Professor of Artificial Intelligence

Xi'an Jiaotong - Liverpool University – School of AI and Advanced Computing

Applications are invited for the position of Professor of Artificial Intelligence to assist the Dean in establishing and developing the new School of AI and Advanced Computing at the XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang campus), part of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU). The position will be a key link in developing education and research programmes within the school and building links between business partners and the Entrepreneur College, and be a member of the senior management of the School. The post holder will report to the Dean of the School of AI and Advanced Computing. 


About the University

XJTLU is China’s leading Joint Venture University and located in Suzhou, China. Founded in 2006, it now has more than 17,000 enrolled students in both Suzhou and Liverpool in the UK. It plans to grow to about 25,000 students by 2025. The strengths of the university are in Science and Technology, as well as some professional subjects like Architecture and Business. There are currently around 850 academic staff, with an even split between citizens of the People’s Republic of China and international passport holders. The language of instruction, committees, and administrative work at XJTLU is English.

XJTLU is located in the Higher Education Town of Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), well-connected via nearby airports to cities such as Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, and Taipei, and via high-speed rails to other major cities in China, including nearby Shanghai. Greater Suzhou is now the fourth largest concentration of economic activity in China in terms of GDP, and the SIP has been on the receiving end of both private and public investments into innovation and R&D.

About the Taicang site

XJTLU is building a new teaching site in Taicang, with the collaboration of the Taicang Municipal Government and industry partners, as part of its strategic priorities for the next ten years. Taicang is a county-level city in Greater Suzhou. The Taicang site will be a pioneer of, and an educational model for, the future campus in developing talents and leaders to meet local, national, and global challenges from the 4th Industrial Revolution.

The Taicang site programmes are adopting a new higher education model based on the concept of Syntegrative Education (SE). SE is a new model that has been developed by XJTLU to address future challenges from the 4th Industrial Revolution, and is a core part of the university’s strategy for the next ten year development that stresses innovation and entrepreneurship. SE aims at training syntegrative leaders with Management skills, International perspective, Discipline-specific knowledge, and adaptability in Industry (MIDI).

The XJTLU Taicang site is directed by a Leadership team comprised of the Taicang Principal, Taicang Associate Principal, Chief Operating Officer, School Deans and Director of the Learning Mall. The Taicang Leadership Team reports through its Principal to the Executive President, who heads the Senior Management Team of XJTLU. 

About the School

The School of AI and Advanced Computing is one of the 6 – 10 industry-themed Schools in the XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang campus). Each School consists of an Education, Research and Development Institute (“ERDI”) for teaching and university-business research collaboration, a professional services centre supporting daily activities of students, staff, and business partners, and a School Affiliated Company jointly established by XJTLU and the School’s industry partner for practical on-the-job learning and teaching. 

The School of AI and Advanced Computing has been jointly developed by the Departments of Mathematics, and Computer Science and Software Engineering, as well as an industry partner – Sugon, to deliver industry-themed programme(s). The partnership between XJTLU and the industry partner is non-exclusive.  The first degree programme that the School has launched for the Academic Year 2019/2020 is BEng Data Science and Big Data Technology

About the Industry Partner

The current major partner in collaboration with XJTLU to co-develop the School of AI and Advanced Computing is SUGON.

Sugon is a leading enterprise in the field of high-performance computing, server, storage, cloud computing and big data in China. It is a national high-tech enterprise formed on the foundations of the significant scientific and technological achievements made under the National 863 Programme and with the strong support of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. More information please see https://www.sugon.com/en. Any question regarding Sugon please contact Operation Director of Sugon University, Ms Xiao GUO: guox@sugon.com.

Summary of the Post

The candidate will be a senior member of staff in the School and will be responsible to the Dean for the effective management and administration of the School’s activities. Through their leadership, the candidate will ensure that the School meets its ambitious targets by creating an intellectually stimulating and vibrant environment in which its students and staff can flourish.

The broad dimensions of the post are to:

  • Lead and grow the research and academic profile of the AI and Advanced Computer Science subject area in collaboration with the School’s industrial partners.
  • Provide leadership and vision for the future direction and development of AI research and teaching in the School.
  • Shape the School’s research strategy, deliver high-quality research, and support entrepreneurial-focused teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
  • Take on leadership, management, and external engagement activities to support the School.
  • Be a strong advocate for the XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang) nationally and internationally.

Personal Attributes of the Post

The position seeks individuals who are passionate about undergraduate and graduate student engagement, who can model the excitement of engagement, discovery, and creativity, and who are committed to education as an integrated and transformational process.

The candidate should have the:

  • Ability to proactively seek and respond to issues with flexible, effective and, where appropriate, innovative solutions.
  • Ability to prioritise, take and implement decisions to achieve agreed objectives.
  • Ability to contribute to the strategic development of the University.
  • Ability to lead and develop academic staff and mentorship skills with the ability to coach colleagues.
  • The ability to interact effectively with a range of stakeholders, including staff at all levels, students, and external organisations by possessing highly developed interpersonal and communication skills.

