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Senior leadership team opportunities

Recruitment begins for roles of Provost, Vice-Principal Research and Enterprise and Heads of College.

Since several members of the senior team are approaching the end of their terms of office, the University is planning a conjoined exercise to advertise a number of opportunities to join the team at the top of one of the world’s leading universities in one of the world’s great cities.  

Most of the posts are straight replacements for existing mission-critical roles, so this will not make the senior team bigger. The only different post will be that of Provost, being appointed instead of the more traditional ‘Senior Vice-Principal’ role which most Scottish universities have had. The new members of the senior team will freshen and strengthen the University’s leadership as it continues its commitment to deliver on the vision and ambitions set out in Strategy 2030.

Many universities in North America and in Australasia have Provosts which are not simply deputies to the President/Principal but who act as the Chief Academic Officer and lead all academic staff across teaching and research. The Provost will also deputise for the Principal when required, but the Provost role as constructed will be a career post in itself. Heads of College, two of whom will be new, and the new Vice-Principal for Research and Enterprise will all report to the Provost. All will remain as Vice-Principals and full members of the Senior Leadership Team. The Provost role will not itself be student-focussed but will work closely with the Vice-Principal Students and the Principal on student-related issues. The Principal will continue to chair the Senior Leadership Team and the University Executive.

A substantive post of Vice-Principal Research and Enterprise will be recruited: this role has been filled until now on a fixed term interim basis by a number of colleagues who were not part of the senior team.

Recruitment will also take place for two Vice-Principals/Heads of College: in the College of Science and Engineering and College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences as Professor Dave Robertson and Professor Dorothy Miell respectively are coming to the end of their terms of office.

The recruitment process will be a phased approach with the adverts for the roles of Provost and Vice-Principal Research and Enterprise being published by the executive search firm Perrett Laver in the week commencing 9 August 2021, followed by the Heads of College adverts in the week commencing 6 September 2021. All posts will be open to both internal and external candidates. Deadlines are midday on 17 September 2021 for the Provost and Vice-Principal Research and Enterprise, and midday on 11 October 2021 for the Heads of College. For more information: 

Full details of the available posts | Perrett Laver website


I hope and expect that the opportunities to join our Senior Leadership Team will attract high quality applicants from inside and outside the University. The newly refreshed team will put the University in the very best position to deliver on our Strategy 2030 ambitions and drive us forward on all fronts as we emerge from the pandemic, further develop our status as a world class university, and focus both locally and globally on research, teaching, knowledge exchange and societal improvement.

Professor Peter MathiesonPrincipal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Edinburgh

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Senior Leadership Team