Professor of Irish Gender History and Professor of Microbiome and Health Science

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Job description

Cork – Ireland

Section 1: Introduction

1.1 Call for applications

Applications are invited from suitable qualified candidates for new posts in Irish Gender History and in Microbiome and Health Science under the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI) Call 2019, in line with the requirements set out in the Higher Education Authority (HEA) Call document.

This SALI Programme is managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills (DES). Following a competitive process based on an annual Call for applications from higher education institutions (HEIs), the HEA approved two new and additional senior academic leadership posts for our institution in the areas of Irish Gender History and Microbiome and Health Science to assist in accelerating gender balance at senior levels.

1.2 Background

Diversity is a key strength of Irish higher education. In recent decades our universities, institutes of technology, and colleges have been transformed, from predominantly national institutions catering primarily for school-leavers, to internationally oriented institutions engaged with an increasingly diverse student body, of all ages, backgrounds and gender identities.

Higher education legislation requires institutions to promote gender-balance among students and staff, and for the HEA to promote the attainment of equality of opportunity.

The HEA National Review of Gender Equality in Irish Higher Education Institutions (2016) was an important first step in highlighting the gender inequality that existed at senior academic levels in our HEIs. The HEA Expert Group report outlined a number of recommendations for the HEIs, HEA, research funding agencies and other key stakeholders. However, since the publication of the HEA Expert Group report, progress has remained exceptionally slow. The DES proposed that a targeted and proportionate positive action should be taken to accelerate the achievement of gender equality objectives. Such an approach is consistent with a range of Government strategies and policies including, for example:

The Gender Equality Taskforce identified significant measures that could accelerate progress in achieving gender equality in the Irish HEIs. Their Action Plan 2018-2020 encompasses a suite of initiatives to bring about sustainable organisational change and to empower a culture of gender equality in the HEI’s for all staff, academic and professional, as well as management and support staff at all levels. Ambitious targets for the proportion of academic and professional, management and support staff of each gender to be in senior positions in 1, 3 and 5 years will be agreed with the HEA and monitored annually through the Strategic Dialogue process. Their report is available here – hea.ie/assets/uploads/2018/11/Gender-Equality-Taskforce-Action-Plan-2018-2020.pdf

The HEA Expert Group and Gender Equality Taskforce both recognised that in addition to the organisational and culture change initiatives needed, a significant targeted positive action initiative was required in order to effect change within a reasonable timeframe at the highest academic level in both sectors. Analysis of recruitment trends by the Gender Equality Taskforce highlighted that rate of change, over the period 2013 – 2017, at the most senior grades is slower than at other grades.

International evidence is that the establishment of new and additional gender-specific posts would be a proportionate and effective means to achieve rapid and sustainable change, and on that basis has the potential to be transformative for the higher education sector in terms of securing gender equality goals.

As part of the launch of the Gender Equality Taskforce Action Plan, it was also announced that a new Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI) would be established.

Section 2

Objective of the Initiative

The Senior Academic Leadership Initiative aims to help achieve equality of outcome in the higher education sector. New and additional senior academic leadership posts have been funded in areas where:

  • there is clear evidence of significant gender under-representation;
  • where this appointment will have significant impact within the faculty/department/functional unit and the HEI;
  • where they would be a proportionate and effective means to achieve accelerated and sustainable change within an institution.

These posts are new and additional to the sector, i.e. they are in addition to the existing Employment Control Framework (ECF), and they will be funded through new and additional funding provided specifically to help progress gender balance among academic staff at senior levels.

The key objective of this Initiative is principally to attract outstanding female applicants both from within the sectors currently and internationally. The Initiative will also assist in increasing the number of women involved in the decision-making processes in the institutions, as advocated in the EU Commission Strategy on Promoting Equality in Decision Making.

In securing two posts under this initiative, our institution has demonstrated our commitment to gender equality. Our institution has also demonstrated plans for future developments in this area and has outlined the organisational and cultural initiatives in place to support the newly appointed staff. While this Initiative gives priority to highly qualified female candidates within the boundaries of what is legally permissible, in order to address their underrepresentation; preferential consideration of female candidates is excluded if other reasons worthy of legal protection prevail. In exceptional circumstances, candidates who are in a minority or protected under Irish social legislation, or who also belong to an underrepresented minority in academic posts may be considered if the institution can clearly articulate reasons worthy of legal protection as to why they should be considered.

