Appointment of the Chief People Officer

University of Lincoln


The University of Lincoln is a university of and for the 21st Century. Created by the people of Lincolnshire, we are as much the university for Lincoln, as the University of Lincoln. Dynamic, enterprising, and internationally connected. We nurture talent and ideas, contribute globally by creating and sharing knowledge, and demonstrably help to transform lives and communities for the better.

We were established in 1996, in one building on a brownfield site and with a few hundred students. Charged with enriching the city’s economic, social, and cultural life, we were named the University of Lincoln in 2001. Since then, we have grown into a flourishing anchor institution that contributes more than £400m to the local economy- each year. Throughout this exciting period of development, we have been guided by a consistent set of principles: excellence in teaching, and learning; provision of a quality of student experience; responsiveness to the needs of communities and organisations, and working in partnership to make great things happen.

We have come a long way in the last 26 years, growing significantly in size and reputation. We want to do more. Our Strategic Plan for 2022-27: Transforming Lives and Communities sets out our long-term ambition. To reach our goals we must invest to make us fit for the 21st Century: in moving towards a carbon net-zero campus; in improving the infrastructure for our research and teaching; in becoming a more digital organisation; and, most importantly, attracting and developing a great staff.

Every leader says it, but truly, we are an organisation all about people and in my short time at Lincoln I have been struck by the quality and commitment of teams across the institution. However, if we want to be competitive with a rapidly changing sector we must be on the front foot in our approach to contemporary people practice. We must evolve our thinking about, among other things, how we recruit, retain and reward staff. The role of Chief People Officer is therefore a key enabler for the University and our strategic ambition. In addition to the big ticket strategic workforce issues this new executive will provide leadership of, and direction to, the People, Performance & Culture Directorate ensuring that it provides the required range of people services to a high standard and is organised effectively and efficiently. 

As a recent arrival to the University I know how exciting a new job opportunity can be; I look forward to reading your application.

Professor Neal Juster
Vice Chancellor

About us

Situated in the heart of a beautiful and historic city, we have established an international reputation for the quality of our teaching and research. ‘We are placed among the top 30 universities in the UK for student satisfaction in the Guardian University Guide 2023. We are listed in the world’s top 130 in the Times Higher Education’s (THE) Young University Rankings 2022, hold a maximum five-star score overall in the QS Stars ratings system of global universities, and feature in the QS World University Rankings 2023 of the world’s top 1,000 universities. With the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor, Professor Neal Juster, in 2021 the University of Lincoln is now at an exciting juncture, launching a new strategic plan for 2022-27. The strategy marks a major point in the University’s history as we focus on our long-term ambition of being seen as a university that contributes significantly to the nation’s success through regional regeneration and international connectivity. It sets out a fresh vision and ambition for teaching, student experience and support, research, knowledge exchange, civic engagement, and international links. Ensuring digital infrastructure is fit for purpose will be critical to realise these goals.

Our purpose is to be an outstanding small-city anchor institution, equally committed to excellence in teaching, research, and knowledge exchange, with deep regional and international engagement. We are committed to broad civic engagement, exemplified by our role as a founding partner of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, our contribution to the Local Industrial Strategy, our work with local and global employers, and with voluntary and public sector bodies.

We generate more than £420 million each year for the UK economy and one in six people of working age in our city of Lincoln are either students or work for the University, whether directly or indirectly. Lincolnshire contains deprived rural, industrial, and coastal regions, which has shaped our “local to global” research themes, most notably, a particular focus on global rural challenges.

At Lincoln, we have a broad academic portfolio, organised into four Colleges (Science, Social Science, Arts, Business); in the last ten years Science has expanded significantly with the opening of new Schools in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics, Geography, and (jointly with the University of Nottingham, 2019) a new Medical School.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are One Community, with staff and students working together to create an environment in which all people can flourish based on their abilities and their diverse and rich experiences.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion are essential values for our university to deliver on its civic mission. We have received the Race Equality Charter Bronze Award and hold an Athena Swan Bronze Award. However, we are not complacent; we know there is much more to do to tackle inequality, prejudice, and discrimination within our own community and wider society.

