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Vice-Chancellor's Fellowship in Design

Job Details


We are seeking exceptional academic colleagues who have research plans which will have a remarkable impact on our disciplines and/or drive development of our Research Peaks, to join our Vice-Chancellor's Fellowship Scheme. 

As a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, you will have a permanent academic role, and for the first three years you will be supported to undertake independent and collaborative research, delivering an agreed research plan to make a significant contribution to the research profile of the University. Further information about the role is available in the Vice-Chancellor's role outline


Northumbria School of Design has a global reputation for design-led research with an emphasis on practice, understanding and redefining problems, and making positive real-world change. Our staff, students and collaborators engage in developing new and innovative practices within design, and in innovation and research through design. As a School dedicated, to responsible design and innovation we want to promote working in an integrated way where education, research and knowledge exchange are connected through purposeful, practice-based research projects. 

The School is dedicated to nurturing an inclusive academic community delivering high quality, diverse and rich research, knowledge exchange and education across the sub-disciplines of design and in transdisciplinary collaborations internally and externally with collaborators from HEI and non-HEI partners. Some examples of the various topics, sectors and partners that we collaborate with include contemporary environmental impact across the fashion and textile value chaindigital creativity for wellbeingnew approaches to bereavement supportdesign for social innovation towards sustainabilityhow the digital is changing contemporary lifehealthy relationships between people; the internet and things through the ethos of crafttechnological design and humanitarian innovation in global contexts of marginalisation

Our integrated studio approach, brings together staff and student communities to learn, reflect and build our subject understanding to deliver impact in the world. We have a number of research themes including Craft Futures, Creative Technology, Health and Wellbeing, Design Feminisms, Fashion Futures, Design Education and Social Justice. We work across subjects and disciplinary perspectives supported through the University’s Interdisciplinary Research Themes like Global Development Futures and Gendered Violence and Abuse and recognised Peaks of Excellence areas such as Cultural and Creative Industries and Computerised Society and Digital Citizens

We embrace technologies as a means to explore, test and prototype both concepts and application. Our recently established Creative Technology Hub brings in knowledge of creative technology that encompasses the two dimensional (through code, data visualisation, AI and VR) with the three dimensional (electronics, digital weaving, maker culture and the internet of things). 

With these two complementary posts we are seeking to develop and grow research capacity in critical making at the interface between emerging technologies, craft, and responsible design. The roles will build on the School’s foundational contribution in Research Through Design (RTD) to utilise practice-based research, craft and making to support new understandings of design practice, theory and human experience. Intellectual academic endeavour through and in combination with embodied studio practice will be key. We expect the Fellows to provide leadership and academic mentoring while building connectivity in the School, Faculty and beyond. We recognise that “making” can mean many things to many cultures, we welcome applications from where ever you are in the world, embracing making that is diverse and socially just. 

In the School we are committed to creating fair and equal opportunities for all members of our staff and student community, developing an inclusive working environment across all teaching, research and knowledge exchange activities. We are committed to both The Athena Swan Charter and The Race Equality Charter developed by Advance HE, to transform gender equality and the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and students within higher education. Through these commitments, we acknowledge discipline specific challenges reflective of our unique studio and workshop environments, ensuring that responsible design practice and ethical social values underpin all activities carried out across our diverse global School


To be considered for this exceptional opportunity you must demonstrate academic excellence, evidenced through your role in the production of world-leading practice and research and have experience of winning grant funding (appropriate to discipline and career stage). In addition, you must demonstrate a clear research plan for the period of the Fellowship.  


To apply for this vacancy please click 'Apply Now'  Your application should include a covering letter, CV and a two page 'Research Plan' which outlines how you would use the Fellowship period and including details of anticipated outputs, income and impact. Please ensure your CV includes research / education statements, and grants and publications list, highlighting your highest quality research outputs up to a maximum of 4. For your most recent grants please include the grant title, funder reference, funder, amount and your role. In addition, candidates are asked to provide copies of the top 3 research outputs (Journal / book chapter /practice-based portfolio).

To support you in preparing your application below are the standard Job Descriptions and Person Specifications for Academic roles at Northumbria.  Appointments will be made to the Academic role and grade the selection panel believe are commensurate with individuals Academic experience and profile.

Assistant Professor (£45,584 - £56,021)
Associate Professor (£57,695 - £66,856)

Some roles may  be exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 therefore successful candidates may be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

If you require any additional information about the application process or would like an informal discussion about the opportunities, please contact Kathryn Atton, HR Adviser at 

We welcome applications from the UK and across the world. Visit our web pages for details about Relocation Assistance

ABOUT Northumbria

At Northumbria, we embrace tomorrow. We pursue new thinking, forge new partnerships, create, and exchange new knowledge, and find new solutions. Our inspirational academics, partners and students work together to tackle tomorrow’s challenges head on. We are ready for the future whatever it may hold. 

One of the largest universities in the UK with over 37,000 students from 137 countries, filled with world-leading research, award-winning partnerships, and students at the heart of an outstanding experience, Northumbria is a new kind of excellent university. Discover more about us.  

Northumbria University is a great place to work.  We empower our exceptional people to achieve shared ambitions and promote a positive work life balance.  To say thank you, we offer a wide range of benefits including excellent pension schemes, flexible working, a generous holiday entitlement, continued commitment to your learning and development and more

We are an on-campus organisation where colleagues work regular patterns of hours and on campus, with some flexibility on the timing of their hours and the location of their work in discussion with their manager. 

Northumbria University is committed to creating an inclusive culture where we take pride in, and value, the diversity of our staff.  We encourage and welcome applications from all members of the community.  The University holds a bronze Athena Swan award in recognition of our commitment to advancing gender equality, we are a Disability Confident Employer, a member of the Race Equality Charter and are participating in the Stonewall Diversity Champion Programme.  We also hold the HR Excellence in Research award for implementing the concordat supporting the career Development of Researchers and are members of the Euraxess initiative to deliver information and support to professional researchers.  

The University has implemented a range of flexible working arrangements, and we are happy to explore candidate requirements as part of the recruitment process.  

We are committed to keeping your data safe so it's important for you to know how we use any personal data you give us. For more detailed information, access our Privacy Policy.


*Northumbria University recruitment portal is currently unavailable. If you wish to apply for a vacancy or if you have applied for a vacancy in the last six weeks but have not heard anything from us please e-mail your CV and Covering Letter to using the vacancy reference number as the subject. Thank you for your patience.*

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United Kingdom

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