Job details


Innovation and Research

Responsible to

Head of Discipline (dotted line to Professor of relevant area of academic excellence)


All Derby Sites


£34,308 per annum

Closing date

Monday 3 April 2023

Contract type

Fixed term contract 12 months

Post type




About the role

Challenging, interesting and constantly changing, the University of Derby is an extraordinary place to learn and an incredibly rewarding place to work.

Here at the University of Derby we have committed to nurture and encourage research excellence across all our disciplines and career stages, recognising the strong link between excellent research and an excellent student experience.

We have entered a new and exciting era at the University, making investments in our students, staff and research infrastructure to help us achieve our overall aim of producing research that is high in quality and impacts, national and internationally. This ensures that knowledge created at our University informs our curriculum and supports industry, policy makers, international partners and the wider research community.

Our 2021 REF submission showed significant increases in all our metrics, supported by a dedicated research and knowledge exchange office and enhanced governance processes.  Our doctoral cohort has increased by 63.4% since 2014 and we now have over 450 doctoral students. Investment in our research facilities has continued at pace and in March 2022 we opened our Facility for Omics Research in Metabolism (FORM). Our KEF outcome positioned us in the top 10% for working with business. Our Research Council funding and collaborative research income, from funders such as Innovate UK continues to rise, engaging our academics with both multinationals as well as small and medium size enterprises.

It is thus an exciting time to be joining us and to play a role in supporting the University’s ambitions. The University, proud of its achievements in growing Innovation and Research, is embarking on the next step change to drive academic performance. We are focussing our investment into 6 areas of academic excellence:

The Early Career Academic appointments are a pivotal opportunity for the University to develop these themes with high quality talent and knowledge. These are 1-year posts to be awarded to outstanding individuals who have the potential to progress to permanent academic roles at the University of Derby. The roles cut across traditional structural boundaries and ECAs will need to work across disciplines to address real world challenges, whilst being supported to grow their research and teaching skills through a dedicated ECA development plan.  It is expected that ECAs will engage in teaching activity as preparation for a full academic role in the future and support will be available. Candidates are expected to have completed their PhD or be pending award of their doctorate.

Data Science

Data Science continues to be a strength with high profile industry interactions. This Theme builds on the success of the Data Science Research Centre and the strong links it has developed with the local industries and communities. Focussing on applied and impactful research, it aims at developing data-centric solutions. Research activities cover all aspects of data science, from system and software architectures through to data analytics, applications of machine learning, data visualisation and the security of such systems. We are looking at strengthening and expanding our expertise in all areas and particularly in data visualisation including virtual and augmented reality, health informatics, smart cities and digital twins.

The intended start date for the ECA programme is 04 September 2023. 

Interviews to be held week commencing 24th April 

Below are some testimonals from two of last years successful ECA cohort describing their experience of the programme.

Principal accountabilities

  1. Engage in high quality individual research in a field that is consistent with one of the six areas of academic excellence for the University.
  2. Collaborate both internally and externally to identify innovation and research opportunities relevant to the area of academic excellence and contribute to effective cross College/University working.
  3. Sustain and enhance the reputation of the University by publishing in appropriate high quality journals and presenting at scholarly activities such as workshops, conferences and other similar events.
  4. Develop and maintain contacts and relationship with relevant professional, research and industrial organisations.
  5. Attract funding by engaging in writing bids for externally funded innovation and research projects.
  6. Support the development of the PhD community and contribute to PhD supervision.
  7. Ensure that knowledge from research and scholarly activities informs and enhances learning and teaching, as well as extending it to appropriate external activities such as knowledge transfer activities.
  8. Undertake inspiring and innovative teaching and assessment in the relevant subject area and deliver an outstanding student experience.
  9. Support cross university activity such as marketing and student recruitment as required.
  10. Contribute to the development of the subject area and related programmes of study.
  11. Provide an appropriate level of pastoral care to students, referring when necessary to other colleagues or services that can provide further support.
  12. Undertake relevant administrative duties in areas such as admissions, timetabling, examinations and assessment of progress and student attendance.
  13. Observe and implement University policies and procedures.
  14. Perform any other duties commensurate with the job grade as reasonably required from time to time.
  15. There will also be a requirement to attend training courses in teaching methods and course design; this may be waived by exception if an existing relevant qualification such as a PGCHE is held. The post holder will be required to plan and review their own approach to teaching, and to supervise research projects at Masters level.

Person specification

Essential Criteria



Skills, knowledge & abilities

Business requirements

Desirable Criteria



As well as competitive pay scales, we offer generous holiday entitlement. We also offer opportunities for further salary progression based on performance, and the opportunity to join a contributory pension scheme.

Find out more about pay and benefits

How to apply

You can apply by submitting an online application. Once you have signed in or registered with us you will be able to begin your application. If you are creating an account for the first time, please ensure you provide an email address that you access regularly as this will be our main means of contacting you regarding your application.

If you require any assistance, including the provision of any documentation in an alternative format, please contact the Recruitment team at

Please note all applications must be submitted online by Midnight GMT on the closing date of the vacancy.

Important information

Applications from job seekers who require sponsorship to work in the UK are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications.

Whilst this role is eligible for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker Route, we recommend that you assess your individual eligibility before applying for this position.

Visit for more information.

Equality, diversity, inclusion and wellbeing

The University of Derby is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. However you identify, we actively celebrate the knowledge, experience and talents each person brings.

A university that celebrates you

Further details

Download Early Career Academic - Data Science job descriptionDownload Early Career Academic - Data Science job descriptionDownload TestimonalsDownload Testimonals

Six students walking in a line outside One Friar Gate Square, talking to each other and smiling

Why join Derby?

Challenging, interesting and constantly changing, the University of Derby is an extraordinary place to learn and an incredibly rewarding place to work.

Find out more about working at the UniversityFind out more about working at the University

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expect everyone who works for us to also share this commitment and to treat people with courtesy and respect.