Pro-Vice Chancellor for:

Engineering & Physical Sciences

Our Vision & Strategy

The Vision for Queen’s is to be a world class international university that supports outstanding students and staff, working in world class facilities, conducting leading edge education and research, focused on the needs of society.

QUB - Shaping a better world

Our Vision is shaped by a number of principles:

  • Developing a culture of integrated, empowered and enabled leadership;
  • Growing in key priority areas, including research, postgraduate and international student numbers;
  • Developing empowered and accountable Faculties;
  • Facilitating and enabling interdisciplinarity and a collaborative approach to delivery;
  • Supporting the Graduate School to continue to grow a strong and vibrant postdoctoral community.
  • Enhancing our positive impact on society;
  • To develop global citizens and address international challenges.

This Vision has been captured within the Corporate Plan for the period 2016 to 2021. A new plan for the five year period following 2021 is currently under development.

The Corporate Plan provides a roadmap for Queen’s to deliver the ambition articulated in the Vision. The Plan is underpinned by the University’s Core Values (Integrity, Connected, Ambition, Respect, Excellence) and focuses on three strategic priority areas:

Education and Students

Queen’s will deliver high quality leading edge education, through world class staff, focused on the needs of society. We will provide an educational experience that is research-led and enriches our students intellectually, socially and culturally. We will develop our students to be confident, resilient, creative, critical thinkers and problem solvers, with strong employability skills, prepared for leadership and citizenship in a global society.


Queen’s will be distinguished by its academic strengths and recognised globally for the social, economic and cultural benefit it delivers through its research. To achieve this, we will work to create an inspiring research environment for our students and staff that nurtures talent and rewards outstanding leadership and excellence.

Innovation and Impact

Queen’s will enhance and expand its impact on wider society – regionally, nationally, and globally – through innovative education and research, and through collaboration with a diverse range of partners.

The Role & Requirements

The University is seeking to appoint a Pro-Vice Chancellor to lead the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. More detailed information on the Faculty is available here.

The role of Pro-Vice Chancellor

This is a senior strategic leadership role across the university. As a member of the University Executive Board, they will also play a major role in developing our new strategy, building on the success of our Corporate Plan which concludes in 2021. As well as providing leadership of the Faculty, they will play a central role in the co-creation of initiatives with other colleagues on the Executive Board, to provide a collaborative and integrated approach to University wide success.

The Pro-Vice Chancellor will be responsible for:
  • Acting as an advocate of the University locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Collaborating with national and international government departments and other external stakeholders to build research and innovation capacity.
  • Developing, managing and maintaining strategic partnerships.
  • Leading and developing international initiatives and reputation.
  • Leadership of their Faculty Executive Board, responsible for planning and prioritising the key activities of their Faculty, demonstrably shaping and supporting the University-wide strategic priorities.
  • Building on existing and seeking to develop new interdisciplinary activities across the Faculty and University.
  • Providing leadership to the senior management team within the Faculty.
  • Providing innovation, direction and effective management of resources to deliver its contribution to the University’s new strategy.
  • Embedding the drive, ambition and capabilities required to excel in teaching and research.
  • Operational and financial management of the Faculty with appropriate prioritisation.
  • Managing performance, recruitment and retention.

The Person

The Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor must be a professor who is committed to supporting the development and delivery of the new University strategy. Candidates must be able to demonstrate the following skills, abilities, personal motivation and experience:

  • Experience of successfully leading change in a large, complex organisation.
  • A senior leader with credibility within the academic community and a proven track record of leading and delivering a strategic vision.
  • A strong advocate with excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to build productive relationships locally, nationally and internationally.
  • International academic standing in a discipline relevant to the Faculty as evidenced by levels of grant income, a sustained high quality publication record and PhD supervision.
  • Proven track record of the successful management of financial, human and physical resources.
  • Experience in, and a passion for, delivering high quality research and teaching by setting challenging academic standards.

Job Specification

Click here to download a detailed job specification for Engineering and Physical Sciences.

University Overview

The successful candidate will join a globally connected University that is committed to bringing together world-leading researchers and students to tackle some of the biggest global challenges of our generation.

The University was established in 1845 as part of the federal Queen’s University of Ireland with Colleges in Belfast, Galway and Cork, and was awarded independent degree awarding powers in 1908 when it became a university in its own right. It is one of the oldest universities in the UK: only nine can claim longer lineage. It has a rich and distinguished heritage and holds a special place in the history of education, research and innovation.