Section 3: Call criteria and application guidelines

3.1 Applicant eligibility

Two SALI posts have been approved to our institution in the areas of Irish Gender History and Microbiome and Health Science by the HEA, and the applicants can only be appointed within these specific areas.

Only applicants who are suitably qualified will be appointed. If applicants do not meet the normal competition rules for appointment at Professorship level, then appointments will not be made.

This is a dedicated Call under the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative, and is an open competition for which both internal and external candidates will be eligible.

In line with the objectives of the HEA SALI Call 2019, applications from highly qualified female candidates will be prioritised within the boundary of what is legally permissible, in order to address their underrepresentation. However preferential consideration of female candidates is excluded if other reasons worthy of legal protection prevail. In exceptional circumstances, applications from candidates who are in a minority or protected under Irish social legislation, or who also belong to an underrepresented minority in academic posts may be considered if the institution can clearly articulate reasons worthy of legal protection as to why they should be considered.

Please provide a statement clearly outlining how you meet the criteria of this particular post in relation to the stated objectives of the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative or detail any exceptional circumstances as to why you should be considered for this post (Max 300 words). The statement provided will form part of the initial eligibility screening process for this particular post.

3.2 Applicant assessment process and guidelines

Normal University College Cork recruitment procedures apply for appointment at Professor level.

In line with the HEA Expert Group recommendation 1.16, institutions are required to review the recruitment and assessment procedures currently being used to ensure that such processes are gender-proof. For example, institutions should consider how best to factor in time spent away from an academic career when asking for measurable outputs, e.g. asking applicants to identify their top 3–5 publications/outputs with no time limits would negate periods of time spent away from an academic career, however asking for the publications/outputs over the last 5 years would disadvantage someone who has spent time away from their academic career.

A key objective of the Initiative is to strengthen diversity at senior academic leadership level in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) given the benefits that increased diversity would be expected to generate for HEIs as set out in the report of the Gender Equality Taskforce. Consequently, other capabilities and life experiences which have been acquired by applicants outside of the academic environment can be taken into account in assessing candidates, in so far as they are of importance for the suitability, performance and capability of applicants to perform senior academic leadership roles in higher education and to underpin the achievement of increased diversity at that level.

Section 4: Funding & Duration

The successful applicants will be permanent employees of University College Cork, under our standard terms and conditions.

How to apply

For an information package including full details of the post, selection criteria and application process see https://ore.ucc.ie/. Applicants are required to include the following as part of their application:

  • A recent curriculum vitae;
  • A covering letter indicating how you meet the criteria outlined in the job description;
  • The applicant statement per section 3.1;
  • A document providing details using the following headings if applicable:
    • Publications
    • Research Interests
    • Teaching Interests & Abilities

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to the following:

For the Professor of Irish Gender History please contact Professor Chris Williams at [email protected] or on +353 21 4902737.

For the Professor of Microbiome and Health Science please contact Professor Helen Whelton, Email: [email protected] or on +353 21 420 5661   / Professor Sarah Culloty, Email: [email protected] or on +353 21 4904646 / Professor Paul Ross, Email: [email protected] or on +353 21 4901322

Further information on the relevant areas is available at the following:

www.ucc.ie/en/history

apc.ucc.ie

www.ucc.ie/en/microbiology

Appointment may be made on the Professor Salary Scale: €117,916 – €151,477 (Scale B)/€112,149 – €143,903 (Scale A). Salary placement on appointment will be in accordance with public sector pay policy.

Applications must be submitted online via the University College Cork vacancy portal (ore.ucc.ie). Queries relating to the online application process should be referred to [email protected], quoting the job-title.

Candidates should apply, in confidence, before 12:00 noon (Irish Local Time) on Sunday 31st May 2020.

No late applications will be accepted.

University College Cork is an equal opportunities employer

UCC was established in 1845 as one of three Queen’s Colleges at Cork, Galway and Belfast. The site chosen for the college is particularly appropriate given its connection with the patron saint of Cork, St Finbarr. It is believed his monastery and school stood on the bank of the river Lee, which runs through the lower grounds of the university. The University’s motto is ‘Where Finbarr Taught, let Munster Learn.’