Associate Dean for Research - Nottingham School of Art & Design


Thank you for your interest in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Art & Design.

We are one of the world’s leading art and design schools and we have been influencing, inspiring and innovating for over 175 years. We are guided by our past, focused on our future, and proud to be shaping what comes next.  At at an exiting time for the School and University; buoyed by recent successes including a significant REF result, we are appointing an Associate Dean for Research in our School of Art & Design.

In the latest REF, 86% of Trent’s research was world-leading or internationally excellent and our new Associate Dean for Research will work across the school and wider university to make sure our research (40% of which is practice-based) and activity contribute to our quality research and impact goals.

We have also launched a new department of Design and Digital Arts (DaDA) which will provide new and exciting opportunities bringing together art, design, technology and business within a landmark new building, the Design & Digital Arts Building, which opens 2024. The new building will accommodate a range of creative technology spaces that support our ambition to offer real world work like experiences with the introduction of a virtual production space, and innovation spaces where students can explore and play with the latest technologies. It will enable the new department to expand its creative industries offer with the introduction of new technologies led curriculum within Film & TV Production Technology, VFX, Games Art & Design and Motion Graphics together with traditional design practices, Graphic Design, Illustration, Animation, Filmmaking, Design for Film & TV, Fine Art, Costume Design and Theatre and Live Performance.

As we continue to build a strong leadership team across the School, we are looking for an individual with a deep background in an art and design related to the School. Importantly, you must be a good leader and team player with a positive attitude and vision to help build an ambitious vision for the School.

If you would like to contribute your expertise, creativity and energy to this wonderful institution, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Michael Marsden
Executive Dean School of Art & Design

The School

We are one of the world’s leading art and design schools and we have been influencing, inspiring and innovating for over 175 years. We are guided by our past, focused on our future, and proud to be shaping what comes next.

Located right in the heart of one of the UK’s most exciting cities, we are surrounded by – and contribute to – an originality, energy and imagination that makes Nottingham a very special place to live, work and create.

From nurturing talent to daring research and collaborations that are shaking up the industry, we are breaking convention, and challenging the very ideas of what is possible for an art and design school.

Inspired by a love for our craft, we are committed to pushing its boundaries into new territories. Staff and students are part of a community of thousands united by passion, drive and hard work.

We are all contemporaries, collaborators and change-makers. And together we  turn what we love into how we live.

We are the Nottingham School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University and we are what we create.

Our School’s showcase will be available from 25 May at

Our New Home

The Design and Digital Arts Building (DaDA) is a new building for Nottingham School of Art & Design to prepare our graduates for success in professional, technical and commercial careers in the growing cultural and creative industries. Designed by award-winning architects Hawkins\Brown, the building will place Nottingham as a UK hub for film, television, animation, UX design, games design, graphic design and more.

The building will provide dedicated spaces for Nottingham School of Art & Design’s visual communication, moving image and digital screen disciplines. It will also provide opportunities for inter-disciplinary collaboration, social learning and celebration of work in progress as well as finished pieces.

Facilities will include:

  • Collaborative studio spaces for each discipline
  • Digital Innovation Lab and VR/Mixed Reality Studio
  • Exhibition spaces
  • TV and Film Studio
  • Black Box studio
  • Film Production editing suites
  • Sound studios
  • Stop Motion Studio
  • Café

REF 2021

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, 83% of NTU’s research submitted to the ‘Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory’ Unit of Assessment was assessed to be world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of research impact. Full details on NTU’s REF performance can be found here.


With around 80 academics and 1,400 students, the new Department for Design and Digital Arts brings together the former departments of Visual Arts and Visual Communications with an enhanced academic offer, including 12 new courses, all housed in the brand new Design and  Digital Arts Building.  With the new offer and building allowing us to maximise new opportunities as the leading provider of creative, technology-led curriculum both nationally and internationally.

