Lecturer in Human Geography

Durham, United Kingdom
£34,304 - £40,927 per annum
Sep 03, 2021
End of advertisement period
Oct 01, 2021
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Law
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department of Geography

Grade 7: - £34,304 - £40,927 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 01-Oct-2021, 6:59:00 AM

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world’s top universities, and comprises a welcoming and vibrant international community. Durham is an exceptional place in which to base your career. Our strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences see us listed as a top 5 UK and top 100 global universities with our students and our academics sitting at the heart of delivering our ground-breaking work. As part of our ambitious strategy, we are growing and we look forward to welcoming your application.

About Durham University

As one of the UK’s leading universities, Durham is an incredible place to define your career while enjoying a high quality work/life balance. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference in people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London, and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The University provides a range of benefits including pension and childcare provision and the University’s Relocation Manager can assist with potential schooling requirements.

If you’d like to find out more about the University or relocating you and your family to Durham, please visit https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/recruitment/

The Department

The Department of Geography at Durham University seeks to appoint a talented individual to the fixed term role of Lecturer. We welcome applications from those with research and teaching interests in any area of Human Geography, with a particular focus on the use of quantitative methods and approaches to address cutting-edge geographical issues and problems.

This post offers an exciting opportunity to contribute to the development of excellent research and teaching within an ambitious and progressive institution. For more information, please visit our Department pages at https://www.durham.ac.uk/departments/academic/geography/.

About the Department 

The Department of Geography at Durham comprises 65 academic staff (approximately equally divided between physical and human geography), a graduate school of around 100 research students, around 40 taught postgraduate students and 750 undergraduates. The Department is well supported with technical staff, including a cartography unit, and administrative staff.

We are ranked 12th in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2021). We are recurrently ranked in the top handful of programmes in the UK by various league tables. We are ranked 2nd in the Times / Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, 6th in the Guardian University Guide 2021 and 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2021. The most recent Research Excellence Framework found we produced the most world leading research publications and were top for overall research power in the discipline nationally, and 3rd for iGPA (average score scaled by proportion of staff submitted). With 43% of work assessed as being in the highest category, it produced the largest number of world-leading (4*) publications in the country.

Research Environment

Research is organized through seven research clusters, all of which develop world leading work in their respective areas and create a world class research environment. Human Geography research is focused in four clusters which run active seminar and workshop programmes, inviting contributors from home and overseas, and supporting developments of research and writing projects. The clusters are spaces where we support the growth and development of new plans and research. Their boundaries are permeable and the clusters often collaborate on jointly developed themes and ideas. We regularly review their focus and shape, and will likely do so again in light of staff recruitment.

Economy and Culture explores how the cultural and economic come to be represented and could become represented across different registers, whether through theories of development, practices of heritage and memorialisation, or techniques of visualisation, the manufacture and lived experience of subjectivities in a range of spaces. It is marked in particular by a shared interest in how the cultural and economic intersect: from the routines and experiences of everyday life, to markets and materialities; opening-up economic practices to cultural explanation, and in places and spaces within and beyond markets and across the Global North and South.

Geographies of Life: The boundaries of life and non-life, and human and non-human life, are at stake across a range of contemporary scientific, social, economic and political transformations. From responses to the Anthropocene and new ways of governing through nature to living with difference in the midst of the eruption of new racisms and gender inequalities to fostering wellbeing, enhancing quality of life and reducing vulnerabilities, and transformations in medical and healthcare techniques and practices. The cluster researches across the breadth of these concerns, examining and theorising how substantive geographies of life, living and liveliness are produced and experienced in ways that create hierarchies and inequalities, harms and potentials.

Politics - State - Space centres on contemporary social phenomena such as neoliberalism, postcolonial economies and development, environmental and climate change, security, citizenship and belonging, practices of territorialisation and the world of data. These empirical moments feed into rethinking every day, affect, gender, borders, citizenship, assemblage, territory, difference and mobility.

