DURHAM UNIVERSITY

Assistant Professor, Teaching in Computer Science

Location
Durham, United Kingdom
Salary
£34,304 - £50,296 per annum
Posted
21 Oct 2021
End of advertisement period
20 Nov 2021
Ref
21001299
Contract Type
Permanent
Hours
Full Time

Department of Computer Science

Grade 7/8: - £34,304 - £50,296 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 20-Nov-2021, 7:59:00 AM

Job title: Assistant Professor (Teaching) with an emphasis on the support of novel, compute- and data-intense sciences
Vacancy reference: 21001299
Department: Department of Computer Science
Responsible to: Head of Department
Grade: Grade 7 – Grade 8
Salary Range: £34,304 - £50,296 per annum

Working arrangements: The role is full time but we will consider requests for flexible working arrangements including potential job shares

Durham University

A globally outstanding center of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.

We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things in the world.

As part of Durham University, you’ll be working with exceptional minds, all with the desire to ask, and answer the big questions. Access to leading-edge facilities and an active contributor to the global research and university community means you’ll be part of an international and diverse network of partners spanning the world’s best research institutions, organisations, and businesses. And all this within the evocative and historic surroundings of the city, county, and community that is Durham.

We find it easy to be proud of the extraordinary people we have at Durham. We offer the inspiration, they achieve the outstanding. We invite you to join them.

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.

Durham University’s Athena Swan institutional award recognises and celebrates good practice in recruiting and supporting the development of women. We have also signed up for the Race Equality Charter, a national framework for improving the representation, progression, and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education.

The Department

The Department of Computer Science is rapidly expanding – it tripled in size over the last 4 years and now has around 50 academic faculty. A new building, joint with Mathematical Sciences, to house the expanded Department has recently been inaugurated, and it hosts all our academics, our students, and experimental kit. The current Department has research strengths in algorithms and complexity, in artificial intelligence and human systems, networks, scientific computing, and computer vision, visualisation, and imaging.

Research-led teaching is a key strength of the Department, which came 9th in the current Complete University Guide. The department offers BSc and MEng undergraduate degrees and master's degrees in data science, business analytics, and scientific computing and data analysis.  The size of its student cohort has more than trebled in the past five years. The Department has an exceptionally strong External Advisory Board that provides strategic support for developing research and education, consisting of high-profile industrialists and academics. The Department’s students have been particularly successful recently in competitions such as the inaugural UK Student Cluster Competition.

As part of its recent creation of a research group around scientific computing, the department has intensified its collaboration with Durham’s Advanced Research Computing (ARC) directorate and Durham’s three national and regional supercomputing installations (Bede, Cosma, and Hamilton), it has started to install its own set of “experimental” hardware, and it has established several industry collaborations (NVIDIA, Intel and The RSC Group).

This post offers an exciting opportunity to make a contribution to the development of the department’s teaching and curriculum, and in particular, to anchor novel compute systems within its teaching and research landscape. This includes the active engagement with the industry to maintain and intensify our industry links. The post also will help to roll out training and teaching around compute-intense research into other Durham departments and University-wide initiatives, and you will help us to provide a world-leading computational infrastructure beyond standard computing as provided by centralised University services to our students and staff. You hence will be required to undertake significant computing support – for both teaching and research – with an emphasis on novel, experimental hardware installations (research and teaching clusters). Your teaching duties will be adjusted accordingly to allow time for this activity.

The successful candidate will ideally be in post by 1 April 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

For more information, please visit our Department pages at https://www.dur.ac.uk/computer.science/

Assistant Professors (Teaching) 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. Assistant Professors (Teaching) contribute to teaching, innovation, and citizenship whilst fully focussing on the key skills which will secure their progression. 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 is not a required part of this post. The appointment will be on the University’s ‘Teaching Track’ career path, which provides clearly defined opportunities for progression against defined criteria.

We are confident that our recruitment process allows us to attract and select the best international talent to Durham. We, therefore, offer a reduced probation period of 1 year for our Assistant Professors (Teaching), and thereafter, subject to satisfactory performance, you will be confirmed in post.

