Assistant Professor in Commercial Law (LAW_04)

Updated: about 15 hours ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND

Assistant Professor in Commercial Law (LAW_04) (
Job Number:
Durham Law School
Grade 8: - £45,585.00 - £54,395.00 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date
: 22-Jul-2024, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

Working at Durham University  

A globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a warm and friendly place to work, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.

As one of the UK’s leading universities, Durham is an incredible place to define your career. The University is located within a beautiful historic city, home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and surrounded by stunning countryside. Our talented scholars and researchers from around the world are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.  

We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things in the world. Being a part of Durham is about more than just the success of the University, it’s also about contributing to the success of the city, county and community.

Our University Strategy is built on three pillars of research, education and wider student experience, but also on our keen sense of community and of inspiring others to achieve their potential. 

Our Purpose and Values

We want our University to be a place where people can be free to be themselves, no matter what their identity or background. Together, we celebrate difference, value one another and are each responsible for creating an inclusive community that is respectful and fair for all.

Find out more about the benefits of working at the University and what it is like to live and work in the Durham area on our Why Durham? information page.   

The School

Durham Law School is a leading law school. Consistently ranked in the Top 10 nationally and Top 50 globally, it has been growing strongly over the past few years and now comprises a community of over 100 academics and professional support staff. Durham Law School fosters innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to legal research and wishes to attract scholars with strong backgrounds in these areas. The Law School provides a supportive environment for its community of academics, which comprises a generous sabbatical policy and an infrastructure of high-profile research centres that bring together colleagues for collaborative projects. 

The School is housed in the iconic Palatine Centre overlooking Durham Cathedral in the heart of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located on the main East Coast train line connecting to London and Edinburgh and also within convenient reach of Newcastle Airport. The School has an extensive network of leading international partner institutions and close ties with the City of London and the Inns of Court. It counts among its alumni two Supreme Court Justices (Retired).

This post offers an exciting opportunity to make a major contribution to the development of internationally excellent research and teaching while allowing you unrivalled opportunities to progress and embed your career in an exciting and progressive institution. For more information, please visit our School’s pages at

Our top-ranked global law courses are very competitive with an excellent and diverse student population from across the world delivering a cutting-edge, research-led curriculum with a commitment to small-group teaching through seminars and tutorials much prized by employers.

Our School’s strategic objectives put EDI at the heart of everything we do. We are committed to Equality Diversity and Inclusion and actively develop our policies and procedures to ensure that everyone within our community is treated fairly and is provided with the same opportunities. This applies to our everyday work in teaching, research and administration, including academic progression and promotion processes. Our Law School holds an Athena Swan Bronze award.

The successful candidate will be on our teaching and research academic pathway which divides the postholder's duties as follows: 40% research 40% teaching and 20% administration (percentages are approximate).

The Law School at Durham University seeks to appoint a talented individual to the role of Assistant Professor.  We welcome applications from those with research and teaching interests in the broad field of commercial law and we are particularly eager to hear from applicants with a focus on Shipping Law.  The post holder must also be able to teach on both Contract Law and Commercial Law on our LLB.

This post offers an exciting opportunity to make a major contribution to the development of internationally excellent research and teaching while allowing you unrivalled opportunities to progress and embed your career in an exciting and progressive institution. For more information, please visit our Department pages at Durham Law School - Durham University  

Please note this post will start in September 2025

Assistant Professors at Durham 

Assistant Professors on the Education and Research track are encouraged to focus on research and teaching but are also expected to engage in wider citizenship to enhance their own development, support their department and discipline, and contribute to the wider student experience. 

Academic colleagues are supported to publish excellent research in their area of interest with a focus on high quality outputs (including monographs and journal articles), rather than quantity. 

We aim to support your research needs, including practical help such as resources to attend conferences and to fund research activities, as well as a generous research leave policy and a designated mentor.  

Durham University is also committed to ensuring outstanding teaching quality, stimulating learning environments, and innovative curricula for all our students. You will be supported to develop your teaching expertise and skills. 

