Jobwatch: classroom breaks

September 17, 2004

The start of the academic year has seen a flurry of activity in education research, with experts in early years development and staff accreditation in particular demand, reports Martyn Bull

After a quiet few weeks, an explosion of jobs in education research and policy marks the start of the new academic year. According to one academic:

"This is because no one looks for jobs over the summer."

More than 25 vacancies for education departments have been advertised in the jobs pages of The Times Higher in past weeks. Leading the pack is Birmingham University's School of Education, one of the top education schools in the country, which is particularly noted for its autism expertise. It is seeking two chairs in education and six senior lecturers or lecturer positions.

"This is not exactly expansion, and it's not directly linked to the research assessment exercise. We would have done this more than a year ago if that were the case," says Clive Harber, head of school.

"The chairs are a chance for us to provide named leadership to strengthen existing activities. They will help pull together researchers already working in the areas of inclusion and diversity, language and education, and professional development of educationists. It will be interesting to see what happens as they begin to talk to one another," he says.

Expertise in early years education is in strong demand elsewhere.

Westminster Institute of Education at Oxford Brookes University, one of the UK's largest providers of initial teacher training, is looking for three senior lecturers in child development and education, special educational needs and school improvement.

Wolverhampton University and University College Northampton are also on the lookout for lecturers. All positions require candidates to have wide experience of teaching young children. Continuing professional development for university staff holds many possibilities for a career change.

At Kent University, three positions are open to oversee accredited academic staff development and enhance student learning and support. Surrey University is concerned that academics and students are not getting on - it is funding a research officer to develop models of engagement based on how lecturers understand students' learning needs.

There are also openings outside the university sector, offering opportunities to engage with education policy and assessment.

The General Medical Council requires an education quality team leader to promote high standards across each stage of medical education, while the Institute of Education at Stirling University is searching for a research fellow to assess different approaches to nurse prescriber training in Scotland.

Finally, you could join one of the main teaching unions. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers is seeking a head of education, policy and research.

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