Teaching Fellow in Chinese and English Interpreting/Translation and Chinese Language Teaching

Durham, United Kingdom
£34,304 - £40,927 per annum
22 Sep 2021
End of advertisement period
29 Sep 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Grade 7: - £34,304 - £40,927 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 12 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 29-Sep-2021, 6:59:00 AM

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 to people's lives. As part of our ambitious strategy we are growing and we look forward to welcoming your application.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. 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. If you’d like to find out more about the University, please visit https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/recruitment/

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University seeks to appoint a qualified individual to the role of Teaching Fellow. We welcome applications from those with extensive teaching experience who can take a key role in delivering Chinese and English interpreting teaching to students on the MA in Translation Studies programme and at the same time contribute to our undergraduate Chinese Studies programme. The successful applicant will have expertise in teaching Chinese and English interpreting and translation, in teaching the use of CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools, specifically SDL Trados and memoQ, and in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language at all levels,

The School is one of the largest and most successful Schools of Modern Languages in the UK bringing together research in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hispanic, Italian, Japanese and Russian Studies. It is consistently ranked in the top five in national league tables, such as the Complete University Guide. The School’s reach spans Europe, the Arab world, Russophone Eurasia, Hispanic America, and East Asia, and their mutual socio-cultural, intellectual and linguistic relations. The School federates expertise to generate innovative research practices and activities that cross historical, geographical and methodological boundaries. Its research focuses on the transnational study of literatures, cultures and histories. The School has particular strengths in medieval and early modern Studies, visual arts and culture and the relationship between the sciences and the humanities, with further strong research interests in 19th to 21st century literature and culture, textual scholarship, gender and sexuality studies, critical and cultural theory, travel literature, creative writing, and translation. Indeed, translation – understood in its broad sense of transmission, interpretation and sharing of languages, ideas and histories – underpins the School’s collective practices. The School’s forward-thinking research agenda was recently highlighted in its major conference Our Uncommon Ground, held in Durham in 2018. This conference brought together speakers from across the world to articulate and embrace the values of a discipline equipped to study cultures and their interactions in historical perspective.

In the School, staff and postgraduates are brought together in interdisciplinary discussions and collaboration through a set of research groups: which currently include Bodies, Texts, Nations; Digital Studies; Ecology and the Arts; Performance and Performativity; Living Texts; Linguistics and Translation; and Transnational Cinema. The School plays a leading role in the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Centre for Cultural Ecologies, the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture, and the Institute of Medical Humanities, and has an important role in the University’s prestigious Institute of Advanced Study, which promotes world-class research across the Faculties. The School is also a key contributor to one of four major research programmes to which the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has awarded funding in 2016 as part of its Open World Research Initiative (OWRI). It is part of a consortium headed by the University of Manchester, which has been awarded c. £4 million to develop a large interdisciplinary research programme titled “Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community”. As part of its commitment to local regeneration through internationalisation, the School is engaged in collaborative activities with Auckland Castle Trust around the Spanish Art in County Durham initiative (https://www.aucklandcastle.org/spanish-gallery/) and the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art (https://www.dur.ac.uk/zurbaran/).

Chinese Studies

Durham has a long history of teaching East Asian languages, and routinely features in the top five for Chinese in league tables. It is a growth area within the School, with existing strengths in translation studies, intercultural communication, and modern literature, art history, and visual culture. There are extensive library holdings in these areas, as a well as an outstanding specialist holdings in Chinese art in Durham’s Oriental Museum (https://www.dur.ac.uk/oriental.museum), recognised by the Arts Council Designation Scheme as a collection of national and international pre-eminence.

Translation Studies and Interpreting

Translation Studies is an exciting and growing area of the School. We run a successful MA in Translation Studies (https://www.dur.ac.uk/mlac/postgraduate/transstuds/ ), which recruits strongly from China’s best universities as well as from across Europe and the Middle East. The programme includes tuition in research skills and professional skills (CAT and machine translation, ethics and intercultural project management), a professional placement module, as well as a range of options and specialised translation in seven languages. All students complete a research-based dissertation or a translation project as the culmination of their studies. The programme is underpinned by a commitment to translation as a foundational skill in modern languages research more generally, and by staff with expertise in translation studies research as well as distinguished reputations as professional translators.

Student Profile and Teaching

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures delivers modular degree programme over the university year, which is organised on the basis of three terms. The School seeks to foster a culture of outstanding teaching and personal development in both the graduate and undergraduate communities, and striving to reinforce and enhance the characteristically strong Durham bond between staff and students.

There is a thriving community of excellent students in Chinese Studies, most of whom are registered on the BA Chinese Studies. This programme is delivered jointly with the Department of History. Chinese Studies students at Durham are required to take the relevant core language module in any given year, and may choose from a range of optional modules in literature, art, cinema, history, politics, and other disciplines. Further information is available from https://www.dur.ac.uk/mlac/chinesestudies/modules/.

All students are required to spend their third year in China and are required to complete a Target Language Research Project as assessment for their Year Abroad. They progress afterwards to a final-year Dissertation, which offers an opportunity for students to engage at an advanced intellectual level with topics relating to history or to literary, visual, and cultural production. Our current exchange partners are Peking University, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, East China Normal University and Taiwan Normal University.

The University is committed to developing 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. Teaching quality and innovation is critical to ensure a first class learning environment and curricula for all of our students. You will be supported to develop your teaching expertise and to engage in teaching innovation to embed our student experience. All of our academic colleagues are encouraged to engage in wider citizenship to enhance their own development, to support their department and wider discipline, and to contribute to the wider student experience.

