Appointment of the Vice-Dean and Head of School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health


Thank you for your interest in joining the University of Manchester as Vice-Dean and Head of School of Health Sciences within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (FBMH). The University is a diverse, international community of over 12,000 staff and over 40,000 students. It is a place where research has a global impact, where students experience outstanding teaching and learning, helping them to develop into tomorrow’s leaders, and where all activity is enriched by a commitment to social responsibility. The Academic Ranking of World Universities currently rates Manchester as the 35th best university in the world and 5th best in the UK.

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health comprises 11,000 students, 3,200 staff, over 30 undergraduate courses and around 90 postgraduate taught courses. The Faculty integrates discovery biology, clinical application and patient care and is the largest supplier of healthcare graduates to the NHS in the north-west of England. The School of Health Sciences is one of three within the Faculty, along with the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Medical Sciences, led by Professor Judith Hoyland and Professor Tony Heagerty respectively. Many of our programmes cross school and division boundaries to ensure they cover the breadth of knowledge and skills required for a career in biology, medicine and health. The School of Health Sciences itself is organised into six divisions: the Division of Human Communication, Development and Hearing, the Division of Informatics, Imaging and Data Sciences, the Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, the Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care and the Division of Psychology and Mental Health.

The Vice-Dean and Head of School is a strategically important role within the University. As Head of School and a full member of the Faculty Leadership Team (FLT), they provide the key interface with the Faculty and University and therefore the post holder must demonstrate excellent academic leadership and management to ensure that the School makes a full contribution towards Faculty and wider institutional objectives.

You can find out more about the University, the School and the role of Vice-Dean and Head of Health Sciences on this website. Our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be pleased to discuss the role with you, in strict confidence – their details can also be found on this site.

I do hope you will make an application to join us and lead the further development of our approach to delivering outstanding teaching, learning and research in Health Sciences.

Yours faithfully

Professor Graham Lord
Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

About us

The University of Manchester was formed in 2004 by combining the Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST.  It is the largest non-federal university in the UK, with an annual income of over £1 billion, over 12,000 staff and over 40,000 students. It and its predecessor institutions have a distinguished history of research and teaching, tracing back to 1824 and having produced 25 Nobel laureates. Research highlights include Rutherford’s work on splitting the atom (leading to the 1908 Nobel prize for physics), the world’s first stored-program computer (the Manchester University Mark I), the world’s first steerable radio telescope (at Jodrell Bank), the birth of chemical engineering, and most recently the discovery of graphene (leading to the 2010 Nobel prize for physics).  The Academic Ranking of World Universities currently rates Manchester as the 35th best university in the world and 5th best in the UK. The University has more than half a million alumni in 190 countries.  The University is a partner of the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence.

You can find out more about the University on our website here.

Our structure

The University is divided into Faculties, Schools, Institutes and hundreds of specialist research groups, all of which undertake pioneering multidisciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance.  The Faculties, Schools, Institutes and research group are supported by a broad range of professional service teams and functions. The University’s academic structure is:

Faculty of Humanities
Alliance Manchester Business School; School of Arts, Languages and Cultures; School of Environment, Education and Development; School of Social Sciences

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
School of Biological Sciences; School of Health Sciences; School of Medical Sciences

Faculty of Science and Engineering
School of Engineering; School of Natural Sciences

Our Future

Our new vision and strategic plan for The University of Manchester will take us into our third century. It builds on a rich heritage of discovery, social change and pioneering spirit that is at the heart of our University and our city region:

The City of Manchester

Manchester is the largest city in Northern England, with a metropolitan area population of over 2.5 million. Traditionally a commercial and industrial powerhouse, and birthplace of the industrial revolution, today it is also a cosmopolitan centre of education, media, arts and sport. Internationally famed for spectator sport and nightlife, it also has world-class facilities for music, participation in sport, arts and shopping. Direct rail links connect to cities across the UK, and the international airport provides direct flights across Europe and to major hubs worldwide. Just outside the city, the Peak District National Park provides some of the country’s best-loved terrain for outdoor activities, while the Yorkshire Dales, Snowdonia and Lake District National Parks are also easily accessible.

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health has an integrated structure that enables us to deliver a truly translational approach to the life sciences. This helps ensure smooth research pathways – from pure discovery science through to clinical application and patient care.

The Faculty was created in 2016 when the Faculty of Life Sciences and the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences were brought together in a new, integrated structure. With a total annual income of over £300 million, and over 3,000 members of staff, the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health is comparable to a medium-sized UK university.

