Vice-Chancellor's Fellowship, Sustainable materials

Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear (GB)
£45,584 to £66,856, Competitive
29 Nov 2023
08 Jan 2024
Physical Sciences, Chemistry
Fixed Term, Permanent
Full Time

We are seeking exceptional academic colleagues, at all career stages, who have research plans which will have an extraordinary impact on our disciplines and our research landscape of collaborative groups, interdisciplinary research themes, and recognised research peaks. 

Appointed into a permanent Academic position commensurate with your academic standing and experience, you will hold the title of Vice Chancellor’s Fellow for the first three years of your Northumbria career. During this time, 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 Fellow role outline


To be considered for this prestigious opportunity you must demonstrate academic excellence, evidenced through your role in the production of world-leading research outputs 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.  

Materials Science is one of the fastest growing research areas in the Department of Applied Sciences. The Department is well placed to develop further in this area having significant strength in chemistry and biomaterials, the key underpinning disciplines of this research area as it tackles the global challenges of sustainability, dematerialisation to reduce resource use and the conversion of the petrochemical basis of modern life to that which is based around a bioeconomy. The Synthesis and Polymer Innovation (SPIN) group and the Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment at Northumbria University have a strong footprint in the Department, hosting a wide range of PhD and PDRA-led projects in the field of polymer science, engineering biology and materials research, with a specific focus on sustainability. In addition to this the Department boasts a range of state-of-the-art instrumentation and analytical equipment to support applied materials and biomaterials research. Northumbria is lead university for the chemicals sector in the £5M EPSRC-TransFire Hub, which focusses on sustainable product development, utilisation of waste materials and dematerialisation (involving 12 academic institutions, >70 companies and 14 non-governmental organisations ( Close ties with other groups including the Smart Materials and Surfaces Laboratory (SMSL), Mathematics, Physics, and Electrical Engineering and Mechanical and Construction Engineering, enable strong cross disciplinary research which yields highest impact publications and supports a wide range of industrial collaborators. 

To build upon and grow this core expertise, we are seeking to appoint a Vice-Chancellor's Fellow in Sustainable Materials. Examples of research themes that would be considered particularly strong include (but are not restricted to) synthesis of sustainable and bio-based molecular building blocks, recyclable or sustainable composites, plastics and polymers, self-healing materials and covalent adaptable networks, industrially relevant polymers and materials from sustainable resources, materials utilisation from industrial byproducts and other waste materials, and functional coatings/surfaces for sustainable applications. 

For an informal discussion prior to application, please contact Rachel Wilson (, who will put you in contact with the appropriate research leadership team.

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 on


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 their top 3 research outputs (Journal article / 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)  
Professor (Competitive) 

Some roles may be exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and 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


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 here.  

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.  

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