Previous Opportunities

Head of Department of Rural Land Use

60,000 – 100,000 depending on experience / qualifications
This position is now closed to applications.

SRUC is a unique organisation founded on world class and sector-leading research, education and consultancy. As a Higher Education Institution, who have specialist expertise in Education and Research offering unrivalled links with industry through their Agricultural Business Consultants.

The vision for Research and Teaching in SRUC is to be a leading and go-to institution, nationally and internationally, for teaching and conducting applied research to enhance the rural economy and environment. In addition to normal expectations of teaching and research quality, expectations are that teaching and research be relevant to a problem area where there is a real end-user need. The programmes are tailored to emphasise, as the dominant theme, end-user pull whilst maintaining a strong spirit of innovation.

This post is part of the strategic development of Veterinary and Animal Science teaching, research and consultancy in our Northern Faculty.

The Northern faculty operates across 3 campuses (SRUC Aberdeen, Inverness and Cupar), working with partners to secure investment in state-of-the-art facilities for teaching, research and development within the Northern faculty. The interaction of wild and farmed livestock within the landscape will be key to meeting the often-conflicting challenges of environmental stewardship and productivity within Heterogeneous Landscapes. Farmed and wild livestock also play a central role in both the cultural and economic sustainability of communities whilst also having a strong influence of disease transfer and biosecurity.

Partnering with Opportunity North East (ONE) to develop an innovative food hub on the Aberdeen campus to drive collaboration within the sector. The aim is to support the ability of producers to target higher value production chains as opposed to commodity-based routes to market in order to promote sustainable agricultural systems.

Animal agriculture and it’s interdependencies with natural resource and environmental management are key industries for the North of Scotland. It is essential to make this and further recruitments to provide strong support for farmers, businesses and both consultants and teachers within SRUC.

The role of animal agriculture in terms of both animal and human health and welfare and the need to ensure that producers in the North of Scotland can target higher value production chains as opposed to commodity-based routes to market is key to supporting to the sustainability of agricultural production in the North of Scotland.

SRUC are keen to develop on their existing expertise in sustainable, systems based approaches to land management in arable, mixed and grassland systems, alternative plant protein sources and extensive, high-health animal production systems, connecting with research into food, meat quality, public and animal health.

Beyond this, the Department serves diverse educational and research programmes in Countryside Management, Wildlife Conservation, Golf and Greenkeeping, Agriculture, Horticulture.

We would in particular welcome candidates with a track record a relevant area research and an enthusiasm for the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and knowledge exchange to lead and develop a key Department within the organisation.


As a member of the Faculty’s Senior Management Team and leading by example, the main purpose of the Head of Department role is to contribute to the leadership of the faculty, and by extension, SRUC’s commitment to excellence in teaching and research and to encourage all individuals to realise their full potential.

You will provide strategic and operational leadership for the department and will be responsible for maintaining and developing the department’s reputation, both internally and externally, in research and teaching in line with SRUC strategy.

This role provides the following responsibilities:

  • To deputise for the for the Dean of Faculty and Head of Department colleagues, as and when required.
  • To contribute a faculty perspective to the collegial development of SRUC.
  • To identify and then manage underperformance including undertaking Appeals / grievance / disciplinary issues as required.
  • To carry out line management duties for direct reports.
  • To exercise high standards of skill and care in managing the department’s finances, its organisational structures, resource allocation and deployment; staff development; safety and risk management, in the pursuit of strategic and operational aims and objectives.
  • A collegial approach to delivering success.
  • An inclusive and equitable environment for all staff, students and visitors.
  • Promotion of collaborations in research and teaching leading to outstanding partnerships which deliver social, economic and cultural prosperity.
  • The setting, monitoring and achievement of targets for the department, its students and staff.
  • Investment in all staff and their career development via appropriate training and through annual Performance Review and Personal Development Plans (PDP).
  • The creation of an environment that enables education, research and consulting synergies to be optimised within the department and intra and inter faculty.
  • The development of a high-quality research programme that supports the needs of local and /or national/international end-users.
  • Support for a life-shaping student experience and the generation of a strong international reputation for undergraduate and postgraduate learning and teaching.
  • To foster an environment and culture that delivers excellence in all activities and which includes:
  • To lead the department, developing and delivering a rolling development plan, designed to maintain and develop excellence in research and teaching in line with SRUC strategy.
  • To pursue his or her own research and teaching and contributing to the Faculty’s research and teaching programmes.


Experience & Qualifications required

  • Ideally, applicants will hold a PhD or have equivalent research experience in a relevant discipline. To be appointed at professorial level candidates should have an international profile in a relevant discipline, with sustained delivery of innovation and eminent research in the field. A track record of successful grant applications and high-quality publications is essential.
  • The applicant will also have demonstrated academic leadership and will be responsible for developing strategic links across SRUC and beyond that supplement strengths and increase SRUC’s standing as a teaching and research institution.

Tenure basis
It is anticipated that this Head of Department role will be appointed for an initial tenure period of 5 years following which the appointee may remain in the position as HOD or transfer duties to an alternative permanent role at the Reader/ Professor level in his/her area of specialism.

For further information please visit or for a confidential chat contact Donogh O’Brien or Lesley Drew on 0141 212 7555.

To apply please email your CV, supporting letter and equal opportunities monitoring form  to 

Closing Date:  Monday 24th February 2020.