The offer includes 18 UG courses:

  • BA Fine Art
  • BA Costume & Construction
  • BA Theatre & Live Performance
  • BA Design for Stage & Screen
  • BA Graphic Design
  • BA Motion Graphics
  • BA Illustration
  • BA Animation
  • BA Games Art
  • BSc Games Design
  • BA VFX Art
  • BSc VFX Technical Direction
  • BA Filmmaking
  • BSc Film Technology
  • BSc TV Production Design
  • BA Photography
  • BA Fashion Photography
  • BA Sports Photography

And 11 PG courses:

  • MA Graphic Communication
  • MA Illustration
  • MA Animation
  • MA Photography
  • MA Filmmaking
  • MFA Fine Art
  • MSc Creative Technologies
  • MA Creative Enterprise
  • MA Motion Graphics
  • MA UX/UI
  • MA Design for Stage & Screen

Our City

Our City

Nottingham is a place where big-city life meets a relaxed vibe, and dynamic culture. From peaceful parks to big nights, Nottingham’s streets always urge you to try something new. The city of Nottingham is full of cultural attractions and is home to some of the best art galleries, music venues, museums and cinemas in the UK. It’s a city that embraces individuality.

Combining an outstanding mix of city with countryside, this spectacular region boasts a £12.1 billion economy with £1 billion of that currently being spent on bringing our transport and business infrastructure up to a world-class standard. Speedy tram and rail links take you to a multitude of UK destinations, while the East Midlands airport means that you can be in a European city within a couple of hours.

Choosing a destination for a new home is not just about the culture and transport options, it has to provide you with a good quality of day-today life. With living expenses being around five to seven percent lower than the UK average, you will find your income goes that little bit further in Nottingham. Whether you are looking to buy or rent, property across the city stretches from airy loft conversions in the city’s historic Lace Market, to modern riverside apartments. For a family-friendly area, West Bridgford, Mapperley or Beeston might suit your needs, or perhaps one of the gothic Victorian mansions in the Park Estate.

Nottingham is the perfect setting for an exciting new opportunity. Visit and see why it makes the perfect home.

University Reimagined

Strategic Purpose

University Reimagined was developed in partnership with our colleagues, students and stakeholders. It articulates our ambitions across six key themes — written from the perspective of 2025 and looking back on what we have achieved.

Creating Opportunity:
We have pursued personalisation of student experience above and beyond expectations. Every student has the potential to develop the knowledge, skills and resilience they seek to create meaning and purpose in their lives. Our global community of lifelong learners has access to flexible courses of equal quality to our celebrated campus provision. The University’s delivery of social mobility through parity of outcomes has bestowed international recognition.

Valuing Ideas:
We have defined, resourced, and promoted a compelling portfolio of world-class research and innovation. We have created new ways for collaborators to share in the spirit of creativity and curiosity that characterises our research, scholarship, and practice.

Enriching Society:
NTU is a widely acknowledged force for good in economic, social and cultural development. We collaborate with those who like us want to address the key challenges of our times and our places.

Embracing Sustainability:
NTU has curated an intergenerational conversation with our students, colleagues, and stakeholders; we are recognised to be the most socially, economically and environmentally responsible University in the UK.

Connecting Globally:
We have gained renown for our truly global perspective. We are not restricted by borders or boundaries and work together to deepen and share our insights and understanding of our world for the benefit of the planet and all its inhabitants.

Empowering People:
Distinctive and disruptive, we have empowered people to do the right thing. We have been bold in pursuing novel solutions and taking unfamiliar routes.

The role

Associate Dean for Research

Job reference:

Post title: Associate Dean for Research
School or Department:
Nottingham School of Art & Design
Academic Heads/Prof Band
Immediate line manager:
Dean of School
Title & Grade of posts line managed by postholder:
School Postgraduate Research Tutor and/or Professional Doctorate Course leader and any additional research staff as deemed appropriate by the Dean. Leadership and coordination of the work of Unit of Assessment Coordinator(s) within the School.

Job purpose:

  • Provide strategic leadership support to the Dean of School on the development, implementation and monitoring of the School Research Plan, and the enhancement of the quality and volume of the School’s research activity.
  • To work with the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, the Director of the Research Office and the other Associate Deans for Research as required to ensure that the ambitions associated with the Valuing Ideas theme of the NTU Strategic Plan are fully realised.
  • Be an active and engaged member of the School’s leadership team, working closely with colleagues within the School and across the University to deliver the NTU Strategic Plan and the School’s objectives and ensure the alignment of learning and teaching, research, international and other key agendas.

