Assistant Professor (Teaching Focussed) (Director of Student Experience) (102053 -0623)

University of Warwick


Vacancy Type/Job category
Academic
Department
Life Sciences
Salary
£44,414 – £52,841 per annum.
Location
University of Warwick, Coventry
Vacancy Overview
Part-time (0.8FTE) Fixed Term Position available from 1st August 2023.
An exciting opportunity exists to join the School of Life Sciences in the role of Director of Student Experience. This is a fixed-term, part-time position as it is a backfill for a Director of Student Experience who is in the role of Dean of Students until 1 Sep 2025. This post will bridge academic, pastoral and administrative aspects of our undergraduate programme, further enhancing and sustaining the high quality of experience for our ca. 1,300 undergraduate, 120 postgraduate taught and 160 postgraduate research students. The successful candidate will have primary responsibility for coordinating the strategic development activities relating to enhancement of the student experience in the department during a crucial and exciting time as we roll out our newly-enhanced undergraduate and postgraduate taught curricula.
You will have a Master’s or PhD (or equivalent experience) and a track record of delivering high quality undergraduate teaching, including innovative practice and the sensitive promotion and dissemination of good practice; ideally with experience of a Life Sciences or STEM subject environment. You will be committed to enhancing the student experience in all phases of a student’s relationship with the University. You will have the desire to pursue a career based on advancing students’ educational experience at University level, the capacity to enthuse others (both staff and students) about pedagogical development, and will work collaboratively to promote collegiality.
You will possess excellent interpersonal, communication and influencing skills and have significant experience of championing change management in a complex and challenging environment. You will have a good understanding of national policy relating to teaching in Higher Education. You will be in possession of a teaching qualification or HEA accreditation or be willing to seek HEA accreditation while in post.
While the position is teaching-focused, as part of your role we will strongly encourage and support you in the pursuit of individual scholarly and/or pedagogical research to contribute to the lively research culture of the School. This position is an excellent opportunity to be part of a vibrant department at Warwick, committed to providing an excellent student experience aligned with our high-quality research environment.
Applications via the HR website should include a CV, and a covering letter expressing your interests in this post. Within this information you should show how you meet the requirements of this role by reference to the essential (and where applicable, the desirable) criteria detailed in the personal specification.
In your application, you can also include any career breaks you may have taken (e.g. parental/caring/long-term sick leave, part-time work, secondments) or any periods where you were unable or restricted to work because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For informal enquiries please contact Professor Miriam Gifford, Head of School: [email protected]
Interview Date: TBC.
Job Description
JOB PURPOSE
Working as part of the Teaching Strategy and Teaching Management Teams, you will act as a bridge between students and staff to coordinate the strategic development of enhancement activities in relation to the student experience in the department. By developing and leading on strategic projects, you will be dedicated to enhancing the experience throughout the student lifecycle as it relates to the academic, pastoral and administrative provision in the department through the pre-university, at university and post-university phases of students’ engagement with the University. The successful applicant will have a track record of delivering and embedding high quality, innovative teaching and learning.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Teaching and Learning Support
• Work with the Teaching Strategy and Teaching Management teams to develop policies and processes which are informed by good practice in key areas that impact the student educational experience in the department and to enable us to roll out our newly-enhanced undergraduate and postgraduate taught curricula. This will include working in partnership with students and championing student voice on the Teaching Management team, to ensure that students’ comments and concerns are considered as part of the development of strategies for education; and where appropriate, organising events and training activities that will provide added value for the student cohort.
• Act as a champion for the student voice in the department. As part of this, the DSE will be responsible for managing the department’s approach to student surveys (including NSS, PTES, PRES), ensuring that response rates are maximized, and that there is a wider understanding of the surveys amongst staff and students. This includes liaison with central Education Policy & Quality (EPQ) and Marketing teams to ensure that surveys are conducted in line with University requirements. The DSE will also work with the Teaching Management Team and in liaison with students to develop and implement plans in response to student feedback.
• Act as Academic Convenor of the Undergraduate Staff-Student Liaison Committee to ensure that student representation is in place within the Department, liaising with student representatives and the wider student cohort to ensure that student feedback is taken seriously and responded to in a timely manner. This may include the coordination of collaborative working groups with students in order to develop policy and/or practice relating to the student experience. The post holder will also work in collaboration with students to ensure that the impact of student feedback is communicated to the wider student cohort ensuring that the reasoning behind departmental decisions, policies and practices is communicated. The DSE also actively engages with PGT and PGR Student-Staff Liaison Committees and leads on student experience items considered by those.
• Be responsible for managing the department’s strategy for student employability working in collaboration with central Student Opportunity to ensure the best possible graduate outcomes for our students. This includes development of opportunities for students to meet with Department alumni in order to utilise their expertise and connections for current cohorts and promoting opportunities for embedding employability into taught provision. The DSE will also have oversight of the department approach to the Graduate Outcomes survey.
• Have an active involvement in outreach activities to prospective students, with sensitivity to diversity of intake including the widening participation agenda; adding value to our University Open Days and to our Offer Holder Open Days.
• May deliver a limited amount of teaching in their area of expertise. This will enable visibility with student cohorts and develop innovative teaching and learning practice.
Administration and Other Activities
• Have oversight of Welcome Week in the Department, ensuring that the programme enables students to navigate the Department’s environment, policy and practice from the outset and ensuring that students understand the role of the DSE and other key members of the Department. Beyond induction, the DSE will coordinate community building and transition activity throughout the degree programmes and will work with central services to ensure that students have access to relevant opportunities (library, SU, volunteering, careers, skills, wellbeing). The DSE will also promote peer support and mentoring opportunities that are available to students in the department.
• Work with the Teaching Strategy team to develop policies and practice to promote equity and inclusion into the students’ educational experience.
• Participate in the Membership of key Department and University committees and working groups as appropriate for the role.
• Act with professionalism at all times and show respect to their colleagues and to understand and adhere to the University’s value of dignity at work; they are also expected to work collegially and to support all the teams with which they have contact in achieving the University’s objectives.
Research and Scholarship
• Play a key role in the promotion of pedagogical enhancement through their own practice and by working with colleagues to promote the status of teaching in the department (e.g. HEA Fellowship, WIHEA fellowship), and will support teaching enhancement activity such as training/peer observation/dialogue. Working with central services and other members of the Teaching Management Team the DSE will provide and promote opportunities for teaching development e.g. within staff meetings.
The duties and responsibilities outlined are not intended to be an exhaustive list but provide guidance on the main aspects of the job. The postholder will be required to be flexible in their duties.

