Role description

We are looking for a very special person to take on this exciting opportunity at King’s within its celebrated Policy Institute. The postholder will take on the Directorship of a thriving and highly regarded policy research unit specialising in workforce in health and social care. These subjects are at the heart of political debate but also affect the lives of everyone, everywhere, and of all ages.

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The postholder will dedicate 40% of their time to leading the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Policy Research Unit in Health and Care Workforce and also undertake direction of a large research portfolio.

This post has the potential to make enormous impact at all levels, engaging with policy makers, politicians, professions, managers, frontline staff and their representatives – as well as people needing treatment, care and support.

The Unit’s work spans health and social care research and is underpinned by core values of independence, social justice and being of service to society. Our work benefits from being embedded in practice – at all levels and in all sectors, and our close attention to the needs of diverse publics. We are proud to produce impactful and constructive analysis and recommendations.

Candidates should have an outstanding research or advocacy profile in applied policy research. Research areas might include, but are not limited to, evidence-based interventions and policy evaluation in adults and/or children’s services in health and/or social care/social work; social administration and/or human resources in health and care, health and care systems and policies; demography and equalities; and in multi-disciplinary methods. We particularly welcome candidates who have led research units, gained research funding, and can evidence impact. A proven record of inspiring, managing and supporting research teams is essential, together with talent for developing capacity.

The postholder will also be involved in the attraction of doctoral students and potentially offer doctoral supervision. In capacity building there is a need to continue to offer post-doctoral support to early career research colleagues. A commitment to collegiality, diversity, public engagement and to the involvement of people with care and support needs or patients, is essential, as is the ability and willingness to engage with the widest range of stakeholders in health and social care. Sensitivity to the policy context at local and national level is essential as well as to the multiple workforces and providers of health and social care services both in the UK and internationally.

Key responsibilities

  • To lead the securing of major funding for research activities to underpin the work of the Unit.

  • To lead, undertake, and publish high-quality impactful research, building a portfolio of individual/joint research projects with outputs tailored to the needs of funders and the public, so making demonstrable impact.

  • To work with research stakeholders and be accountable for the integrity of research outputs.

  • To sustain and develop public engagement in the research activities of the Unit; including involvement of people with care and support needs, patients, carers, and ‘hard to hear’ or underserved groups.

  • To take a significant leadership role in developing research capacity, advancing the subject areas, and engaging with policy debates through responses to consultations, calls for evidence, and provision of independent advice.

  • To ensure the Unit’s work impacts on policy and practice through a range of strategic initiatives and taking advantage of windows of opportunity.

  • To take an active role in continuing professional development and knowledge exchange activities.

  • To support, undertake, or develop the supervision of research at PhD levels and encourage/stimulate pre-doctoral applications.

  • To promote the next generation of researchers by mentoring early career researchers and junior staff with a focus on ensuring equalities.

  • To engage at high levels with research funder and capacity building activities, especially with those of the National Institute for Health and Care Research.

  • To support colleagues in their work including by leading the Unit’s performance and development review processes in accordance with the university’s strategy.

  • To engage in professional development to update skills, methods and knowledge.

  • To demonstrate impact produced from own research, demonstrated by links with non-academic stakeholders and significant public engagement activity.

  • To lead teams and develop productive working relationships with others.

  • To undertake any other reasonable duties requested by the Director/Head of School.

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.