We develop and deliver the highest quality education and training for health professionals and life scientists in partnership with the NHS and industry. We contribute to the University’s tradition of innovation and improvements in the health of people around the world.

We are the largest supplier of healthcare graduates to the NHS in the north-west of England. We produce highly-trained and skilled professionals who are increasingly sought-after by employers across the health industry.

The Academy for Education and Professional Development provides training for clinicians and healthcare professionals teaching in the University’s Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. Please click here for further information.

We also conduct outstanding, world-leading research in the biological, medical and health sciences across eight research themes. We take our social responsibility to make a contribution to the ‘greater good’ seriously.

We were ranked 4th out of 44 in the UK for research power in the biological sciences in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Our research in the areas of the allied health professions, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy was also judged to be excellent.

The integration of discovery biology, clinical application and patient care within a single Faculty, particularly in a region with notable health inequality, provides us with a real opportunity to have a very significant and positive impact on people’s lives.

The Faculty in numbers:

  • 11,000 students
  • 3,200 staff
  • £122 million in annual research income
  • over 30 undergraduate courses
  • approximately 90 postgraduate taught courses.

About the School of Health Sciences
The School of Health Sciences is made up of six divisions:

  • Division of Human Communication, Development and Hearing
  • Division of Informatics, Imaging and Data Sciences
  • Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work
  • Division of Pharmacy and Optometry
  • Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care
  • Division of Psychology and Mental Health

The School’s six Divisions cover a broad spectrum of research across health sciences and also deliver fully accredited teaching and learning.

We have a vast geographical footprint stretching across the Greater Manchester area. As well as primary locations on the University’s main Oxford Road campus, we also have activities off campus and links with various NHS sites:

Our School provides both undergraduate and postgraduate education across a spectrum of health related professions and registered students in the School total approximately 5,000.

Undergraduate activity
Undergraduate students within the School develop their practical skills by working alongside professional staff at nearly every hospital and primary care trust within Greater Manchester. We aim to ensure that our student body is as diverse as possible by involvement in various widening participation activities and practices.

Postgraduate activity
The School hosts postgraduates involved in a diverse range of study, from short-term, professionally linked programmes through to research training in multidisciplinary areas:

  • Taught Masters (MSc/MSc (Clin)/MA/MPH/MDPH) – includes distance learning options
  • Research Masters (MRes/MClinRes)
  • Research Training (PhD/MPhil/ClinPsyD/MD)
  • Postgraduate Diploma Certificate (PGDip/PGCert) – includes distance learning options
  • Professional Training (Masters modules/PG Credit/Certificate of Attendance)

As a University we are ambitious, and this is equally true of our Faculty and the School of Health Sciences. We have the breadth of expertise needed to tackle issues of global importance in the field of health science.

Our goal is to harness and coordinate people’s efforts to produce a step-change in generating new knowledge through cutting edge research and translate that knowledge to improve health and reduce inequalities in Manchester, the UK and across the globe. Our research also leads our teaching to help ensure our students gain an excellent education.

Whilst there is much to be done if we are to achieve our ambitions, the School has developed a clear sense of direction and momentum since it was formed in August 2016. We are proud of what we have achieved so far and attribute our success to putting people at the centre of our work.

You can find out more about the School of Health Sciences here.

The role

Vice-Dean and Head of School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Job reference:

Reports to: The Vice-President and Dean
Organisational Unit: School of Health Sciences

Overall purpose

The Vice-Dean & Head of School is a strategically critical role within the University.  The School provides the key interface with the Faculty and University. As both Head of School and a full member of the Faculty Leadership Team, the post holder will provide the academic leadership and management to ensure that the School makes a full contribution towards the objectives of the Faculty and the University.

The Vice-Dean & Head of School will engage effectively with Academic and research staff within the School, and also the wider Faculty and will work closely with the Head of School Operations, who is responsible for the School’s Professional Services staff, in order to develop and deliver the School strategy and ensure that the academic and professional services priorities are aligned.