Person Specification

The Person Specification focuses on the knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications required to undertake the role effectively. This is measured by (a) Application Form, (b) Test/Exercise, (c) Interview, (d) Presentation.


Essential Criteria 1
Possession of a Master’s or PhD (or equivalent experience). (a)
Essential Criteria 2
Evidence of excellence in enabling undergraduate teaching, including innovative practice and the sensitive promotion of good practice and an ability to bring about change to pedagogic practices in a complex and changing environment. (a,c)
Essential Criteria 3
A good understanding of national policy relating to teaching in Higher Education, including the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). (a,c,d)
Essential Criteria 4
An ability to build credibility by working collaboratively with academic and administrative colleagues in multi-disciplinary teams, and with colleagues outside the University. (a,c,d)
Essential Criteria 5
An understanding of university undergraduate recruitment, including the widening participation agenda. (a,c)
Essential Criteria 6
A demonstrable understanding of the wider student experience and an ability to engage proactively with the student community to enhance student experience, particularly in relation to wellbeing, student support, study skills, and employability. (a,c)
Essential Criteria 7
Evidence of a capability to monitor and assess undergraduate student progression as well as to personally communicate responses to feedback back to students. (a,c,d)
Essential Criteria 8
Excellent written and communication skills, including the ability to produce documents of a tone and aesthetic that will resonate with a range of audiences, including students and staff. (a,c,d)
Essential Criteria 9
Excellent analytical and IT skills and the proven ability to utilise these to facilitate work. (a,c)
Essential Criteria 10
Possession of a teaching qualification or HEA accreditation, or willingness to complete Warwick APPTE or seek HEA accreditation when in post. (a,c)
Desirable Criteria 1
An educational or employment background in Life Sciences or a STEM subject. (a,c)
Desirable Criteria 2
Experience using Moodle or an equivalent VLE. (a,c)
Desirable Criteria 3
Experience in delivering changes in processes related to undergraduate or postgraduate provision. (a,c)
Desirable Criteria 4
Experience in analysing student survey data and in prioritising actions. (a,c)
Desirable Criteria 5
Experience in dealing with student complaints or appeals and managing sensitive data in compliance with UK GDPR. (a,c)
Further Particulars
For further information about the University of Warwick, please read our University Further Particulars .
For further information about the department, please visit the departmental website .
We believe that collegiality, openness, inclusivity and diversity are essential for an excellent research and teaching environment. We regard inclusivity and diversity as important criteria and thus particularly encourage applications from under-represented groups. Our flat departmental structure ensures that everyone has an equal voice that is listened to. Our supportive, dynamic and collegiate ethic has enabled us to gain an Athena SWAN Silver award.
We are dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive workplace, so if you are excited by this role, we encourage you to apply, even if your past experience does not match exactly. We also encourage applications from all groups with protected characteristics traditionally under-represented in STEM fields. The University aims to promote work life balance for all employees and the School of Life Sciences will consider a range of possible flexible working arrangements in order to recruit the best candidate.
We therefore welcome and encourage applications from all communities regardless of culture, background, age, disability, sex/gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion/belief, or sexual or romantic orientation. To find out more about our social inclusion work at Warwick visit our webpages here .
For those eligible, the University of Warwick offers relocation and Immigration Support Scheme packages to assist with costs of relocating and any associated visa applications and HIS (health) surcharge fees.
Any requests for further information can be directed to Professor Miriam Gifford (Head of School) at [email protected].
The University of Warwick holds an Athena SWAN Silver award; a national initiative to promote gender equality for all staff and students. Further information about the work of the University in relation to Athena SWAN can be found at the following link: Athena Swan (warwick.ac.uk)
The University of Warwick is one of the six founder institutions of the EUTOPIA European University alliance , whose aim is to become by 2025 an open, multicultural, confederated operation of connected campuses.
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Benefits and Rewards
Please refer to this link for a full list of our employee benefits here at Warwick here .

Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy

As an organisation using the (DBS) Disclosure and Barring Service to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, the University of Warwick complies with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed. More information is available on the University’s Vacancy pages and applicants may request a copy of the DBS Code of Practice.


Closing Date
2 Jul 2023

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