The role will encompass all of the following, but the balance of duties and responsibilities will be determined in discussion with the post holder’s line manager:

Principal duties:

  • To lead on the development and monitoring of the School Research Plan, including overseeing the use of School QR funds to support the Plan. To report formally annually to the Dean of School, Head of College and the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research on progress towards its delivery.
  • To capture detailed information of all research activities undertaken in the School and to ensure the effective utilisation of this information for planning, monitoring and enhancement of research capacity, capability and impact.
  • To work closely with the NTU Research Grant Capture Team, Knowledge Exchange, Impact Officers and the School’s Associate Dean for Practice to identify funding and knowledge exchange and impact opportunities.
  • To lead, coordinate and provide support for the Unit of Assessment Coordinators in the School as they undertake their work to ensure the optimisation of performance on any future assessment of research excellence.
  • To ensure that there is full and effective engagement with the REF preparation activities as determined by the NTU REF Planning Group.
  • To manage the work of the School Postgraduate Research Tutor and/or the Professional Doctorate Course Leader(s) in support of the realisation of the relevant aims of the School Research Plan and the relevant actions of the NTU Strategic Plan.
  • To develop and sustain appropriate structures for management, consultation, decision-making and communication with staff and students.
  • To stimulate and help build capacity for high quality research activity across constituent School Academic Departments, ensuring a Personal Research Plan is wholly integrated with the annual PDCR cycle for all academic staff.
  • Working closely with the Director of the NTU Research Office and the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research to develop opportunities for and encourage academics to engage in multi-disciplinary research within the School and, more broadly, across the University and externally with other organisations.
  • To carry out research that is internationally leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour in one of the key areas of strength within the School.
  • To lead on the development of a Researcher Development Plan for the School and to engage with the Researcher Development Manager in CPLD in its delivery.
  • To take principal responsibility for the organisation of an active research environment in the School which engages students and staff with research and scholarship and which operates in accordance with the Research Integrity Concordat and within the relevant legislative frameworks.
  • To chair the School Research Committee and represent the School on the College and University Research Committee, as required.
  • To ensure an effective system for the peer review of research grant applications prior to submission and, when so nominated by the Dean of School, to act as a point of sign-off at the School level for JeS and RGA1 forms relating to bids, tenders and contracts relating to externally-funded research, in line with the School, College and University’s policies and regulations.
  • To work closely with the Research Support Librarian for the School and the NTU Research Data Manager to ensure effective compliance with the Open Access Publication and Data Manager requirements of HEFCE and external funders of research, and to ensure that research within the School is undertaken in accordance with the NTU Code of Practice for Research.
  • Work with the Governance and Legal Services Team, the Research Grant Capture Team and the Research Commercialisation Officer to ensure that intellectual property arising from research is protected, in support of its subsequent successful exploitation.
  • To lead on the effective internal and external communication of the research activities of the School including taking principal responsibility for the organisation, with the support of the NTU Research Office, of an Annual School Research Conference and liaise with the School Postgraduate Tutor/Professional Doctorate Course Leader on aspects of that Conference relating to research student training. Ensure subject teams or combinations of subject teams have a seminar organiser who provides annual research seminar series.
  • Work with the School Executive and contribute to the determination, agreement and management of delegated budgets for; staff, revenue, staff development and travel, 3rd stream income and research (including REF).
  • Responsible for staff planning activity, including: succession planning, recruitment and selection, induction and probation, management of staff attendance, and overseeing the PDCR process to ensure objective setting is aligned to departmental/School plans.
  • Contribute to a high performance culture across the School, including motivation, performance management and professional development of direct reports. Proactively coach and mentor staff within the School who hold line management responsibility and support them in the discharge of their duties, including any improving performance cases, absence management and any other people management issues.
  • To promote a culture of inclusivity, in which individuals are respected and valued in line with University policies and ensuring all statutory obligations are met.
  • Contribute to the leadership and delivery of a pro-active Health and Safety culture within the school, in line with NTU Health and Safety policies.
  • To be responsible for ensuring that all University Policies and Procedures are appropriately applied and followed within the areas of responsibility of the post.
  • To represent the Dean, School and NTU on relevant internal and external committees, networks and working groups.
  • Where appropriate, lead on designated cross-University activity and initiatives.