Key Duties/responsibilities

The key duties and responsibilities of the Vice-Dean & Head of School include the following:


  • Demonstrating full commitment to the realisation of the vision and objectives of the University and Faculty in the context of the School, through identifying and leading the contribution of the School.
  • Promoting interdisciplinary working, new areas of research and postgraduate teaching and innovative degree programmes in keeping with the spirit of the Faculty and University.
  • Working closely with the relevant Vice-Deans and Associate Deans to ensure academic objectives, including innovation and delivery are met and working with School and Faculty leaders to enable the best, financially sustainable outcomes
  • Maintaining an awareness of developments in higher education policy and practice, especially with relevance to the work of the School.
  • Actively promoting the interests of the School both within the University and externally.
  • Seeking to enhance the reputation of the School and to attract funding nationally and internationally.
  • Ensuring that there is a cohesive School Leadership Team and providing strong and supportive leadership to Heads of Division and other senior managers within the School enabling them to deliver on the full range of expectations of their roles.
  • Engaging and communicating with impact across the School maintaining a high degree of visibility

Strategic and Academic Planning

  • Defining, and regularly reviewing, the teaching and research objectives and priorities for the School, in collaboration with senior leaders within and outside the School, and in the context of the Faculty strategy, ensuring consultation with academic staff.
  • Ensuring that research and teaching and learning expectations are clearly communicated in the School and discussed at both an individual and Division/School basis
  • Contributing to the development and delivery of the Faculty strategic plan, ensuring that the strategies of the School are consistent with those of the Faculty and University.
  • Taking responsibility for quality assurance within the School and, in particular, for ensuring that University procedures are appropriately followed.
  • Ensuring that there is appropriate allocation of staff to strategic and academic activities and that contribution is assessed
  • Ensuring that appropriate links are maintained with subject and professional bodies and that professional courses meet or exceed the expectations of professional bodies
  • Ensuring that appropriate links are maintained with relevant NHS organisations and partnership organisations such as the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre and Health Innovation Manchester and other external collaborators

Management of the School

  • Managing the school in an efficient, structured, open and transparent way.
  • Setting the agenda for the School in terms of the objectives of teaching, research, knowledge transfer and social responsibility
  • Promoting effective working partnerships between academic, research and Professional Support Services staff.
  • Playing a pivotal role in engagement and communications in and across the School, the Faculty and University, and fostering links with both faculty and central University offices.
  • Consulting with staff as appropriate on matters of legitimate concern and encouraging them to be involved in the life of the School.
  • Ensuring compliance within the School with all University policies and procedures, and the provisions of the Charter, Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations.
  • Ensuring that the School meets agreed targets including student recruitment targets, financial targets and any other agreed performance indicators.
  • Ensuring that the School meets its obligations in terms of formal reporting to the Faculty/University in a timely manner.
  • Fostering public engagement in the work of the School.
  • Ensuring that the School has appropriate governance in place, particularly in ensuring that the School Board operates effectively


  • Working with the School and Divisional Leadership Teams to embed a positive culture that embraces University values and encourages collegiality both within the School and with other parts of the Faculty and University.
  • Playing an active role in the recruitment, appointment development and retention of high calibre staff to the School and creating a supportive environment within the School which encourages the development of staff at all levels.
  • Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the School in accordance with the policies of the University and ensuring their implementation within the School.
  • Promoting the interests and well being of all staff in the School.
  • Taking overall responsibility for the deployment of staff within the School and the allocation of duties.
  • Ensuring that probationary staff receive appropriate support and guidance throughout the probationary period, including formal induction, and overseeing the production of recommendations for confirmation of appointment.
  • Ensuring a robust approach to performance management with all staff within the School undertaking a performance development review at least annually, and more often as required, to support the delivery of clear objectives set by Heads of Division in consultation with the relevant Research or Teaching & Learning leads, as appropriate and using the Capability Procedure where performance consistently falls short of expectations
  • Making recommendations with regard to promotions and rewards, ensuring associated procedures are robustly managed at Division and School level
  • Ensuring that HR procedures including those relating to discipline, grievance, management of sickness absence are followed, where necessary, for staff.
  • Managing the School’s arrangements for approving academic leave and requests from academic staff for permission to undertake outside work.


  • Ensuring effective arrangements are in place for the recruitment, admission, academic support, welfare and progression of students.
  • Ensuring that effective arrangements are in place governing the teaching and study of the subjects assigned to the School
  • Delivering (as far as it is within the School’s control) the best possible student experience and quality of programmes, including ensuring that clear arrangements are in place for students to receive the tuition, feedback and support to which they are entitled and for monitoring of the student experience
  • Ensuring that procedures relating to discipline and grievance are followed, where necessary, for students.
  • Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the School in accordance with the policies of the University.


  • Taking responsibility for the School’s financial resources (including control of the School budget), ensuring they are deployed in an efficient and cost effective way to achieve the objectives of the School, the Faculty and the University.
  • Ensuring that the School operates within the Financial Regulations of the University and in a financially sustainable way.
  • Ensuring that procurement issues are fully and properly managed.
  • Ensuring the efficient use of space and the development of the School’s facilities.