Key Responsibilities of the Post

The main duties of the role include:

  • Work collaboratively with the Dean of School in the design and implementation of the School’s Teaching and Learning, and Research, Enterprise and Innovation Strategies.
  • Lead the School’s business engagement initiatives with a view to building an extensive portfolio of potential business/industry collaborative partnerships.
  • Promote, manage and contribute to the delivery and development of appropriate undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes to the required standards expected by the university academic regulatory framework, and where necessary appropriate professional, statutory and regulatory bodies.
  • Promote, manage and contribute to the delivery of an effective programme of academic staff development to ensure academic staff are equipped to deliver high quality teaching.
  • Promote best practice in relation to innovative assessment design across the School, ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of appropriate assessment and feedback to meet the needs of all stakeholders.
  • Ensure that the school and curriculum design delivers an inclusive learning experience, as evidenced through student satisfaction, personal development and positive degree outcomes, and to work with industry partners to achieve this.
  • Lead the development of the VLE and technology enhanced teaching to maximise academic staff engagement in approaches that promote student led learning and supports student success.
  • Work with relevant School, College and University staff to identify opportunities for the successful exploitation of research.
  • Manage investment funds which have been agreed by the Dean of School, Associate Principal or XJTLU Dean for Research, for Research and Innovation.
  • Create and support a healthy research environment, with agreed annual research outcomes and expectations, an emphasis on impact and funded quality research and innovation and/or knowledge exchange activities.
  • Identify and implement strategies to maximize grant capture and research income, from both external funding bodies and business/industry.
  • Preferrably have a sustained a record of successful PhD supervision as the Director of Studies.
  • Demonstrate evidence of good, sustained, and successful leadership of research grants and consultancy contracts, and conduct high-quality research, evidenced by publications in leading journals.
  • Evidence of successful research partnerships with academic institutions and external organisations.
  • Evidence of developing nationally and internationally recognised pedagogic research related to AI and Advanced Computing.
  • Ability to contribute to the development of School and organisational strategy by being able to provide expertise and perform horizon scanning for the development of new opportunities at home and abroad.
  • Contribute to XJTLU activities and Taicang Entrepreneur College initiatives such as liaising with industrial partnerships, mentoring and supporting junior staff, and willingness to undertake reasonable administrative responsibilities.
  • Generate and manage major research grant applications to support innovative cross-disciplinary research and become an ambassador for the School for the promotion of interdisciplinary research and teaching activities.
  • Engage actively with new educational models and embrace innovative, interactive, technology-enhanced learning, teaching, and assessment approaches; understand and have an entrepreneur and innovative spirit in line with the campus and college ethos.
  • Represent the Dean of School when necessary, within the College, University and externally as appropriate.
  • Any other work-related tasks assigned by the Charter of School, the School Council, or the Dean of School.


  1. Candidates must be a Ph.D. holder in Artificial Intelligence/Data Science/Computer Science/Systems Engineering or related disciplines from a world renowned university, or be able to demonstrate an equivalent professional practice and engagement.
  2. Candidates must be willing/able to actively engage with new educational models such as Syntegrative Education (SE).
  3. Candidates shall become familiar with and observe Chinese and UK rules and regulations of higher education.
  4. Candidates shall have outstanding leadership and management experience, and ability to motivate and inspire teams with good people skills.
  5. Candidates must have a national/international reputation and demonstrate impacts in any of the research and innovation fields relevant to the School. Candidates are expected to have a good sense of the technology trends and relevant research experience on industrial projects. Candidates should have the experience to cooperate with industrial partners to develop R&D projects.
  6. Candidates must have rich experience in teaching, research, academic leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship, strategic planning and financial management in a university and/or business environment.
  7. First class networking skills and an ability to build and nurture external contacts and partnerships, working with business other organisations in the area of innovation and business support to the benefit of the school.
  8. Excellent organisational, implementation and monitoring skills to deliver successful outcomes.
  9. Candidates must demonstrate a good track record of engagement with students and industry.
  10. Candidates must have a high level of communicative competence in English; an equivalent knowledge of Chinese would be an advantage.
  11. Candidates with administration and management experience in international universities or Sino-foreign joint universities are preferred.
  12. Some experience of working in a relevant industry would be an advantage.

Remuneration and Benefits:

Salary is by negotiation and will be internationally competitive. There is a generous benefit-package including subsidies towards the costs of housing, travel, and children’s education, as well as the provision of health insurance. There is also an allowance for relocation.


The recruitment is effective immediately and will be open till 31 May 2021.


Informal enquiries may be addressed to the Dean, Professor Angelos Stefanidis (Email: angelos.stefanidis@xjtlu.edu.cn).

To apply:

Please visit our website at http://job.xjtlu.edu.cn to submit an online application. You will be asked to upload your CV and covering letter (in English) outlining your interest in the position, and complete an Applicant Information Form and Equal Opportunities Form. Your covering letter must include:

  • A research statement of up to 4 pages, describing your main achievements to date, as well as outlining the programme of research you intend to follow for the next few years.
  • A teaching statement of up to 2 pages.