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Associate Dean for Research, Design School

Suzhou, China
Closing date
27 Jan 2024

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School: Design School

Position: Associate Dean for Research, Design School

Location: Suzhou, China

Contract Type: Fixed-term, renewable. 3rd contract is open-ended

Advertisement Closing Date: 27th January 2022


In 2006 Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) was created by the University of Liverpool and Xi’an Jiaotong University – a top ten university in China. Offering a unique international education experience, XJTLU brings together excellent research practice and expertise from both institutions and gives students the skills and knowledge they need to secure careers in a global marketplace. XJTLU now has over 25,000 enrolled students in both Suzhou and Liverpool in the UK, with plans to grow to about 28,000 students by 2025. There are currently about 2,000 staff, among which about 1,000 academic staff, with an almost even split between citizens of the People’s Republic of China and international passport holders. XJTLU offers our undergraduates and postgraduates over 100 programmes with a diverse spectrum of courses.

XJTLU is entering a new and exciting phase of its development as part of its strategic priorities for the next ten years. Adopting a new higher education model based on the concept of Syntegrative Education (SE), XJTLU is currently opening a new Entrepreneurial Education site in Taicang, part of wider Suzhou, where the Entrepreneur College (Taicang) is located. The Taicang site will be a pioneer of, and educational model for, the future campus in addressing challenges arising from the 4th Industrial Revolution. Other new initiatives include new working partnerships with Xi’an Jiaotong University, the continued development of the four new Academies, and exploration of further potential locations to develop the SE model.

With a focus on innovative learning and teaching, and research, XJTLU draws on the strengths of its parent universities, and plays a pivotal role in facilitating access to China for UK and other institutional partners. At same time, XJTLU is exploring future education by blending the educational theory, best practice and culture from west and east.

For detailed information about the university, please visit


Founded in 2020, the Design School comprises the Departments of Architecture, Civil Engineering, Industrial Design and Urban Planning and Design. The Design School amalgamates, in a unique framework, a diverse range of design subjects with various forms and expressions in a multidisciplinary setting. Its purpose is to educate the future generation of designers with a perspective on digital design and sustainable development and to become a crucible for innovation and intellectual freedom in design education.

The Design School at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) aims to provide international and interdisciplinary Design education in China and beyond through integrated knowledge of design, technology, engineering, humanities, and the arts. We envisage changing and improving our society through design thinking for sustainable development that will shape the world of tomorrow.


The Associate Dean for Research is a member of the Design School Senior Management Team (DES-SMT), working closely with the Dean to implement the School’s research strategy. Strategic leadership is fundamental in managing and directing the widely diverse research carried out by the School in its various forms. The role’s main objective is to build and foster a strong research culture within the School, with research quality becoming the key reputational driver of the Design School and its constituent Departments. The Associate Dean for Research reports to the Dean of Design School.


  • Lead the implementation of the Design School’s research strategy, in consultation with the DES-SMT members, as part of the School’s Five-Year Strategic Planning;
  • Advise the DES-SMT on the allocation of funds for research activities;
  • Contribute to engagement with appropriate networks, external industries, professional institutes etc.;
  • Coordinate University research events and activities across departments;
  • Lead the organisation and associated processes involved in university research events, and ensure the quality of such events;
  • Manage the academic enhancement fund (AEF) and relevant research support mechanisms and advise the DES-SMT on resource allocation.


  • Chair the Design School Research Committee, tasked with coordinating and implementing the DES-SMT research strategy and policy;
  • Represent the Design School on the University Research Committee, and communicate and take action on critical agenda items from the University Research Committee to the DES-SMT;
  • Serve as a conduit between the School, the School Research Committee, and the University Research Committee for the timely communication and implementation of research-related policies and procedures.

Research Activities:

  • Support the Design School to develop, promote and deliver research and development activities;
  • Develop an internal evaluation framework for internal and external grant applications;
  • Maintain and review school research metrics.


  • Advise the DES-SMT on recruitment and retention of academics with regard to their research capabilities and potential;
  • Liaise with the other organisational units in the University to disseminate best practices identified within the School.


The successful candidate should be able to demonstrate:

  • Significant leadership and management accomplishments in research;
  • Self-reliance and the ability to work autonomously;
  • The ability to develop and implement a strategic vision;
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills.

We are looking for someone with the ambition, creativity and organisational skills to succeed in an exciting environment of continued growth and significant change.

Applicants should:

  • Be educated to PhD degree level;
  • Have at least three years of research experience at the university level;
  • Have recent experience in project management in a research context; for example, having an exemplary publication record, receiving external funding, having successful PhD student supervision, etc.


Employment at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University is regulated by Chinese Labour Laws, and must comply with the regulations of the provincial government. These regulations stipulate who is eligible for legal employment with regard to obtaining work permits and visas. Please be advised candidates over 65 may be not eligible for a work visa in the P.R. China.


  1. Clear career development path with annual review.
  2. Professional development trainings are provided.


SALARY: Competitive salary in the market, the Associate Dean for Research is eligible to receive a duty allowance.


  1. Allowance: XJTLU provide various month/annual/one-off allowances as
    • Housing allowance
    • Travel allowance
    • Relocation allowance
    • Etc.
  2. Commercial insurance: international insurance plans customized for XJTLU staff and family members. (details refer to the University Policy)
  3. Paid holidays:
    • Statutory Holidays (11 days)
    • Annual Leave (36 days)
    • Family Matters Lave
    • Paid Sick Leave
    • Marriage Lave
    • Paternity Leave
    • Parental leave
    • Etc.
  4. A cover letter (Expression of Interest); A current CV, including a complete publication list; A research strategy proposal for the Design School (maximum 2 pages).
  5. Working visa and residence permit in China: XJTLU sponsors working visa and residence permit in China for the staff.  


Please submit your application on XJTLU career website:

In the subject line write the Position you are applying for and quote the job ID number for reference.

Applications must be submitted in a single pdf file that includes:

Applications should be received by the closing date stated above.

Informal enquiries about the positions and the School may be addressed to the Dean of Design School, Prof. Konstantinos Papadikis at Informal questions may be addressed to HR at Please quote the Position and job ID (3009) in your enquiry.

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