Appointment of Provost

Please note the deadline for this post has now expired

As a world-leading research-intensive University, we are here to address tomorrow’s greatest challenges. Between now and 2030 we will do that with a values-led approach to teaching, research, and innovation, and through the strength of our relationships, both locally and globally.  Edinburgh is a truly global university and we have always had a commitment to diversity and a community in which students feel valued and welcome.

The Provost, as Chief Academic officer, is key to the successful delivery of this purpose and in achieving our Strategy 2030. They are a key member of the senior leadership team of Edinburgh and will provide strategic leadership and direction across the breadth of academic and research matters for the University. This new role offers a major opportunity for an outstanding individual to shape and grow the academic, innovation, industry interactions, research and enterprise development and international landscape.

We are an outward looking university, with a deep commitment to society and knowledge. The successful candidate will be a collegial, engaging and visionary leader who share in our values and commitment to higher education. As a seasoned leader in academia, they will have a strong track record of achievement in teaching or research in any domain relevant to our comprehensive, research-intensive university, and a strong appreciation of interdisciplinarity.

We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and applicants from minority groups are particularly welcomed.

If you wish to discuss this role further in confidence, please contact Sukhpal Uppal at Sukhpal.Uppal@perrettlaver.com  or on 0207 340 7352.

About the University of Edinburgh

At the University of Edinburgh, we’ve been influencing the world for more than 400 years. Each year we take on tomorrow’s greatest challenges. Each year is different – every person, teacher, project, and every thought more exciting than the last. 

Whatever excites you, whatever your ambition, whatever makes you ‘you’, we know one thing; nothing ordinary comes from this extraordinary place. At Edinburgh, you’ll be in good company, doing good things, for the good of the environment and the world.

Driven by this passion, we’ve affected and empowered every one of our community. We believe this is possible because of a unique mix of three factors:

  • Place: The city of Edinburgh is famous for changing the way the world is understood. Its history and reputation rub off on us, every day. It inspires and lifts our expectations of what is possible.
  • People: Our staff, students, leaders and partners are talented, courageous, engaging and brilliant – and down-to-earth. They value wisdom, laughter, character – and each other.
  • Practice: We’re an encouraging space to explore, but at the same time, our research, teaching, and even our daily processes, are ambitious. We, and our global business partners, inspire you to aim high, push frontiers, deliver economic impact, drive sustainability. We’re bold and our results change the world.

Where our place, people and practice meet, this is the University of Edinburgh. Somewhere in this blend of ingredients a magic is made. And it stays with you for life.

The University had more than 45,000 students matriculated during the 2020/21 academic year, over 40,000 of whom would be based on campus here in Edinburgh. With 21 schools across the 3 colleges, the University has a diverse and attractive portfolio of highly ranked courses on offer. Students from 180 countries across the world choose to study at Edinburgh, attracted to the quality of our education and research portfolio, but also our city, our community and our international culture. Our international students now represent 44% of our total community, and 29% of our staff come from outside the UK. We are an active member of international networks including Una Europa, the League of European Research Universities (LERU), the Coimbra Group, Eurolife, UNICA, Universitas 21, and the U7 Alliance of over 30 universities from G7 countries.

The University has progressively grown its research portfolio over the last decade, now winning significantly more than £300m annually. We are a leading strategic partner of all UK research councils, the large charities, EU and many of the world’s most important international funders.

We host a range of internationally-leading research centres, including the MRC Human Genetics Unit and BBSRC’s Roslin Institute, a major GCRF Hub and AHRC’s Creative Informatics Hub.  We are founder members of major UK initiatives including the Alan Turing, Rosalind Franklin, Health Data Research UK and UK Dementia Research Institutes. Edinburgh and our partners are also managing a £600m award from UK and Scottish Governments for data-driven innovation under the aegis of a City Region Deal.

As a world-leading research-intensive University, we are here to address tomorrow’s greatest challenges. Between now and 2030 we will do that with a values-led approach to teaching, research and innovation, and through the strength of our relationships, both locally and globally.  Edinburgh is a truly global university and we have always had a commitment to diversity and a community in which students feel valued and welcome. The Provost role is key to the successful delivery of this purpose and in achieving our Strategy 2030.

As the Chief Academic Officer of the University, the Provost will provide leadership, direction and strategic evaluation of academic and research matters including innovation, industrial engagement and enterprise development in one of the world’s top 20 universities (QS rankings 2022).  They will elevate & communicate the University's mission, vision & brand to both internal and external stakeholders. They are a core member of the senior team within Edinburgh and will report directly through to the Vice Chancellor & Principal of the University, deputising when they are not available. 

The Provost will take full responsibility for the academic and research remit within the three Colleges – Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, Science & Engineering, and Arts Humanities and Social Sciences; leading the Vice-Principal Heads of College and working closely with but also leading the Vice-Principal of Research and Enterprise and Vice-Principal International.  The role will lead on the planning and budget setting for all academic affairs within the University.

With more than 15,000 staff supporting the University of Edinburgh to deliver excellence in teaching and research, the Provost role is a real opportunity to set direction, motivate and lead across a portfolio of local, national and international academic priorities in a world-class future-focused University.

