Vacancy for Professor / Reader in Law and Security


By Tobias Thienel

The University of Glasgow has announced a vacancy for a Professor or Reader in International Law and Security. As the university has explained on a previous occasion:

The University of Glasgow has ambitious and exciting plans for expansion and development of teaching and research in law. It is investing heavily in the School of Law and this investment will ensure that Glasgow claims a place as one of the top seven law schools in the UK and one of the top forty in the world. These plans include a large expansion in staff, a major increase in research activity and establishing a range of new LLM and other postgraduate programmes. […]

A crucial part of these developments and of our vision for the future of legal education at Glasgow will be a major expansion of our research and teaching activities in two overlapping areas: international law and law and security. The theme of law and security refers to a range of issues of contemporary importance in both international and national law which in various ways represent major threats (global and local) to national and international security. Specific threats would include terrorism, (forced) migration, environmental degradation, armed conflict and constraints on supply of energy, food, water and other essential resources.

The intention is to examine the legal dimensions of these issues, notably by assessing the contribution of law and legal processes to effective responses, as well as the role of (international) legal standards as a constraint on responses. Specific developments will include new taught postgraduate programmes, additional research students and funded research in the area of law and security.

This new job is set to further sharpen Glasgow’s new profile as a major centre of research in these important fields. It should be exciting to be part of the project, and Glasgow is an exciting city, too.


The full text of the job description (minus some technical stuff) is after the fold; contact details are at the bottom of the announcement website.

Job Details

Professor/Reader in Law and Security

Reference Number 00071-7

Location Main Campus (Gilmorehill)

Faculty/ Services Faculty of Law, Business & Social Sciences

Department 316 School of Law

Job Family Research & Teaching

Type Full Time

Salary Range Negotiable


Job Purpose

To provide academic leadership in the field of international law and security by:

• undertaking research of the highest international quality;

• engaging in the full range of research-related activities;

• playing a leading role in advancing departmental and university research objectives;

• making a substantial contribution to teaching both at postgraduate and undergraduate level, in particular by exploring the establishment of innovative masters programmes in the field of international law and security, and participating in the existing Faculty programmes;

• undertaking School and, where appropriate, University administrative responsibilities.


Applicants should have established expertise in security-related aspects of international law and be able to assess the role of international law as a means of ensuring international security. In addition, they should be able to deliver, or substantially contribute to, at least two of the Law School’s existing courses in the field of international law.


Departmental Objectives

• to have an international reputation for high quality legal research

• to excel in learning and teaching

• to have strong and mutually beneficial links with other academic disciplines, the legal profession, the judiciary, regulators and relevant governmental institutions at local, Scottish, UK, European and international level.


This is a Professor/Reader post – please state preference on application.


Main Duties and Responsibilities

1. Play a leading role in enhancing the research profile of the School, including conducting personal research of the highest international quality in the field of international law and security, and maintaining a consistent high-level output of publications and presentations of world-class quality.

2. To sustain high quality internationally recognised research activity through a portfolio of individual, joint and/or network research projects, and to seek funding for the same through grant applications to Research Councils etc.

3. To encourage research students of high calibre to undertake doctoral research in the School and to supervise them to completion.

4. To take a leading role in the design and delivery of postgraduate programmes and courses (including new research-led programmes and courses) addressing security-related aspects of international law

5. To co-ordinate the delivery of and participate in the teaching of undergraduate courses in international law and, generally, to undertake such teaching, supervision, and assessment duties as the Head of School assigns.

6. To act in a senior role within the School in administrative and other activities as directed by the Head of School, including mentoring of junior staff, in accordance with the School programme and workload model.

7. To represent the School/University in external activities and events as required.

8. To develop links with the legal profession with relevant national and international governmental and regulatory organisations and with other external groups with a view to enhancing research and teaching in law.

9. To engage in professional development as appropriate.


Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience




A1 At least a good upper second class first degree in law or equivalent.

A2 A postgraduate qualification in law, normally a PhD or equivalent.

A3 Comprehensive knowledge of current research within the applicant’s area or expertise.

A4 An established international reputation and extensive record of published research of international quality in security-related aspects of international law.





C1 Ability to carry out research at the highest level in the area of international law and security.

