New vacancy

Director of Research and Enterprise

Female student working in laboratory

Be ambitious for our research

As Director of our Research and Enterprise Office (REO) you will need to be as ambitious as our researchers, so you can build on our long record of research excellence and success.

The goals in our Research Strategy are bold and their delivery requires innovation, creativity and tenacity from our academic and professional teams. So as our new Director, you will need the vision, understanding and leadership skills to unlock new potential within the University.

You will build constructive and mutually beneficial relationships with new collaborators and new funders, realise the potential for the University of a science and research park that is an integral part of our main campus and lead our professional team of research and knowledge exchange staff in making their distinctive, and equally important, contribution to our success.

Working in close partnership with the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), who provides academic leadership of our work in this area, you will lead a well-established team of 70 staff working collaboratively with the academic community to deliver our Research Strategy. 

In this strategic leadership role, you will bring a track record of success that will add to the expertise and capacity already available within our team.  In particular, you will have the ability to contribute evidence-based insights and judgments on how to drive forward our research and enterprise ambitions, and the confidence to assert your professional expertise as we challenge ourselves to think and act differently and to deliver an even greater impact.

You will be reporting directly to the University’s Registrar & Secretary, and a member of the University’s Professional Services Group and you will work closely with all other Heads of Section in leading the professional contribution to the University’s work. 

Your team in the Research and Enterprise Office will be responsible for providing dynamic professional leadership of all activities in the areas of research planning and governance, pre- and post-award management, knowledge exchange and business engagement. The team already leads the delivery of circa £10 million of projects in support of our innovation, enterprise, international and impact agendas.   

In the coming period, the strategic objectives for the Research and Enterprise Office will include supporting our submission for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF); preparing for a potential Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), increasing our citation counts and international research reputation; further enhancing processes to support the achievement of research impact; the further development of strategic business partnerships to promote the University’s research and impact priorities and to achieve a step-change in the level and impact of our business engagement; and the development of new and more diverse external funding streams.  You will directly contribute to our plan to secure significantly greater income and impact from partnerships, drawing on the University’s education, research and physical assets. 

We know that the traditional ways of pursuing these goals are unlikely to give us an edge. You will need to bring your own innovation and creativity to this role, inspiring these characteristics in others, so together we can develop fresh approaches to achieve the objectives we have set for ourselves.

If this sounds like you, we hope you'll want to pursue your interest in this exciting role.

Find out more about this opportunity

REF 2014 confirmed our track record of research excellence, with Essex ranked in the top 20 UK universities and in the top four for social science research. 

Our Politics research has been rated first in the UK since rankings began in 1986. We’ve not sustained this success by resting on our laurels and are well prepared for REF 2021, having been pursuing a strategy of 100% submission of all staff with a research component to their responsibilities since 2013. 

To support our new Strategic Plan, which covers the period 2019 to 2025, a new Research Strategy is under development with objectives that ensure that we continue to challenge ourselves to do even better: to build on our research excellence; to increase our research intensity; to enhance the impact of our work on the lives of individuals and societies; to broaden the range of organisations with which we work in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors; and to extend the reach and reputation of our research on a global scale. We are eager to see these ambitions fully realised. 

In pursuing these goals, we’ve recognised that respecting historic distinctions between academic and applied research, between research and knowledge exchange, and between research and education will simply slow us down. So at Essex, impact and knowledge exchange are integral aspects of our research mission. We’ve invested over £50 million in ensuring our 43-acre science and research park, the Knowledge Gateway, is not at arm’s-length from the University, and attracts companies who can genuinely see the University’s expertise supporting their growth and success.

We are committed to delivering a transformational educational experience. Our students are taught by the leading thinkers in their field, have the opportunity to undertake their own research as members of our research community, can benefit from business connections through internships and placements and can contribute to our research environment, as well as benefitting from research-led teaching.

Our peaks of research excellence mean that Essex is helping to answer real-world questions at the intersection of traditional disciplines. Our expertise in analytics and data science connects our research strengths across the faculties of Humanities, Social Sciences and Science and Health. This extends from safeguarding human rights to, promoting business competitiveness evaluating long-term health trends of different social groups.  As a growing university, we are expanding our research base at an even faster rate, enhancing our capacity to address the next set of new problems, building our critical mass of expertise, and enabling our research to have an even greater impact.

Wivenhoe Park aerial view image
Ready for the challenge?

Apply today for the chance to join the University of Essex and become the new Director of Research and Enterprise.

Apply today