Associate Dean and Director - Education, Research and Development Institute (ERDI)

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 31 May 2021

Xi'an Jiaotong - Liverpool University – School of Robotics

Applications are invited for an Associate Dean and Director of Education, Research and Development Institute (ERDI) to assist the Dean of School in developing, leading, and managing the School of Robotics at XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang). The College is part of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU). The Associate Dean and Director of ERDI is a key leader to lead the development of education, research and engagement programmes within the School and to build links between industry, governmental, education, and community partners and the School. The Associate Dean and Director of ERDI is a member of the School Management Team and reports to the Dean of School.


1. About the University

XJTLU is China’s leading Joint Venture University and is located in Suzhou, China. Founded in 2006, the university now has more than 18,000 enrolled students in both Suzhou and Liverpool in the UK. The university plans to grow to 25,000 students by 2025. The strengths of the university are in Science and Technology, as well as other disciplines like Architecture, Business, and Humanities. There are currently around 850 academic staff, with an even split between citizens of the People’s Republic of China and international passport holders. The language of instruction, academic discourses, committees, and administrative work at XJTLU is English.

XJTLU is located in Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District of Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), a vibrant technology and innovation hub accessible via nearby airports to cities such as Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei, and via high-speed rails to other major cities in China, including nearby Shanghai. Greater Suzhou is now the fourth largest concentration of economic activity in China in terms of GDP, and the SIP has been on the receiving end of both private and public investments into innovation and R&D.

2. About the College

XJTLU is currently building a new campus in Taicang, the XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang), with the collaboration of the Taicang Municipal Government and industry partners, as part ofitsstrategic priorities for the next ten years. Taicang isa county-level city in Greater Suzhou, Jiangsu. The Taicang campus will be a pioneer of, and an educational model for, universities of the future in developing leaders for challenges from disruptive technology, rapid innovation, and shifting market demand in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Taicang programmes adopt a new higher education model based upon the philosophy and concept of Syntegrative Education (SE). SE is a new model developed by XJTLU focusing on seamless collaboration between academic staff, students, industry, government and the wider community, with the long-term aim of fostering the development of a modern, entrepreneurial and sustainable society. SE is a core part of the university’s strategy for its next ten year’s development that stresses innovation and entrepreneurship. SE aims at training syntegrative leaders with M anagement skills, I nternational perspective, D iscipline-specific knowledge, and adaptability in I ndustry (MIDI).

The College is directed by a Taicang Leadership Team comprised of the Principal, Associate Principal, Chief Operating Officer, Deans of School, and Director of Learning Mall. The Taicang Leadership Team reports through its Principal to the Executive President, who heads the Senior Management Team (SMT) of XJTLU. 

3. About the School

The School of Robotics is one of the 6 – 10 industry-themed Schools in the XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang). Each School consists of an Education, Research and Development Institute (ERDI) for teaching and research collaboration, a one-stop School Office providing professional services to support student administration and activites, members of staff, and industry partners, and an affliated School Joint-Venture Company jointly established by XJTLU and the School’s partner for industry-embedded teaching, learning, practical, and other activities.

The School’s Education, Research and Development Institute (ERDI) is comprised of the Associate Dean and Director, Programme Director(s), academic and research members of staff.   

The School of Robotics was jointly developed by the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, as well as an industry partner – Siasun, to deliver industry-themed programme(s). The partnership between XJTLU and the industry partner is non-exclusive.  The first degree programme that the School has launched for the Academic Year 2019/2020 is BEng Intelligent Robotics Engineering

4. About the Industry Partner

The founding partner working in collaboration with XJTLU to co-develop the School of Robotics is Siasun.

Siasun is the international headquarter of Siasun Robot & Automation Co., Ltd. in Shanghai. It is committed to creating a leading-edge international, innovative and platform-based for the industry of robots. The main businesses of Saisun include intelligent robots, intelligent manufacturing, and industry incubating. More information please see

Key Responsibilities:

The Associate Dean and Director of ERDI is a member of the School Management Team. The School Management Team is led by the Dean of School and comprised of the Associate Dean and Director of ERDI, the CEO of School JV Company, and the Director of School Office. The main duties of the Associate Dean and Director of ERDI include:

