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Assistant/Associate Professor in Toxicology (T&R or T&S)

Heriot-Watt University

Location: Based at Riccarton Campus in Edinburgh

Contract: Open Ended

Salary: Grade: 8, Salary (£45,585 - £54,395), Grade:9, Salary (£56,021 - £64,914) 

Closing Date: Midnight on 23rd Feb 2024

We are looking to recruit a Toxicologist (Assistant (G8) or Associate (G9) professor) to join the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) at the Edinburgh campus of Heriot Watt University. The successful candidate will take a leading role in the development, delivery and growth of the Toxicology MSc, as well as contribute to the delivery of other relevant programmes. We are open to applications from candidates with expertise in different aspects of Toxicology but are particularly interested in applicants who have regulatory or industrial experience as this expertise will be key to the design of new courses that are being delivered as part of the Toxicology MSc. Whilst this is a role with a significant amount of responsibility you will have a network that will help support your career development. For those from a non-academic background we will provide mentorship to develop your academic skills. Whilst we are only looking to appoint one candidate, we are flexible about whether we recruit an academic for a Teaching and Research (T&R) or Teaching and Scholarship (T&S) contract. Candidates should therefore clearly stipulate whether they are applying for a T&S or T&R position in their cover letter when applying for this position. 

EPS is recognised as an international leader in education, research and the application of knowledge to benefit society globally. BioPhysics & BioEngineering. In REF2021, our Physics was top in the UK for world-leading research outputs. Our joint submission to Engineering with the University of Edinburgh was ranked 1st in Scotland and 3rd in the UK for quality and breadth of research. You will join the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering (IB3).  

The institute has received substantial awards across the full range of funding bodies including UKRI councils, the EU, Medical Research Scotland, charities (Wellcome Trust, CRUK) and learned societies. Excellent facilities are available in biochemistry, cell biology, imaging at all scales using multiple cutting-edge methods, tissue engineering, 3D bioprinting, microfluidics and bioprocessing as well as the necessary infrastructure to enable cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Heriot Watt University holds an Institutional Athena Swan Bronze Award, as does the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, recognising excellence in championing employment of women in the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, staff engagement forums, campus facilities and services to support staff from different backgrounds.

Detailed Description of the Role 

Whether employed on a T&S or T&R contract the role holder will be expected to lead and contribute to the delivery and assessment of a number of BSc and MSc courses relevant to Toxicology. Teaching is likely to cover a range of topics such as the fundamental principles of toxicology, mechanisms of toxicity, different toxins and toxicants, methods for assessing toxicity, research skills, emerging issues in toxicology and relevant regulations.  Teaching will involve the delivery of lectures, tutorials, and practical classes and may involve organisation of external expert speakers and field trips (e.g. to industry). The successful candidate will play a key role in shaping the design of new toxicology courses and there will be opportunities to demonstrate innovation in teaching. It will be expected that the role holder will reflect on the delivery of courses and enhance and develop courses based on student feedback. Supervision of desk and lab-based research project students will also be required. The successful candidate will also be a personal tutor to MSc and BSc students. Candidates should therefore clearly describe what teaching experience they have, their teaching philosophy and how their expertise enables them to teach courses relevant to toxicology.

The successful applicant will be based in Edinburgh in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences and the role will require you to collaborate with colleagues in EPS as well as other schools at the Edinburgh campus, and potentially our overseas campuses in Dubai and Malaysia. There will be administrative responsibilities associated with the role and the role holder will support the programme leader in the co-ordination and management of the delivery of the Toxicology MSc. The candidate should therefore demonstrate that they can work in a team, and that they have good organisation and communication skills.

