University of Sheffield satisfies urge to understand why

University of Sheffield satisfies urge to understand why

 September 04, 2017

Inspired by students learning scientific skills to investigate and understand human behaviour and society?

An exciting Senior Lecturer / Reader / Chair opportunity has arisen with the University of Sheffield’s Psychology Department. The department has leading experts working across neuroscience, clinical and abnormal psychology, cognitive psychology, child development, social and health psychology - and their research drives innovation and improves lives through technological advancement and societal change. Many inspirational and acclaimed academics work in this large academic department. It has a tremendously vibrant community of undergraduates, postgraduates and post-doctoral researchers. Its building provides extensive facilities for psychological research. The University itself is cited as one of the best not-for- profit organisations to work for in the UK (The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies, 2017).

Leading the way in international research

With a reputation as a leader in its field, there is some very exciting and innovative research coming out of the Psychology department, of which over 80% is ranked internationally excellent or world-leading. Currently, the University of Sheffield is seeking a talented person to further strengthen its strong international research profile and reputation for novel, research-led teaching.

Women leading innovative research at University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield’s Professor of Education and Head of School, Elizabeth Wood, is enthralled by her research work. “My research focuses on early childhood education, and I have a particular interest in children’s play. My initial interests centres on teachers, and how they incorporate play into the curriculum. Latterly, my interest shifted to how children plan and organise their own play, their social relationships, and the fascinating ways in which they manage to subvert adult’s rules and intentions. Watching children at play, I have learned a lot about freedom and structure, agency and choice, and the complex interplays between them,” explains Elizabeth.

Elizabeth was originally attracted to the department by a strong group of intellectual leaders in early childhood education whose work complimented her own. She identified strong links between their focus and her own work that centres on how play has changed over time, and the shift towards blending digital and traditional forms of play.

“Because these research interests are shared across many different cultures and contexts, I have been able to develop a strong international research community that includes PhD students and draws on many disciplinary perspectives,” comments Elizabeth, whose research aligns with colleagues internationally. Elizabeth works with colleagues in countries such as New Zealand and Australia and she has worked with organisations such as the National Union of Teachers and Education International to research issues of equity and diversity in policies and practices of teacher unions.

Discovering a passion for mentoring colleagues in the early stages of their careers and contributing to the leadership of the school, Elizabeth progressed from her role as Director for Research role to her current position as Head of School.

Inspiring innovation across the world

Deputy Head of the Psychology Department, Dr. Liz Milne works as a Senior Lecturer/ Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience. Widely published, Liz has supervised many impressive PhD students. Her work is focused on understanding the interplay between the brain and one’s behaviour. “I’m totally fascinated by the way that the brain works and how variations in brain structure and function can impact upon our personality types and our day-to- day experiences,” explains Liz who is currently undertaking a Mid-Career Fellowship funded by the British Academy. During this time, she will be carrying out a research and public engagement project studying Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) in Adulthood. Through this research, she is hoping to generate new information and encourage discussion between people with a range of backgrounds, including adults with ASC, parents of children with ASC, clinicians, academics and the general public.

Influential work in Psychology

Working for the University of Sheffield has enabled Liz to inspire and successfully champion the work of many colleagues and students. “The aspect of my work I enjoy the most is training and supervising the next generation of researchers,” comments Liz. “I have been lucky to work with so many students who are experiencing such great accomplishments around the world - and seeing my influence in their work or hearing about how something in my teaching may have inspired them to go in a particular direction, certainly makes me very proud,” cites Liz.

A positive and diverse working environment

As a globally leading institution, the University of Sheffield places great importance on ensuring it provides an inclusive and supportive environment where all employees and students are encouraged to thrive. It is the only University featured on The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies lists and has been ranked in the Stonewall top 100 workplaces for LGBT equality for the past four years. It also one of an elite group of universities that holds an Athena SWAN silver institution award in recognition of the University’s commitment to tackling gender inequality in higher education.

The University encourages diversity through its Women Academics Returners Programme, its thriving Women@TUOS network, and their LGBT allies programme Open@TUoS that to date has over 1200 supporters.

Lots of support and collaboration

“There are excellent support structures for research, public engagement and impact across the University, and successfully working across disciplines is encouraged,” explains Elizabeth, who has found the University’s ethos more democratic than previous workplaces. “Of course at times there are various tensions, pushes and pulls, and some tasks can of course be downright difficult and stressful - however I’ve always been well-supported by my peers and senior colleagues, and there’s certainly a culture of honesty rather than the academic hubris I have previously experienced.”

Similar to Elizabeth’s views, Liz believes that it is the cross-collaboration and the championing of diversity within the University that makes the working environment so positive. “I often feel both challenged and inspired by my work at this supportive, inclusive and leading institution. I view my work as a privilege, and I wouldn’t want to do anything else!” Liz states.

Finding the right work-life balance

Finding the right role isn’t always straightforward when outside responsibilities impact one’s time. The University of Sheffield understands that numerous factors come into play for its people, and so they’re fully committed to exploring flexible working opportunities that benefit both the individual and the University.

“As an institution, the University isn’t complacent and there’s a real sense of people working hard to make a difference. From a personal perspective, I have young children and I enjoy the ability to work flexibly and fit child care around my job. Of course I work hard…I haven’t experienced anything other than tremendous support from my colleagues and from the University in my desire to make sure that my work doesn’t negatively impact on my ability to spend time with my children,” explains Liz.

Living in Sheffield

Sheffield has some super trendy bars, great restaurants, fantastic theatre and brilliant outdoor activities. “I have just a short 12-minute commute on the supertram to work,” says Elizabeth who lives just a ten minute walk from the Peak District boundary so gets to work and play in challenging yet interesting spaces. The University of Sheffield has attracted many leading academics from across the country and across the world due to its vibrant community.

Join leading teams at University of Sheffield

There are also many further career opportunities available with this highly commended employer, so take a look at their current vacancies.

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