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Professor in Global Sustainable Development

University of Warwick - School for Cross-faculty Studies

University of Warwick, Coventry

Do you want to take a lead developing an interesting and rapidly-evolving research portfolio, spanning all areas of sustainability research at the University of Warwick? Are you able to provide effective leadership and to find imaginative ways to maintain and develop the University’s reputation for excellence in global sustainable development?

The Institute for Global Sustainable Development (IGSD), within the School for Cross-faculty Studies, is looking for a new Professor in Global Sustainable Development, who will be Director of the IGSD at least for a five-year term. IGSD supports the diverse research base at the University of Warwick, working closely with our Global Research Priorities (GRPs) and related centres and institutes, to develop truly transdisciplinary and multi-faculty research.

As Director, you will play a leading role in the development and delivery of an institution-wide approach to global sustainable development research, in line with the University’s Research Strategy and Sustainability Strategy. With a respected international profile, you will create an environment that will stimulate transdisciplinary research in global sustainable development across the University and with external partners.

IGSD is an innovative and agile cross-faculty research institute that forms part of a strategic investment by the University of Warwick to support global sustainable development research. Its mission is to be a hub for transdisciplinary research on global sustainable development, i.e. research that crosses disciplinary borders and includes non-academic stakeholder communities to achieve effective impact to some of the most important today’s challenges across the global North and South.

IGSD facilitates connections that transcend boundaries of disciplines by bringing together researchers in social science, humanities and natural sciences to catalyse social, economic and environmental changes. It helps to create equitable multi-stakeholder partnerships to co-produce knowledge with industry and government partners and act as a focal point for world-class research with transformative impact to sustainable development challenges. 

We are looking for an enthusiastic, committed and collegial individual who will lead IGSD while developing their own research portfolio in the area of global sustainable development. 

You will have a PhD in a relevant field, an innovative research agenda and an excellent publication record, with a track record of significant research funding secured. We are particularly interested in transdisciplinary research that connects contextual, place-based understandings of sustainability transformations with the development of new theories and methods able to bridge existing siloed disciplines and the perspectives of non-academic practitioners. We welcome applications from academics from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds with interest and experience of building strong, equitable and multisectoral research partnerships and networks; who have a genuine interest in working across disciplines; and who share our enthusiasm for delivering impactful challenge-led research that contributes to global sustainable development. 

This is an exciting opportunity to develop your own career and profile by leading this growing and dynamic Institute. The successful applicant will join a vibrant community of scholarship and critical engagement that provides a friendly working environment that values a diverse set of gender, cultural and disciplinary perspectives and worldviews. Applications from candidates in groups under-represented in the Higher Education sector are particularly welcome. 

The School acknowledges that various structural inequalities exist within Higher Education and actively works toward their elimination. We commit to providing a fair, accessible and equitable experience for all students and staff and we were recently awarded the Athena Swan Bronze Award. We particularly welcome applications from individuals who have experience in – or the potential for – building an equitable and scholarly environment in teaching, research, life experience or other service associated with the role.

We strive to accommodate requests for flexible working within the parameters of the role, and job sharing may be considered. Please indicate in your application if you would be interested in and willing to consider flexible working arrangements.  

For more information about the Institute for Global Sustainable Development, please visit  


Job Description


The Director is responsible for all aspects of strategy, management and financial viability of the Institute for Global Sustainable Development (IGSD). The position provides leadership and expertise on sustainable development, and will contribute to policy and strategy development at a national and/or international level. We are particularly interested in applicants with expertise on Climate Change, Pandemics or Human/Environment interactions but we will also consider applicants with expertise in other fields pertinent to the global sustainable development agenda.

The post holder will be required to work closely with the Head of the School for Cross-faculty Studies, as well as with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), and a broad range of stakeholders across the institution, to support the development and delivery of transdisciplinary research in the field of sustainable development. 

The successful candidate will be appointed as a Professor on an indefinite basis (equivalent to tenured position). Appointment as Director of the Institute will normally be for 5 years in the first instance, with an option to extend.  At the end of the term as Director of the Institute, the successful applicant will continue in an indefinite and ongoing professorial role.


Leadership and Management Duties and Responsibilities

This position will involve (up to 40% of workload) administrative duties linked to the Director of the IGSD role, including to:

  1. Provide strong leadership of the IGSD, continuing to grow and strengthen its research activity, as well as increasing the impact of IGSD activities across the University;
  2. Support Warwick’s research community and stimulate transdisciplinary research on global sustainable development across the University. Further developing existing, and building new, research collaborations and partnerships in the field of sustainable development;
  3. Provide leadership in developing, promoting and supporting sustainable development research collaboration with key stakeholder groups such as governments, international non-governmental organisations and industry;
  4. Take a lead role in attracting external research funding to support high quality sustainable development research, covering a range of funding sources including national and international research funding agencies and collaboration schemes, government departments, industry and philanthropy. Interact with a wide range of organisations that fund research to identify and establish new opportunities for research funding;
  5. Support positioning Warwick as a leading University in the field of sustainable development research, including promoting the University’s research capacity building and collaborative learning;
  6. Supervise IGSD members of staff, conduct annual performance appraisals in keeping with the University's performance management system, foster and promote personal and professional growth of IGSD staff;
  7. Contribute to University wide initiatives by chairing/attending as appropriate, relevant University Committees and Working groups
  8. Work with Faculties, Departments and the Global Research Priorities to recruit and build expertise to establish an academic community that engages in collaborative research of national and international significance in the field of sustainable development;
  9. Encourage the formation of collaborative and multidisciplinary research teams to seek research funding, as well as enhance the participation of Warwick researchers in national and international consortia;
  10. Participate in, and provide leadership in, community affairs related to sustainable development in professional, government, commercial and industrial sectors where appropriate;
  11. Establish a clear point of contact for enquiries about Warwick’s sustainable development research capabilities;
  12. Share information concerning stakeholder needs (government and private sector) to build mutual capacity to identify projects of relevance and capture external resources for research;
  13. Raise awareness of Warwick’s achievements in sustainable development research to a range of stakeholders including: government, funding agencies, the local and regional community in general, industry, philanthropists, senior management and the university community at large;
  14. Liaise with other members of the senior management in the School (including the Director of Research or the Director of PGR), act as a member of relevant School committees and contribute to the design and implementation of the School’s research strategy.


