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Appointment of Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation)

The role and person specification

As Vice-Principal (Research & Innovation), you will provide academic leadership of the highest quality for the full range of research and innovation activities at Queen Mary University of London, and will look to further strengthen the University's standing as one of the UK's foremost research intensive universities.

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We are seeking an experienced and visionary leader to take our research and innovation strategy to the next level. This will include spreading excellence across all areas of research, delivering a successful REF 2021, growing research outputs and income, and strengthening the postgraduate community. The new Vice-Principal will also promote a stronger culture of innovation, develop and embed a clear and effective enterprise strategy, promote engagement with industry partners and government, and raise industry funding.  The postholder will position the institution to benefit maximally from major funding opportunities and to shape and influence policy. They will raise the institution’s profile for research and innovation-related activities, thereby contributing to the growth of our global reputation.

Candidates must bring a strong personal research track record, a proven ability to interact with internal and external stakeholders at the highest level, an interdisciplinary mindset, and a collegiate and rigorous approach. They must have the credibility to work across disciplines and to understand policy impact, and will have a clear sense of what excellence in global research looks like and how this should be applied at Queen Mary. Negotiation and persuasion skills will be critical, as will the ability to inspire. The successful candidate must bring energy, drive, pace of delivery and vision to this agenda. This is an opportunity to join an ambitious and driven leadership team and make a significant difference to a critical portfolio at a truly unique institution.

Queen Mary organisational structure diagram [PDF 181KB]

Key responsibilities include:

  • Through QMSE, to contribute to the determination and delivery of institutional strategy and to determine planning and investment priorities.
  • To lead on the development of strategy for research and innovation at Queen Mary and the delivery of initiatives to support excellence in these areas, identifying key priorities and associated measurable targets.
  • To work closely with the Vice-Principals and Executive Deans, and with Deans for Research, Heads of Schools, Directors of Institutes and other senior academic colleagues in each Faculty, to enable appropriate coordination in research and innovation strategy and practice across the University.
  • To promote, where appropriate, cross-disciplinary and cross-Faculty activity across Queen Mary and its partner organisations.
  • To develop appropriate national and international research partnerships, working in close liaison with the Vice-Principal (International) and Vice-Principal (Policy and Strategic Partnerships).
  • To work with Faculties and the Doctoral College to develop the recruitment and support of postgraduate research students, and the provision of an enhanced educational experience for this cohort.
  • To promote the education and development early-career researchers.
  • To promote and maintain high ethical standards in the conduct of research.
  • To provide leadership on the preparation for, and submission to, national assessments of research quality, and other relevant assessment exercises required of the sector.
  • To develop strong working relationships with external bodies and relevant agencies in the public, private and third sectors, including the NHS, UKRI, major charities and large industrial organisations.
  • To be a strong advocate, both internally and externally, of the purpose and value of universities in contributing to social, economic and cultural development.
  • To work with the Chief Operating Officer and their line reports to ensure that support from Professional Services is appropriately configured to support Queen Mary’s commitment to world-leading research and innovation.

Person specification

We are seeking an exceptional candidate for this post and candidates will be required to demonstrate the following experience, achievements and personal characteristics:

  • Distinguished personal record in research and experience of both research and teaching in a higher education institution.
  • Experience of successfully developing and implementing strategy at an institutional level relating to research and innovation.
  • Experience of developing and overseeing the successful implementation of strategic initiatives within a complex multi-site organisation.
  • Excellent and in-depth knowledge of issues relating to UK higher education and the context in which it is conducted.
  • Detailed knowledge of issues relating to research and innovation in UK higher education.
  • A track record of, and a commitment to, shaping the debate and thinking about research and innovation at a national level.
  • Excellent inter-personal skills enabling constructive interactions with all university staff and external contacts.
  • Ability to exercise and demonstrate sound judgement in decision making.
  • Ability to provide effective leadership at a cross-institutional level, including an awareness of the appropriateness or otherwise of delegation.

Download the full role description and person specification [PDF 251KB]

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