Reader or Professor of Respiratory Science - Institute of Inflammation and Ageing

University of Birmingham

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Position type:

Full time



11 Feb 2020
31 Mar 2020

Full details:

Reference number: BIR-200000WA

Position Details

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Salary – Competitive package for an outstanding candidate

Professorial Banding

Full time / Permanent

Closing Date: 31st March 2020


Job Summary

The Institute

The Institute of Inflammation and Ageing benefits from a highly collaborative leadership team focused on translational outputs, based within a dedicated wing of the Queen Elizabeth hospital Birmingham. The strength of the Institute’s research is represented by a number of major national awards, including the MRC-Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research (with Nottingham University); Arthritis Research UK Centre of Excellence in the Pathogenesis of RA (with the Universities of Glasgow and Newcastle); Arthritis Research UK Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre; NIHR SRMRC Trauma Research Centre; NIHR Healthcare Technology Cooperative (Trauma); the Scar Free Foundation Burns Research Centre, as well as our key role in the NIHR Translational Research Partnership on joint and related inflammatory disease and the NIHR BRC in Inflammation.

The NIHR Birmingham BRC was established in 2017 with £12 million funding. The inflammatory joint disease and inflammatory sarcopaenia themes are led by researchers in the Institute. The NIHR Birmingham BRC will support a five-year programme to better understand a range of debilitating inflammatory diseases for patients in Birmingham and beyond. A £7 million investment from the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research also supports a new partnership with the University of Oxford to accelerate the development and testing of new therapies for inflammatory arthritis.

Within the Institute resides the Birmingham Acute Care Research group (BACR), which brings together researchers in Respiratory medicine, Acute medicine, peri-operative medicine, critical care and paediatric intensive care. The goal of the BACR group is to further develop Birmingham as a nationally and internationally recognized centre of clinical trial excellence in acute care research with a life course approach spanning paediatric and geriatrics. The BACR members have extensive expertise in conducting translational research, systematic reviews and phase I, II and III clinical trials and hold monthly research updates. The BACR group have undertaken observational and clinical trials of simvastatin in sepsis, pneumonia and abdominal surgery. There is expertise in critical care and peri-operative medicine related studies (BALTI-I, II and Prevention and VINDALOO) as well as in healthy volunteer studies to understand the impact of ageing on respiratory health.


The appointment

The Institute of Inflammation and Ageing wishes to appoint a non-clinical Reader or Chair of Respiratory Science to support its 5 year strategy to increase research capacity in the Respiratory team, with the ultimate aim being to prepare it for inclusion in the BRC renewal in 2022. We intend to fill the post with a senior non-clinical researcher with a strong translational CV and in particular bioinformatics experience, to meet skills gaps in our Institute and the BRC. An applicant with expertise in epigenetics and/or drug discovery and pharmacology would be well suited to our needs.

This post would also support the fundamental science development of the newly formed Acute Care Research group which aligns to NIHR priorities for research. This appointment would add significant value to many of the research themes within our institute, the BRC and within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences as a whole.

Our strategic aim with this appointment is therefore to further develop the senior scientist academic within respiratory medicine and the BACR who will contribute to multidisciplinary working within the Institute and ensure inflammatory respiratory disease research is included as a theme in the next round of BRC applications.


Main Duties and Responsibilities


The substantive appointment will support the core themes of the IIA.

The post-holder will be expected to:

  • Pursue a personal research programme consistent with the Institute, College and University’s research priorities.
  • Build the research profile of the College and University through active engagement with relevant external stakeholders including research councils, learning bodies and professional bodies.
  • Plan and undertake high-quality research cognisant of relevant metrics for international reputation and scholarly merit.
  • Publish research outputs in peer reviewed journals of international standing suitable for inclusion in REF, of 4* or 3* quality.
  • Generate research income through successful applications to major funding bodies including Research Councils.
  • Contribute to the planning, teaching, examining and marking of undergraduate and postgraduate modules including: supervise and manage research projects, supervise and manage Masters and Doctoral students both within the Institute and externally.
  • Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding.
  • Oversee a portfolio of knowledge/transfer activities which facilitate the construction of networks among both scholarly and end-user communities in this area of activity.
  • Provide expert advice to staff and students within the discipline and beyond as appropriate.
  • Develop links with external contacts in the UK and internationally to enhance the scholarly reputation of the University.
  • Collaborate in research initiatives in and beyond the University.