Our Economic Impact

Today, Queen’s is a dynamic and diverse institution with over 700 international staff and 3,000 international students from over 88 different countries. We have over 169,000 alumni in more than 130 countries. Our graduates are role models at home and ambassadors for Northern Ireland abroad. Among our alumni we number two Nobel laureates – the politician David Trimble and the late poet, Seamus Heaney, both of whom served as members of staff. We are also proud of our Queen’s graduate John Stewart Bell, widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of the twentieth century.

Global networks are critical to the future success of the University and Queen’s collaborates with many partners across international borders. Amongst its dynamic partnerships are academic links with leading institutions in China, India, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates and the Americas.

Recent Achievements

Queen’s University Belfast is placed at 173 in the QS World University Rankings 2020
8th in the UK for Research Intensity
(Times Higher Education, based on REF 2014 results)
14 of the individual areas of research assessed were ranked in the Top 20 in the UK
(REF 2014)
Over 75% of Queen’s research activity was judged to be internationally excellent or world-leading
(REF 2014)
7 Queen’s Anniversary Prizes, the latest in 2019 for Shared Education
One of only 18 universities in the UK to hold an Athena SWAN Silver Institutional Award
Awarded Northern Ireland’s first Regius Professorship in 2016
96% of our graduates are in employment or further study six months after graduation
(HESA Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, 2016-17)
No. 1 in the UK for research commercialisation
(Octopus Ventures Entrepreneurial Impact Ranking 2019)
13 Queen’s subjects in the UK top 10
(Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020)
Ranked 22nd in the world for International Outlook
(Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020)
Contribute £1.9 billion to the UK economy
(London Economics Report)

Investing in Excellence

Financial sustainability underpins the work of the University as it moves forward with the implementation of its Corporate Plan. Queen’s had a successful year in 2018-19 with an operational surplus generated of £8.8m and total net assets at 31 July 2019 of £527.5m.

Financial Highlights 2018-19

Effective governance and strong financial performance is critical to the success of Queen’s and we are well positioned to meet the challenges facing the sector. Our primary financial objective is to generate surpluses sufficient to sustain our ongoing activities and to maintain the necessary investment in our estate and associated infrastructure. We have a successful track record in delivering against this objective, with a broad range of income streams from public and private sources. The University continues to invest in its staff, students and infrastructure through Vision 2020.

Faculties & Directorates

Engineering & Physical Sciences

The Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) at Queen’s is unique. It brings together 6,500 students and over 600 academic and research staff to create a dynamic, multidisciplinary setting that is focused on creating impact.

The Faculty spans a wide range of disciplines and its configuration of subjects provides an unusual breadth of expertise that enables the discovery and exploitation of unique opportunities to meet global challenges. Ranging from Psychology to Geography and Archaeology, allied with the core engineering and science disciplines, the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences offers leading edge education and world class research from our deepest past to our exciting future.

Faculty of EPS

The Faculty is comprised of six Schools – Mathematics and Physics; Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Chemistry and Chemical Engineering; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Natural and Built Environment; Psychology - and one Global Research Institute (GRI) - the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT).

In the REF 2014 exercise, the Faculty submitted 100 per cent of its academic staff to 7 of its 10 Units of Assessment (UoA). EPS has an outstanding foundation of disciplinary research in basic science and engineering. Coupled with excellent industrial connections and practical application of research we are building ambitious programmes to address multidisciplinary research challenges.

One of the Faculty’s core strengths is the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT). ECIT has a unique environment that encourages collaboration among academics, researchers, engineers, industry and government to accelerate commercial uptake and application of research results. ECIT hosts the Centre for Secure Information Technology (CSIT), one of only seven UK Innovation and Knowledge Centres (IKCs). Funded by EPSRC and Technology Strategy Board, IKCs are a key component of the UK’s approach to the commercialisation of emerging technologies through creating early stage critical mass in an area of disruptive technology. In 2015, CSIT won a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize Award for Further and Higher Education, and in 2016 ECIT was awarded a prestigious Regius Chair.

Another key area of focus for the Faculty - Advanced Manufacturing – demonstrates the Faculty’s interdisciplinary approach. We have invested in a cross-school Pioneer Research Project, the Centre for Intelligent Autonomous Manufacturing Systems – iAMS, to develop innovative technologies and solutions to address the challenges of Industry 4.0 in a rapidly evolving digital manufacturing world.

This expertise, combined with that of ECIT has positioned the Faculty to play a key role in the development of two of the innovation projects going forward as part of the Belfast Region City Deal -a key initiative for the Faculty in the future. These projects will enable the Faculty to have a transformative effect on the economy of Northern Ireland and beyond.

