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Selection and Appointment of Research Division Leaders

As a research intensive University, our research plays a key role in everything we do. The 2020 Research Plan implemented new structures to better enable and support our research in the face of a challenging external environment.

Within the University structures, Research Divisions are the core unit for planning, undertaking, monitoring and measuring research activity. Divisions contribute to the Research Themes overarching strategy and priorities. Divisions' specific research targets are monitored within the Theme. Research Themes provide specific support via University-wide or theme specific schemes, development activities and research support staff. Research Divisions also contribute to their respective School/s activities, adding to the School/s' income, reputation and environment. Division activities are primarily supported by School resources.

Research Divisions Leaders are responsible for providing research leadership and management for the Division. As such, this role is key to the division's success. Working closely with and being supported by Heads of School and Research Deans, the role provides an opportunity to further develop leadership skills.

Appointment process:

In line with the University's HR strategy, the appointment process for Research Division Leaders should be transparent and accessible, consistent with processes for appointing of other leadership roles (i.e. SDTL, SDPGRS).

The process should be based on the following principles:

The Head of School linked to the Research Division (or Heads of School, for divisions with core members from several schools) is responsible for the appointment of Research Division Leaders.

Prior to inviting applications, the Head of School should:

  • Discuss with the relevant Research Dean the particulars of the role
  • Agree with the relevant Research Dean any addition to the generic Research Division Lead role description (i.e. those that may be required for the role to work alongside School's structures; those that may be required to address specific priorities within the Division)

The Head of School should invite expressions of interest from Research Division members

Applicants (or short-listed applicants where short-listing is required) should be interviewed by a panel which should include the relevant Research Dean.

Conditions of Appointment

Research Division Leaders will be responsible for providing management and leadership for research in the Division as specified in the generic RDLs Role Description, together with any addition agreed by the Head of School and Research Dean.

The selected individual will normally be appointed for a three-year term in the first instance.

Should the selected candidate be absent for an extended period during the duration of the appointment (i.e. planned study leave, or other circumstances), the Head of School will identify and induct a member of staff to cover Research Division Leader duties during the period of absence.

In recognition of the extent and significance of the role it is the expectation that roles will be appointed at a minimum of 0.2 FTE.

This is a leadership role to be undertaken in conjunction with regular academic activities. A set honorarium is not attached to the role. It is recommended that Heads of School give consideration to additional support for the Division Lead.

Support and Development

Research Division Leaders are supported by the relevant Research Dean and Head of School. Research Theme Communities of Practice facilitate peer-support. Additional training and development activities are undertaken at Theme level.

Appointed Research Division Leaders are invited to discuss specific needs with relevant Heads of School and Research Deans as appropriate.

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