Head of Department of Veterinary & Animal Science (Professor/Reader)

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire (GB)
£60,000 - £100,000
Friday, 20 September 2019
End of advertisement period
Wednesday, 16 October 2019
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Veterinary Science
Contract Type
Full Time

Head of Department of Veterinary and Animal Science
Professor or Reader
Aberdeen/ Inverness (flexible)
£60,000 - £100,000 depending on experience/qualifications                                             
Ref: ANF/R/029/19

SRUC is unique in Scotland and one of the largest organisations of its kind in Europe. Our ambitious and exciting vision is to work at local, national and international levels, leading innovation and sustainable development in agriculture and rural sectors.

The vision for Research and Teaching in SRUC is to be a leading and go-to institution, nationally and internationally, for teaching and conducting applied research to enhance the rural economy and environment. In addition to normal expectations of teaching and research quality, we expect our teaching and research to be relevant to a problem area where there is a real end-user need. Our programmes are tailored to emphasise, as the dominant theme, end-user pull whilst maintaining a strong spirit of innovation.

This post is part of the strategic development of Veterinary and Animal Science teaching, research and consultancy in our Northern Faculty.

Our Northern faculty operates across 3 campuses (SRUC Aberdeen, Inverness and Cupar). We are working with partners to secure investment in state-of-the-art facilities for teaching, research and development within our Northern faculty. The interaction of wild and farmed livestock within the landscape will be key to meeting the often-conflicting challenges of environmental stewardship and productivity within Heterogeneous Landscapes. Farmed and wild livestock also play a central role in both the cultural and economic sustainability of communities whilst also having a strong influence of disease transfer and biosecurity.

A Rural Veterinary Hub is being developed at the Inverness Campus to enhance postgraduate veterinary education and research, aligning delivery to meet the emerging needs of businesses in the Highlands and Islands. This Hub will, collaboratively, embrace and enhance our current excellence in veterinary epidemiology, population medicine and veterinary disease surveillance; deliver a collaborative centre of excellence on zoonoses; extend teaching and research in wildlife management, conservation and health (including marine mammals); extend teaching and research in aquaculture and lead on data driven development/digital innovation for rural communities and surveillance targets. Inclusion of digital conferencing suites, necropsy facilities and consultancy areas will promote delivery and integration.

The veterinary theme is reinforced by complimentary developments surrounding the Veterinary Disease Surveillance Centre at SRUC Aberdeen. Clinical research interests align with established expertise in Inverness and Aberdeen. Aberdeen delivers Veterinary Nursing programmes within its RCVS accredited facility. Capabilities at both SRUC Cupar and Aberdeen support the delivery of Small Animal and Equine Management programmes. Relevant to the wildlife interests of this Department, SRUC Elmwood is home to National Certificate (NC) and Modern Apprenticeship training in Gamekeeping / Wildlife Management.

We are keen to develop new approaches to the teaching of animal care and veterinary science over our curriculum we would in particular welcome candidates with a track record in curriculum development and research in a relevant area of animal/ veterinary science. RCVS registration would be an advantage.


As a member of the Faculty’s Senior Management Team and leading by example, the main purpose of the Head of Department role is to contribute to the leadership of the faculty’s, and by extension, SRUC’s commitment to excellence in teaching and research and to encourage all individuals to realise their full potential.

In this role you will have the opportunity to actively contribute to the strategic leadership of the faculty by being a key member of the faculty’s senior leadership team.

You will provide strategic and operational leadership for the department and will be responsible for maintaining and developing the department’s reputation, both internally and externally, in research and teaching in line with SRUC strategy.

This role provides the following responsibilities:

  • To pursue his or her own research and teaching and contributing to the Faculty’s research and teaching programmes
  • To lead the department, developing and delivering a rolling development plan, designed to maintain and develop excellence in research and teaching in line with SRUC strategy.
  • To foster an environment and culture that delivers excellence in all activities and which includes:
  • Support for a life-shaping student experience and the generation of a strong international reputation for undergraduate and postgraduate learning and teaching.
  • The development of a high-quality research programme that supports the needs of local and /or national/international end-users.
  • The creation of an environment that enables education, research and consulting synergies to be optimised within the department and intra and inter faculty.
  • Investment in all staff and their career development via appropriate training and through annual Performance Review and Personal Development Plans (PDP).
  • The setting, monitoring and achievement of targets for the department, its students and staff.
  • Promotion of collaborations in research and teaching leading to outstanding partnerships which deliver social, economic and cultural prosperity.
  • An inclusive and equitable environment for all staff, students and visitors.
  • A collegial approach to delivering success.
  • To exercise high standards of skill and care in managing the department’s finances, its organisational structures, resource allocation and deployment; staff development; safety and risk management, in the pursuit of strategic and operational aims and objectives.
  • To carry out line management duties for direct reports.
  • To identify and then manage underperformance including undertaking appeals/grievance/disciplinary issues as required.
  • To contribute a faculty perspective to the collegial development of SRUC.
  • To deputise for the for the Dean of Faculty and Head of Department colleagues, as and when required.

Experience & Qualifications required

  • Ideally, applicants will be MRCVS registered veterinary surgeons and hold a PhD or have equivalent research experience in a relevant discipline. To be appointed at professorial level candidates should have an international profile in a relevant discipline, with sustained delivery of innovation and eminent research in the field. A track record of successful grant applications and high-quality publications is essential.
  • The applicant will also have demonstrated academic leadership and will be responsible for developing strategic links across the SRUC and beyond that supplement our strengths and increase our standing as a teaching and research institution.

Tenure basis
It is anticipated that this Head of Department role will be appointed for an initial tenure period of 5 years following which the appointee may remain in the position as HOD or transfer duties to an alternative permanent role at the Reader/ Professor level in his/her area of specialism.

Important information

Please download and read the following information before proceeding with your application:

Candidate Brief: Head of Department of Veterinary and Animal Science (Professor/Reader), Aberdeen


To apply for this role, please click APPLY.

Closing Date: 16 October 2019

All applications must include the following:

  • A full CV with your education and professional qualifications and full employment history.
  • A short supporting document explaining why this appointment interests you and how you meet the appointment criteria and key competencies as detailed above.
  • Current remuneration and contractual notice period.

Please note that CVs will not be accepted without a completed application form.

SRUC Leading the way in Agricultural and Rural Research, Education & Consultancy.

SRUC is committed to valuing Diversity, advancing Equality and respecting Human Rights throughout the organisation and encouraging applications from disabled people using the “Disability Confident Employer” symbol. SRUC is a member of the Athena SWAN charter.

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