Urban Worlds aims to understand the emerging ways in which the urban is produced, governed, contested and transformed, the domains through which urban life is lived and reformulated, and the prospects of different forms of urban justice and democracy whether through the making and maintaining of existing and new technosocial and ecological infrastructures, systems of circulation and instrumentation, the production and contestation of shifting political economic architectures, the everyday life of the neighbourhood and street politics, or the politics of urban encounters and informalities.

Outwith the department, we work closely with numerous interdisciplinary initiatives in the University. Many staff contribute to the pan-University Institute for Hazard, Risk and Resilience, along with other university centres and institutes such as the Institute for Medical Humanities, the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action, Centre for Visual Arts and Culture, the Durham Energy Institute, and the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing. We also host research units such as Nomis, which processes the UK’s national employment statistics, and IBRU: the Centre for Borders Research, a world leading centre for the practice of boundary demarcation and conflict resolution.

Educational Environment

The department has buoyant undergraduate numbers and a high offer tariff (typically A*AA/AAA or equivalents). The department has an intake of around 240 students per year divided equally between BA and BSc (Human and Physical Geography) streams. Our students report satisfaction levels of 95% in the National Student Survey. We largely deliver a MA/MSc in Risk that attracts 25-40 students per year (with half to a third being international), as well as a MA (Research Methods) as part of the Graduate School for research students and MA/MSc by Research.

We encourage innovative teaching methods and forms of assessment within broad parameters laid out for equity and work load monitoring. In Human Geography we deliver fieldwork teaching in the UK at levels 1 & 2 with the option of overseas field classes in level 3. All staff in the department are currently either member of the Higher Education Academy (formerly the ILTHE) or are pursuing accredited qualifications in teaching in higher education. All modules are supported through a new virtual learning environment.

Teaching loads in the department are monitored by a workload model in which all teaching and administrative duties receive a weighted time allocation. We use the workload model to ensure that teaching loads in the department are sustainable and that staff have the time and opportunity to undertake internationally excellent research and deliver high-quality teaching that connects with their current research.

Lecturers (Fixed term) at Durham

The University is committed to enabling all of our colleagues to achieve their full potential. We promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment to ensure that all colleagues can thrive.

The role of a fixed term Lecturer at Durham provides the opportunity to deliver outstanding education and research within an inclusive and supportive environment that is staffed by world class colleagues. Lecturers will be supported to develop their academic careers by training and financial support in research and education, guided by a designated mentor.

The primary focus of this role is on research and teaching but there will also be the opportunity to engage in wider citizenship within the University and beyond.

This role of Lecturer is for a fixed term of 3 years and is timed to coincide with several years of enhanced undergraduate recruitment to our BA and BSc programmes. The University considers it important to allow opportunities for such early stage academic opportunities to be available to a number of people. It is not anticipated that this role would be extended beyond the initial fixed term.

Lecturer in Human Geography

Applicants must demonstrate research excellence in the field of Human Geography with the ability to teach our students to an exceptional standard and to fully engage in the services, citizenship and values of the University.   The University provides a working and teaching environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate these key principles as part of the assessment process.

Key responsibilities:

  • Pursue research that is, or has the potential to be, world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour; commensurate with the Department’s continuing emphasis on international excellence;
  • Undertake teaching and research supervision, and contribute to ongoing curriculum development; supporting the delivery of activities normally undertaken by the member of staff who is on a research secondment role;
  • Contribute to the citizenship and values of the Department;
  • Deliver lectures, seminars and tutorials at undergraduate and taught postgraduate levels, with the opportunity to teach more widely within the Department, as well as engaging in a related activity such as assessment;
  • To fully engage in and enhance the values of the Department and University;
  • To carry out such other duties as specified by the Head of Department.

Person specification

Candidates will normally have recently completed or be concluding their PhD and, while they may have limited direct experience of the requirements for the post, they must outline their experience, skills and achievements to date which demonstrate that they meet or that they have the potential to achieve the essential criteria. 

