Reader in Social Work (Teaching and Research) – Social Policy – Grade 9 – 97868-(210001CT)


Position Details

School of Social Policy

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range salary from £51,034 – £59,135 a year with potential progression (to £77,108 a year).

Grade 9

Full time


Closing Date: 27th July 2021

The School of Social Policy

The School of Social Policy is a diverse community of scholars whose work coalesces around its mission to understand the world and also to change it. We pursue this mission via our research, teaching and engagement and impact activities. We deliver a suite of undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education programmes to a diverse student population. We undertake research to make a difference, collaborating with our research partners from private, public and third sectors. We are recognised as a leading centre of expertise in Social Policy ranking in the top 50 QS World University rankings.

The School comprises three Departments: the Health Services Management Centre, which is one of the UK’s foremost centres for research, evaluation, teaching and professional development for health and social care organisations; the Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology, which is delivering an innovative set of new academic programmes and research initiatives; and, the Department of Social Work and Social Care, which delivers the UK’s longest-running social work course, dating back to 1908; and. Our social work programme is currently ranked 4th in the Complete University Guide, and we are the only Russell Group University in the country to be delivering a regional ‘Step Up to Social Work’ programme alongside our existing BA/MA programmes and our post-qualifying CPD. Our well-regarded undergraduate social policy programmes include one of the largest single honours programmes in the Russell Group, currently ranked 3rd in the Complete University Guide, as well as a new and expanding Criminology programme and an exciting cross-College programme in Policy, Politics and Economics. In 2020, we launched a new suite of postgraduate taught programmes including MAs in Global Public Policy and in Sociology, as we aim to grow our PGT student numbers and diversify our cohorts. In partnership with the University of Manchester, we deliver the NHS Leadership Academy’s award-winning Elizabeth Garrett Anderson programme.

The School has an excellent research base underpinned by substantial grant capture, with an annual research income of circa £3 million, with nearly all academic staff contributing. Our current research coalesces around five broad themes: i) health and social care; ii) inequality, poverty and wealth; iii) superdiversity and migration; iv) civil society and volunteering; and v) crime, social harm and social justice. These themes link with our departmental and research centre structure. We have three research centres in the School: Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM), led jointly with Birmingham Business School, The Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRIS), the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC). We have also been instrumental in the development of the Institute for Mental Health (IMH), a University of Birmingham funded cross-disciplinary initiative with the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, which works closely with the NHS, government, the third sector, patients and publics with a specific focus on mental health of children and young people. The School also leads two major NIHR-funded centres – the BRACE Rapid Evaluation Centre, which focuses on conducting rapid evaluations of promising new services and innovations in healthcare; and the School for Social Care, a partnership between seven universities, supporting internationally leading research in social care to improve the wellbeing of people needing care and support.

The School is at an exciting point in its history, being well placed to build on its successes to-date and looking to address the many urgent problems facing post-pandemic society. Under a new Head of School, we are developing new ways of working to capitalise on the many synergies across the School. Our strategy is to strengthen further our areas of established expertise including health and social care policy and practice and economic, social and health inequalities, which have become even more relevant in the post-Covid world. At the same time, we are building critical mass in emerging areas, including criminology, mental health, quantitative methods and technologies. We already collaborate with colleagues in other disciplines, particularly in medicine and health, to tackle global challenges and we plan to expand our leadership and involvement in larger multi- and inter-disciplinary projects, particularly with STEM disciplines. We also have a strong internationalisation agenda, in terms of teaching, research, impact and engagement so that we become a global School. Engagement and impact is deeply ingrained in the culture of the School, and we are expanding our strategic partnerships locally, nationally and internationally to ensure that we continue to make a difference. 

Summary of Role

To strengthen further our research and teaching portfolio, the Department of Social Work and Social Care is seeking to appoint a Reader in Social Work with a strong research and leadership profile to play a leading role in the development and delivery of teaching and research. The post-holder will be expected to be Head of Department for five years in the first instance. We particularly welcome applications from individuals with expertise in drugs and alcohol and/or mental health and who are registered social workers. 

Main Duties and Responsibilities


To pursue sustained research activity through original research and scholarship, including other research-related contributions through conference papers and presentations and/or consultancy projects and advice. Where appropriate for the discipline, this may include some but not all of the responsibilities listed below:

• Make a major contribution to the management of research activities;
• Lead successful funding bids which develop and sustain research support for the specialist area (in disciplines where this is possible);
• Publish leading research that results in a sustained, highly respected reputation of international quality in drugs and alcohol, mental health or other area of social work;
• Provide expert advice internally and externally;
• Provide leadership of research that contributes to the progression of the discipline (in disciplines where this is possible);
• Referee and peer review articles for peer reviewed academic journals and grant applications by research councils and/or other major funding bodies;
• Lead sustained high value impact activity in knowledge transfer and enterprise (including business engagement, public engagement) that is of manifest benefit to the College and University, and: a) makes a significant contribution to policy development at a national and international level; and/or b) involves development of industrial links and comparable networks and initiatives.
• Supervise and examine PhD students, both within the institution and externally;
• Manage research activities and/or supervise other research staff;
• Develop novel methodologies and techniques appropriate to the type of research being pursued.

