Lecturer in Search Science

Cranfield, United Kingdom
£44,001 to £49,048 per annum, pro-rata with potential progression to £61,309 per annum, pro-rata
27 Aug 2021
End of advertisement period
30 Sep 2021
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Law
Contract Type
Fixed Term

School/Department Cranfield Defence and Security
Based at Cranfield Campus, Cranfield, Bedfordshire
Hours of work 18.5 hours per week. Flexible working will be considered
Contract type Fixed term contract
Fixed Term Period Fixed term contract for 2 years
Salary Full time starting salary is normally in the range of £44,001 to £49,048 per annum, pro-rata with potential progression to £61,309 per annum, pro-rata
Apply by 30/09/2021

Role Description

Cranfield University Cranfield Defence and Security welcomes applications for the post of Lecturer in Search Science. 

Cranfield University’s world-class expertise, large-scale facilities and unrivalled industry partnerships is creating leaders in technology and management globally.  Learn more about Cranfield and our unique impact here.

Cranfield Forensic Institute (CFI) provides a Centre of Excellence for the application of science and technology to law enforcement particularly through niche areas of forensic science.  We offer a suite of highly successful forensic postgraduate degrees and short courses.  Research and development underpins the educational activity of the CFI.  CFI has relocated to Cranfield Campus, and has benefitted from £7.2M of investment funded by the University and South East Midlands Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP). 

As a result of this investment Investigative Sciences has a dedicated, newly designed, bespoke facility with incredibly well-equipped labs for teaching and research.  This is a great opportunity to help shape the research direction of the new Investigative Sciences and Digital Forensics Group, with a very significant portion of your time dedicated to development of teaching materials for the specialist Postgraduate Certificate in Search Science.

Investigative Sciences in Cranfield Forensic Institute

As a result of this significant investment the additional funding has been used to ensure that the facility is world-leading and will provide operational and academic fusion to the field of specialist policing.

The aim is to create the UK’s foremost Centre for Investigative Sciences and a leading international player, renowned for world-leading research and design (R&D) and postgraduate learning. It will conduct R&D to the highest quality building on an exemplary record in several areas, but specifically of relevance to this role in Search Science.

In addition to the University’s capabilities, several interested parties will be key to the development and operational effectiveness of the Cranfield Forensic Institute, and from a Search Science perspective these include:

  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
  • Alecto Forensics
  • Aerospace Defence and Security Group (ADS)
  • National Crime Agency
  • University College London (UCL)
  • Kings College London (KCL)
  • South West Police Collaboration Programme
  • Tosmos TV

To achieve these strategic aims, and fulfil the conditions of the SEMLEP funding, the Cranfield Forensic Institute will seek to consolidate capability in Investigative Sciences and deliver both award-bearing and CPD courses as soon as possible. Academic approvals have been completed for a new MSc in Investigative Sciences, with several specialised Postgraduate Certificates (PgCert) specifically designed around the CPD needs of mid-career police professionals. The first PgCert to be offered, and directly related to this post, will be Search Science. The investment in subject matter experts at the forefront of their policing field will ensure both currency and breadth in the development of this new educational product.

The new Investigative Sciences and Digital Forensics (ISDF) Group has been established to generate and develop nationally-impactive activity that highlights the importance of this important area of operational support.  The Group will provide academic-based analysis to support specialist front-line policing.  It’s aims are to:

  • Develop an internationally-recognised centre of excellence in forensic investigation and policing (resource hub) – offering long-term support to international policing partners. ​
  • Generate a professional training facility for UK police forces.
  • Establish a ‘Skills Hub’ – an academic shelter for niche forensic capability utilised by UK police forces (as per House of Lords Science and Technology Committee recommendations in 2019).
  • Draw on a three-way partnership with UCL and KCL to establish a ‘top-flight’ teaching/training combine that has the traction to lobby at a governmental level.

About the Role

Primary responsibilities of this role will include:

  • Delivery of the MSc Investigative Sciences, and in particular a specialist PgCert in Crime Search Science.
  • Development of new specialist elective modules and short courses under the umbrella of the MSc Investigative Sciences
  • Continued production of high impact research, particularly in the field of disaster response.

About You

You should have operational experience in a police search or related practitioner role for a UK police force or equivalent (e.g. Licensed Search Officer (LSO), Police Search Advisor (PolSA) and Police Search Coordinator (PolSC).  Primary responsibilities of this role will include:

  • Continued production of high impact research, particularly in the field of police search
  • Delivery of the MSc Investigative Sciences, and in particular a specialist PgCert in Search Science. 
  • Development of new specialist elective modules and short courses under the umbrella of the MSc Investigative Sciences

You will be expected to provide leadership, such as course management, business development, preparing large funding bids, acting as a Principal Investigator on large, funded consultancy and other scholarship projects and managing collaborative networks of researchers linked with industry.

You will be expected to be a teaching and/or research academic in their own right. Experience of operating within the specialist field of disaster response for a UK police service or equivalent is a requirement. You will be supported in building a strong research profile, with a CDS funded PhD studentship available for you to advertise, recruit, and supervise on appointment. 

The University has a Research and Innovation Office to support academic staff in their applications for funding and collaborative opportunities.

In return, you will have exciting opportunities for career development in this key position, and to be at the forefront of world leading research and education, joining a supportive team and environment.

Our Values

Our shared, stated values help to define who we are and underpin everything we do: Ambition; Impact; Respect; and Community. Find out more here. We aim to create and maintain a culture in which everyone can work and study together and realise their full potential.

Diversity and Inclusion

Our equal opportunities and diversity monitoring has shown that women and/OR minority ethnic groups are currently underrepresented within the university and so we actively encourage applications from eligible candidates from these groups.

Flexible Working

We actively consider flexible working options such as part-time, compressed or flexible hours and/or an element of homeworking, and commit to exploring the possibilities for each role.  To find out more, please visit  

For an informal discussion, please contact Professor Andrew Shortland at