Heriot-Watt University

Assistant Professor in Sport and/or Exercise Science

Heriot-Watt University

Job Description

Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and leading-edge, relevant research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for innovation, business and industry.  

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages. Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort. 

Shaping Tomorrow Together 

The university is running a campaign to identify key academic talent join us across our Edinburgh, Galashiels, and Dubai campuses and across multiple Schools and Disciplines. You will join as an Assistant Professor. This is an exciting campaign to kick off in late 2022 and into 2023. So, we are really interested in hearing from you as we look to you to help us shape tomorrow together.

About our Team 

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society is one of the UK’s leading institutions for multidisciplinary research and teaching in areas critical to economic development and societal equity.  We aim to attain excellence in the teaching of the core disciplines that contribute to a sustainable, resource and energy efficient society and are committed to undertaking high value, high impact research and knowledge transfer in topics of relevance to global challenges. 

The School enjoys facilities consistent with its location in modern, purpose-built accommodation on the Edinburgh campus. The School is well equipped in respect of laboratories for materials, structures, engineering, building services and hydraulics research and teaching.  Our research and teaching facilities in Dubai and Malaysia are contained within purpose-built campuses in Dubai Academic City and Putrajaya, respectively.  

Institute of Life & Earth Sciences 

The Institute of Life and Earth Sciences (ILES) undertakes multidisciplinary research in the areas of Biology, Geography, Environmental Science, Life Sciences and Sports and Exercise Science. Staff are based both in Edinburgh and at the International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT) in the Orkney Isles.

Further information can be obtained at - https://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscience-infrastructure-society/iles.htm  

About the Role 

Heriot Watt University is expanding its portfolio into sport education and has recently re-introduced a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science at its Edinburgh Campus which commenced in September 2022. In collaboration with Oriam, Scotland’s National Performance Centre, the launch of the new BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science is an exciting opportunity to develop an outstanding, modern and inclusive programme of teaching and research in Sport and Exercise Science.  As a result, we are seeking to appoint an Assistant Professor in Sport and/or Exercise Science. We are also keen to hear from sport and exercise practitioners with an excellent research profile who are interested in working as an academic alongside their practise.

You will be an enthusiastic and friendly professional with proven communication and interpersonal skills coupled with a commitment to providing an enriching student experience, allowing students to develop the key skills needed as a modern Sport and Exercise Scientist. An established national profile in the field of Sport and Exercise with teaching experience on relevant programmes is essential. To be successful you will further enrich our students’ experience through your expertise and subject knowledge as evidenced through your qualifications and experience. 

While the overall strategy and shape of the Sport and Exercise Science Team is developing, the main aims are to firstly develop industry-changing Sport and Exercise Science graduates through high quality teaching that includes utilising technology to deliver from the laboratory to the field, embedding Open Scholarship and ensuring integrate approaches throughout Undergraduate and Postgraduate provision.  We are also aiming to undertake internationally renowned research in Sport and Exercise Science, from basic science to translational and industry-changing projects

Key Duties & Responsibilities  

You will be required to make a significant contribution to the design and delivery of the new BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science. Enthusiastic about student-centred pedagogy, you will contribute to the educational delivery, as well as a significant contribution to professional engagement with relevant internal and external organisations, at a regional, national and international level. You will be expected to contribute to the research profile of the School and to meet the qualitative and quantitative requirements for submission to the next Research Excellence Framework (REF). Specifically, you will:  

  • Engage within the Sport and Exercise Science discipline within inputs into a variety of areas including new laboratory developments, within the Sport and Exercise Science programme with overall responsibility for how this area integrates within the programme. 
  • Engage in curriculum development, teaching and research supervision at both an individual and a strategic level.  
  • Engage in individual and/collaborative research activity resulting in high quality, internationally recognised publications that are in keeping with REF criteria. 
  • Generate research income appropriate in scale to career stage and subject area norms. 
  • Contribute to the development of the University’s national and international profile through innovative research. 

This is a teaching and research role. The successful applicant will be expected to make positive and sustainable contributions to the areas below. However, you will be measured against the essential criteria, not by the key duties and responsibilities. 


  • To pursue research of internationally recognised importance and quality that will make a significant contribution to the University’s submission to Future Research Excellence Framework exercises, enhance the international profile of the University and contribute to the development of its own communities of research;  
  • Manage and shape the development of strategic and collaborative research funding bids through the submission of high-quality grant proposals to appropriate funding streams;  
  • Disseminate research through high-quality journal publications and papers, presentations at conferences, and relevant stakeholder events;  
  • Mentor and coach research students, with particular focus on providing opportunities for developing their careers as interdisciplinary, collaborative, and effective researchers. 

Pioneering Education: 

  • Undertake continuous professional development both through the University and externally to remain up-to-date with current learning and teaching practice and external influencers in our sector to provide direction and leadership; 
  • Share best practice in learning and teaching methodologies, working with colleagues to develop scholarly debate and the dissemination of excellence to advance the curriculum to be future focused and challenged-led; 
  • Supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students’ work and take responsibility for dealing with referred issues regarding students within their own educational programmes. 

Collaboration and Leadership: 

  • Develop your leadership within the BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science programme to ensure excellent levels of student engagement, retention and outcomes;
  • Collaborate with colleagues to ensure a consistent, effective, and high-quality delivery of teaching and research, in line with the strategic aims of EGIS, as well as the wider University;
  • Represent EGIS with integrity in a professional capacity at national and international conferences, with industrial partners, in professional societies, etc. 

Please note this job description is not exhaustive, and the role holder may have the opportunity to undertake other relevant duties commensurate with the grading of the post. Activities may be subject to amendment over time as the role develops and/or priorities and requirements evolve. As stated above, you will be measured against the following essential criteria, not by the key duties and responsibilities. 

Education, Qualifications and Experience (i.e. Person Specification) 

The successful applicant will satisfy the following requirements: 

Essential criteria:  

  • PhD (or equivalent experience) in the broader area of Sport and/or Exercise Science 
  • A clear and evidenced personal research strategy, and the potential of attracting external research funding, with publications in international journals and presenting at conferences 
  • The ability to deliver innovative teaching, together with experience of teaching in a higher education environment 
  • Emotional intelligence, with a demonstrable collegiate attitude and proven interpersonal skills

Desirable criteria: 

  • Membership of appropriate societies and/or British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences accreditation; 
  • Ability to draw on industrial and professional networks to develop and enhance the teaching portfolio. 

How to Apply 

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on the 19th February 2023.

Please must submit via the Heriot-Watt on-line recruitment system (1) Cover letter describing their interest and suitability for the post; (2) Full CV that includes the list of publications (3) Research and teaching statements. 

For informal discussions about the position or the department of Sport and Exercise Science, please contact Dr Fergus Guppy (F.Guppy@hw.ac.uk). 

Heriot-Watt University is committed to securing equality of opportunity in employment and to the creation of an environment in which individuals are selected, trained, promoted, appraised and otherwise treated on the sole basis of their relevant merits and abilities.  Equality and diversity are all about maximising potential and creating a culture of inclusion for all. 

Heriot-Watt University values diversity across our University community and welcomes applications from all sectors of society, particularly from underrepresented groups. For more information, please see our website https://www.hw.ac.uk/uk/services/equality-diversity.htm and also our award-winning work in Disability Inclusive Science Careers https://disc.hw.ac.uk/ . 

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options. 

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.