  • Work collaboratively with the Dean of School to:
  • Design, implement, and provide ongoing monitoring of the School’s teaching and learning, research, industry partnerships, engagement, and innovation strategies.
  • Lead and manage the School’s business engagement initiatives with a view to building an extensive portfolio of potential industry collaborative partnerships.
  • Promote, manage and contribute to the delivery of an effective programme of continuous development for academic members of staff to ensure they are equipped and supported to deliver high quality teaching and student experience, excel in their research, and contribute effectively to the School, College, and University.
  • Create, nurture, and support a healthy research environment, with agreed annual research outcomes and expectations.
  • Drive an emphasis on impact-creation through sustainable and unique value proposition in improving the School’s funded quality research and innovation and/or knowledge exchange activities.
  • Identify and implement strategies to maximise grant capture and research income, from both external funding bodies and business/industry.
  • Work collaboratively with Programme Director(s), academic members of staff, and School Office to:
  • Promote, manage and contribute to the delivery and development of appropriate undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes to the required standards expected by the ministry, university academic regulatory framework, and where necessary, appropriate professional, statutory and regulatory bodies.
  • Promote best practice in relation to innovative assessment design across the School, ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of appropriate assessment and feedback to meet the needs of all stakeholders.
  • Ensure that the school and curriculum design delivers an inclusive, enriching, and enabling learning experience, as evidenced through student satisfaction, personal development and positive degree outcomes, and to work with industry partners to achieve this.
  • Lead the continuous development and improvement of the VLE and technology-enhanced teaching to enable and support academic staff’s engagement in approaches that promote student-led learning and supports student success.
  • Work collaboratively with relevant School(s), College and University entities to identify opportunities for meaningful and genuine partnership and successful impact-creation for research.
  • Manage investment funds which have been agreed by the Dean of School, Associate Principal, Principal or XJTLU Dean for Research, for Research and Innovation.
  • Represent the Dean of School when necessary, within the College, University and externally as appropriate.
  • Any other work-related tasks assigned by the Dean of School.
  • Any other appropriate tasks assigned by the University SMT, School Council or Taicang Leadership Team through the Dean of School.
  • Qualifications and Selection Criteria:

  • Candidates must hold a doctoral (normally PhD) degree in electrical and electronics, mechatronics, controls, or robotics engineering; computer science, artificial intelligence, computer vision, mobile robotics, machine learning, data science and analytics from a world renowned university, or able to demonstrate an equivalent professional practice and engagement to a similar level.
  • Clear understanding of the philosophy and concept of Syntegrative Education (SE) and demonstrable past teaching/industry/leadership experiences or practices aligned with Syntegrative Education (SE).
  • Candidates shall become familiar with and observe China and United Kingdom’s rules, regulations, and expectations of higher education.
  • Candidates shall have outstanding leadership and management experience, and ability to motivate and inspire teams with excellent people skills.
  • Candidates must have a national/international reputation and demonstrate impacts in any of the research and innovation fields relevant to the School.
  • Candidates are expected to have a good sense of the technology trends and relevant research experience on industrial projects. Candidates should have the experience to cooperate with industrial partners to develop R&D projects.
  • Candidates must have rich experience in teaching, research, academic leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship, strategic planning and financial management in a university and/or business environment.
  • Excellent networking skills and an ability to build and nurture external contacts and partnerships, working with business other organisations in the area of innovation and business support to the benefit of the school.
  • Excellent organisational, implementation and monitoring skills to deliver successful outcomes.
  • Candidates must demonstrate a good track record of engagement with students and industry.
  • Candidates must have a high level of communicative competence in English; an equivalent knowledge of Chinese would be an advantage.
  • Candidates with administration and management experience in international universities or Sino-foreign joint universities would be an advantage.
  • Some experience of working in a relevant industry would be an advantage.
  • Personal Attributes:

    This role will attract academic leaders embodying Syntegrative Education (SE) values and are passionate in engaging in a future-focused co-learning ecosystem comprising students, academics, practitioners, university, industry, and community. The Associate Dean and Director of ERDI is a leader who thrives by creating impact through managing, nurturing, and enabling authentic engagement, cross-boundary collaboration, collective learning and discovery programmes and activities. The Associate Dean and Director of ERDI adopts a systems mindset, understands transdisciplinarity and complexity, uses his/her knowledge, skills, and experiences to deliver success and create impact for the School, College and University.

    Remuneration and Benefits:

    Salary is by negotiation and will be internationally competitive. There is a generous benefit-package including subsidies towards the costs of housing, travel, and children’s education, as well as the provision of health insurance. There is also an allowance for relocation. 


    The recruitment is effective immediately and will be open till 31 May 2021.

    To apply:

    Please submit your applications online  

    Applications must be submitted in a single PDF file that includes 3 parts in the order of:

    • A extended cover letter consisting of
      • point-by-point address of your qualifications and suitability for the role using the selection criteria above
      • your vision for the school in the short, medium and long term (one-page maximum)
    • A comprehensive and up-to-date CV that should also indicate your country/countries of citizenship, current location and country of residence, and highest education level
    • Contact details for three references (at least a reference from current or most recent employer. Preferably current employer *and* last employer)

    For further information and an informal discussion, please contact Professor Eng Hwa Yap, Dean of School by email at . 

    If you are unable to apply online, please contact the HR officer Ms. Xu at

    Applications should be received by the closing date stated above. 

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