Head of Department of Rural Land Use (Professor/Reader)

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire (GB)
£60,000 - £100,000 per annum
20 Sep 2019
End of advertisement period
16 Oct 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Head of Department of Rural Land Use
Professor or Reader 
£60,000 - £100,000 depending on experience /qualifications                                          

Ref: ANF/R/030/19

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.

We are partnering with Opportunity North East (ONE) to develop an innovative food hub on our Aberdeen campus to drive collaboration within the sector. Our aim is to support the ability of our producers to target higher value production chains as opposed to commodity-based routes to market in order to promote sustainable agricultural systems.

Animal agriculture and it’s interdependencies with natural resource and environmental management are key industries for the North of Scotland. It is essential to make this and further recruitments to provide strong support for farmers, businesses and both consultants and teachers within SRUC.

The role of animal agriculture in terms of both animal and human health and welfare and the need to ensure that producers in the North of Scotland can target higher value production chains as opposed to commodity-based routes to market is key to supporting to the sustainability of agricultural production in the North of Scotland.

We are keen to develop on our existing expertise in sustainable, systems based approaches to land management in arable, mixed and grassland systems, alternative plant protein sources and extensive, high-health animal production systems, connecting with our research into food, meat quality, public and animal health.

Beyond this, the Department serves diverse educational and research programmes in Countryside Management, Wildlife Conservation, Golf and Greenkeeping, Agriculture, Horticulture.

We would in particular welcome candidates with a track record a relevant area research and an enthusiasm for the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and knowledge exchange to lead and develop a key Department within the organisation.

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.

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 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

Important information

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

Candidate Brief: Head of Department of Rural Land Use (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.

SRUC. A Charitable company limited by guarantee, SC003712. Registered in Scotland No SC103046