The Iraq Chair in Arabic and Islamic Studies, Edinburgh University, Royaume-Uni ⎯ LIMITE : 01/04/2015

The School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) seeks to appoint a world-class scholar with an outstanding record of research in any area within the field of Arabic language and culture, Islamic studies and Middle Eastern History. The Chair is the sole established Professorial post in the subject area of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies within the School.

This is a full time and open ended post.

Salary: On the professorial scale

Closing Date: Wednesday 1st April 2015 at 5pm (GMT)

1. Job Details

Job title: Iraq Chair of Arabic & Islamic Studies

School/Support Department: LLC – IMES

2. Job Purpose

The Iraq Chair holder will provide intellectual and academic leadership within Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and contribute to its programme of research, knowledge exchange, teaching and administration. The Chair will also have responsibility for its strategic direction, public and networking activities across the University as well as the building up of international links and collaboration. In addition the successful applicant will be expected to be involved with the activities of centres affiliated with IMES, notably the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World and the Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World.

3. Main Responsibilities

– Lead on expanding the internationally-recognised profile for research in the area of Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh
– Lead research funding applications to prestigious national and international grant awarding bodies
– Publish research outputs in high quality refereed journals and monographs/edited books, and pursue scholarship of the highest quality
– Work collaboratively with research partners within the University and beyond and establish high impact national and international research partnerships in the field
– Demonstrate research impact beyond academia
– Recruit and supervise research students to successful completion

– Provide input to all levels of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching
– Undertake a range of PhD and MSc dissertation supervision
– Explore the possible creation of online Masters courses

– Contribute to the development of, and advocacy for innovative approaches to learning and teaching across the University
– Build interdisciplinary networks and collaborations for the enhancement of institutional capacity for research
– Undertake other duties as determined by the Head of Department and the Head of School

Selection Criteria

The successful applicant will demonstrate the following:

1. An international research reputation and profile evidenced by a substantial publications record.
2. A substantial track record in attracting research funding.
3. Ability to manage large and complex projects to time and on budget.
4. Evidence of successful academic leadership.
5. Evidence of successful research leadership, especially of early career researchers and/or research project teams.
6. Evidence of attracting high quality postgraduate students, experience of doctoral supervision and research degree completions.
7. Evidence of ability to establish new national and international research partnerships.
8. Evidence of research impact beyond academia
9. Additional evidence of high-level peer esteem demonstrable, for example, through invitations to present national and international keynote presentations at conferences, editorial board membership, and a high and demonstrable level of research activity.
10. Evidence of leading on the development of high quality research-led teaching.
11. Experience of ability to work at institutional level to advocate for research-led teaching and learning innovation.
12. An enthusiastic, positive and creative approach to teaching and research, the ability to work as part of a team, openness and a commitment to social justice and inclusion.

4. Required knowledge, skills and experience


1. High level knowledge of the field of Islamic & Middle Eastern studies

2. An outstanding track record of leading on innovative practice in the area

3. A track record of leading the development and submission of successful funded research proposals

4. Highly effective research, teaching and general communication skills

5. Ability to conduct work and in high-impact partnerships with other research groupings in the UK and internationally

6. Demonstrable ability to design and deliver creative and inspiring teaching, course assessment and management

7. Ability to supervise postgraduate research dissertations

8. Doctorate in a relevant area


1. Demonstrable experience of leading and contributing to interdisciplinary research projects

2. Demonstrable critical, informed and scholarly capacity to engage with all levels of teaching and research

Personal attributes

1. Ability to lead teams and work collegially, with respect and sensitivity toward students and other colleagues

2. Ability to think ambitiously and creatively

3. Evidence of being proactive, enthusiastic and highly motivated in developing and delivering new research capacities and agendas for innovation in teaching and learning

5. Job Context and any other relevant information

The Iraq Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies was established in 1979 as a result of a generous benefaction by the Government of Iraq through the University of Baghdad. The Chair is the sole established professorial post in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.

The appointment will be on a full-time basis. The successful candidate will be expected to make a significant contribution to teaching at all levels within the subject area of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and to undertake, promote and supervise research. He or she will also be expected to provide academic leadership and to maintain the vibrant research environment within Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES).

IMES runs a diverse number of taught postgraduate programmes. Its MSc programmes in Arab World Studies and (with Social and Political Science), International Relations of the Middle East with Arabic combine innovative disciplinary training with world-leading Arabic language pedagogy.

The research interests of IMES staff range from Umayyad kingship and Islamic holy places in Early Islam, to Safavid Shi‘ism, contemporary Syria, Persian literature and cinema, modern Egyptian social history and Middle Eastern Diasporas. This breadth of scholarship is reflected in a dynamic programme of research seminars, cultural events and a diverse and international PhD student body. IMES enjoys productive connections with the Universities of Durham and Manchester (as part of the CASAW consortium) and internationally with the University of Baghdad, Bir Zeit University, and Bogazici University along with a diverse range of personal research contacts.

IMES works in close collaboration with partner institutions within the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW), established in 2006. This Centre is formed from a tripartite consortium of the Universities of Edinburgh, Durham and Manchester. The appointed person will also participate in the life of the Centre, which brings together world-class scholars in Arab World Studies from each of these three universities.

More information about Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies can be found here

Application Procedure

All applicants should apply online clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page and submitting an up to date CV. This permits you to upload a covering letter and CV (ideally in the form of one PDF document). The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.

We anticipate interviews will be held on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th April 2015. You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.

The closing date is 5pm (GMT) on Wednesday 1st April 2015.

Eligibility to Work

In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).

To do so, the University of Edinburgh requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work website

If you are not currently eligible to work in the UK, it may be possible for the University of Edinburgh to sponsor you to obtain a Tier 2 (General) visa to enable you to take up the appointment should you be successful at interview.

For applicants interested in sponsorship information is available on our Working in the UK website

However, if you have previously been sponsored by an employer within the UK but your leave has expired or lapsed and you are no longer in the UK, according to Home Office Visa Immigration rules you cannot apply for sponsorship under any category of Tier 2 for a period of 12 months after the date your visa expired and/or you left the UK.

If you are an academic in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts and come from outside the EEA, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa.

The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa route offers a greater flexibility in your employment compared to other UK immigration routes, meaning you can, for example, move organisation, location and/or job role. By contrast with, a Tier 2 visa where you are ‘tied to a UK sponsor’. Tier 1 provides greater flexibility in undertaking additional engagements, such as collaborations and is intended as a route to settlement. Allowed absences from the UK are up to 180 days per year without losing the eligibility to qualify for settlement, with no restriction on the reason for absence (unlike Tier 2, where any absences from the UK must be for a purpose consistent with the person’s employment or economic activity, including paid annual leave, or for serious or compelling personal reasons).

You would initially need to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by a designated competent body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech City UK).

Tier1 (Exceptional and Exceptional Promise) Endorsement Criteria

Once successfully endorsed, you are able to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. More information on this entry route is available at UKVI Website.

Conditions of Employment

Pension Scheme

This role is grade 10 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

For further information please visit our Pensions website.


The role is grade UE10 and attracts an annual salary on the professorial scale. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.

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