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Head, Department of Biological Sciences

Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
Suzhou, Jiangsu (CN)
Closing date
Jan 29, 2023

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Life Sciences, Biology
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Academic Dean/Dept. Head
Organization Type
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School: School of Science
Department: Biological Sciences
Position: Head of Department
Location: Suzhou, China
Contract Type: Fixed-term, renewable. 3rd contract is open-ended




In 2006 Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) was created by the University of Liverpool and Xi’an Jiaotong University – a top ten university in China. Offering a unique international education experience, XJTLU brings together excellent research practice and expertise from both institutions and gives students the skills and knowledge they need to secure careers in a global marketplace. XJTLU now has over 25,000 enrolled students in both Suzhou and Liverpool in the UK, with plans to grow to about 28,000 students by 2025. There are currently about 2,000 staff, among which about 1,000 academic staff, with an almost even split between citizens of the People’s Republic of China and international passport holders. XJTLU offers our undergraduates and postgraduates over 100 programmes with a diverse spectrum of courses.
XJTLU is entering a new and exciting phase of its development as part of its strategic priorities for the next ten years. Adopting a new higher education model based on the concept of Syntegrative Education (SE), XJTLU is currently opening a new Entrepreneurial Education site in Taicang, part of wider Suzhou, where the Entrepreneur College (Taicang) is located. The Taicang site will be a pioneer of, and educational model for, the future campus in addressing challenges arising from the 4th Industrial Revolution. Other new initiatives include new working partnerships with Xi’an Jiaotong University, the continued development of the four new Academies, and exploration of further potential locations to develop the SE model.
With a focus on innovative learning and teaching, and research, XJTLU draws on the strengths of its parent universities, and plays a pivotal role in facilitating access to China for UK and other institutional partners. At same time, XJTLU is exploring future education by blending the educational theory, best practice and culture from west and east.
For detailed information about the university, please visit


Multiple Faculty Positions are open in The Department of Biological Sciences. The department focuses on molecular bioscience and has recruited faculty from globally distinguished institutions working in this discipline. Although relatively young, the Department is already establishing a solid reputation, as indicated by the growing number of grant awards to its staff (e.g. from the National Natural Science Foundation of China) and national and international research collaborations (e.g. with Novartis and Unilever plc). It has state-of-the-art instrumentation housed in custom-built labs, and with excellent technical support.
Staff also benefit from the fact that Suzhou is a ‘hot-spot’ for biotechnology and biomedical science – Cold Spring Harbor Asia ( is located within walking distance and there are over 1000 biotechnology companies in BioBay (
Current research areas include: cancer biology, bioinformatics, cell signaling, genomics, molecular microbiology, neuroscience, proteomics, and virology. The Department currently offers undergraduate, and PhD degree programme in both biological sciences and bioinformatics as well as master’s programme in biomolecular science.

For more information:



The position of Head of Department [HoD] is crucial to the effective operation of XJTLU. Departments are the fundamental building blocks of the university, and the Head is the most important communication link between the university and the individual member of academic staff. The HoD is responsible to the Dean of their School and the Vice President for Academic Affairs for the entire operation of the department and the professional behaviour of each individual member of staff. The HoD is a key leader, manager, and administrator without which the university cannot function. The term of appointment is three years.

Position Leadership

1.    The HoD provides leadership, academic direction and oversight to the department.
2.    The HoD leads the departmental strategic planning process. The Departmental Strategy is the fundamental guideline for the operation and development of the department. The university has a system of rolling three year plans to identify annual operational objectives and resource planning. 
3.    It is the responsibility of the Head to work with the Dean and Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching of their School to ensure that teaching programmes maximise the market opportunity for the presentation of their discipline or field of study. 
4.    It is the responsibility of the Head to ensure that the content of modules is kept up to date; and that new advances in teaching technology and academic discussions are accommodated.
5.    The Head is responsible for overseeing the research direction and performance – collectively and individually – of the department. Specific areas, such as the English Language Centre, will define this area in a different way: such as professional development, educational innovation, and applied research.
6.    The HoD oversees the development of the Department’s external engagement.  The aim of such outreach activities is to help the department integrate into the university and appeal to the wider community. This is important for ensuring the department’s resource base and for publicising its activities, which in turn will aid the development of its capacity. Outreach includes areas such as engagement with other departments within the University, external organisations, knowledge exchange (applied research) activities, and Executive Education.
7.    The HoD plays a leading role with other Heads of Department in the School.


