• Edinburgh
  • 30th September 2019

Website Heriot Watt

Position TitleAssistant Professor in Physical Geography
LocationEdinburgh, GB
Organization NameILES
About Heriot-Watt University
Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.
Heriot-Watt is also Scotland’s most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.
We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.

For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt http://www.hw.ac.uk/about/careers-at-heriot-watt.htm

About our Team
The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society is one of the UK’s leading institutions for multidisciplinary research and teaching in areas critical to economic development and societal equity.  We aim to attain excellence in the teaching of the core disciplines that contribute to a sustainable, resource and energy efficient society and are committed to undertaking high value, high impact research and knowledge transfer in topics of relevance to global challenges.

The School enjoys facilities consistent with its location in modern, purpose-built accommodation on the Edinburgh campus. The School is well equipped in respect of laboratories for materials, structures, engineering, building services and hydraulics research and teaching.  Our research and teaching facilities in Dubai and Malaysia are contained within purpose-built campuses in Dubai Academic City and Putrajaya, respectively.


The School’s undergraduate teaching on our Edinburgh campus covers civil and structural engineering, architectural engineering, construction project management, quantity surveying, geography, urban studies, interior design and the biology suite.  On our Dubai campus we teach civil & structural engineering, architectural engineering, architecture, construction management, quantity surveying and interior design.  On our Malaysia campus we teach civil engineering, construction project management, quantity surveying and petroleum engineering.  We offer a high quality educational experience underpinned by practical and laboratory teaching, and informed by contact with professional practice.  Most of our degree programmes hold the appropriate accreditation from the relevant professional body.  This educational philosophy ensures excellent employment prospects for all of our graduates.

Programmes of postgraduate study are aligned to the expertise contained in each of our research institutes. Our postgraduate students therefore benefit from state-of-the-art knowledge in their chosen study area.  You can find further information about the School’s postgraduate programmes at https://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscience-infrastructure-society/postgraduate-programmes.htm


The School is one of the leading research centres in the UK. It has sustained a high reputation for the international standing of its research over two decades.

Research within the School is organised into six Institutes:   https://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscience-infrastructure-society/research.htm

– Institute of Life and Earth Sciences (ILES)
– The Urban Institute (TUI)
– Institute of Geoenergy Engineering (IGE)
– Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (IIE)
– Institute for Sustainable Building Design (ISBD)/ Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design (CESBD)
– Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Equalities Research (I-SPHERE)

All academic staff based on the Edinburgh and Dubai campuses contribute to the research activities of one of our Institutes.

These Institutes support a wide range of research activities of relevance to a sustainable, resource and energy efficient society. Institute staff undertake research funded by research councils, charitable foundations, local and national government. Research outcomes are published in leading international and national journals and key findings are widely disseminated through other media and forms of output.

The Institute for Life and Earth Sciences (ILES) undertakes multidisciplinary research in the areas of Environment, Health and Food Science, based both in Edinburgh and at the International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT) in the Orkney Isles. ICIT is internationally recognised for its research, training and consultancy in renewable energy, marine science and environmental resources.  Further information can be obtained at – https://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/energy-geoscience-infrastructure-society/iles.htm

We are a flexible working employer and we welcome and will consider applications from candidates seeking flexible working patterns.

Detailed Description
As part of our developing portfolio, Heriot-Watt is seeking to appoint an Assistant Professor in the Physical Geography area. The successful candidate will be located in the Institute of Life and Earth Sciences (ILES) at the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) in Edinburgh. We seek candidates with a strong academic track record of research, able to contribute positively to our undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

You will have knowledge and experience in the wide area of physical geography and general environmental sciences. The successful candidate will have key skills in this subject area, with at least two from the following: Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing applied to environmental sciences and management, Geospatial & Mapping Sciences, and environmental science, in general, with a particular focus on aquatic systems, and associated habitats and species. Candidates with specific expertise in the application of GIS in environmental sciences, coastal habitats, marine spatial planning and Environmental Impact Assessment are particularly welcomed to apply.