Health and Safety

  • Ensuring that a safe working environment is provided for students and staff within the School.
  • Reviewing, from time to time, the health and safety procedures in operation in the School and ensuring that they are adhered to.
  • Understand the influence of area of activity on carbon emissions and wider environmental impacts. Responsible, in collaboration with colleagues, for developing plans to reduce carbon emissions and to identify and address barriers to further this reduction. Lead on embedding more sustainable practice and empowering action within sphere of influence and control.

Personal academic contribution

It is expected that the Vice-Dean & Head of School will have an active research interest in an area relevant to School activities, and will make a teaching and research contribution commensurate with the commitment to leadership duties.



Candidates must be able to provide specific evidence of how they meet the requirements of this person specification in order to be considered for the role.

Knowledge & experience

  • A personal academic standing and track record of achievement, that commands the respect of colleagues within the School, Faculty, University and externally
  • A proven track record of working at a senior level, managing diverse resources to drive strategy, budget, and performance in a university environment.
  • Previous experience as a highly effective Head of Division/Department or a small School (or an equivalent unit)
  • Experience of having promoted excellence in Teaching & Learning and Research within a Division/Department, School (or an equivalent unit) and also externally
  • Experience of managing and leading people through transformational change and developing a culture of continuous improvement, partnership and collaboration, and resilience
  • Experience of having difficult conversations at an individual level and acting firmly but fairly in tackling difficult management issues
  • Knowledge and experience of applying policies, procedures and effective approaches to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Knowledge of policies and procedures within the areas of HR, Finance, Health and Safety, Information Governance and Data Protection that are relevant in Higher Education or a similar, large and complex environment.
  • Experience of having built effective partnerships with a range of staff.


  • Able to demonstrate skills in:
  • Leadership – authentic leadership with the ability to lead by example, set direction and motivate staff, negotiate and influence laterally and upwardly
  • Management – ability to set financial and non-financial targets, monitor performance, and address performance issues to drive achievement of key measures; ability to prioritise effectively against a wide-range of competing activities
  • People Management – ability to manage people through setting objectives, reviewing and managing performance, with a track record of impactful team development
  • Engagement and Communications – ability to communicate and engage with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders effectively both verbally and through written materials, able to customise messages for different audiences and using influencing skills and persuasion where appropriate
  • Strategic Insight – development, planning and implementing strategy and gaining the agreement of colleagues to strategic decisions.
  • Analytical Thinking and Problem Solving – analysis of management and benchmarking information to determine root causes or trends, generation and implementation of pragmatic and simple solutions
  • Teamwork – able to act as a team member at all levels of the University, building key relationships with people to drive achievement and successful outcomes
  • Change and Project Management – able to lead, engage and deliver change proactively, delivering planned outcomes through realization of benefits; able to lead and manage projects to schedule, budget and agreed quality

Personal qualities

  • Has a strong commitment to the goals and vision of the School, Faculty and University.
  • Creates a sense of unity and common purpose.
  • Honest and open, demonstrates a high level of personal integrity.
  • Actively works to build teams and relationships across both PS and academic staff, maintaining a high degree of visibility
  • Consults with colleagues at all levels on a regular basis, and listens
  • Looks beyond the boundaries of the School and Faculty in promoting interdisciplinary working.
  • Knows when to take advice.
  • Well organised and committed to getting the job done.
  • Demonstrates commitment to their own personal development

Terms of appointment

The Vice-Dean & Head of School will hold a permanent substantive Professorial appointment.  The term of office as Vice-Dean & Head of School, for which there will be additional remuneration in the form of an honorarium, will be for a period of five years in the first instance.

The post holder will be expected to spend 0.6 FTE of their time fulfilling the role of Vice-Dean & Head of School.

Benefits: For information on the benefits of working at the University of Manchester please click here.


How to apply

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

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley: Alice Hayler +44(0)7596 954 388 or Elliott Rae on +44(0)7584 078 534.

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 28 February 2022.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of 3 pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the person specification criteria.
  • 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.
  • Please complete an Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form here.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ1195.

Provisional timetable

Closing date: noon on Monday 28 February
Longlisting: Monday 7 March
Preliminary Interviews with AQ: Thursday 10 – Friday 19 March
Shortlisting: Monday 28 March
Final Panel Interviews: Thursday 28 April