Recruitment process for Academic Leadership roles

Process for the open advertising and recruitment of Pro Vice Chancellors, Deputy Vice Chancellors, Deans and Heads of School

The procedures for the appointment of Heads of School, Pro Vice Chancellors or Deans of Faculties are outlined in the University Ordinances. Please see the latest version of the University Charter, Statutes and Ordinances.

Process for the recruitment of the following academic leadership roles:

The selection processes for the School Impact Director (Office document, 18kB) and the School Research Director (Office document, 18kB) roles are managed within the relevant School.

The following sections of this page relate to the roles below. 

·         Academic Directors – Graduate Studies/ Undergraduate Studies (ADs)

·         Bristol Doctoral College Director (BDCD)

·         Faculty Education Directors – Graduate Studies/ Undergraduate Studies (FEDs) (PDF, 64kB)

·         Faculty International Directors (FIDs)

·         Faculty Research Directors (FRDs) (PDF, 157kB)

·         University Research Institute Directors (URIDs)

Planning and preparation

The HR Resourcing Team will monitor current appointment end dates to trigger the commencement of the appointment process for a successor (or renewal of appointment where appropriate - see below). In the Autumn prior to the current incumbent’s end of term, or at the earliest point at which it is known there will be a vacancy if a mid-term resignation, the Dean will liaise with the relevant PVC and the HR Resourcing Team to progress the recruitment process for a successor to commence at the start of the next academic year. The aim will be to identify an appointee in time to enable a handover period of at least 3 months.

The HR Resourcing Team will also be responsible for maintaining the further particulars and advert templates, which will be available on the ‘resourcing’ pages of the HR web site. The Dean and PVC will agree any necessary amendments to the further particulars and advert (any substantial amendments to the further particulars template itself will require approval by the relevant University committee).

The HR Resourcing Team will then proceed with advertising and co-ordinating the selection process.  


The HR Resourcing Team will advertise the position internally via the UoB jobs website, and also promote the vacancy in the HR weekly manager’s bulletin. The Dean will ensure that the position is promoted appropriately across the Faculty. Application will be by CV and covering letter with a three week closing date.

Selection panel

The core selection panel will consist of the following members:

·         The relevant Pro Vice Chancellor (Chair)

·         Faculty Dean

·         An existing incumbent in the role from another Faculty

In addition, for FED panel only:

·         Relevant Academic Director (Graduate or Undergraduate)

In addition, for FRD panel only:

·      Director of RED

Any additional panel members for the AD, BDCD, FID and URID roles will be agreed by the Pro Vice Chancellor chairing the panel.

The normal expectation is that a reasonable gender balance will be achieved, ideally of at least 60:40 (male:female). If the above panel members are all of the same gender, then a senior academic of the unrepresented gender, and from within the Faculty, should be added to the panel.

Selection panel members will need to have attended the University's Successful Recruitment and Selection training course or a suitable alternative (contact the Resourcing Manager to discuss this).

All panel members should be familiar with the application of the University’s Equality and Diversity policy and the Equality Act 2010 in the recruitment process by reference to HR’s  practical guidance on diversity.

Selection process

The HR Resourcing Team will liaise with the selection panel members to identify dates, venues and other resources for the selection process.

The short-listing process will be carried out, wherever possible, within two weeks of the closing date for applications. The PVC will chair the short-listing process (either via a meeting or virtually), with at least two further members of the full selection panel, including the Dean, involved in the decision.

The selection process for short-listed candidates will consist of a panel interview. The standard UoB selection forms will be used by the panel to record candidate assessments and the outcome of the selection process.

Appointment and follow-up

The Chair (PVC) will confirm the outcome to the selected candidate and the unsuccessful candidates.

The Dean will confirm the outcome of the process to the Faculty HR Team who will take forward the formal offer and ensure all relevant arrangements are put in place, including the appropriate pay supplement.  Appointments will normally be for a period of 3 years in the first instance (see renewal of appointment section below).

Renewal of appointment

Where it is proposed that an appointment should be renewed for a second term, this will be by agreement with the individual, and must have the support of the following:

In exceptional circumstances, the PVC, Dean or Board (as indicated above) may wish to explore the current post-holders willingness to serve for another term. Support would initially need to be obtained from the DVC or relevant PVC (as indicated above), followed by a discussion with the role-holder. If all parties are in agreement, the appointment will be renewed for a further three year term. If any party is not in agreement, the normal appointment process will be initiated.

The PVC, Dean or Board (as indicated above) will confirm the outcome to the relevant HR team, who will take forward the formal offer and ensure all relevant arrangements are put in place, including the appropriate pay supplement.