Learning and Teaching
• To contribute at a senior level on a sustained basis in learning and teaching. Where appropriate for the discipline, this may include some but not all of the responsibilities listed below:
• Lead the development of new and appropriate approaches to learning and teaching. This may be underpinned by research and evaluation of teaching methods and systems. 
• Act as adviser for teaching and learning methods through excellent practice and mentoring other colleagues 
• Lead the design and/or co-ordination of programmes or equivalent activities across the School or Department
• Contribute to the development of teaching and learning policy, methods and standards, more widely than the School
• Contribute to debate nationally about policy, methods and practices through publications, conference activity and roles that advance quality in the discipline
• Lead the development and management of assessment strategies within the School/Department
• Lead substantial and sustained high value impact activity in knowledge transfer and enterprise (including business engagement, public engagement) that enhances the student experience and/or employability and is of manifest benefit to learning and teaching in the College and the University. This may include the development of industrial links and comparable networks and initiatives.
• Teach and examine courses at a range of levels 
• Plan and review own teaching approaches and act as a mentor to encourage others to do the same
• Develop programme proposals and make substantial contributions to the design of teaching programmes more widely in the Department or School, as appropriate
• Undertake and develop the full range of responsibilities in relation to supervision, marking and examining 
• Use appropriate approaches to learning and teaching in their field 
• Disseminate appropriate practices through suitable media 
• Develop and advise others on learning and teaching tasks and methods

• To be Head of Department for five years in the first instance.
• To chair and/or lead activities in the Department/ School and representation on University committees or working groups. Where appropriate to the discipline, this is likely to include some but not all of the responsibilities listed below. 
• Make an important contribution to the development and running of the Department or School, for example, leading activity on teaching assessment and/or on research 
• Develop and manage staff and resources in support of major research and/or teaching activities
• Make important contributions to the development of the Department/School/PAU’s research strategy and/or learning and teaching strategy
• Contribute significantly to the development and delivery of knowledge transfer, enterprise, business engagement and public engagement activities with a sustained high value impact of manifest benefit to the College and the University
• Develops and implements a culture (including policies and procedures) that promotes Equality and values diversity and inclusion.
• Contribute to the administration/management of research and/or teaching across the Department/School 
• Lead/project manage a team to devise and implement a new and/or revised process (e.g. new programme or a recruitment drive)
• Advise on personal development of staff and students
• Make a sustained contribution to widening participation, schools outreach and/or public understanding of the discipline
• Contribute to administrative activities within the University (e.g. appeals panels, working groups)
• Develop and manage staff and resources in support of major research and/or teaching activities

Person Specification

• A higher degree in a relevant social science discipline (usually PhD) or equivalent qualifications

• Demonstrated competence in Research; Learning and Teaching; and Management and Administration; and excellence in at least two of these areas.

Research requirements

• An excellent national reputation and a developing international profile through significant original research work and a clear record of impact. Evidence of success under the following headings, as appropriate to the discipline:
• High level peer esteem as evidenced by
• Excellent reputation in the UK and often internationally, reflected in sustained high quality output, level of innovation, impact on subject and recognition
• An excellent and sustained record of peer reviewed research publications
• Successful and sustained supervision of doctoral students to completion
• Substantial and sustained research income generation, e.g. through research grants, contracts, research consultancy or other external funding
• Sustained high value impact knowledge transfer and enterprise that is of manifest benefit to the College and University

Learning and teaching requirements

• An excellent teaching profile and performance in terms of both impact and quality. The teaching quality demonstrated to be informed by an appropriate level of scholarship. Evidence of success under the following headings:
• High national reputation for the development of teaching and learning excellence within the discipline
• Successful and sustained use of a range of appropriate teaching methods, and assessment strategies that promote high quality learning, including learning that is flexible, distinctive and current and stimulates learners’ natural curiosity
• Significant and sustained contribution to one or more of the following: strategic development of new programmes; approaches to learning; the development of learning resources
• High quality and sustained contributions to fostering excellence in teaching activities more widely, i.e. in the Department/School or College and/or externally
• Track record of substantial and sustained high value impact on the enhancement of the student experience, and/or employability
• Mentoring and expert advice which develops the skills of colleagues in teaching and in fostering learning

Management and administration-related requirements

• Demonstrated significant achievement in management and administration-related activities, which may include leadership of activities/initiatives. Evidence of success under the following headings
• Successful and sustained performance in significant administrative/managerial role (s) Significant and sustained high quality innovative contributions to the management/administration of the Department/School/College or University
• Successful and sustained contribution to the corporate life of the School/College/University, displaying willingness to contribute actively to committees, collaborative teaching and administrative tasks
• Actively promotes equality and diversity to internal and external stakeholders
• Able to use data to identify equality and diversity issues
• Experience of developing interventions to address equality and diversity issues

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment
We value diversity at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community’



Primary Location


Work Locations

:School of Social PolicyRoom 8518th Floor, Muirhead TowerUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamB15 2TT


:Academic Non-clinical


:Social Policy



Job Posting

:19.07.2021, 7:00:00 PMGrade (for job description):Grade 9

Salary (Pay Basis)


Maximum Salary


Advert Close Date

:27.07.2021, 6:59:00 PM

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