Call for academic leadership in Engineering and Environmental Science

Posts are available in Sub-surface Engineering, Geo-technical / Engineered Barriers, and Environmental Science supporting the UK geological disposal programme.

  • Post Reference: RWMRSO/DL004/ENG1; RWMRSO/DL005/ENG2; RWMRSO/DL006/ENV
  • No of roles: 3
  • Duration: Up to 6 days pa
  • Remuneration: Honorarium
  • Closing Date: 14/06/2021
  • Post Category: Discipline Lead (academic)
  • Business Unit: Radiation Waste Management Research Support Office
  • Location: UK-wide


The Universities of Manchester and Sheffield are collaborating to host the Radioactive Waste Management Ltd (RWM) Research Support Office (RSO). The RSO is led by Katherine Morris (Manchester), Neil Hyatt (Sheffield) and Sam Shaw (Manchester) with Lucy Bailey as the RWM lead and acts as a hub, with the mission to work with leading universities to co-ordinate research aligned to RWM’s needs.

The RSO was launched in 2020 and has established a collaborative working dynamic between academic Discipline Leads, RWM Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and the RSO Core Team leading to multiple calls for research funding. The discipline leads have proved invaluable for both their expertise and reach into the wider academic community in their respective fields. Since the establishment of the RSO, it has become clear that more academic input in engineering disciplines is required as this is fundamentally important to underpin implementation of a Geological Disposal Facility. We are therefore seeking to identify two new discipline leads in the engineering area covering: 1) Sub-surface engineering and 2) Geo-technical / Engineered Barriers. We are also advertising for an Environmental Science discipline lead as this position remains unfilled. These new discipline leads will work alongside those already identified for Geosciences, Radiochemistry, Materials Science, Advanced Manufacturing, Applied Social Sciences, and Advanced Mathematics (see our research disciplines page).

The role

The Discipline Leads in “Sub-surface engineering”, “Geo-technical / Engineered Barriers” and “Environmental Science” will work within the RSO to deliver relevant research needs (both within discipline and multi-disciplinary). They will therefore have to engage with the wider academic, research and innovation communities (e.g. other universities, UKRI, Catapult Centres, National Nuclear Laboratory, BGS, STFC facilities and EU / international funders). Discipline Leads will work with RWM to develop a set of SMART objectives for their discipline. They will each work closely with a relevant RWM subject matter expert and the Core Team to assist the community in developing high quality, relevant research projects. Since the research programme will often overlap multiple disciplines, it is very important that the Discipline Leads function well as a team, and work effectively together.

The person

The Discipline Leads will be academic researchers who have a responsibility to understand RWM’s mission and research needs in the context of their discipline. They also need to understand their community and represent it within the RSO. The Discipline Lead will support and develop their community and demonstrate leadership in this role. They will lead the topic meetings, present the outcomes at the Programme Executive and, with support of the core team and their community, foster new proposals for the RWM-run funding competition. Appointees may be drawn from academia or industry and all levels of academic career will be considered.


It is expected that the Discipline Lead role will require a commitment of around 6 days pa, and for this an honorarium will be offered. The costs of travel and subsistence incurred in connection with the role will also be covered. These roles will be administered via a letter of terms from The University of Manchester. Typically, appointment will be for 4 years subject to an annual review.


To apply for a Discipline Lead role, please complete the application form within this guidance document and send it, along with a  summary CV (2 pages max), to

Please remember to indicate the reference number for the role you are applying for:

  • RWMRSO/DL004/ENG1 – Sub-surface Engineering 
  • RWMRSO/DL005/ENG2 – Geo-technical / Engineered Barriers
  • RWMRSO/DL006/ENV – Environmental Science

To discuss this opportunity further, please contact Katherine Morris (

Closing date: 14/06/2021

As an equal opportunities employer we encourage applications from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status.  All engagements are made on merit.

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