One community values

We strive to be kind, patient, and supportive of each other. Our One Community Values define our One Community ethos and are a framework to ensure that respectful and inclusive behaviours are at the heart of all we do – for each other, our partners, and our customers (internally and externally), both in our thoughts and our actions.

The Eleanor Glanville Institute

The Eleanor Glanville Institute is our department for diversity and inclusion. Aligning with our motto, ‘Libertas per Sapientiam’ (‘Through Wisdom, Liberty’), our interdisciplinary research advances knowledge on critical issues of equality, diversity, and inclusion. The centre is named after Lincolnshire’s Lady Eleanor Glanville, a 17th Century pioneer and ‘the first woman’ of British natural history.

The Lincoln Equality of Attainment Project (LEAP)

We are committed to the equality of attainment amongst all of our students, regardless of background or circumstances. We strive to provide a nurturing and inclusive learning community and a high-quality educational experience for everyone. We, like other UK universities, have identified differential outcomes in student performance between different groups on the basis of race, gender, socio-economic background, and disability. This is a university-wide initiative examining the differential outcomes (attainment gaps) and working to address these through a range of initiatives including more inclusive curricula.

Access and participation

Our access and participation work reaches out into communities with traditionally low levels of access to higher education. We are a founding partner of LiNCHigher, the Lincolnshire outreach network which aims to raise awareness of, and aspirations to, higher education among local young people. We provide a Foundation Year for many of our undergraduate programmes and actively encourage applications from students from different backgrounds. Our sponsorship of the Lincolnshire Educational Trust (a family of Academy schools in southern Lincolnshire) works to raise educational aspirations and attainment in rural areas, while our involvement in the Lincolnshire Children’s University offers children from all backgrounds the opportunity to enrich their learning experiences.



Teaching and student engagement

The world is changing. At Lincoln, we encourage our students to be part of that transformation. We aim to give students the skills and experience needed to discover and drive forward solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing our world. We pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching, and our students have opportunities to broaden their horizons, meet people from around the world, and develop new interests and independence. From our inspirational teaching and great industry links, to our outstanding student experience, we put our students at the heart of everything we do. We are recognised as setting a blueprint for excellence in teaching and learning through our pioneering approach to working with industry. We have unique relationships with companies such as Siemens Energy and Lincolnshire Co-op, and our innovative industry engagement strategy has been acknowledged through a series of national awards and accolades, including a Lord Stafford Award and a Times Higher Education Award. Our industry links were highlighted in national reviews into the relationships between businesses and universities by Sir Andrew Witty and Sir Tim Wilson.

Student life

It’s not just the academic side of life that our graduates remember so fondly, it’s the activities, sports, and events they get involved in too. Through the Students’ Union, there isan eclectic array of clubs and societies (more than 100 at any one time) students can get involved in – spanning interests from Parkour to Harry Potter. Our sports teams compete in British Universities & Colleges Sports (BUCS) competitions and have enjoyed a number of trophy wins in BUCS competitions over the years. The annual ‘Humber Games’ varsity tournament pitches our sports clubs against their counterparts from the University of Hull. Extracurricular activities such as volunteering, work experience or contributing to student clubs and societies are formally recognised through ‘The Lincoln Award’, an initiative run by the University’s Careers and Employability Team to help students develop their skills, knowledge, and experience, and stand out from the crowd to future employers.

Our reputation

The University of Lincoln is placed among the top 30 universities in the UK for student satisfaction in the Guardian University Guide 2023 and we are ranked in the top 20 overall in the WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2022. We hold a maximum five-star score overall in the QS Stars ratings system of global universities, and feature in the QS World University Rankings 2023 of the world’s top 1,000 universities.


Lincoln is proud to be home to world class researchers who are making profound contributions to their subject areas. More than three quarters of our research (79%) was rated as internationally excellent or world-leading (three or four star) in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework – the latest national assessment of research standards across UK universities. Our research is highly diverse, encompassing disciplines across the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences, with a strong (but not exclusive) emphasis on collaborative, interdisciplinary, and co-created research.

