Call for Super Champions (Academic)

7 August 2023

Call for Knowledge Exchange Super Champions

Closing date: Tuesday 29th August 2023

The new UK Knowledge Exchange Hub for Mathematical Sciences (KE Hub) is building a small team of KE Super Champions to play leading roles in delivering Knowledge Exchange activity.

The KE Hub has been developed as a response to the Bond “Era of Mathematics” review, which recommended that “a national centre in impactful mathematics for the UK should be created to work with industry and government to drive mathematical research through to commercialisation”. The KE Hub’s long-term aims are to (i) massively scale up KE activity in the UK, leveraging the experience of the mathematical sciences national infrastructure, (ii) connect together researchers, practitioners, end-users, and professionals into forums which interface with the various activities, (iii) support existing KE activity in the community whilst growing the network by nurturing untapped pools of researchers, practitioners, and end users, (iv) deliver activities through linked projects overseen by the executive team, and (v) coordinate support for mathematical science KE projects from beginning to end.

Through a series of linked projects the KE Hub will amplify the voice of practitioners and end-users, increase mobility, create capacity, develop skills, share good practice for low-risk, high-reward entry points in KE, and broker connections.

The KE Hub’s initial activities include establishing a KE Champions’ congress, offering seed funding for some KE activities, and providing easy-to-access signposting of opportunities to engage in KE activities, in order to benefit Mathematical Sciences departments across the UK.

To support these initial activities, the KE Hub intends to establish a small team of part-time KE “Super Champions” who will play leading roles in the KE Hub delivery. Based around the UK and forming a network of established mathematical scientists who are experienced and practiced in knowledge exchange, these “Super Champions” will:

  • Mentor KE Champions
  • Lead KE-Hub projects
  • Devise and deliver KE training
  • Engage in flagship KE activities supported by the KE Hub
  • Meet regularly to share ideas and best practice

Super Champions will be expected to dedicate half a day per week, on average, to these activities and funding will be provided to the department of successful candidates to buy them out of an equivalent amount of other activities. This funding will be at one of two flat rates of either £15K (for grades equivalent to an assistant or associate professor) or £20K (for grade equivalent to a professor) per annum. A contract and payment schedule will be agreed between the candidate’s institution and the Isaac Newton Institute which holds the grant for the KE Hub.

The KE Hub projects for which we are seeking to appoint Super Champions to lead are:

  • Engagement with the VKEMS organising committee
  • Engagement with ESGI organising committees
  • Engagement with UK Government departments
  • Engagement with SMEs
  • Engagement with large companies
  • Organisation of the KE Champions Congress
  • Organisation of KE Short projects
  • Organisation of KE Training for doctoral students
  • Organisation online triage workshops with companies
  • Coordination and dissemination of good KE practice

We welcome informal conversations with anyone interested in learning more about these areas. Candidates should identify three projects they would be willing to lead, from which one will be selected following consideration of all submissions.

A separate call to recruit a KE professional as a Super Champion is running concurrently. This Super Champion will take the lead in drawing together mathematical science KE professionals from across the UK.

The successful Super Champions will have:

  • A permanent faculty position at a UK University
  • Expertise in mathematical sciences
  • Experience of knowledge exchange activities, including securing funding from industry/government departments
  • Excellent communication skills
  • The ability to work as part of a team
  • Demonstrable leadership skills

along with experience of at least one of

  • Mentoring of more junior staff
  • Working on a problem at VKEMS/ESGI
  • Previous activity to enhance KE within their institution

We particularly encourage women and /or candidates from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background to apply as they are currently under-represented at this level within the mathematical sciences KE landscape.

In making Super Champion appointments, we will also take into consideration the needs for the team to have geographic spread and diverse mathematical sciences coverage.

To apply, please send applications to the KE Hub Scientific Director, Chris Breward, using kehub@newton.ac.uk and include the following materials:

  • A video, lasting no longer than five minutes, explaining how your skills and experiences make you the ideal candidate, paying particular attention to the candidate specification above.
  • A cover letter containing a link to the video and indicating which three KE Hub projects you would potentially be willing to lead.
  • A CV detailing in particular your KE activities
  • A letter of support from your Head of Department with statements confirming the grade and title of your substantive post and that they will make provision for you to spend 10% of your time on KE-Hub work by reducing your workload elsewhere.

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 29th August 2023. Video submissions are in place of interviews. Individuals will be notified of the outcome of their application in early September 2023. We aim for the Super-Champions to be in post by October 2023 and funding will be provided for one year in the first instance. There may be the possibility of reappointment, subject to the availability of funding and satisfactory engagement.

Informal questions/conversations are welcome and can be directed to Chris Breward, kehub@newton.ac.uk