Assistant Professor (Teaching) with an emphasis on the support of novel, compute-and data-intense sciences

Applicants must demonstrate teaching excellence in the field of Computer Science and wider areas of computational sciences and compute-intense data analyses, 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 that 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 candidate shall actively engage with novel hardware and software trends and transfer insight from industry into our curriculum and research landscape, such that Durham students are trained with the latest technology and can seamlessly join the best high-tech companies in the world, while our research can rely on a skill set and training environment that allows us to use next-generation technology today. This requires – beyond the instruction capabilities and experience – a strong background in how to maintain, design, and run experimental, novel computing platforms.

While Grade 7 candidates 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 post will involve a significant teaching load, which may extend into the summer period.

Key responsibilities:

  • Offer 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; the candidate will have to be particularly engaged in lectures around scientific computing (introductory numerics, e.g.), parallel programming and compute-heavy data analytics with the long-term objective to champion modules and courses orbiting around these topics.
  • Engage in the maintenance, and running of both hardware and software for teaching (and some research); the candidate will be particularly engaged in installing novel hardware, integrating novel, experimental hardware technology into our curriculum (through student projects, e.g.), and developing training and tutorials for students and staff in using novel equipment.
  • Engagement in our relationships with industry to ensure that industry activities (guest lectures, workshops, tutorials) are embedded into our training, that students and staff can rely on healthy, in-depth relationships with industry, and that our teaching has an industry impact; particular emphasis is put on the industry around supercomputing (hardware vendors) and compute-intensive data analytics.
  • Engagement in pedagogic activity at Departmental level that supports the 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.
  • Roll out core computer science training into the wider University, ensure healthy working relationships with departments relying on compute-intense research as well as Durham’s Research Software Engineering activities, and to increase the Department’s national international visibility by championing activities such as the Student Cluster Competition team or workshops around compute-intense sciences for doctoral training centers.
  • 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.
  • Carry out such other duties as specified by the Head of Department. 

How to Apply 

We prefer to receive applications online.

As a University we foster a collegiate community of extraordinary people aligned to the University’s values. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do. At Durham, we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community that is supportive and inclusive, and in doing so, recruit the world’s best candidates from all backgrounds and identities. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI. We, therefore, ask that as part of your application you provide a statement (of no more than 1 side of A4) that outlines work in which you have been involved in which demonstrates your commitment to EDI and our values.

Information if you have a disability

The University welcomes applications from disabled people. We are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

If you are unable to complete your application via our recruitment system, please get in touch with us on e.recruitment@durham.ac.uk.

What to Submit

All applicants are asked to submit:

  1. A CV
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths, and potential in the requirements set out above;
  3. A personal scholarship plan.
  4. An EDI & values statement
  5. Two of your most significant pieces of work/evidence of your pedagogic activity demonstrating scholarship and educational impact in the previous 3 years.
  6. Two of your most significant pieces of research work demonstrating research affinity in the previous 3 years.

Where possible we request that you provide web links to these which the hiring Department will access to read your work. The application form contains fields in which to enter each of the web links.

Your work should be uploaded as PDFs as part of your application in our recruitment system. Please ensure that your PDFs are not larger than 2mb. Please note that your work may be read by colleagues from across the Department and evaluated against the current REF criteria;

Please save all application documents with your name and document type as PDF files.

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.

Referees

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 academic references during the application process.  Academic referees should not (if possible) include your PhD supervisor(s) and a majority should be from a University other than your own (save for early career applicants applying for their first post).  We would ask that you alert your academic referees to this application as soon as possible, and provide them with a copy of the CV you submit with your application so that we can quickly obtain references should you be progressed to the interview stage. As part of your application you will be asked whether you give your consent to your academic references being sought should you be invited to attend an interview.
  • Academic references sought for short-listed candidates may be made available to the panel during the interview 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.

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 March 2022.

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.

Person specification

Teaching

Candidates will develop and 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 good first degree in the discipline as well as a PhD in Computer Science or compute-intense computational sciences (which may be completed or close to completion) or equivalent demonstrable practitioner experience and skills which may include appropriate certification and/or membership of a relevant professional body.
  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. Teaching Quality - experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate (experience of or) the potential to deliver high quality teaching including lectures, small group teaching, guiding student projects, and demonstrations.  Candidates may choose to highlight any peer review of their teaching, module evaluation scores or improvements made to the student experience. 
  4. Teaching Innovation - experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate (experience of or) the potential 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 or the integration of novel technology trends into the curriculum.
  5. Teaching Strategic Development - experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate (experience of or) the potential 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.
  6. Novel Hardware – candidates must demonstrate the ability to maintain and implement computing support for the department, to install new hardware or software environment such that they stimulate research and teaching, and to maintain and foster industry contacts – in particular relating to the computer hardware industry.

