N8 PRP Academic Co-Director – Applications Now Open

As you may be aware, in May 2020 the N8 PRP will transition into the next phase of its evolution. This new phase will take the form of a co-funding and co-governance model, which will be funded and supported by both our academic and policing partners. Spearheading this new model will be a leadership team consisting of an Academic Co-Director and a Policing Co-Director.

Applications have now opened for the position of Academic Co-Director, with the Policing Co-Director role to go live in the near future. This is an exciting time for the N8 PRP, and we’re hopeful that we’ll find the right person to lead the partnership into the next phase of its development, building on the fantastic work of the previous 5 years, whilst working to secure the long-term sustainability of the N8 PRP.

Please find the full job description below, as well as details of how to apply for the position. Alternatively you can download a pdf copy of the job description here.

Academic Co-Director of the N8 Policing Research Partnership
Deadline: 17:00, Wednesday 26th February 2020
Interviews: w/c Monday 9th March 2020 (provisionally)


The N8 Policing Research Partnership (N8 PRP) was established in 2013 to enable and foster research collaborations that will help address the problems of policing in the 21st century and achieve international excellence in policing research. By harnessing the skills, capabilities and resources across the North of England the project delivers at a scale with real impact by fostering cross-force collaborations and by:

  • Championing high quality independent research;
  • Developing evidence-based policing policy and practice;
  • Sharing data and exploiting data analytics;
  • Enhancing research capacity and capability;
  • Fostering knowledge exchange internationally;
  • Pioneering a model for sustainable collaborations;
  • Transforming the ways in which researchers engage with policing partners in research co-production;
  • Harnessing the skills, capabilities and resources across the North of England.

N8 PRP is a platform for collaborations between universities, police forces, Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), government and other partners working in policing policy, governance and practice. It forms part of the N8 Research Partnership, a collaboration of the eight research-intensive universities in the North of England (Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York). The new relationships forged through this partnership are helping to address the problems of policing in the 21st century and achieve international excellence in policing research and impact.

The ambition for the first phase of N8 PRP (2013-20) centred on partnership formation and the development of a robust infrastructure around which opportunities for knowledge exchange and research co-production can be realised. This was supported by a HEFCE Catalyst Grant (2015-2020), the aims of which focused on the construction of relationships around multiple points of contact and environments of engagement between partners. It also identified the processes, principles and governance structures around which robust and sustainable relations have been forged.

The achievements and benefits to the different partners secured to date have been varied and considerable. Progress to date evidences a transformation in organisational policies and professional practices via knowledge exchange, data mobilisation and research co-production. The collaborative benefits of the partnership are enabling ‘problem-oriented’ approaches that effect change at the frontline.

The vision for the next phase of N8 PRP (2020-2025) is to build on and expand the investment in collaboration between academics and policing partners and to consolidate the activity into a centre of excellence in Policing Research and Innovation which will deliver new knowledge and evidence that impacts operational policing. The aim is to harness and exploit the collaborative relations, assets, data, inter-institutional expertise and interdisciplinary research capacity built with the Catalyst Grant, and create a living laboratory for research co-production and knowledge exchange in policing that has national and international significance and impact.

A key part of this vision involves a step change in governance and funding, to a model based on co-governance and co-funding between the university and policing partners. Both sets of partners have already demonstrated their commitment to this exciting new model by confirming funding for the partnership for 2020-21. The co-governance arrangements entail the appointment of Academic and Policing Co-Directors, who will take a lead on realizing the vision and on achieving financial sustainability for the partnership into the future.

We are seeking Expressions of Interest for the Academic Co-Director position, to lead the N8 PRP into its next phase. Potential applicants should discuss their interest with their line manager and submit:

  • A CV (max. 2 pages)
  • A Covering Letter explaining their interest in the role and how they meet the person specification

To: Allison Armstrong, PA to the Director, N8 Research Partnership: allison.armstrong@manchester.ac.uk
By: 17:00, Wednesday 26th February 2020


The Academic Co-Director will be responsible, together with the Policing Co-Director, for leading on the evolution of the N8 PRP and articulating a business case for long-term investment by the N8 universities and the policing partners. If successful, the Co-Directors will be jointly responsible for the delivery of the programme for the agreed funding period.

As part of doing this, they will also:

  •  Work effectively with policing partners and third sector organisations to further the aims of N8 PRP;
  • Work effectively with the N8 university Institution Representatives to strengthen relationships and further communication;
  • Liaise with key stakeholders e.g. UKRI, Home Office to secure external funds to support the work of the partnership;
  • Provide leadership – in partnership with the Policing Co-Director – to the N8 PRP Steering Group;
  • Build an effective working relationship with the N8 Directorate Team and liaise with the N8 Strategic Executive Group, reporting periodically on progress, and consulting on developments of the strategy as necessary.

This post is part-time, and is only open to permanently employed members of academic staff at one of the N8 Research Partnership universities.

It is estimated that the role will require a time commitment of approximately 1 day per week (0.2 FTE). Funding is in place for the period May 2020 – Apr 2021 to cover salary costs (not fEC) for a 0.2 FTE Grade 10 position.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their interest in the role with their Head of Department and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, in order to ensure that they have sufficient time to dedicate to the role, with relief from some other duties as appropriate. In the longer term, funding for salary contributions for future years as well as for other necessary expenses can be included within the business case.

Person Specification

  • Experience in higher education at a senior level;
  • An understanding and knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, the role of the N8 Research Partnership and N8 PRP, and the research and innovation environment in the UK;
  • A vision for the future of N8 PRP building on successes and lessons learned to date;
  • An understanding of the external environment, trends and developments, particularly in policing research, and the ability to think creatively to respond to, and to anticipate, trends and opportunities;
  • Experience of co-producing research with policing partners;
  • The skills and expertise to quickly establish credibility in the role and with policing partners;
  • An active and engaging communicator, with the ability to convey ideas to promote understanding;
  • Ability to lead and inspire a team of senior colleagues behind a vision to deliver impacts on behalf of the N8 Research Partnership and to motivate staff at all levels without direct line management responsibility;
  • A willingness to work closely with the Policing Co-Director (to be appointed) to jointly lead N8 PRP in its next phase;
  • A record of accomplishment of successfully establishing and maintaining effective collaboration across disciplinary, institutional and sectoral boundaries.

Informal Enquiries

Professor Adam Crawford – Director, N8 PRP (outgoing): a.crawford@leeds.ac.uk

Dr Annette Bramley – Director, N8 Research Partnership: annette.bramley@n8research.org.uk



Leave a Comment