Our research themes

Our research themes represent both our current strengths and future areas of opportunity. They embody a unique set of areas, key to our goals as a civic university undertaking internationally significant research with local relevance, but also with our aspiration to become both thought leaders and researchers engaged in the pursuit of excellence. These are:

  • Rurality
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Sustainability
  • Digitalisation
  • Communities
  • Heritage

Impacting global goals through research

Through our research, we strive to change society for the better: whether that is connecting individuals and communities through shared local heritage or contributing to international efforts to address global grand challenges such as climate change. As an institution centred on community and challenging inequality, we support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, framing our research and collaborations in ways that can contribute to delivering peace and prosperity for people and the planet.

From developing new medical technologies to preserving rare architectural treasures, the work of Lincoln’s academics and students makes a real difference to society. For example, Lincoln’s robotics and autonomous systems researchers are spearheading the development of next generation technologies for use in the food and farming industries, leading the world’s first Centre for Doctoral Training in agri-food robotics. Sports scientists in Lincoln’s Human Performance Centre helped British para-athlete Kelda Wood enter the record books as the first para-rower ever to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, supporting her training for the epic challenge using cutting edge motion capture technology. Dr Amira Elnokaly, a specialist in sustainable architecture at the University of Lincoln, regenerates historic buildings in Alexandria – the ancient Egyptian city founded by Alexander the Great once considered the jewel of the Mediterranean.

Lincoln Institute of Advanced Studies (LIAS)

LIAS supports the curiosity that drives our international research excellence and provides a focal point for research activities across our community, promoting a culture of creativity and interdisciplinarity. By supporting the growth of ideas, opportunities, and activities, we aim to underpin a vibrant, varied, and outward-looking research environment. The Institute offers fellowship schemes to bring prestigious international visitors to the University, travel schemes for academic staff to collaborate with researchers overseas, and focused research development activities for researchers to enhance their knowledge and networks. The primary aims of LIAS are to enhance our research environment and showcase the achievements of our researchers.

Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health (LIIRH)

LIIRH conducts world-class research that focuses on the greatest health issues facing rural communities locally, nationally, and internationally. Working in partnership with a network of national and international collaborators and acting in conjunction with the new Lincoln Medical School, the Institute is establishing itself as the preeminent rural health institution worldwide. The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the vital importance of understanding the factors that affect the health of rural populations – from the risks of disease outbreaks and transmission to the unequal burden of disease among different demographic groups.

By leveraging links to expert teams in universities and research centres all over the world, our researchers and collaborators bring together learning from a variety of countries and contexts, be that rural Lincolnshire, the Australian outback, or sub-Saharan Africa. Located in the heart of a large rural county, LIIRH is uniquely placed to serve as a fulcrum for rural health research, as well as investigating issues of global concern. The Institute is central to new efforts to better understand the health and care concerns of rural communities on the east coast of Lincolnshire, one of the most complex and challenged rural areas of the UK.

The PEARL project – public engagement with research

The PEARL project has established a series of initiatives and platforms that take place on an annual cycle to enhance our public engagement with research activities. These activities provide support, resources, recognition, opportunities, and strategies to ultimately increase both our research quality and value to society as a university.

Regional and economic impact

Her Majesty the Queen opened our first building on the Brayford Pool Campus in 1996. We are a university forged by the will of a community, not by a government directive, and the first new city centre campus to be built in the UK for decades. We exist because of the overwhelming support of our local communities so we understand completely our responsibility to the city and county. We are now very much part of a rich regional heritage, and we will continue to seek out local partnerships and collaborations to move forward to meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st Century.

We were established by and for our communities, alongside our core mission to: “Educate students, develop scholarship, and conduct and translate research for the benefit of society. We therefore have particular responsibilities as an anchor institution to engage and work with our communities, and to enhance and support our region socially, economically and culturally.”

Regional and economic impact in numbers

  • £420 million generated each year for the UK economy.
  • One in every six working-age residents in the city is either a student, a direct employee of our University, or has a job that is indirectly linked to us.
  • Students’ expenditure on goods and services outside our University campus supports an estimated £195 million in Gross Value Added nationally, supporting an estimated 750 jobs in the city.