Job Details

Post: Provost

Reports to: Vice Chancellor & Principal

Direct reports: Vice Principal (VP) & Head of College – Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, VP & Head of College – Science and Engineering, VP & Head of College – Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, VP Research and Enterprise, VP International

Post Summary

The Provost acts as the Chief Academic Officer of the University and will provide leadership, direction and strategic evaluation of academic and research matters including innovation, industrial engagement and enterprise development in one of the world’s top 20 universities (QS rankings 2022). 

The Provost will report to and deputise for the Vice Chancellor & Principal of the University when they are not available.  The role will lead on the planning and budget setting for all academic affairs within the University, working in partnership with the Director of Planning & Insight and Director of Finance.

The Provost will take full responsibility for the academic and research remit within the three Colleges – Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, Science & Engineering and Arts Humanities and Social Sciences; leading the Vice-Principal Heads of College and working closely with but also leading the Vice-Principal of Research and Enterprise and Vice-Principal International.

The Provost will be a member of the University’s Senior Leadership Team and of its core decision-making body, the University Executive. They will report directly to the Vice Chancellor & Principal.

Provost

The University of Edinburgh is looking for an experienced academic leader in its new Provost. This senior leadership post offers a major opportunity for an outstanding appointee to shape and grow the academic, innovation, industry interactions, research and enterprise development and international landscape.

The Provost will work alongside and in partnership with the other Vice Principals in the Senior Leadership team.  Excellent collaboration and leadership skills will maximise these relationships to deliver a cohesive and clear strategic direction for the University, under the leadership of the Vice Chancellor & Principal.

The successful candidate will be a seasoned leader in academia.  They will have a strong track record of achievement in teaching or research in any domain relevant to our comprehensive, research-intensive university, and a strong appreciation of interdisciplinarity.

We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and applicants from minority groups are particularly welcomed.

Qualities & Characteristics

As a world-leading research-intensive University, we are here to address tomorrow’s greatest challenges. To deliver this, we are looking for a leader who possesses many or all of the following qualities and characteristics:

  • An inclusive and forward-looking leadership style that values collaboration in an environment that has historically embraced autonomy and a strong competitive spirit.
  • Demonstrable integrity, transparency and values-based leadership with the ability to lead through influence and persuasion.
  • A clear comfort making decisions that affect the whole university and its major external partners and stakeholders.
  • Experience in implementing substantial organisational change at scale in support of strategic imperatives, including evidence of successfully building credibility with key stakeholders.
  • A clear record of the ability to strengthen existing relationships and develop new partnerships that result in a coherent network of productive and mutually enriching collaborations.
  • Experience of building and fostering close relationships with major industry, SMEs, venture and other sources of risk capital, public sector partners and grant funding agencies.
  • Political acumen and the ability to communicate complex information to various audiences. A passionate and energetic spokesperson who can engage and excite others about the University’s education and skills development.
  • Demonstrable ability to play a high-profile role within the University, the city of Edinburgh, Scottish and UK Governments, highlighting the economic and intellectual contributions of our education and skills development.
  • The insight to successfully lead, manage and navigate current and future policy challenges impacting the academic landscape.
  • A commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in the University’s teaching, research, innovation and enterprise activities.

Qualifications and experience

  • Academic credentials consistent with the rank of professor, as demonstrated by a distinguished record of teaching, scholarly publications, and/or creative accomplishments that exhibit commitment to academic excellence.
  • A history of progressively responsible, successful experience as an academic leader at the Vice-Principal/Dean/Head of College level or above, involving both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of teaching and research.
  • Extensive previous responsibility for planning, budget, staff recruitment and evaluation.
  • Experience in strategic planning, assessment of course effectiveness, and delivery of improvements to enhance academic achievement and experience is a strong advantage.
  • A demonstrated commitment to the promotion of an inclusive culture with opportunities for all.
  • Evidence of the ability to adapt and the flexibility to work productively with a wide range of people and perspectives and to be an effective team player.

How to apply

The University will be supported in this appointment process by the executive search firm Perrett Laver. Perrett Laver will support the panel in the discharge of its duties, both to assist in the assessment of candidates against the requirements for the role and to identify the widest possible field of qualified candidates. We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and applicants from minority groups are particularly welcomed.

Applications should consist of a full curriculum vitae along with a covering letter of application addressing the role and the qualities and experiences outlined. Completed applications should be uploaded at www.perrettlaver.com/candidates quoting reference 5246 by Friday 17th September 2021 at midday (BST).
 
Longlisted candidates will be invited for interview with Perrett Laver mid-October following which the panel will agree a shortlist. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend informal visits and interviews with Edinburgh in late-November/early December. 

Please note the deadline for this post has now expired

Protecting your personal data is of the utmost importance to Perrett Laver and we take this responsibility very seriously. Any information obtained by our trading divisions is held and processed in accordance with the relevant data protection legislation. The data you provide us with is securely stored on our computerised database and transferred to our clients for the purposes of presenting you as a candidate and/or considering your suitability for a role you have registered interest in.

As defined under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Perrett Laver is a Data Controller and a Data Processor, and our legal basis for processing your personal data is ‘Legitimate Interests’. You have the right to object to us processing your data in this way. For more information about this, your rights, and our approach to Data Protection and Privacy, please visit our website www.perrettlaver.com/information/privacy/  

Please visit the following link in order to find more information about the use of personal information provided by candidates to the University of Edinburgh: https://www.ed.ac.uk/data-protection