Teaching and Learning

The postholder will:

  • Provide academic leadership and contribute to teaching, learning and assessment on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and CPD in the College and University.
  • Cooperate with colleagues in the continuous review and development of modules and programmes in terms of content, delivery and assessment.
  • Be responsible for the design and content of areas of teaching and learning associated with the Institute subject area within the College and University’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
  • Provide academic support and advice to undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • Promote the use of a range of methods and techniques in teaching, learning and assessment.

Management and Administration

The postholder will:

  • Be involved with the management of the Institute subject area and to carry out other specific College and University roles and functions as may be reasonably required.
  • Contribute to the recruitment of students to degree, CPD and research programmes in the College and University when appropriate.
  • Take part in and, where appropriate, to act as Chair of one or more College or University committees.
  • Make a major contribution to selected administrative activities within the University (e.g. appeals panels, working groups)
  • Advise on the personal development of colleagues or students and engage in personal training programmes consistent with the needs/ aspirations of an individual, or the Institute.
  • Participate in the administration and/or management of research and/or teaching across the Institute or College.
  • Lead and manage teams to devise and implement a new and/or revised process (e.g. new programme or a recruitment drive).
  • Contribute to widening participation, outreach, public engagement, dissemination of scholarships, staff/student recruitment drives, public understanding of the discipline.
  • Undertake any such duty as may be reasonably requested and necessarily commensurate with the nature and grade of the post.


Candidate Profile

The post-holder will:

  • Have a highly developed knowledge of the principles, theory and practices associated with Respiratory Science and bioinformatics such that they are able to evidence a previous sustained and continuing record of high quality publications and significant grant capture in these areas.
  • Have demonstrable experience with research techniques and models that would complement the IIA research activity is highly desirable.
  • Display a record of translating their research activities into high quality, innovative teaching and learning activities.
  • Have made a significant contribution nationally or internationally to the discipline, for example through journal editorial activity, administrative roles in a relevant academic or corporate body.


Person Specification

At the appropriate level the post-holder will be expected to evidence:

  • A higher degree such as a PhD in a relevant field
  • A strong and proven background in the area of Respiratory Science / Disease with clear evidence of developing and implementing novel research strategies.
  • An established record of attracting and securing external high value funding
  • An international reputation for excellence in research and teaching demonstrated through an outstanding publication record in high impact journals and suitable teaching performance indicators.
  • Extensive experience of fostering academic collaboration across disciplinary boundaries and with industry.
  • Experience of working within and leading internal and external research networks.
  • Extensive experience of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and supervision to doctoral level.
  • A variety of methods for teaching and advising individuals and groups of undergraduate, postgraduate and/or CPD students.
  • Planning and reviewing personal teaching approaches and acting as a mentor to encourage others to do the same.
  • Making substantial contributions to the delivery and design of teaching programmes.
  • Undertaking the full range of responsibilities in relation to student supervision, marking and examining.
  • Acting as a personal tutor for academic and pastoral issues and experience mentoring research activity of junior staff.
  • Engagement with external bodies to enhance national or international standing of the discipline.
  • Commitment to the promotion of equal opportunities.
  • Identification of developing new areas of research and teaching.
  • Ability to solve problems creatively and effectively and strategic planning with effective implementation and evaluation
  • Engagement in knowledge-transfer activities.


Informal queries can be made to Professor Janet Lord ( or Professor David Thickett (


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