If applying for a T&R contract, candidates should demonstrate that either they have the drive and ambition to become a leading international researcher, or that they are already established in an area complementary to our existing strengths. The successful applicant will be expected to develop an independent research portfolio that enables them to deliver novel, collaborative research and build a research team. This will require the development of a clear strategy for research plans which communicates how this aligns with the landscape of EPS and Heriot Watt University as well as the broader national and international landscape. The successful applicant will be encouraged to deliver research-led teaching. For established independent researchers a proven ability to attract research funding and a good track record of publishing is required. For researchers looking for their first independent position an excellent research track record and definitive plans for future research and funding is required.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

The successful applicant will be responsible for: 

Learning, Teaching and Scholarship

  • Leading the design, preparation and delivery of teaching (e.g. lectures, tutorials, practical classes, fieldtrips) covering topics relevant to Toxicology 
  • Inviting external experts to deliver teaching
  • Ensuring students are engaged with the learning materials
  • Providing leadership in the planning, organisation, development and growth of teaching activities relevant to Toxicology 
  • Assessing courses (e.g. designing and marking coursework and exams)
  • Carrying out course related administrative tasks (e.g. contributing to exam boards and participating in relevant committees)
  • Being a personal tutor for BSc and MSc students
  • Supervising lab and desk-based research project students
  • Delivering research-led teaching
  • Demonstrating innovation in teaching
  • Enhancing and developing courses in response to student feedback 
  • Reviewing the content of courses and updating teaching materials when required
  • Liaising with colleagues in Heriot Watt University and externally to support the delivery of the Toxicology MSc and other programmes
  • Contributing to decision making and finding solutions to problems
  • Undertaking continuous professional development (CPD) 
  • Advancing teaching practice, theory and innovation via scholarship activities


If applying for a T&R contract the successful applicant will also be responsible for:

  • Actively pursuing research funding through the development and submission of high quality grant proposals
  • Engaging in research and actively contributing to the university’s research profile, including managing, supervising and mentoring research-active staff where appropriate
  • Delivering novel research that has impact
  • Developing collaborations within Heriot Watt University, and externally
  • Publishing research and review articles in peer reviewed journals
  • Representing the institution and disseminating research activities using different approaches (e.g. at conferences, delivery of outreach) 
  • Contributing to School, Institute and research group strategic planning where required, as well as carrying out general research administration

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of activities, and the role holder may be required 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.

Education, Qualifications and Experience


Learning Teaching and Scholarship

  • A degree (PhD level or equivalent expertise) in a relevant discipline (e.g. Toxicology)
  • Willingness and capability to develop and deliver teaching for Toxicology as well as programmes relevant to the expertise of the role holder
  • Excellent oral and written communication, team working and organisational skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues
  • Willingness to demonstrate versatility and flexibility 

Research and Professional Experience 

If applying for a T&R contract the successful applicant should also demonstrate that they are

  • Ambitious and realistic future research plans 
  • Ambitious to establish/grow a research group
  • Have a good track record of publishing research in peer reviewed journals
  • Have experience of delivering novel, collaborative research 
  • Have the ability to establish and maintain internal and external collaborations


Learning Teaching and Scholarship

  • Experience of teaching BSc or MSc students
  • Experience of demonstrating innovation in teaching 
  • Evidence of demonstrating leadership in teaching 
  • Previous supervision of research project students
  • Delivery of web-based learning (e.g. virtual learning environments such as Canvas, and Blackboard)

Research and Professional Experience

If applying for a T&R contract the successful applicant should also demonstrate that they have:

  • Experience of delivering multidisciplinary research, commensurate with level of experience 
  • A track record of securing research funding
  • An international reputation in their research field 
  • Experience of supervision of PhD students and research associates’ work
  • A willingness to be involved in collaborative research

How To Apply

Applications can be submitted up until midnight on Friday, 23 February 2024.

We are aiming to shortlist in w/c 26th Feb and 4th March and hold interviews in w/c 18th March.

For more information about the role and to apply, please click on the ‘Apply’ button above

Location: Edinburgh
Salary: £45,585 to £64,914 Grade: 8 - 9
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 16th January 2024
Closes: 23rd February 2024
Job Ref: 3527
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