RAU launches unique recruitment initiative in a bid to “grow our own academic”!

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) has launched a unique new recruitment initiative in a bid to “grow our own” academic and teaching staff and develop the future leaders in the land-based sector.

The Cirencester-based university is currently recruiting for a new position of Doctoral International Teaching Fellow – RAU Vice Chancellor Scholar, a position which would give the successful candidate the opportunity to study for a PhD while teaching RAU students and with the RAU covering the PhD fees.  

The project is the brainchild of Professor David Main, the RAU’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Planning & Resources). He said: “This unique opportunity will combine a part-time PhD programme of the successful applicant’s choice with a teaching position delivering undergraduate teaching to our international and UK programmes.

“The teaching activity could include modules in sustainable agriculture, equine, food business, environment and rural land management as well as dissertation supervision related to the Scholar’s disciplinary expertise.

“As a university, we recognise the need to support talented and ambitious individuals to help with the significant global challenges and opportunities facing the land-based sector such as climate change crisis, biodiversity loss, adoption of technology and thriving rural economies.”

A part-time PhD will normally take between six and eight years and, during that time, the successful candidate will benefit from a 50% full time equivalent of a UKRI tax free stipend as well as receiving a 50% full time equivalent salary for the teaching element of the programme. They will also be supported through their Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) and application for Fellowship of Higher Education Academy (HEA).

David added: “The successful candidate will be supported to develop an ambitious transdisciplinary PhD research programme that builds on RAU collaborations with industry, civil society and Government on a topic relevant to the RAU's research strategy.

“We hope to be able to recruit for one of these positions annually with the aim that, after successful completion of their PhD, these people will be capable of securing an independent academic, or industry, leadership position either within the RAU or elsewhere.”