Tips for Hiring Managers

Position Description Should…

  • Describe the work to be performed in detail.
  • Be specific to position, identify areas of overlap if necessary with other positions.
  • Provide an understanding of how the work relates to and contributes to the work of the team, unit, or department.
  • Include percentages of time over a year period.
  • Identify knowledge, skills and abilities needed to successfully function in the position.

Position’s Purpose

Two to four sentences – Why does this job exist?

Purpose Examples

  • To cultivate and sustain open channels with a wide range of media covering local, national, and international topics of interest. In particular, this person will work within the Local Burden of Disease (LBD) research area.
  • To support the research activities of the Local burden of Disease project by building a modern, reproducible, data-driven research infrastructure.

Position’s Complexities, Dimensions, and Impact to the University

  • Decision Making  – Authority and Responsibility
  • Scope of duties
  • Impact

Position’s Responsibilities

  • Identify major or critical functions/duties regularly performed.
  • Include percent of time for each area of responsibility
  • Be descriptive and specific about the work. (Clarify Verbs. Some words that need Clarification & Elaboration: Assist, Manage or Supervise, Coordinate, Oversee, Monitor, Maintain, Support, Facilitate.)
  • Avoid vague phrases.
    • Vague: Assist Administrative Assistant in budget management.
    • Better: Monitor 30 intramural supply and expense accounts by posting expenditures and reconciling balances against the General Ledger.

A job description should be detailed enough to provide a clear picture to someone who is unfamiliar with the job.

Brief Expanded
Coordinate study data. Gather, record, organize, transcribe, and verify the accuracy of research study data; prepare data for computer input; analyze computer printouts; set up research database files
Support unit’s fiscal needs.
  • Process purchase requests, maintain purchasing records, and resolve problems; ensure compliance with departmental, institutional and/or granting agancy policies, rules, and regulations. analyze purchasing trends.
  • Process travel expense reimbursements, maintain travel expense records, and resolve problems; ensure compliance with departmental, institutional and/or granting agency policies, rules, and  regulations
  • Prepare reports, verify and control input being processed for expenditures on grants and contracts; verify accuracy and suggest and make corrections. Help Reconcile budget reports and reolve any discrepancies.
Manage daily operations of lab. Duties include maintaining a meticulous laboratory notebook, documenting new laboratory protocols and techniques. Maintains inventories of supplies, reagents, and biological samples, plus orders supplies and chemicals. Attends weekly research seminars and weekly laboratory planning meetings. Assists in development of experiment planning and milestone schedules, assists with manuscript and grant production.


Research Scientist 1 Research Scientist 2 Research Scientist 3 Research Scientist 4 Research Scientist Senior Research Scientist Principal Research Scientist Sr. Principal
Factors Project Planning and Management
Size and Complexity Performs tasks/projects of a limited scope under limited supervision; demonstrates ability to work independently Performs tasks/projects of a larger scope; may lead specific tasks within the project scope. Manages projects of moderate size and scope; makes substantial contributions to determining feasibility of goals/objectives Manages multiple or significant projects with may require use of sophisticated project planning techniques. Manages technically complex projects (high technical impact or risk) which involve multiple organizations and/or disciplines. Manages projects of major strategic value ro UW which enhance the university’s reputation for technical expertise. Manages projects of major trategic value to UW which enhances the university’s reputation for technical expertise.



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