Role description

King’s College London is seeking to appoint an exceptional academic to the role of Head of Department of Chemistry. We are looking for an academic leader, with a strong commitment to excellence in research and teaching. With King’s embarking on a major programme to build a leading presence in Science and Technology, this presents an exciting opportunity for an inspirational leader with the drive and vision to build further on the Department’s strong profile, and to continue towards creating an internationally-leading Department of Chemistry.

PGCE Chemistry classes

The Head of Department will provide academic leadership and display a substantial track record in research, teaching and professional achievement within chemistry. You will be an excellent communicator, capable of inspiring staff and students and driving forward the Department’s ambitions and strategic aims across its full range of activities. The person appointed will also play a full part in the senior management team of the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences. It is imperative that the Head of Department works closely with the Executive Dean, fellow department heads, vice deans, and other appropriate managers to represent the interests of the Department and ensure strategic goals are achieved.

As Professor of Chemistry, it is expected that you will undertake internationally leading research in a field, complementary to the current research in the Department.


Main duties and responsibilities

Staff Management

  • To ensure the successful implementation of the department’s strategy and vision.
  • Ribbon model of p53 protein bound to DNA molecule
  • To oversee, together with the Director of Operations, the management of the Department’s administrative and technical functions and supervise the work of Departmental colleagues or those colleagues to whom such responsibility has been specifically delegated.
  • To monitor the research performance of the Department as a whole and individuals within it.
  • To establish a framework to implement and monitor arrangements for the mentoring and development of staff.
  • To be responsible for the recruitment, induction, management and welfare of staff, ensuring that probation, appraisals, disciplinary, career development and other responsibilities are undertaken in accordance with agreed university policies and guidelines, and to provide assistance to those whose performance is assessed as requiring it.
  • To anticipate the staffing needs of the Department and ensure that current and future needs of the Department are presented and promoted to the Executive Dean.
  • To be responsible for the management of staff workloads. In the case of academic staff, this includes seeking to balance research requirements with teaching, administrative and other duties.

Academic Leadership

    Red molecule structure
  • To provide academic leadership, to promote the discipline and disseminate the activities of the Department both within and outside of King’s.
  • To identify and promote opportunities that will enhance the Department’s capacity to achieve its strategic aims, including developing business cases for innovative programmes and initiatives that will advance the Department’s capacity to increase its revenue.
  • To promulgate the strengths of the Department locally, nationally and internationally, including to the educational sector, professional bodies, research organisations, and to relevant public sector, industrial and cultural institutions.

Research and knowledge transfer

  • To promote and foster research excellence.
  • Sustainable chemistry
  • To promote appropriate collaborative research opportunities with other research groups/researchers within, across and outside the university.
  • To promote and foster research impact and knowledge transfer activity.
  • To be responsible for optimising research performance and submissions for the Department in evaluations of research performance.
  • To provide leadership so as to maximise research effectiveness, including promoting the growth of high-quality research grant success and exploiting opportunities for knowledge transfer.
  • To be responsible for the overall research training available to PhD students based within the Department.

Resource & Management Planning

    Franklin-Wilkins Building, Waterloo Campus
  • To ensure appropriate usage of space made available to the Department, working with NMES management to ensure compliance with the prevailing space management policy.
  • To ensure appropriate usage of equipment and facilities within the Department and to be responsible for their management and strategic planning for future need.
  • To be responsible for the formulation and development of Departmental plans, consistent with the planning requirements of NMES and King’s including:
    • To contribute to the establishment of targets for student numbers and ensuring that targets are met.
    • To contribute to the preparation of strategic bids for capital and research funding.
    • Together with the Executive Dean prepare business cases for replacement and additional staff numbers for the Department
    • To assist faculty and university management to prepare estimates of Departmental activities for inclusion in business plans and other reports.
  • To maximise opportunities for technology and knowledge transfer activities.

Management and Governance

  • To be responsible for the implementation of NMES and King’s policy within Chemistry; to manage resources of the Department in a manner consistent with policy; to manage staff within the Department; to represent the interests of the Department in the formulation of NMES and wider university policy.
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  • To ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to ensure and monitor compliance with statutory, university and faculty duties, regulations and policies.
  • To be responsible for ensuring King’s Regulations, Rules and Codes of Practice are observed by staff and students at all times.
  • To be responsible for ensuring that all statutory obligations (including inter alia those relating to Health and Safety at Work, Fire Regulations, Electrical Safety, Hazardous Substances, Radiation, Freedom of Data Protection, the Computer Misuse, Regulations of Investigatory Powers, Copyright Designs and Patents Act) are observed at all times within the Department. This will involve working in collaboration with appropriate professional services departments.

Additional Duties

  • To carry out other duties as may reasonably be required by the Executive Dean, the Vice Principals, Senior Vice-Principals, and the Principal or Council.
  • To conduct responsibilities in line with the substantive professorial post including:
      Chemistry laboratory students
    • To enhance the research profile of the Department, by maintaining a consistent high-level output of publications and presentations of world-leading quality.
    • Sustain internationally leading research activity through a portfolio of individual, joint and/or network research projects and to acquire substantial funding for the same through grant applications to Research Councils, etc.
    • Supervise and train postgraduate students and postdoctoral research staff to ensure their effective development.
    • Plan, organise and deliver a range of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and assessment activities within subject specialism to all levels to meet the departmental programme and work model.
  • Contribute to national and international Research Council activities and similar panels as appropriate.

Please note this job description reflects the core activities of the post of Head of Department. There may be changes in the emphasis of duties and it is expected that the post holder recognises this, adopting a flexible approach to work and willingness to participate in training. If changes to the post become significant, the job description will be reviewed by the post holder and line manager(s), providing the Human Resources with the revised job description.