuting Institutional and other meetings as appropriate
  • Dealing with incoming and outgoing post.  Passing on correspondence where appropriate
  • Assisting the Director’s laboratory manager in the smooth running of his research group, including the organisation of meetings and travel schedules for researchers and the financial oversight of research
  • Acting as a point of contact and information for researchers in the Director’s research group
  • Liaison with other members of the Administration and HR teams as required

       Head of Administration

  • To assist the Head of Administration in a range of administrative functions, including diary management, administration of project funding, co-ordination of meetings and the Annual Science Review, to include drafting agendas, attendance at meetings and production of minutes, and the smooth running of the Company Secretary function. Maintenance of administrative facilitate the storage and retrieval of financial information.

       Executive Office             Responsibility for overseeing the Executive Office to include:

  • Coordination of administrative support functions to members of the Senior Executive team Science Group Leaders
  • Day to day supervision of Administration Support Assistant, including delegation of tasks when necessary to ensure the smooth running of the Executive Office
  • Oversight of the purchasing of equipment and offices supplies, processing purchase orders and invoices

       Essential Requirements:

  • Ensuring the highest standard of record keeping, maintaining accurate, complete, and up to date records
  • Acting at all times in accordance with the highest professional standards and ensuring that these are maintained in the delivery of all aspects of TSL activities
  • Ensuring confidentiality is maintained as necessary.
  • Development and maintenance of positive working relationships with others, both internally and externally
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to successfully juggle multiple priorities
  • Exceptional communication skills, providing clear and consistent communication between executive teams, internal departments and external parties

       About you – what we are looking for:

  • Experience of working in an Executive Assistant role or similar
  • Experience of a science environment would be advantageous, but not essential
  • Advanced IT skills
  • Proactive self-starter with a solutions-focused, positive can-do attitude
  • Previous roles involving working with a small team
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure


Salary will be within the UEA ALC Grade 6, at minimum of £30,000 per annum gross.  The exact level of appointment will reflect knowledge, experience and skills.  This is an indefinite, full time position, reporting to the Head of Administration in the first instance.


Applicants should provide a CV, including the names and contact details of two or more referees, and a cover letter  of no more than one A4 addressing the selection criteria. Please send formal applications, quoting the reference number below, either by e-mail to or by post to Lynda Barnes, HR Advisor, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich Research Park,  Norwich, NR4 7UH, UK

Applicants should provide a CV, including the names and contact details of two referees, and a cover letter of no more than one A4 addressing the selection criteria. Applications may be submitted online using the ‘Apply’ button below. Alternatively, please send formal applications, quoting the reference number DF04/2019, either by email to or by post to Lynda Barnes, HR Advisor, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7UH.