The essential research criteria for this post are:

  • Qualifications - a good first degree and a PhD in Human Geography or a related subject (which may be completed or under examination), with a particular focus on the use of quantitative methods and approaches.
  • Experience, skills and/or achievements which demonstrate experience of or the potential to produce high quality outputs, some of which is recognised as world-class.
  • Evidence of a personal research plan which supports and enhances the Department’s research strategy.

The essential teaching criteria for this role are:

  • Candidates have the ability to attain the rank of Fellow of Higher Education Academy (https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/individuals/fellowship/fellow), which is the national body that champions teaching excellence.
  • Experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate experience of or the potential to deliver high quality teaching in the field of Human Geography, including quantitative methods and approaches at different levels of the undergraduate and taught postgraduate degree programmes.
  • Experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate experience of or the potential to innovate in the design and delivery of high quality teaching or assessment of learning including lectures, small group learning and/or using technology or other techniques to enhance learning and/or assessment
  • Experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate experience of or the potential to engage in the design of excellent teaching programmes which are research informed and led

The essential services, citizenship and values criteria for this role are:

  • Experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate experience of or the potential to participate in the collegial/administrative activities or an academic Department, Faculty or University. (Candidates may choose to evidence departmental or University roles, mentoring activity, engagement with widening participation, involvement in equality and diversity initiatives and membership or engagement with external bodies).
  • Candidates must have excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to engage with a range of students and colleagues across a variety of forums.

Contact Information

Department contact for academic-related enquiries

For informal enquiries, please contact the Head of Department, Professor Cheryl McEwan (cheryl.mcewan@durham.ac.uk). All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Contact information for technical difficulties when submitting your application

If you encounter technical difficulties when using the online application form, we prefer you send enquiries by email.  Please send your name along with a brief description of the problem you’re experiencing to academic.recruitment@durham.ac.uk

Alternatively, you may call 0191 334 6801 from the UK, or +44 191 334 6801 from outside the UK. This number operates during the hours of 09.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday, UK time.  We will normally respond within one working day (Monday to Friday, excluding UK public holidays).

How to Apply

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University. We are committed to equality: if for any reason you have taken a career break or periods of leave that may have impacted your career paths, such as maternity, adoption or parental leave, you may wish to disclose this in your application. The selection committee will recognise that this may have reduced the quantity of your research accordingly

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds that are applicable to some visas.

What to Submit All applicants are asked to submit:

  • A CV
  • Covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;
  • A personal research plan; outlining your research ambitions over the next three years (no more than 2 pages in length)
  • An EDI & values statement (no more than 1 page in length)
  • Web links or PDFs of two of your most significant pieces of written work which have been published or submitted since 2014


You should provide details of 3 academic referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference (if they are not listed as an academic referee).

Please note:

  • We shall seek the academic references during the application process. We would ask that you alert your academic referees to this application as soon as possible so that we can quickly obtain references should you be progressed to the long list stage. If you do not wish (some or all) of your referees to be approached during the recruitment process; you must clearly indicate this to us at the time of your application.
  • Academic references sought for long-listed candidates may be made available to the panel during the shortlisting process.
  • We will seek a reference from your current line-manager if we make you an offer of employment (albeit you may have also nominated your line manager as an academic referee). Please clearly indicate which referee is your current line-manager and please let us know if we should only approach them once an offer has been made.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails.

Next Steps

All applications will be considered; our usual practice is for colleagues across the Department to read the submitted work of long-listed candidates.

Short-listed candidates will be invited to the University and will have the opportunity to meet key members of the Department.

The assessment for the post will normally include a presentation to staff and students in the Department followed by an interview and we anticipate that the assessments and interviews will take place over two days in or around Mid November.

 In the event that you are unable to attend in person on the date offered, it may not be possible to offer you an interview on an alternative date.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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