Engagement with the region

Award-winning industry links

The University of Lincoln is recognised as setting a blueprint for excellence in its pioneering approach to working with industry. Our unique relationships with companies such as Siemens Energy and Lincolnshire Co-op demonstrate our innovative industry-engaged approach. This has been acknowledged through a series of national awards and accolades, including a Lord Stafford Award (2011) and a Times Higher Education Award (2012). We are one of only a handful of top universities to hold Global Principal Partner status with Siemens and we are also a member of the Santander Universities Global Division.

Lincoln was placed in the top 30% for knowledge exchange by Research England in the national Knowledge Exchange Framework (2021).

The University of Lincoln is working with regional colleges and employers to develop skills for the agri-tech, food manufacturing, digital, energy, and engineering sectors through the Lincolnshire Institute of Technology.

Key partnerships

Siemens Energy

In 2009, in collaboration with Siemens, we established the first dedicated new engineering school to be created in the UK for more than two decades. This long-standing collaboration has won a string of national awards and acclaim, including a prestigious Lord Stafford Award and a Times Higher Education Award.

We are now one of only a handful of UK universities to hold Siemens Global Principal Partner status – recognition of our wide-ranging research collaborations and success in developing graduate talent with Siemens.

By incorporating industry input into course content, providing work experience placements, and offering valuable opportunities to contribute to cutting-edge research, graduates are prepared to make an immediate contribution on entering the workplace.

Lincolnshire Co-op

The Lincoln Science and Innovation Park was created as part of a joint venture between us and the Lincolnshire Co-op. The Joseph Banks Laboratories are home to more than 1,000 staff and students in science subjects, including our School of Pharmacy, while the nearby Boole Technology Centre provides flexible commercial space for innovative tech businesses.

The Guardian

We have teamed up with one of the world’s most trusted media outlets, The Guardian, to help current and prospective students stay up to date and informed as they navigate the world of UK higher education.

Lincoln town deal programme

We belong to the multi-agency board established to oversee the Town Investment Plan which includes a vision and five-year project programme to support long-term growth and development of the city. This includes the priorities of digitalisation, skills to support inclusive growth, sustainable transport and urban regeneration. Carbon reduction, inclusive growth needs, and the recovery from Covid-19 have also been considered.

Greater Lincolnshire local enterprise partnership

We are proud to work in partnership with other companies that have joined forces to promote Lincolnshire as a place to live, work, and invest. Collaborating with each other for the greater good of businesses which in turn adds to the growth of the Lincolnshire economy.

Supporting communities

As a university created by our community, for our community, and to reduce inequality, we understand the vital role education and scholarship play in ensuring that in our rapidly changing world, no one is left behind.

Our staff, students, and the Students’ Union devote thousands of hours each year to helping their local communities as volunteers. From litter picking to supporting people affected by cancer, this voluntary work is another valuable contribution the University makes to the wider community.

The University sponsors a multi-academy trust of local schools in southern Lincolnshire – an area with traditionally low levels of progression to higher education. The University of Lincoln Academy Trust supports the education of more than 2,500 children, from primary school age upwards in the Holbeach area.

The University is also a partner in the LINCHigher National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), which coordinates targeted outreach activity for young people facing particular barriers to accessing higher education.

21st Century Lab

Our 21st Century Lab is designed to open up thinking about the role that higher education should play in responding to the extensive changes we are seeing across the world in our economies, our societies, our nations, and in our cultures.

The 21st Century Lab is not just about the impact of 21st Century changes within the confines of the campus, but on the society around us. At any given moment, universities have a role to play in shaping, engaging, understanding, and educating in relation to such challenges, although precisely what they are and the impact they have will inevitably change over time.

Our response to this is to suggest that universities need to adapt how they go about their core activities. They will need to embrace a more fluid, more contingent, and more permeable relationship to wider society than ever before precisely because this is all so unpredictable.

Levelling Up Goals

Through the Social Mobility Pledge, we are proud to form part of a new coalition of businesses and universities committed to driving levelling up on the ground. The Levelling Up Goals aim to set out clear objectives for the UK’s Levelling Up challenge in the wake of Covid-19.

