Professorial Research Fellows

We have created a research environment in which academic rigour, innovation and delivery are made possible by brilliant people, outstanding facilities and strong collaborative networks. Our goal now is to do more and better research and as such we are looking to expand our Academic Excellence through the appointment of a number of high profile appointments across all of our academic Colleges.

Professorial Research Fellowships

We are looking for talented academics with an international research reputation and on a steeply rising trajectory towards leadership of their field/fields; you will have a strong background of winning grant applications and awards, as appropriate to the field,  as well an excellent publication history.

As an integral aspect of the appointment process, aspiring Professorial Fellows are invited to specify the fields and intellectual focus of their Chair.

Through these high profile appointments we seek to enhance our University’s existing academic strengths and contribute to our culture of research excellence and industrial Partnerships that currently exists.

In return you will have access to world class research facilities, the opportunity to be part of a vibrant, creative and intellectual atmosphere where you are encouraged to accelerate your academic career.

These are strategically important posts for the University for which a competitive salary and package will be offered.


Research that matters

Job outline

  • Full-time
  • Duration of post – Open
  • Post is open to Internal and External candidates
  • Grade –Professorial
  • Salary – Competitive
  • Informal enquiries: please contact

Professorial Research Fellow Role Profile

Download Role Profile

Role Purpose

In the first three years the role holder will be expected to develop an internationally excellent research programme, and will have dedicated protected research time in that period. The post holder will have the title ‘Professor’.  

Subsequently you will move to a Chair position within the University of Birmingham at which point you will be expected to take on wider responsibilities relating to Learning and teaching and Management and administration within the School/Faculty/Area of your chosen discipline.

Roles at this level will have a significant impact on the direction, strategy, objectives and results of the University by influencing and shaping the available resources as appropriate to meet the current and future needs of the University.

Main responsibilities

The responsibilities are likely to include some but not all of the activities outlined below. In addition, the responsibilities will be as appropriate to the specific role and purpose.


  • Through original, recent and published research of international excellence, maintain and further develop an international reputation as a research leader in a major subject or interdisciplinary area. Where appropriate lead research and collaborative partnerships with other educational institutions or other external bodies and promote and market the work of the academic unit.
  • Lead and support funding bids that develop and sustain research support for your specialist area and advance the reputation of the academic unit and the University.
  • Lead the process of acquiring, analysing and interpreting research data and information, ensuring appropriate techniques, approaches, models and methods are selected, developed or devised for the purpose.
  • Participate in and organise national and/or international workshops and conferences to further disseminate and explain research findings.
  • Lead and develop internal and external networks to foster collaboration, share information and ideas and promote the subject and the University.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of research strategy within your discipline.

Learning and Teaching [with responsibilities in this area significantly reduced in the initial 3 year period, as agreed with the Head of School]

  • Contribute to and/or lead the development of the curriculum in own area, demonstrate innovative/leading edge approaches to learning that achieve the educational standards of the School/ Department and, where appropriate, professional body. Disseminate best practise in teaching and learning methodologies within and outside the university.
  • Deliver lectures and provide advice, instruction and examination in the subject at all levels, from undergraduate teaching to advising on post-doctoral research.

Additional duties as a chair holder after the initial three year period:

Management/ Administration

  • Plan and lead the development and implementation of research strategy within your discipline.   Develop and communicate a clear vision of the academic unit/University’s strategic direction and ensure the delivery of University strategic plans within area of responsibility.
  • Chair committees and participate in University decision making and governance and contribute to the development of academic policies across the University.
  • Provide intellectual leadership of the School’s academic community, providing direction and mentoring for less experienced colleagues. Lead, appoint, manage and develop individuals and/or teams to deliver the research and/or teaching plans. Foster inter-disciplinary team working to develop team spirit and team coherence.
  • Take responsibility for the management and resolution of student and/or team issues drawing on specialist advice and support as required.
  • Take responsibility for the organisation and deployment of resources within area of responsibility.
  • Contribute to the running and strategic direction and development of the University through designated committees or project activities.
  • Participate on national and international bodies; act as an advisor to government and in any other external advisory capacity; contribute to the development of higher education processes in the UK.

Person Specification and key requirements

Candidates will be highly successful and established mid-career academics with an international research reputation and who are on a clear rising trajectory towards leadership in their chosen academic area.

Skills and Experience

  • A good first degree together with a PhD, or equivalent.
  • Extensive and high level research and teaching experience in a relevant area.
  • Membership of a professional body where appropriate
  • A sustained record of invited talks at international conferences/ events and UK Higher Education Institutions.
  • Membership of editorial boards.
  • Reviewer for national and international research bodies.
  • Evidence of effective links with research partners.


  • A sustained record of scholarly output of international excellence over career to date, which includes a significant potential contribution to REF indicatively at a 4 * level judged against current national criteria.
  • Sustained research income comparable with the upper quartile income per FTE of the Russell Group universities for the discipline area.
  • Sustained record of successful completed postgraduate research  supervision to doctoral level.  
  • Sustained track record of success in knowledge creation and exchange to improve the performance of business and wider stakeholders e.g. IP commercialisation or public or cultural engagement or policy development in public institutions
  • Extensive experience of fostering academic collaboration across disciplinary boundaries
  • experience of mentoring research activity of junior staff;


  • Commitment to the promotion of equal opportunities
  • Membership of appointment, assessment or advisory committees at other HEI’s.
  • A record as a “good citizen” who recognises the need to foster collegiate endeavour and a sense of academic fellowship;
  • Experience of providing expert advice to colleagues, students and external bodies (e.g., local and central government);

Planning and Organising

  • Skills in managing projects and working collaboratively with fellow scholars
  • Experience of resource planning and management
  • Ability in strategic planning, showing effective implementation and evaluation
  • A record of organising effective, new and original research programmes

Decision Making

Ability to:

  • Solve problems creatively and effectively
  • Develop research ideas
  • Decide how to develop and undertake research strategy
  • Decide where and when to present research findings and what publications and conferences to target for this purpose

Internal/External Relationships

  • Experience of working within and leading internal and external networks
  • Evidence of agenda setting in research through e.g. participation/advisory roles in professional or government bodies.
  • Engagement with external bodies to enhance national or international standing of the discipline
  • Successful collaboration with other Universities;

Relating to future demands of the role


  • A reputation for excellence in teaching demonstrated through suitable teaching performance indicators
  • Identification of new areas of research and teaching


  • A record of leadership in supporting and managing academic staff
  • Ability to support the mission of the School, College and University;


How to apply

Candidates are required to submit the following as part of their full application: 

  • Application Form 
  • Full CV 
  • Covering statement and a 500 word research proposal detailing the research area you wish to explore.

Apply Now
(Reference number 57568)

Our research areas

Our vision is one where the transfer of knowledge and technology - generated from our research into the economy, policy and society - is an embedded and natural component of our activity, as important and relevant as the knowledge generation itself.

We support knowledge transfer as a broad spectrum of activity - including dissemination to our peers, engagement of the public, support to government and industry, and commercialisation of our intellectual property. 

We aim to build on individual excellence and to capitalise on our distinctive multi- and inter-disciplinary research strengths to address key national and global challenges; recognising that the complexity of these requires the productive bringing together of different perspectives and skills.

Please visit our other Academic Opportunities