You will be expected to engage in scholarship related to pedagogy, noting that any other independent research (beyond pedagogy) is not part of this post. The appointment will be a one-year fixed-term post to cover a maternity leave.

Teaching Fellow in Chinese and English Interpreting / Translation and Chinese language teaching

Applicants must demonstrate teaching excellence in the field of Chinese language, interpreting, and translation, 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.

The post will involve a significant teaching load, which will extend over the summer period.

The Role 

Teaching Fellowships offer the opportunity of valuable experience to those early in their academic careers and the University is keen to maximise the benefit to as many people as possible. The post of Teaching Fellow will involve a significant teaching load, which may extend into the summer period, and there may be related scholarship and the opportunity for administrative duties which relate to education and pedagogy.

The post is for a fixed term only, and it is not anticipated that the post will be extended beyond this fixed term.

Successful applicants will, ideally be in post by 01 October 2021.

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

  • Offer language classes, seminars, tutorials, lab-based instruction and other forms of tuition as appropriate, at undergraduate and taught postgraduate levels, with the opportunity to teach more widely within the Department, as well as engaging in related activity such as assessment;
  • Start to engage in scholarship and pedagogic activity (the creation, development and maintenance of the intellectual infrastructure of subjects and disciplines) e.g. develop online teaching resources, to support a high quality academic professional community of practice within the Department and beyond;
  • Maintain an active membership and engagement with a professional body (e.g. HEA or discipline-specific bodies)
  • Contribute to ongoing curriculum development, demonstrating innovation in educational practice to enhance the quality of the educational environment in the Department and wider University in support of the Department’s continuing emphasis on international excellence;
  • Contribute specifically to the development of an enhanced set of Chinese and English interpreting modules that will form the core of a new MA degree in Interpreting and Translation Studies;
  • Demonstrate the ability to manage own teaching and designing, planning and writing teaching materials;
  • Lead some aspects of modules and contribute to modules led by others by collaborating with colleagues on course development;
  • Seek and take on board feedback on teaching and engage with others in CPD;
  • Supervise undergraduate student(s), and where appropriate act as part of a PhD supervisory team;
  • Contribute to educational skill of colleagues, e.g. giving a seminar to colleagues or engaging in constructive discussion about a seminar;
  • Build internal contacts and participate in networks to exchange information;
  • Student support, assessment of academic performance and provision of feedback, dealing with student disciplinary matters and complaints;
  • Demonstrate a willingness to contribute to the administrative work, citizenship and values of the Department;
  • To fully engage in and enhance the values of the Department with regard to its commitment to its vibrant and international postgraduate culture;
  • Engage in continuing professional development by attending relevant training and development courses;
  • Carry out such other duties as specified by the Head of Department.

How to Apply

For informal enquiries please contact Professor David Cowling (d.j.cowling@durham.ac.uk) or Mr Don Starr (d.f.starr@durham.ac.uk).  All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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 on your career path, 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 outputs accordingly.

What to Submit

All applicants are asked to submit:

  • a CV and covering letter which details your experience, skills and achievements in meeting (or the potential to meet) the criteria set out above.
  • a statement as to your aspirations as a Teaching Fellow in terms of what motivates you, what you would like to achieve and what your broad approaches to teaching excellence and innovation are (maximum 2 pages).


You should provide details of three 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 references during the application process.  Unless in the case of very early career candidates, referees should not (if possible) include your PhD supervisor(s) and include references from a University other than your own.
  • We would ask that you alert your referees to this application as soon as possible so that we can quickly obtain references.  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.
  • References sought for 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 on the application form which referee is your current line-manager and indicate 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.

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

Next Steps

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview and assessment shortly.

Person Specification


Candidates will deliver high quality teaching that contributes to providing a high quality learning environment and curricula which enable our students to achieve their potential. 

Essential Teaching Criteria – Grade 7

  1. Qualifications - candidates will have a PhD in Chinese Studies, Translation and / or Interpreting Studies, or a related subject.
  2. Higher Education Academy (HEA) - candidates must be or have the ability to attain the rank of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/individuals/fellowship/fellow), which is the national body that champions teaching excellence.
  3. Native-level fluency in Chinese, including speaking standard Putonghua, and native or near-native fluency in English.
  4. Teaching Quality - experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate the ability to deliver high quality teaching including language classes, small group teaching, lab-based interpreting instruction, and the supervision of undergraduate and MA projects and dissertations. In order to meet the requirements of the post it is expected that the successful candidate will have at least 5 years of autonomous teaching experience of Chinese and English interpreting at HE level. Candidates may choose to highlight any peer review of their teaching, module evaluation scores or improvements made to the student experience. 
  5. Teaching Innovation - experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate the ability to innovate in the design and delivery of high quality teaching and/or assessment of learning including using technology or other techniques to enhance learning and/or assessment.
  6. Teaching Strategic Development - experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate the ability to engage in and contribute to the design, development and delivery of excellent teaching programmes and materials that develop a range of skills in students

Scholarship and Educational Impact

Candidates will have the ability to engage in scholarly activity which contributes to pedagogical practice and understanding within the department.

Essential Scholarship Criteria – Grade 7

Scholarship and Educational Impact – candidates will be expected to demonstrate the ability to engage in scholarly activity at department level that supports a high quality academic professional community in practice, and in ways that positively impact on pedagogical practice and education within the department (and potentially beyond) or activities that support the development of a professional practice and/or discipline.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.