City of Lincoln

A fantastic place to work and live

One of the world’s great historic cities, Lincoln is renowned for its fusion of old and new. The winning combination of a vibrant city centre and historic Cathedral Quarter, both offering a rich variety of attractions, activities, and amenities, makes Lincoln a fantastic place in which to work and live.

Lincoln’s Roman and medieval heritage blends together seamlessly with modern city living and our main campus is situated in the heart of it all on the spectacular Brayford Pool waterfront.

Within walking distance of our campus is a range of restaurants, cafes, and bars overlooking the marina area, while the city’s high street is just a short walk away, offering a mix of independent stores and national brands and chains.

Our historic city

The city’s famous Steep Hill – a beautiful cobbled street lined with boutique shops and tearooms – provides the gateway to the city’s historic Cathedral Quarter and Bailgate area where independent shops and cafes nestle between the walls of the medieval Lincoln Castle and the grandeur of Lincoln Cathedral.

Thousands of tourists flock to the city each year to visit the Castle, which is home to one of only four surviving originals of the 1215 Magna Carta and the only place in the world this landmark document – sometimes called the foundation of democracy – can be seen side-by-side with the related Charter of the Forest.

Watching over the city, Lincoln Cathedral is one of Europe’s most celebrated medieval buildings, providing the stunning setting for our graduation ceremonies.

Living in Lincolnshire

The city of Lincoln is surrounded by beautiful countryside and scenery, ready to be discovered through country walks and cycle routes. Lincolnshire also boasts a variety of options for days out. From historic houses and aviation heritage to seaside towns and festivals that take place each year, there’s always plenty to do in one of England’s largest counties.

Getting to Lincoln

Situated in the East Midlands, Lincoln’s central location allows for quick and easy access to and from London and a number of other major cities, including Nottingham, Sheffield, Leicester, and Hull.

Lincoln Central Railway Station is in the city centre, just a few minutes’ walk from our Brayford Pool Campus. The station is fully accessible for wheelchair users and direct trains to London Kings Cross take around two hours. By road, the city of Lincoln can be reached via the A1 at Newark (A46) from the South and near Retford (A57) from the North. The city is 40 miles east
of Nottingham on the A46 and 40 miles south of the Humber Bridge on the A15.

The role

Chief People Officer (AQ1785)

Apply now

Job Title Chief People Officer
Grade of Post Senior Management Grade 5
Department People, Performance & Culture
Responsible to Chief Operating Officer
Responsible for HR Team of 45 and a non-pay budget of c£1m


A member of the University’s Senior Leadership Team, the Chief People Officer’s (CPO) purpose will be to lead and deliver on the development and use of contemporary people strategies and plans as an enabler to achieving our ambitious vision and strategic objectives as set out in our 22-27 strategic plan, supporting improvements in service, productivity, and efficiency.

The new University Strategy sets a bold and challenging vision putting those the University seeks to engage in research, learning, and work at the centre of everything it does.  A key element of the strategy is the development of people centred plans so that they perform at the highest possible levels, ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in everything we do.

The CPO provides the expert professional leadership for the University on all people matters. They will make a significant contribution to the strategic direction of the University. They will provide effective leadership of, and direction to, the People, Performance & Culture Directorate (PPC), ensuring that it provides the required range of people services to a high standard, is performing well and is organised effectively and efficiently.

Overseeing a programme of transformational change within PPC, ensuring that processes and approaches are simplified and modernised to enable the potential of new technology to be maximised. They will also provide leadership for a number of major strategic initiatives including an essential focus on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in all people activities.