Professorial Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. To undertake original research leading to publications of international quality with the potential for significant impact. 
  2. To take a leading role in developing research applications on sustainable development and generating research income.
  3. To further develop existing, and building new, research collaborations and partnerships in the field of sustainable development
  4. To maintain a high profile within relevant professional organisations.
  5. To provide academic leadership in scholarship and teaching.
  6. To undertake appropriate undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and to supervise PhD and MASc students.
  7. To contribute to the development of research and impact strategies within the School.
  8. To perform such administrative and pastoral responsibilities as may be assigned.
  9. To be prepared to play a leadership role in administration and academic governance within the School and the University. 

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

Good honours degree and a PhD or equivalent qualification and appropriate professional experience, (a)

Essential Criteria 2

Internationally recognised authority in the area of Global Sustainable Development with major achievements in research and scholarship and an in-depth understanding of own specialism to enable the development of new knowledge, (a), (c)

Essential Criteria 3

Proven ability in research with excellence in published work at national and international level in relevant fields with the ability to initiate, develop and deliver high quality research, (a), (c)

Essential Criteria 4

An outstanding academic reputation including first class publications and considerable external funding, able to support a significant research group through capacity development and external funding streams, (a), (c)

Essential Criteria 5

A record of governmental, non-governmental and industry engagement in strategic sustainable development initiatives (at both national and international level). Ability to develop and sustain effective relationships at the highest level of government, industry and third-sector, (a), (c)

Essential Criteria 6

Ability to initiate, develop and deliver high quality research and to publish in peer reviewed journals, (a), (c)

Essential Criteria 7

Demonstrated experience in advocacy at a senior level, including powerful networking skills, (a), (c)

Essential Criteria 8

Demonstration of a high level of initiative in leading major projects and research initiatives, (a), (c)

Essential Criteria 9

Strong leadership skills and capacity to facilitate major change in institutional culture, (a), (c)

Essential Criteria 10

Extensive management experience in senior roles, including governance, strategic planning and management of multiple research projects, (a), (c)

Essential Criteria 11

Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, including the ability to communicate at all levels, (a), (c)

Essential Criteria 12

Excellent interpersonal skills, (a), (c)

Desirable Criteria 1

A record of successful supervision of post-graduate research students, (a), (c)

Desirable Criteria 2

Expertise and track record in transdisciplinary research, which cuts across science, social sciences and humanities, in one of the following areas: climate change, pandemics, human-environment interactions. (a), (c)


Further Particulars

At the University of Warwick, sustainability features as a pillar of the University Strategy, along with delivering world-class research and championing social, cultural and economic growth by being a catalyst and partner for regional, national and international development. Global Sustainable Development is an area of research that has been growing over the past decade and is represented in our Global Research Priorities. The advertised role will sit in the School for Cross-faculty Studies, which is home to a wide range of successful transdisciplinary programmes, including the BA Liberal Arts, the Single Honours BASc Global Sustainable Development and a suite of 11 joint BASc degrees in Global Sustainable Development. The School will also be launching its transdisciplinary postgraduate programmes (MASc and PhD in Global Sustainable Development) in October 2021 and a range of distance-learning programmes in GSD in 2022. As its name denotes, the School has a remit to develop teaching that cuts across the disciplines and to enable cutting-edge research interventions that address the most pressing global issues. The Institute for Global Sustainable Development is a research centre based in the School for Cross-faculty Studies but with a remit to work across the range of academic departments and research centres. The Institute’s mandate is to attract research funding that enables us to explore sustainable development internally, nationally and globally. Its mission is to provide a focal point for Warwick’s sustainable development research, contributing towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but also challenging them. 

The role of the Director of the IGSD is strategic and executive. The Director will be responsible for drawing up and implementing the vision and mission for the IGSD that reflects the strengths of the academic community at Warwick and that sets the strategy for enhancing and enriching our research culture in the field of sustainable development. The Director will work collaboratively with several stakeholders across the University to design a plan for attracting research funding and delivering the strategy. The Director of the IGSD will be a member of the senior management in the School, reporting directly to the Head of School, but also expected to work closely with the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and the Chair of Faculty.

More information on the University of Warwick:

More information on the IGSD: 

More information on the School for Cross-faculty Studies:

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: 4th October 2021

The University of Warwick has appointed SearchHigher as their recruitment partner for this campaign, please apply by sending a CV & Cover Letter in Word Document format to or call 07368 380888 for a confidential conversation.

Location: Coventry
Salary: Competitive
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 9th September 2021
Closes: 4th October 2021
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