A PhD in a related area is essential, along with evidence of funding and/or having been involved in the award of research funding, as well as previous scientific publications and teaching and learning experience in the relevant subject areas, with demonstration of delivery of practical skills and fieldwork, are essential. Essential requirements are excellent communication skills, as well as the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

Key duties and responsibilities
Work activities will vary according to the requirements of the job and individual areas of teaching and research responsibility; however, general responsibilities are typically, but not restricted to, the following:

• Strong research ethos,  engaging in research and contributing to the University’s research profile;

• Pursuing research funding through the submission of high-quality grant proposals;

• Establishing collaborative research and teaching links outside the university via funding councils, industry, business and public bodies;

• Publishing research through the preparation and submission of refereed journal and conference papers and participating in academic conferences;

• Representing the institution in a professional capacity, particularly with regard to research dissemination and development e.g. conferences, meetings with industrial partners;

• Supervising and mentoring undergraduate students, taught and research postgraduate students and research associates;

• Teaching through the delivery of lectures, tutorials and laboratories, field trips/visits, assessing the relevant students’ work as well as setting and marking examinations and coursework;

• Using research to inform teaching;

• Designing and developing teaching materials and innovative teaching methods, using personal research to inform teaching where appropriate;

• Carrying out general academic administration including student recruitment and admissions, participation on committees and exam boards, taking responsibility for key discipline-specific administration tasks.

Duties & Responsibilities

The successful appointee will be expected to undertake the activities specified below.

Research and Knowledge Exchange

• Identify and develop their own research agenda, focussing on research that is valuable and relevant to government, society and industry.

• Identify sources of funding for research, then successfully win funding through submission of effective proposals and support production of proposals elsewhere within the School and Institute, as appropriate.

• Regularly publish high impact research findings in leading journals; share findings at conferences and within the School and Institute.

• Further disseminate research activity using an appropriate range of media for example through external reports, conference presentations, exhibitions of research activity or via short courses for knowledge transfer.

• Recruit and supervise PhD students through to successful qualification and supervise MSc/BSc student projects.

Learning and Teaching

Undertake teaching duties in relation to courses appropriate to your area of expertise (e.g. through practical sessions, lectures, seminars, tutorials, fieldwork) on the Edinburgh campus and at overseas campuses and Approved Learning Partners, where required.

• Contribute to the continued development of undergraduate and postgraduate studies in consultation with the Director of Studies.

• Undertake scholarly activity related to the effective delivery of the curriculum and maintain the level of your subject expertise in line with the latest developments in the field.

• Contribute to the design and delivery of the curriculum in consultation with colleagues and within the structures and mechanisms established by the School and University.

• Conduct assessment and moderation across the discipline area, ensuring this is rigorous, fair and clear and undertaken within the policies established by the School and University.

• Be responsible for providing effective, well documented and timely feedback, both formative and summative, to students.

• Contribute to the monitoring of the quality of learning and teaching through course monitoring and to contribute to quality management and enhancement activities across the programme, School and University.

• Design, prepare and develop a range of learning materials appropriate to the subject area in support of teaching.

• Disseminate the development of good learning and teaching practice.

• Provide appropriate pastoral support recognising the varied cultural backgrounds of the student cohort.

• Stay abreast of developments in physical geography education and ensure that these developments are reflected in the evolution of the learning and teaching methods employed on the programme.

• Interact with staff within and outside the School to support the development of the discipline.

• Develop productive working relationships with other members of staff to facilitate effective team working for benefit of the subject area.

Academic Management and Administration

• Undertake administrative tasks associated with programme planning, preparation for examination and progression boards, course development teams etc.

• Engage with the team and working with others to the benefit of the School and the University.

• Take a proactive role both internally and externally in promoting and marketing programmes of study, ensuring the effective and efficient recruitment of students and the achievement of home and international recruitment targets.

• Contribute to the effective recruitment, admission and induction to the courses with which you are involved, ensuring compliance with the School and University targets. This will include involvement in School and University open days and interview processes.

• Monitor student number targets.

• Contribute to the resource planning for the academic year.

• Participate as a member of the appropriate committees as required.

• Devise income generating activities including assisting with raising sponsorship as well as other activities that will raise the profile of the School’s programmes.

• Represent the School effectively in both the national and international context

Education, qualifications and experience

• PhD in  Physical Geography, Environmental Science or a cognate discipline
• Knowledge and experience on at least two subject areas from the following: Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing applied to environmental sciences and management, Geospatial & Mapping Sciences, and environmental science, in general, with a particular focus on aquatic systems, and associated habitats and species..
• A track record of research publication
• A developing track record of generating external research income
• Experience of teaching in a higher education environment
• Effectiveness as a research supervisor or demonstrating potential as a supervisor


• Postdoctoral experience in Physical geography or a cognate subject / discipline.
• Experience in the preparation and delivery of lectures, tutorials and web-based assessment.
• Familiarity with learning management software such as Blackboard or equivalent
• Experience of providing academic support to student groups.
• Experience of working in a multi-cultural environment.

How To Apply
Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on 25th September 2019

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.

For vacancy enquires please contact Professor Teresa Fernandes – T.Fernandes@hw.ac.uk

Minimum Salary41526
Maximum Salary49553
Amount of TravelOccasional International Travel