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, with a line into the Vice-Chancellor for strategic workforce matters, the CPO is the trusted expert advisor on all people issues to the Vice-Chancellor, the SLT and members of the Board of Governors.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide leadership, expert advice and guidance on all people, performance and culture matters for all aspects of the University, including teaching and learning, research and innovation and professional services operations.
  • Take a lead role in recasting our people plans and activities to ensure a highly engaged and motivated workforce, focussed on our mission, with the aim of high levels of staff satisfaction and the promotion of the University as an employer of choice.
  • Provide effective leadership to the development and delivery of important future focused strategic initiatives such as our approach to pay and reward, leadership development and a new agile working framework.
  • Provide trusted and expert HR advice to the Vice-Chancellor, senior leadership team and Board of Governors. Advise and provide insight to the Board of Governors and their committees.
  • Take a lead role in facilitating the development of a high performing and inclusive culture which aligns with and supports the University’s strategic direction.
  • Strengthen the University’s ability to meet its strategic priorities through creation and delivery of an HR delivery plan, HR KPIs and strategic people initiatives.
  • Provide strong and proactive leadership to all people related aspects of the University’s commitment to promoting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in all of its activities.
  • Shape and oversee the University plans and activities to support the health and wellbeing of staff including Occupational Health.
  • Provide strong overall leadership, organisation and management of the PPC department, inspiring and motivating staff. Ensure that they work as a cohesive and efficient team while promoting a culture of continuous improvement and a clear understanding of the University’s business.
  • Engender a customer focused culture to ensure that managers and staff across the University have access to effective, fit for purpose and resilient people services.
  • Ensure that recruitment and retention strategies promote the University as a good place to work and an employer of choice and that they support the University objectives in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Maximise use of technology where appropriate to ensure effective and efficient service delivery, minimise cost and enable HR to focus on value-add activities, ensuring adaptability to changing needs.
  • Lead the ongoing development and effective implementation of employment policies.
  • Facilitate positive and constructive employee relations and maintain effective partnership working with the Trade Unions.
  • Take responsibility for annual budget planning, ensuring that robust budget monitoring processes are in place for the department in line with the University’s financial regulations and ensure effective management of the department budget.




  • A first degree and evidence of continuing professional development.
  • Membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Experience, Knowledge & Skills

  • Experience and track record of HR leadership in a relevant senior leadership role within a large, complex organisation at, or reporting to, Board level.
  • Evidence of highly contemporary HR knowledge and practice and advising at CEO/Board level on complex and sensitive matters.
  • In-depth understanding of effective change management and demonstrable achievement of leading significant organisational development and transformational change.
  • Experience of strategic HR policy development in periods of change e.g. terms and conditions, performance management, employee engagement, and pay and reward.
  • Experience of building, motivating and managing high performing HR teams.
  • Knowledge and understanding of compliance and regulatory issues affecting the HR function, up to date knowledge of HR and employee relations practices.
  • Understanding of pay and reward and experience of developing and implementing new approaches.
  • Track record of effective employee relations in a unionised environment.
  • Ability to deliver outstanding customer service and think strategically with a customer service focus.
  • Experience of planning, managing and controlling significant budgets, resources and funding.

Personal Attributes

  • A strategic thinker with excellent judgement and highly developed emotional intelligence.
  • An influencer and collaborator within the team with personal credibility and gravitas with excellent ambassadorial, negotiation and influencing skills.
  • An articulate, diplomatic and persuasive communicator. Naturally consultative, able to work collaboratively while providing constructive challenge and holding senior colleagues to account.
  • Possessing a high degree of integrity, honesty and openness.
  • Strong commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Resilient, able to work well in a fast-changing environment, sometimes under pressure and managing conflicting priorities.

Terms of appointment

A salary of c£130,000, in addition to the University pension and private healthcare or an allowance. The University also offers relocation assistance.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to the University, an executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisements.

The closing date for applications is noon on 28 April 2023.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of three pages) outlining how you meet the essential experience criteria of the person specification.
  • Please include details of two referees in either your CV or covering letter, though please note that we will not approach your referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.

Should you wish to discuss the roles in strict confidence, please contact Ed Pritchard on, +44(0)7980 817 927.

We would welcome applications from suitable candidates with the qualifications and experience to undertake this role. We are committed to being a fully inclusive and diverse community. We will actively seek and encourage applications for this role from the broadest range of society, including all under represented groups.

Forward Timetable:

Stage Date
Closing date for applications Noon, Friday 28th April
Preliminary interviews with AQ 9th May – 16th May
Interviews at Lincoln TBC