Pro Vice Chancellor Research


University of Essex
GBP Competitive salary


We’re a university where curiosity prevails, and where exploring new ways of thinking and pushing boundaries, isn’t just encouraged, it’s expected. 

At a very exciting time in our development, we are seeking to appoint a Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research).  Our Strategic Plan 2013-19 sets our ambition to be acknowledged nationally and internationally as a leading research-intensive university. Now significantly into our Plan, we have risen to 22nd in the Times Good University Guide and by 2019 we want all of our subjects in the top 20% of their discipline within the UK.  Our aim is to grow the size of the University by 50% by 2019 to 15,000 students and to double the number of staff submitted to the next REF to 630. Having grown from about 9,500 to 14,500 students, we are on target to meet our goals. 

Reporting directly to the Vice-Chancellor and a member of the University's executive team (University Steering Group), the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) is a senior academic leadership post within the University. They will develop the University's research strategy (including the dissemination and application of the University's research through knowledge transfer activities, and consultancy), and will be responsible for ensuring the effective implementation, in collaboration with other members of the University executive, of this strategy.

The post-holder will be appointed to a substantive Chair (Professorship) in one of our academic departments, to which they will revert at the conclusion of their term of office.  Upon return to their home department, they will undertake the full remit of academic duties including education, research, leadership/citizenship.  

The normal term of appointment to the role of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) is three years, with eligibility for re-appointment for further three years. They may exceptionally be re-appointed for a further period of up to three years making a total of nine years.  We recognise that in a research-intensive university research credibility is essential, and 20% of the PVC’s time will be allocated to maintaining and developing their research career.  They are expected to be eligible for submission to the REF as part of the contractual requirements of this post.  This is a full-time appointment.

The successful candidate should hold a PhD in a discipline relevant to the University, or have an equivalent level of experience, together with a distinguished academic record, including an internationally excellent research standing. A proven track record of successful academic leadership at a senior level in a higher education institution, that includes a broad range of disciplines together with excellent planning skills, allied to well-developed analytical and problem solving skills are also essential.

Appointment will be made on the Grade 11 scale and will be commensurate with skills and experience.  This post also carries a leadership allowance for the term of office.

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Recruitment timetable

Timetable of the recruitment process
Closing date Friday 1st December 2017
Longlist meeting Wednesday 13th December 2017
Preliminary interviews Wednesday 10th January 2018
Shortlist meeting Monday 15th January 2018
Final panel interviews Thursday 1st February 2018

As part of the application process you will be asked to provide:

  • A covering letter setting out how you meet the requirements of the role as set out in the person specification
  • A full curriculum vitae (CV) including any publications. You should provide information on the range and content of your teaching and supervision experience, as well as on curriculum development. You should specify your 4 most significant papers published within the past 5 years (or an equivalent number appropriate to being an early career researcher). Applicants should indicate the publications they will submit to REF 2021 published during the period from 1 Jan 2014, with an assessment of the quality of each publication. For more information about the REF visit
  • An education statement of no more than two sides of A4 setting out your track record in terms of contribution to pedagogical developments and, where appropriate, the development of professional practice. You should also include a reflective statement on your approach to research-led education and how it draws on pedagogical research. Also indicate how you ensure your continuing professional development as an excellent teacher in higher education
  • A research statement of no more than two sides of A4 providing details of your research plans for the next three years. This should include details of books, chapters or papers in progress together with planned publication dates. For journal articles please provide details of target journals and planned submission dates. If you have papers that are currently under review please detail the stage these have reached and the timescale you expect those papers to be accepted for publication. If you have papers that have been accepted for publication but not yet published please provide the date the paper was accepted for publication. 

Contact details

Penny Cunningham
0113 205 6297
Laura Charrington
07471 037 070

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