We are confident that our recruitment process allows us to attract and select the best talent to Durham. We, therefore, offer a reduced probation period of 1 year for our Assistant Professors and thereafter, subject to satisfactory performance, your position will be confirmed as permanent. 

We strive to provide a working and teaching environment that is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate these key principles as part of the assessment process. 

Assistant Professor in Commercial Law

Applicants must demonstrate high quality research in the field of commercial Law, with the ability to teach our students to an exceptional standard and to fully engage in the services, citizenship and values of the University. 

Key responsibilities: 

  • To pursue research that is high quality in terms of originality, significance and rigour.  
  • To develop clear plans for the pursuit of national and international funding opportunities to support research and end-user engagement; 
  • To play a role in relevant teaching and research supervision, and contribute to ongoing curriculum development; 
  • Contribute to enhancing the quality of the research environment in the Department, the wider University and beyond through collaborative research activity;  
  • Demonstrate a willingness to contribute to the administrative work, citizenship and values of the Department;  
  • To deliver lectures, seminars and tutorials at undergraduate and taught postgraduate levels, as well as engaging in related activities such as assessment; 
  • To fully engage in and enhance the values of the Department; 
  • To contribute to attracting and supervising research students, and to enhance the Department’s commitment to its vibrant and inclusive postgraduate culture.  
  • Carry out such other duties as specified by the Head of Department. 

Durham University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion 

Equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key component of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  We also live by our Purpose and Values  and our Staff Code of Conduct.   At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all colleagues undertake activities that are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI. 

We welcome and encourage applications from those who are currently under-represented in our work force, including people with disabilities and from racially minoritised ethnic groups.

If you have taken a career break or periods of leave that may have impacted on the volume and recency of your research outputs and other activities, such as maternity, adoption or parental leave, you may wish to disclose this in your application. The selection committee will take this into account when evaluating your application.

The University has been awarded the Disability Confident Employer status. If you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role. 

Person Specification  

Candidates will have completed their PhD (or be close to completion) and should outline their experience, skills and achievements to date, which demonstrate that they meet the essential criteria.


Candidates must have the capacity for and be progressing towards the independent development of internationally excellent research that produces high-quality outcomes, including some work that is recognised as world-class or that has world-class potential.   

Essential Research Criteria

Qualifications - a good first degree and a PhD in law or a related subject. Candidates must either have passed their PhD viva or submitted their PhD thesis for examination by the closing date for applications

1.   Outputs - evidence of high-quality outputs, some of which are recognised as world-class.  Candidates are asked to submit two research papers with their application (as outlined in the How to Apply section below).  Candidates may additionally choose to submit evidence such as external peer review of their outputs.      

2.   Personal Research Plan - evidence of a personal research plan that supports and enhances the School’s research strategy. The Research Plan should be a maximum of 2 pages and should outline your research objectives including plans for securing external funding. 

3.   Research Funding – evidence of applying for or securing research funding at a level commensurate with the Candidate’s sub-field and career level and have a plan for securing funding in the future.


Candidates must demonstrate the development and delivery of high-quality teaching that contributes to providing a supportive and enabling learning environment and curricula that encourage students to achieve their potential.

Essential Education Criteria

1.   Quality - evidence of the development and delivery of effective and engaging teaching. (Candidates may choose to provide student evaluation scores and/or peer reviews of teaching).

2.   Innovation – evidence of contribution to new programme development and innovation in the design and delivery of high-quality teaching or assessment of learning including lectures, small group learning and/or using technology or other techniques to enhance learning and/or assessment.

3.   Strategic - evidence of strategic teaching development - engagement in the design of excellent teaching programmes which are research-informed and led.

4.   Candidates must be able and willing to teach both Contract Law and Commercial Law on Durham’s LLB programme.

Service, Citizenship and Values 

Active engagement in the administrative and citizenship requirements of the Department. Positive contributions to University values  and to fostering a respectful environment as well as demonstrating their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. 

Essential Services, Citizenship and Values criteria

1.   Citizenship contribution – evidence of participation in the citizenship/administrative activities of an academic Department, Faculty or University.  (Candidates may choose to evidence departmental or University roles, mentoring activity, pastoral and academic support of students, engagement with widening participation, involvement in equality and diversity initiatives and membership or engagement with external bodies).  