Another key area of strength for the Faculty, and second Pioneer Research Project is the Sustainable Energy Research Centre that reflects our commitment to meeting the greatest global challenge of our time. Focused on interlinking areas including marine and bio-energy generation, future vehicle technologies including biofuels and low-carbon chemical manufacturing, the Centre brings together researchers from across the Faculty and has been successful in securing substantial international research funding.

Research in EPS has significant and strong connectivity with industry that underpins much of our activity and enables us to create real-world impact. We have a strong track record of working on cutting-edge research with leading organisations such as Seagate, Rolls-Royce, Petronas and Airbus. The Northern Ireland Technology Centre is a shining example of industry, government and academia working in partnership which received £7.5m investment to support its mission to enable more competitive supply chains with increased productivity. A long established relationship with Seagate has resulted in the ANSIN centre, a leading unit for advanced photonic research with industrial applications. Both of these initiatives have resulted in the Faculty hosting two Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chairs in the past five years, a great achievement.

EPS is a faculty looking forward to the future. Over the last three years external research awards have totalled just over £100m and in the last year, we have increased our EPSRC portfolio overall by 30% to £43m and we are driving to increase similarly over the next 5 years.

The Faculty is active in the international arena with well-established links across the globe. This is exemplified by our recent success in being selected to lead other members of the Russell Group in the UK-China Universities Consortium on Engineering and Education Research. This ambitious collaboration is forging links with the top engineering institutions in China (the E9) and aims to promote and facilitate strategic engagement and bilateral cooperation in transnational joint programmes on postgraduate higher education and engineering research between the UK and China.

Schools in the Faculty are at the forefront of implementing practices and policies that recognise and promote the advancement of women in science, technology and engineering disciplines. All have an active engagement with Athena SWAN. Four Schools hold Athena SWAN Silver awards and Psychology hold a Gold Award.

See below for list of our other faculties and directorates:

  1. Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
  2. Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
  3. Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
  1. Academic & Student Affairs
  2. Development & Alumni Relations
  3. Estates
  4. Finance
  5. People and Culture
  6. Information Services
  7. Research and Enterprise
  8. Student Plus
  9. Marketing, Recruitment, Communications & Internationalisation (MRCI)

Belfast & N.Ireland

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and is one of Europe’s most friendly and fashionable regional cities. Lonely Planet described Belfast and the Causeway Coast as the number one region in the world to visit in 2018.

Northern Ireland is renowned for its beautiful beaches and coastal scenery. It has a fascinating history and cultural heritage and is known as the country that built the Titanic, has the world-famous Giant’s Causeway and world class golf.

Belfast Skyline

People from all over the world are now making an important contribution to life here – in medicine, business, industry, science, education, sports, music and the arts. Queen’s University is proud to be a driving force in Northern Ireland’s cultural, artistic and economic renaissance, celebrating the innovation and creativity of its people and enhancing its reputation as an international centre of learning.

Belfast, Easy travel

Travelling to and from Northern Ireland is both easy and economical. Most major British cities are within an hour’s flying time from Belfast’s two regional airports, which are both easily accessible from the University. These airports provide flights from many locations in the UK and mainland Europe as well as North America. Belfast has regular ferry services from Scotland and England, and Dublin is just a two-hour train journey away. As a compact, easily accessible city which is rich in culture, it is easy to see why many visitors chose to make the region their home.

Terms & How to Apply

The role of Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor is available for 5 years in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal for one further five year term. At the conclusion of the term of office as a Pro-Vice Chancellor, the successful candidate will be based within the appropriate academic School.

It is hoped that the successful applicants will be able to take up the post of Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor as soon as possible, subject to existing contractual obligations. An attractive remuneration package, commensurate with the seniority and responsibilities of the role, will be provided. The successful candidate will also be eligible to join the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

The successful candidate will have a substantive and permanent professorial appointment in an academic School in order to maintain their academic profile and research interests.

The Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor is based within the Faculty and will receive administrative and secretarial support in carrying out the requirements of the role. The Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor will be required to travel on a national and international basis.

How to apply

Perrett Laver are managing the recruitment of the Pro-Vice Chancellor role. To apply for this role click here or call Perrett Laver on 0207 340 6200.

Key dates
Application closing date
Friday 21 February 2020
Interview date(s)
Monday 16 March 2020

The University is committed to equality of opportunity and to selection on merit. We welcome applications from all sections of society and particularly from people with a disability.

Key Documentation

To help you learn more about Queen’s University, a range of publications is available. These publications include: