Executive Dean, XJTLU Wisdom Lake Academy of Pharmacy

Suzhou, China
12 May 2023
End of advertisement period
11 Jun 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

School: Academy of Pharmacy

Position: Faculty (full rank)

Contract Type: 3-year contract, renewable, 3rd contract is open-ended

Academic Leadership Appointment: Executive Dean

Period of Appointment: 3 years, renewable for once

Location: Suzhou, China


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 www.xjtlu.edu.cn.


XJTLU is seeking to appoint a new Executive Dean to lead the continuous development of the Wisdom Lake Academy of Pharmacy. The Academy is the result of cooperation with Suzhou government with the objectives to develop a world-class research and educational facility that specialises in Biopharmaceuticals, Precision Medicine, Translational Medicine, Molecular Pharmacology, and Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology Management and Administration. The council of the Academy, composed of the government, the University, the industry alliance and independent outside experts, exercises the highest decision-making power in its strategic directions and operations. The Academy is directed by the Executive Dean under the leadership of the Academy Council.

After more than two years of development, the Academy has established 3 undergraduate degree programmes (BSc Pharmaceutical Sciences, BSc Applied Statistics, BEng Biopharmaceuticals), 3 postgraduate degree programmes (MSc Applied Statistics, MRes Medicinal Chemistry, MRes Pharmaceutical Sciences), and 1 PhD programme (under the umbrella of Chemistry and Biological Sciences), with more than 20 faculty members and 450 students. The Academy has established more than 40 external collaborations, 4 joint scientific labs, and 1 international joint research centre. With addition of 30+ industry professors, the Academy has unique resources for talent cultivation and collaboration opportunities. A 78,000 m2 new Pharmacy building is currently under construction on the SIP campus and will be ready in early 2026. In addition, the university has invested more than 80 million RMB in state-of-the-art instrumentation including a mass spectrometry-based Centre for Pharmaceutical Analysis.


The role of Executive Dean of the Academy of Pharmacy is the chief executive officer of the Academy, providing effective leadership in all aspects of Academy-wide activity, delegating responsibility within the Academy when appropriate. The Executive Dean is expected to represent the Academy within the University and externally. The Executive Dean will also be part of the XJTLU Academic Management Group.

The Executive Dean must provide the sort of professorial academic leadership and industry collaboration experience needed to take the Academy moving forward after its initial growth phase. Emphasis rests on the development of the Academy’s newly established degree programmes and its research endeavour and so candidates must not only be highly accomplished in their own right, they must also have clear collaborative commitment and the ability to develop and implement teaching and research strategies. Additionally, given the University’s pace of expansion, the Executive Dean must provide wider academic leadership in matters such as staff development and recruitment, new external project development and quality assurance within the Academy.

The main duties of the role include:

  • Daily operation and administration of the Academy;
  • Reporting to and implementing decisions made by the Academy Council;
  • Preparing both the annual budget and report on financial accounts of the Academy for the Academy Council’s approval;
  • Developing Academy infrastructure, regulations and rules for the Academy Council approval; Overseeing the delivery of elivering excellent learning and teaching, research, and enterprise engagement activities in the Academy; 
  • Personnel decisions including recruitment, discipline, retention, contract termination, etc. in the Academy; Coordination and communication between the Academy and the University; and,
  • Any other work-related tasks assigned by the Charter of the Academy, or the Academy Council.


A Ph.D. degree in a relevant subject from a world-renowned university.


In order to succeed in a leadership position in an international institution enjoying rapid expansion, candidates must be characterised by flexibility, energy, commitment to collaboration, creativity, innovation and an enthusiasm for the pace, dynamism and global ambition which distinguish XJTLU and the Academy of Pharmacy. In moving to the next stage of the Academy’s development, it would be advantageous for the Executive Dean to be bi-lingual in English and Chinese in order to engage effectively locally, regionally, nationally and internationally with business, government and other educational institutions.

The person appointed to the role will be able to demonstrate evidence of the following experience and core competencies.

  • Rich experience in teaching, research, academic leadership, strategic planning and financial management in a university, preferably an international university or Sino-foreign joint university;
  • Work experience in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry would be an advantage;
  • First class networking skills and an ability to build and nurture external contacts and partnerships; Excellent organisational, implementation and monitoring skills to deliver successful outcomes;
  • A track record of both high quality and impact research and successful academic management over a sustained period in at least one of the areas of specialisations in pharmaceutical sciences or related field;
  • Ability to communicate with a high degree of competence in both written and spoken English and Chinese;
  • Experience of living and working outside China;
  • A least one higher research degree; Exceptional interpersonal skills;
  • A track record of working with industry and government.


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


  1. Allowance: XJTLU provide various month/annual/one-off allowances as
  2. Housing allowance
  3. Travel allowance
  4. Education allowance
  5. Relocation allowance
  6. Etc.
  7. Commercial insurance: international insurance plans customized for XJTLU staff and family members. (details refer to the University Policy)
  8. Paid holidays:
  9. Statutory Holidays (11 days)
  10. Annual Leave (36 days)
  11. Family Matters Leave
  12. Paid Sick Leave
  13. Marriage Leave
  14. Paternity Leave
  15. Parental Leave
  16. Etc.
  17. Working visa and residence permit in China: XJTLU sponsors working visa and residence permit in China for the staff.


Please submit your application on our university website https://career15.sapsf.cn/sfcareer/jobreqcareer?jobId=3339&company=xjtlu

Applications must be submitted in a single pdf file that includes 3 parts in the order of:

  • A cover letter
  • A current CV, including date of birth, country of citizenship, and highest degree level
  • Contact Details for Three References

Applications for this post should be received by June 11, 2023 (please quote job reference code ‘3339’, closing date is June 11, 2023). Informal enquiries may be directed to the Vice President for Administrative Affairs at the XJTLU, Dr. Yimin Ding (Email: Yimin.ding@xjtlu.edu.cn).

APPENDIX: Introduction of Suzhou and SIP


Suzhou, alternately known as Soochow, is a major city located in southeastern Jiangsu Province of East China, about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Shanghai. Being an economic center and focal point of trade and commerce, and the second largest city in the province, it is a prefecture-level city with a population of 8.27 million in its city proper, and a total resident population of 10.75 million in its administrative area (data as of 2019).

The city of Suzhou has a history of 2,500 years, is also one of the top tourist attractions in China, with an abundance of historical and cultural heritage including canals, stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens. The Classical Gardens of Suzhou were added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997 and 2000. Suzhou is often dubbed the "Venice of the East" or "Venice of China".

Since the start of the economic reform and opening-up in 1978, Suzhou has become one of the fastest growing cities in the world. In 2019, the GDP of Suzhou totaled 1,924 billion RMB, representing an annual increase of about 5.6% and ranking it 7th among all cities in China. In addition, with high life expectancy and per capita incomes, Suzhou's Human Development Index ratings is roughly comparable to that of a moderately developed country, making the city one of the most highly developed and prosperous areas in China.


Established in February 1994 with approval from the State Council, Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) was the first governmental cooperation project between China and Singapore. Now covering an administrative area of 278 sqkm, it is home to 1.19 million people, including 807,800 permanent residents. SIP is recognised as an important window of China’s reform and opening-up and a successful model of international cooperation. It is also the first open innovation comprehensive experimental area of China.

The gathering of numerous universities and research institutes in SIP brings economic and social benefits

In 2019, SIP achieved a total GDP of 274 billion. In the published results on the annual evaluation of national economic development areas by the Ministry of Commerce of China, SIP ranked the 1st for four consecutive years (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019), and has set the target to become one of the world-class high-tech parks as supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China.

The area of Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District (SEID) in SIP has a planned area of about 51.85 sqkm, and a planned population of 400,000 (among which 100,000 are students). The district is committed to building a high level Industry-university-research cooperation system, focusing on three key areas including biomedicine, nanotechnology applications and artificial intelligence.

Since its establishment in 2002, SEID has attracted 14 national research institutes, 31 world famous universities and nearly 500 innovative R&D centers to join the district.

National Research Institutes

  • Suzhou Institute of Nanotechnology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences;
  • Institute of Systematic Medicine of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences;
  • Suzhou Achievement Transformation, Chinese Academy of Sciences Shanghai Institute of 
  • Materia Medical.


  • Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR);
  • Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU); 
  •     Suzhou campus of Renmin University of China; 
  • Center in China, the University of Sydney; Weitz Innovation Centre, Harvard University.

Innovative R&D Centers

  • Huawei Suzhou Research-and-development Center; 
  • Software Suzhou Research-and-development Center; 
  • GCL Central Research Institute;
  • Siemens China Research Institute.

Strategic initiative of the “Pharmacy Valley of China” and SIP’s Solid Foundations in the Bio-pharmaceutical Industry

It was clearly stated at the Suzhou Biomedical Development Conference held in April 2020 that a biomedical industry ecosystem with Suzhou characteristics will be built drawing on the "Boston experience". The goal is to strive to attract more than 10,000 biomedical companies to Suzhou, mainly in SIP by 2030 and boost the industry size to over one trillion yuan, thus turning Suzhou into the “Pharmacy Valley of China”. Located in SIP, XJTLU Academy of Pharmacy will obviously enjoy a unique first-mover advantage for development.

With over 10 years of development, SIP has become one of the most attractive areas in China for innovative medicines research and development. It is listed among the top Chinese bio-pharmaceutical industrial parks. In the past three years, new approvals for innovative clinical medicines in SIP has obtained accounted for about 10% of all the new approvals in China, among which new approvals for innovative biological medicines accounted for 20% of the national total. It ranks 1st among all Chinese bio-pharmaceutical industrial parks by the number of innovative medicines approved for market launch. It ranked first in industrial competitiveness according to the 2019 China Bio- pharmaceutical Industrial Park Competitiveness Ranking released by the Biological Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

SIP has created a leading bio-pharmaceutical industry site in China, focusing on key areas including pharmaceutical R&D and production, high-end medical equipment, biotechnology and precision medicine, and the cultivation of domestic enterprises. At present, SIP has gathered more than 1,200 bio-pharmaceutical companies, including more than 1,250 innovative home-grown companies. It also boasts of 68 state-level prestigious experts, accounting for about 50% of the provincial total. It has obtained 144 clinical approvals for medicines, and the new approvals for catetory-1 innovative bio-pharmaceutical medicines it has obtained in the past three years account for 50% of the provincial total, and 11% of the national total. The home-grown enterprises in SIP have obtained 534 medical device product registration certificates and 48 medical device production licenses, and 9 of their products have been granted fast track service for national review of medical devices, accounting for 43% of the provincial total. And 10 of the top 20 companies in the global bio-pharmaceutical field have been running projects in SIP

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