2.   Leadership - engagement in activities that contribute to the administrative functioning of an academic Department, Faculty, University and/or discipline including leadership or responsibilities in an academic context.  (Candidates may choose to detail any leadership roles which they have undertaken, preferably in an academic context).   

3.   Communication - candidates must have excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to engage with a range of students and colleagues across a variety of forums.  

Desirable Criteria

The desirable criteria for this post (for which candidates should provide evidence of some if not all criteria) are: 

1.   Qualification - candidates to hold or have the ability to attain the rank of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy ( ), which is the national body that champions teaching excellence (or Equivalent).  

2.   Research Leadership - contribution to the leadership of research groups and the mentoring of early career researchers.  (Candidates may choose to include information about research group leadership, mentoring of research colleagues, invitations to external events, and engagement with international networks or projects).  

3.   PhD Supervision – involvement in the provision of excellent supervision for PhD students.   

4.   Research Impact - demonstrable evidence of the impact of the Candidate’s research beyond their institution.    

5.   Income Generation - evidence of engagement in the development of successful research projects and quality research grant proposals.

6.   Teaching ability to teach Shipping Law at the LLM level, and Insurance Law at both LLM and LLB levels.  

Contact Information 

Department contact for academic-related enquiries 

Professor Bruce Wardhaugh; [email protected]

Contact information for technical difficulties when submitting your application 

If you encounter technical difficulties when using the online application form, we prefer you send enquiries by email.  Please send your name along with a brief description of the problem you’re experiencing to [email protected]  

Alternatively, you may call 0191 334 6801 from the UK, or +44 191 334 6801 from outside the UK. This number operates during the hours of 09.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday, UK time.  We will normally respond within one working day (Monday to Friday, excluding UK public holidays).  

University contact for general queries about the recruitment process 

Lauren Gulliver - Recruitment Coordinator [email protected]

How to Apply  

We prefer to receive applications online.    

Please note that in submitting your application, we will be processing your data.  We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement  which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.  

If you are unable to complete your application via our recruitment system, please get in touch with us on [email protected] .  

What to Submit 

All applicants are asked to submit: 

  • A CV  
  • A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above; 
  • Personal research plan. 
  • Two of your most significant pieces of written work.  Where possible your written work should have been published or submitted within 5 years.
  • An EDI & values statement – (of no more than 500 words) which outlines work which you have been involved in which demonstrates your commitment to EDI and our values. I.e. Involvement in quality, diversity, and inclusion activities such as mentoring, volunteering, or attending conferences 

Where possible we request that you provide accessible web links to your publications, which the hiring Department will use to access your work. The application form contains fields in which to enter each of the web links.

Please note we are unable to access publications behind a paywall.  

In the event you are unable to provide accessible links to online hosting of your work, publications should be uploaded as PDFs as part of your application in our recruitment system. 

Please ensure that your PDFs are not larger than 5mb. Your work may be read by colleagues from across the Department and evaluated against the current REF criteria. 

All application documents should be uploaded with your name and document type as PDF files. 

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system.  Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails.  


You should provide the names of 3 academic referees; they should not (if possible) include your PhD supervisor(s).  The majority should be from a University other than your own (save for early career applicants applying for their first post). 

References will be requested for candidates who have been shortlisted and will be made available to the panel during the interview process. 

As part of your application, you will be asked whether you give your consent to your academic references being sought should you be invited to attend an interview. We will only request references where permission has been granted.  

Next Steps 

All applications will be considered; our usual practice is for colleagues across the Department to read the submitted work of long-listed candidates.   

Short-listed candidates will be invited to the University, either virtually or in-person and will have the opportunity to meet key members of the Department.  The assessment for the post will normally include a presentation to staff in the School followed by an interview and we anticipate that the assessments and interviews will take place over one or two days in or around August 2024. 

In the event that you are unable to attend in person on the date offered, it may not be possible to offer you an interview on an alternative date. 

Applicant Guidance  

For further guidance on your application please see HERE  


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