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Head of Faculty Research

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 11th Feb 2021
  • Salary: £51,034 - £59,135 per annum
  • REF: 5880
  • Closes: 28th February 2021
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £51,034 – £59,135 per annum

Closing Date: 28 February 2021

The Role

We are seeking to appoint a dynamic and experienced individual to lead our successful research team in the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE).

As the Professional Services (PS) lead for research within the Faculty, the Head of Faculty Research will work in partnership with the Faculty Dean of Research & Innovation (R&I) and colleagues in the delivery of the Faculty’s research ambitions. In addition, you will play a key role at University level as a member of the Research Strategy Implementation Group (RSIG) and University Research and Innovation Committee (URIC) overseeing the realisation of the University Research Strategy.

You will also work closely with colleagues in our other Faculty research and innovation support services acting as a facilitator to ensure a joined up and coherent approach to the provision of excellent services. You will be responsible for the leadership and development of the Faculty’s Research and Impact team who work directly with colleagues in schools.

As a member of the Faculty PS Leadership Team, you will be responsible for creating a collaborative environment, fostering a culture of trust and mutual respect and championing the University’s values and guiding principles. As a senior leader within the Faculty, you will be a visible role model, demonstrating the highest standards of leadership and behaviour and contributing strategically to the development of an outstanding professional service.

You must have experience in a senior research leadership role, whether that is at an academic unit, Faculty or University-wide level, with experience in developing and implementing coherent and comprehensive strategies to maintain and enhance a world-class research position. In particular, you must be experienced in working at a complex level, with both internal and external stakeholders, whilst feeling comfortable in making key decisions. You should also be able to demonstrate successfully managing and leading a dedicated team.

We are committed to building and maintaining a fair and inclusive working environment. The position is available immediately and is offered on a full-time basis and we would be happy to discuss arrangements for flexible and/or blended working.

We particularly welcome applications from groups that are currently underrepresented in administrative Professional Services such as members of the LGBTQ+ and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) colleagues. Individuals who legally identify as male are also underrepresented in administrative PS and we would encourage and welcome applications.

If you would like an informal discussion please contact Jill Golightly, Director of Faculty Operations via email: jill.golightly@ncl.ac.uk

Please note assessment/interviews are scheduled for w/c 15th March 2021.

For more information about the SAgE Faculty and our work, please click here

For more information about the cutting edge Research and Innovation at Newcastle University, please click here

Key Accountabilities

  • Provide strategic and operational support and advice to the Faculty Dean of R&I, and other members of the Faculty Executive Board for all matters relating to research support and research delivery, in particular in developing and implementing a strategic plan for research within the Faculty and ensuring that systems and resources are in place to deliver the plan
  • To work collectively with the University and Faculty leadership in developing and maintaining an institutional view of the University’s research priorities, identifying emerging opportunities and, working to translate those opportunities for the benefit of our research
  • Contribute to the development of a positive and aspirational research cutlure and operationalising this at the Faculty level in liaison with the Dean of Research Culture and Strategy and members of URIC. Encourage and exemplify a positive research culture amongst the Faculty’s colleagues and students
  • Play a key role in establishing and maintaining the University’s reputation and profile nationally (and internationally), benchmarking and contributing to the development of KPIs where appropriate so that the University can be seen as a leader exemplifying best practice
  • Responsible for identifying, and then undertaking critical analysis of a variety of research performance data, in order to deliver cohesive advice, challenge and reports to the University and Faculty leadership team (metrics include funding, success rates, research income, citations, collaborations, REF results, HESA data etc.)
  • To work with the Dean of R&I and Research Strategy Implementation Group (RSIG) in the formation and development of NU Centres of Research Excellence (NUCoREs) and take the lead in ensuring appropriate support is in place
  • Leading the operational delivery in order to maximise performance in any national assessment of research excellence
  • To act as ‘Account Manager’ for the Faculty co-ordinating the various teams that support and facilitate research and innovation including Research Funding Development, Business Development & Enterprise, Pre and Post award finance and research contracting, to ensure a good flow of information and action to deliver the University and Faculty Research Strategy, ensuring maximum value of team effort
  • To lead the strategic development of the Faculty through the initiation and management of projects for the development and improvement of systems, processes and services relating to research and innovation
  • To work with other Heads of Faculty Research, the Research Funding Development Team and other relevant colleagues to identify interdisciplinary research that is, or has the potential to be, world-class and to operationalise plans and strategies to maximise
  • To work with the Research Funding Development Team and colleagues to identify strategic approaches to enhance the generation of research income and to support the Dean of R&I in ensuring the long-term financial stability of the Faculty
  • To lead and develop appropriate unit research teams, to promote and facilitiate a culture of research excellence, ensuring there are no service gaps at school/institute level providing a comprehensive, coordinated and agile service to the research community
  • Work closely with the Deputy Director of Operations (who has responsibility for Education) to ensure there is a seamless link between research support, Doctoral College and early career researchers’ development activities
  • Responsible for the management, development and effective implementation of the University and Faculty’s research processes and policies, research governance and research ethics activities

Other Information: Line managed via the Director of Faculty Operations, the Head of Faculty Research together with equivalent post holders in the other Faculties, will be co-ordinated by the Director of Research Strategy & Development in order to ensure consistency in the implementation of the University Research strategy and associated policies, processes and procedures.

As a member of the Faculty Professional Service Leadership Team, you will be responsible for creating a collaborative environment, fostering a culture of trust and mutual respect and championing the University’s values and guiding principles. As a senior leader within the Faculty, you will be a visible role model, demonstrating the highest standards of leadership and behaviour and contributing strategically to the development of an outstanding professional service.

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Experience of developing and implementing coherent and comprehensive strategies to support the University and the Faculty in maintaining and enhancing a world-class research position
  • Experience in a senior research leadership role, including strategic research planning and evidence of the ability to contribute effectively and creatively to the development, communication and implementation of policy
  • Experience of leading submission to Research Assessment Exercises
  • Effective contribution to organisational change, e.g. in a leadership role within a research-intensive faculty
  • Collaborating, negotiating with and influencing diverse stakeholders, understanding their agendas and winning their agreement for the organisation’s benefit
  • Experience of Horizon Scanning – monitoring external developments and assessing their impact on the University
  • Extensive understanding and knowledge of the national and international research environment
  • Significant experience of leadership within higher education, including the management of colleagues and resources
  • Experience of effectively motivating, leading and developing colleagues and the coordinating of expert effort from other teams
  • Experience of leading a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Ability to recognise and analyse the dynamics of problems and issues and provide innovative solutions
  • Thinks strategically and comfortable working at a complex level including the management of conflicting priorities and demands
  • Understanding of research within the Science and Engineering environment (Desirable)
  • Experience/knowledge of developing partnerships with business (Desirable)

Attributes and Behaviour

  • High drive and initiative, able to demonstrate professional resilience
  • An articulate, confident and politically adept communicator, ready and able to deal with difficult situations and to challenge where necessary
  • Takes the initiative to develop and implement new ideas and approaches
  • An energetic and “can do” approach which will inspire and enthuse others, ready to take the lead in driving forward initiatives
  • Acts in a collaborative, inclusive, transparent and open manner, acting with integrity and able to build high levels of trust
  • Possesses the personal stature to engage with and earn the respect and good will of peers and more senior colleagues


  • Degree or equivalent level qualification plus experience in a similar research-related role or significant vocational experience, demonstrating development through progressively more demanding, relevant roles
  • A postgraduate leadership qualification (Desirable)

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

Requisition ID: 5880

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