Search Procedure

The Search Procedure

The Search Procedure is designed to support the selection process by securing the best list of candidates applying for posts within the University.  It is expected that this procedure will be used regularly for appointment to Academic and other specialised posts, particularly for Chairs, Directors and some specialised Academic positions. Executive Search Consultants may, where appropriate, be engaged to support alternative methods of attracting candidates.  The Search Procedure does not in any way replace the selection process.  Great care must be taken to ensure that the use of the Search Procedure is consistent with the relevant legislation and University practice and that no candidate for a post receives preferential treatment of any sort.  It follows that “search” is to be used only as a means of introducing the University (and N. Ireland) to suitable people from whom applications would be welcomed and encouraged.  It should be made entirely clear throughout the process that any invitation to visit or to consider applying for posts is without prejudice to the normal operation of the appointments procedures and involves no commitment by the University.

“Search” is also designed to encourage an open mind about the possibility of life and employment in Northern Ireland.  It is an exercise in the provision of information and the correcting of misconceptions.  Partners of potential candidates should receive every encouragement to come and see Queen’s University and Northern Ireland for themselves to allay any apprehensions they may have.

The Search Procedure should be operated as follows:

The Vice-Chancellor or the Registrar and Chief Operating Officer may put in place search arrangements for appointments to senior positions and Deans for academic appointments.  Such arrangements may include the establishment of a search committee.  The search committee can contact such individuals and advise them of the vacancy and further particulars. 

Applications for posts must be completed in the normal way through Human Resources in order to ensure that the appropriate monitoring is taking place.

Visits to Schools/Directorates can be facilitated either prior to the receipt of a completed application or following receipt of a completed application.  The purpose of the visit may be:

  • to make the applicant aware of the facilities that are available either within the School/Department and/or University;
  • to introduce the applicant to key people within the discipline;
  • to provide information on housing, schools and other relevant matters associated with relocation to Northern Ireland.

It is essential that, with both the search process and visits to the University, the University is represented by a senior member of staff, not normally involved with the selection process.  The members of the search committee should not normally have any input into the appointment process.  Where it is necessary for a member of the appointments panel to meet applicants as part of a visit to a School/Department, information relating to the appointment process should not be discussed and extreme care should be exercised in order to ensure that no applicant is seen to be or is receiving preferential treatment.  This approach will protect the integrity of the selection procedure while introducing applicants to the University and Northern Ireland.

Where posts are supported by outside funding, the above principles continue to apply, but the actual “search” procedures to be used will be discussed with the external sponsor.

Search consultants may also be engaged to assist in securing a better applicant pool.  The engagement of such consultants should be in accordance with the relevant University purchasing arrangements.