Position Administration

1.    The HoD is responsible for the organization and administration of the department. In some cases, the Head carries out the task themselves. In other cases, tasks are assigned through delegation. 
2.    The HoD will develop and implement the department’s individual work allocation model. This is a fundamental guideline for effective and efficient workload allocation and people management within the Department. 
3.    The HoD is responsible to the university for the implementation of all its academic and operational policies, rules and regulations. Of particular importance in this regard is the conduct of examinations and marking and moderation regimes; implementation of the staff attendance and absence policy; observance of the staff code of conduct; observance of quality assurance processes and procedures; and adherence to the university’s language policy.
4.    The HoD delegates tasks to members of the department, who through their involvement will feel greater engagement with the work of the department.  Greater engagement also plays an important role in succession planning, where less experienced colleagues can be developed to a point where they can assume a role of this significance.
5.    A HoD may be asked to take on specific administrative tasks by the university. These include service on committees or working parties; chair of review panels; and other more specific duties.
6.    The HoD is directly responsible within the Department for:
•    Strategic and annual planning
•    Individual staff work allocation  
•    Budget development and expenditure  
•    Financial approvals for expenditure from departmental budget
•    Ensuring quality and standards are upheld
•    Staff appointments; identifying need, defining the specification and justification, organizing recruitment, overseeing interview panel arrangements, and recommending appointment
•    Formal staff Professional Development Reviews and processes
•    Staff disciplinary issues
•    Student disciplinary issues and complaints
•    Assignments of administrative duties to other staff
•    Implementation of staff attendance and absence policy
•    Leave of absence approvals
•    Dissemination of information regarding the development of the university, especially changes to policy, university regulations, and issues discussed at the Academic Leadership Group.
•    Maintenance of record of staff authorised and unauthorised absences
•    Ensuring that the requirements of PRC legislation and XJTLU regulation on Health and Safety are all met. 


Position Management

1.    The HoD manages all academic staff, along with all academic and administrative functions of the department. 
2.    The HoD manages rather than directly administering. The HoD ensures that staff carry out their duties professionally, effectively, and at the highest standard possible. Management entails talking and communicating with people, providing support to them in their work, ensuring direction and providing useful and meaningful feedback to enable departmental work to be successfully completed.  
3.    The HoD also provides in-line supervision and management of some individual staff. Effectively a manager cannot manage more than approximately six direct reports. Consequently, it is recommended that a department with more than ten members of staff establishes a managerial hierarchy based on this principle.  
4.    The HoD is responsible for the effective management of the Professional Development Review system within the Department.
5.    The HoD is the manager of Health and Safety in the Department.

Position Key Relationship

1.    The HoD is managed by the Dean.  Any change in formal supervisory relationship for Heads of Department will be determined on a case-by-case basis, with the approval of the VPAA and EP.
2.    The HoD is responsible for the Department and reports to the Head of School (Dean).
3.    The HoD works closely with Associate Vice-President for Education and the Vice-President Research and Impact to ensure the development of programmes of Teaching and Learning, Research outputs, and International activities.
4.    The HoD works closely with the Director, the Centre for Academic Affairs to ensure the maintenance of and adherence to the university’s regulatory environment.
5.    The HoD works closely with the Head of ASO who acts to support the academic work of each department.
6.    The HoD works closely with other HoDs in the same School to ensure the development of research synergies, provision of administrative services and economies of scale, and activities to raise the profile of the cluster and its departments. 
7.    Each HoD works closely with other HoDs, especially through the Academic Leadership Group, which is the key forum in the university for the discussion of academic operational affairs.
8.    The HoD meets regularly with their direct reports within the Department.
9.    The HoD meets regularly with all staff in the Department.
10.    The HoD is leader and mentor to all staff in the Department, especially to junior staff.



The HoD is responsible to the Dean of their School and the Vice President Academic Affairs for the academic development of the department. This includes research performance, teaching delivery, and outreach activities.
1.    The HoD is responsible for the regular assessment of teaching and research outcomes, and works with relevant administrative departments for the improvement of teaching and research outcomes.
2.    The HoD is responsible for ensuring the application of all university policies and regulations by members of staff in the department.
3.    The HoD is responsible for ensuring adherence to the laws and directives of the People’s Republic of China by staff in the department.
4.    The HoD speaks with university authority within the department. This authority is particularly important in safety matters. The HoD’s authority may only be countermanded by the Dean of the School or the VP for Academic Affairs.



Employment at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University is regulated by Chinese Labour Laws, and must comply with the regulations of the provincial government. These regulations stipulate who is eligible for legal employment with regard to obtaining work permits and visas.  Please be advised candidates over 65 may be not eligible for a work visa in the P.R. China.



1.    Clear career development path with annual review.
2.    Professional development trainings are provided.

SALARY: Competitive salary in the market
1.    Allowance: XJTLU provide various month/annual/one-off allowances as 
o    Housing allowance
o    Travel allowance
o    Education allowance
o    Relocation allowance
o    Etc.

2.    Commercial insurance: international insurance plans customized for XJTLU staff and family members. (details refer to the University Policy)

3.    Paid holidays: 
o    Statutory Holidays (11 days)
o    Annual Leave (36 days)
o    Family Matters Leave
o    Paid Sick Leave
o    Marriage Leave
o    Paternity Leave
o    Parental Leave
o    Etc.

4.    Working visa and residence permit in China: 
XJTLU sponsors working visa and residence permit in China for the staff.



Please submit your application Online through the link below:

Applications must be submitted in a single pdf file that includes 3 parts in the order of:
•    A cover letter 
•    A current CV, including date of birth, country of citizenship, and highest degree level
•    Contact Details for Three References 
For general enquiries, please email Dean, School of Science Dr Eric Amigues at or the Recruiting Team Lidan Yang at Please quote the position and job ID in your enquiry. 

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