N.B. The post-holder may be required to undertake any other duties which may reasonably be required as within the nature of the duties and responsibilities of the post as defined, subject to the proviso that normally any changes of a permanent nature shall be incorporated into the job description in specific terms.




  • Knowledge and understanding of public policy relating to research in the Higher Education sector in the UK.
  • Highly developed knowledge of approaches to teaching and research in a relevant discipline.
  • Understanding of key developments and trends in at least one of the School’s disciplines.
  • Understanding of the research environment and Research Excellence Framework (REF) context that the School is operating within.
  • An understanding of the Art & Design research context and ethos within the UK Higher Education Sector.



  • Evidence of leading and developing academic and professional staff.
  • Ability to contribute effectively to the strategic planning and staff/resource management processes within the School as required.
  • Ability to manage and be accountable for budgets.
  • Ability to identify and respond to issues with flexible and effective solutions.
  • Ability to operate effectively in an open, accountable and complex environment.
  • Excellent leadership, communication, presentation and influencing skills.


  • Proven record of developing new ideas and approaches, as a continual process involving some design input, that impact upon established methods and approaches.



  • Proven track record and current high quality research profile at internationally leading level in one of the successful established or emerging research areas within the School.
  • Successful and substantial experience of research leadership and management and/or research evaluation.
  • Experience in working successfully and collegially with senior academics in research and scholarship with a firm commitment to support team working and diversity within teams.
  • Proven track record in research grant capture or other income generation and management.
  • Experience of successfully writing bid/grant applications and management of large grants.
  • Experience of successful research degree supervision and/or research degree examining.


  • Management in an education or business environment including performance management against agreed.



  • Doctoral level or equivalent qualification in a subject area represented in the School.
  • Evidence of ongoing professional development.


  • Membership of and active engagement with relevant research bodies/networks.
  • Membership of and active engagement in the activities of an appropriate professional body.
  • Relevant professional qualification (including Practice quantification as required).
  • Academic publications relevant to the post.



  • Leading and Coaching (Level 4)
    Takes responsibility for strategic developments, sets standards and direction. Takes responsibility for developing talent and succession planning. Is a role model for others.
  • Communicating and Influencing (Level )
    Communicates and negotiates effectively with a range of stakeholders on complex matters which have future implications for the success of the University. Alert to internal and external dynamics of the organisation. Incorporates wider political factors into influencing strategy.
  • Organisation and Delivery (Level 4)
    Adopts a long term view and plans resources accordingly. Develops local strategy in support of the University’s Strategic Plan and develops resourcing models to underpin implementation.
  • Making Informed Decisions (Level 4)
    Identifies areas for development by reviewing current trends and data. Develops products, policy and strategy for the future. Horizon Scanning.
  • Customer Focus (Level 4)
    Anticipates the needs of customers, seeking evidence of demand from the market(s) and from stakeholders. Seeks out and manages long term relationships with stakeholders, develops strategic initiatives to ensure the delivery of a quality and valued service.
  • Entrepreneurial and Commercial Focus (Level 3)
    Spots and progresses business opportunities and opportunities for collaborative working externally and internally.
  • Creativity and Innovation (Level 3)
    Reviews, tests and implements new concepts, models and approaches to practice in support of service development and delivery.

Terms of appointment

The University will offer a competitive salary dependent on experience.

A generous holiday entitlement of between 23 and 35 days per year (dependent on grade), staff also receive five University closure days and statutory bank holidays.

The University offers excellent pension schemes to all colleagues, via either:

  • the Local Government Pension Scheme (LPGS), for researchers, professional services and support staff, or
  • Teachers Pensions, for Academics.

The University makes a significant contribution to this on your behalf.

Current members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) appointed to lecturing posts may be eligible for continued membership of USS. This includes heads of teaching departments and professors.


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 advertisement.

Should you wish to discuss the roles in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley:

The closing date is noon Monday 28th of November.

Shortlisting will take place in early December.
Final Panel Interviews will be held on Monday 19th of December.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the essential knowledge, skills and experience criteria of the person specification.
  • Please include current salary details and the names and addresses of two referees. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates.
  • Please complete an online Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ1623.

NTU prides itself on being an inclusive employer. We value and celebrate equality in opportunities, and we welcome applications from people who reflect the diversity of our communities.