C2 Ability to work both independently and as part of team.

C3 Ability to increase the number and quality of students coming to the University to undertake postgraduate courses in law.

C4 Ability to increase the number and quality of students coming to the University to undertake and complete doctoral research in law.

C5 Ability to collaborate with colleagues in other departments in developing research.

C6 Excellent oral and written communication skills.

C7 Excellent interpersonal skills.

C8 Basic computer literacy.


For appointment to Professorship

C9 Strong academic leadership skills and motivational ability.

C10 Excellent organisational skills including time/project/budget management skills.





E1 Significant broad teaching experience at undergraduate and postgraduate level gained over a significant number of years in international law.


For appointment to Professorship

E2 Substantial academic and leadership experience gained over a significant number of years in international law.

E3 Significant managerial experience.

E4 A demonstrably strong record of strategic decision-making within Higher Education.



F1 Experience of providing academic leadership.

F2 Experience of successful PhD supervision.



For appointment to Professorship

F3 Proven ability to secure substantial external research funding.

F4 Proven record of establishing and development international networks.



Job Features



• Participating in a team of five research-active staff specialising in public international law, comprising this post, an established professor of international law and three lecturers in (public) international law.

• Researching and publishing work of the highest in peer-reviewed journals, as monographs or in other respected forms of output.

• Acting as principal investigator on research grants

• Attendance and delivery of papers at high profile international conferences

• Organising high profile research seminars and conferences

• Supervising doctoral researchers

• Actively contributing to University/School research strategy

• Contribute to international and national research developments through membership of scholarly and advisory bodies both governmental and non-governmental

• Engaging with the external world by forging links with the legal profession, government and international organisations

• Exploring the introduction of new research-led programmes and courses in the field of international law and security

• Co-ordinating teaching on questions of international security, as well as assisting with the coordination of teaching in other areas of international law

• Teaching on a range of existing courses in international law as arranged with the Head of School and in accordance with the School work allocation model

• Carrying out senior administrative tasks at University/Faculty/School level as appropriate.


Planning and Organising

• Manage and provide leadership in strategic planning of research, teaching and administration at all levels within and beyond the School, including the identification of new initiatives.

• Designing and planning delivery of new teaching programmes and courses
• Co-ordinating teaching on issues of international law and security

• Preparing and presenting applications for research funding

• Planning and organising seminars and conferences

• Participating in University/School planning

• Organise research meetings on various scales from small group meetings upwards

• Organise knowledge exchange and outreach activities as appropriate


Decision Making

• Decisions on research methodology and submission of grant applications

• Decisions on choice of journal(s) for publication of research and conferences to attend.

• Decisions on course content, teaching methods, and applications by students

• Decide on short-term and longer term research objectives for supervisees.
Supervise new researchers and assist other academic staff on their progress/direction.

• Contribute to University decision-making on research and teaching.

• Prioritise work in accordance with agreed School objectives.

• Take responsibility for organisation of resources, as appropriate.

• Contribute to School decisions on recruitment, selection, curriculum choice, degree programmes, Quality Assurance and Enhancement compliance, etc.


Internal/External Relationships


• Head of School, School and University officers to ensure that strategic objectives are met.

• Academic colleagues for information exchange to facilitate effective research and teaching.

• Research students/postdoctoral researchers to oversee and advise on research.

• Undergraduate and postgraduate students to optimise student learning.

• Administrative staff for exchange of information relating to status of grant applications and finances.


• Key researchers in the field.

• Key practitioners (legal, governmental, non-governmental)

• Relevant governmental and non-governmental organisations.

• Research Councils, charitable bodies and other external sources of research funding.

• General public/media.


Problem Solving

• World-class research is a key aspect of this post, including solving research problems at the forefront of the field and the development of new ideas, methods and research projects.

• Resolving issues re. research funding.

• Resolving issues arising in pursuit of research objectives.

• Assisting research students resolve problems re. their research.

• Assisting undergraduate and postgraduate students resolve problems re. their studies.

• Resolving issues arising in performance of administrative functions.

• Proposing alternative strategies and negotiating alternative arrangements in responding imaginatively to strategic challenges in research, teaching and service.

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