Essential Teaching Criteria – Grade 8

  1. Qualifications - candidates will have a good first degree in the discipline as well as a PhD in Computer Science or compute-intense computational sciences or equivalent demonstrable practitioner experience and skills which may include appropriate certification and/or membership of a relevant professional body.
  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. Teaching Quality - experience in the development and delivery of high quality teaching including lectures, small group teaching, guiding student projects, and demonstrations. Candidates may choose to highlight any peer review of their teaching, module evaluation scores or improvements made to the student experience. 
  4. Teaching Innovation – evidence of experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate (experience of or) the potential 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 or the integration of novel technology trends into the curriculum.
  5. Teaching Strategic Development – engagement in and contribution to the design, development and delivery of excellent research led teaching programmes and materials that develop a range of skills in students.
  6. Novel hardware – candidates must have demonstrated the ability to maintain and implement computing support for a compute-heavy department, to install new hardware or software environment such that they stimulate research and teaching, and to maintain and foster industry contacts – in particular relating to the computer hardware industry.

Scholarship and Educational Impact

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

  1. Scholarship and Educational Impact – candidates will be expected to demonstrate (experience of or) the potential for engagement 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.

Candidates must be able to discuss (or evidence) work undertaken (or which would be undertaken) in preparation for teaching and keeping up to date with developments in the subject area.

The format will depend on the discipline and the candidate’s career to date but evidence of scholarship and educational impact may include some of the following (or similar) activities:

  1. active membership and engagement with a professional body;
  2. demonstrable innovation in educational practice;
  3. publication in a scholarly journal or relevant professional publication;
  4. Attending and presenting internal and/or external seminars or at a regional conference; and/or
  5. Materials/curriculum development for wider use in a department.

Essential Scholarship Criteria – Grade 8

  1. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate engagement 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.

Candidates must be able to evidence work undertaken in preparation for teaching and keeping up to date with developments in the subject area.  

The format will depend on the discipline and the candidate’s career to date but evidence of scholarship and educational impact may include some of the following (or similar) activities:

  1. active membership and engagement with a professional body;
  2. demonstrable innovation in educational practice;
  3. publication in a scholarly journal or relevant professional publication;
  4. Attending and presenting internal and/or external seminars or at a regional conference; and/or
  5. Materials/curriculum development for wider use in a department.

Services, Citizenship and Values

Candidates may be required to undertake some administrative duties within the Department related to the delivery of teaching, mainly related to taught programmes.

Candidates must also positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Essential Services, Citizenship and Values criteria – Grade 7

  1. Collegial contribution – experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate (experience of or) the potential to participate in the collegial/administrative activities of an academic department and/or discipline.  Candidates may choose to highlight any roles and responsibilities held within academic departments [or professional practice] (or beyond), engagement with mentoring or widening student participation, involvement in equality and diversity initiatives or membership of significant external bodies.
  2. Communication - 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.
  3. Administration - experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate (experience of or) the potential to engage in administration related to teaching or other relevant administration experience.

Essential Services, Citizenship and Values criteria – Grade 8

  1. Collegial contribution – Evidence of participation in the collegial/administrative activities of an academic department and/or discipline.  Candidates may choose to highlight any roles and responsibilities held within academic departments or professional practice, such as engagement with mentoring or widening student participation, involvement in equality and diversity initiatives, external examining or membership of external bodies.
  2. Communication - 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.
  3. Administration - evidence of engagement with administration related teaching in an academic department and/or discipline or other relevant administration experience

Desirable Criteria - Grade 7 and Grade 8

  1. Leadership - candidates may choose to detail any prior relevant leadership roles which they have undertaken. Potential examples may include: leading an internal working group; module development and convening; effective administration relating to educational delivery or professional practice; or promoting and leading change processes in a department e.g. in curriculum development.

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