Chair of Medical Jurisprudence

Edinburgh, UK
Jan 28, 2019
Feb 14, 2019
Contract Type
Full Time
Applications are invited from world-leading scholars in the field of medical law and ethics for the Chair of Medical Jurisprudence, which becomes vacant on 1 September 2019.

The first UK chair in medical jurisprudence was established at Edinburgh University in 1807, initially in the Faculty of Law and then the Faculty of Medicine, returning to the School of Law in 2005. Its (re)establishment in Edinburgh Law School marked a commitment to research and teaching excellence in this field, and signalled the objective to secure Edinburgh's position as one of the leading centres for medical law and ethics in the United Kingdom and beyond.

The University seeks to appoint a scholar working in any area of medical law and from any jurisdiction. As well as providing research leadership in and beyond the Medical Law and Ethics Subject Area, she or he will contribute to postgraduate LLM teaching on both on-campus and online programmes, undergraduate courses, and the supervision of research students.

The successful candidate will be expected to take up the appointment from September 2019. This is a full time, open-ended post.

Closing date: Friday 1st February 2019, 5pm (GMT).

Salary: within the Professorial scale.

Informal enquiries may be made to the Head of School, Professor Martin Hogg (

1. Job Details

Job title: Chair of Medical Jurisprudence

School/Support Department: Law

Unit (if applicable): Medical Law and Ethics Subject Area

Line manager: Professor Martin Hogg, Head of the Law School

2. Job Purpose

To provide academic leadership in the field of medical law and ethics, to undertake research and writing of the highest quality, to teach medical law and ethics at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and to contribute to the School of Law's academic administration and management.

3. Main Responsibilities
  • Deliver excellent research-led teaching in medical law and ethics at undergraduate level and at masters level including the on-campus and online LLM programmes in Medical Law and Ethics.
  • Supervise doctoral students and further develop Edinburgh's reputation as a centre for postgraduate research in medical law and ethics.
  • Engage in world-leading research and dissemination in the field of medical law and ethics.
  • Provide research leadership by mentoring early career colleagues, organising conferences and workshops, fostering research links with other jurisdictions, and winning external research funding.
  • Contribute to the activities of the Mason Institute, and through the Institute and by other means, enhance the position of Edinburgh Law School as an acknowledged leader in the field of medical law and ethics.
  • Lead and manage a team of colleagues within the Medical Law and Ethics Subject Area and contribute to academic leadership and management across the Law School where required.
  • Foster and sustain productive relationships with external partners and collaborators in the Academy as well as policy communities, and medical and scientific communities, within Scotland and beyond.

  • 4. Planning and Organising

    • Lead Subject Area teaching, assessment and research planning on an annual basis.

    • Develop longer term strategic plans for the sustainability, growth and development of the Subject Area.

    • Explore the scope for collaboration and exchange between colleagues in the Medical Law and Ethics Subject Area and those a) in other parts of the School of Law and b) beyond the School.

    • Participate in strategic planning discussions for the School as a whole.

    • By agreement and at an appropriate time undertake a position of leadership on behalf of the School.

    • Represent the School in wider University forums as required.

    5. Problem Solving

    • Lead and co-produce research and teaching plans for the Subject Area, ensuring reasonable and equitable contributions from across the team.

    • Address the distribution of workloads between colleagues within the subject area in order to fulfil its obligations in respect of teaching, supervision and assessment at all levels, whilst protecting adequate time for research on the part of all relevant colleagues.

    6. Decision Making

    • Decide strategic priorities for the Subject Area, in full consultation with team members.

    • Decide allocations of supervision and marking within the Subject Area.

    • Develop and implement sustainable research funding strategies that reflect the strengths of the Subject Area.

    7. Key Contacts/Relationships

    • Work in collaboration and cooperation with senior office bearers including the Head of School, Director of Research, Director of Learning and Teaching and Director of Professional Services to progress medical law and ethics at Edinburgh.

    • Engage with legal and related disciplinary academic communities in Scotland, in the rest of the UK, and beyond, to foster productive research collaborations and high-quality academic outputs.

    • Engage with relevant law and policy makers in the broad field of medical law and ethics, domestically and abroad, to encourage uptake of academic outputs leading to demonstrable social impact.

    8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job


    • An outstanding academic profile, with a PhD or equivalent.

    • An established track-record of internationally-excellent research in any field of medical law.

    • A recognized qualification in learning and teaching in higher education


    • Extensive experience of teaching in medical law and ethics at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

    • Experience of mentoring and developing colleagues at various career stages.

    • Experience of obtaining research funding.

    • A track record in medical ethics and/or bioethics.

    • Experience of leading research communities through the managing of an externally-funded research team.

    • Experience of generating demonstrable impact from academic research.

    • Experience of interdisciplinary working with tangible outputs of cross-disciplinary value.

    Knowledge, Skills and Competencies

    • Proven ability to lead and motivate people, to manage resources, and to contribute to the running of the Law School.

    • Excellent communication and inter-personal skills.

    • Experience of leadership in research and knowledge exchange.

    • Experience of leadership in programme and curriculum development.

    • Experience in promoting the impact of research beyond academia.

    • Working knowledge of a second language.

    Personal Attributes

    • Ability to lead and work as part of a team.

    • Commitment to promoting a collegial, nurturing and mutually supportive working environment.

    • Commitment to equality and diversity in the workplace.

    9. Dimensions

    • Oversee a portfolio of externally-funded research projects under the auspices of the Mason Institute.

    • Organise, teach and assess at least one course at each of undergraduate (honours) and masters levels.

    • Co-supervise PhD students.

    Medical Law and Ethics at Edinburgh

    The University of Edinburgh is home to the UK's first chair of Medical Jurisprudence, established in the Faculty of Law in 1807. It subsequently moved to the Faculty of Medicine where it fell into abeyance, until it was revived in the School of Law in 2005 in recognition of growing strengths in medical law and ethics. In 2012, the Mason Institute was established as a cross-College interdisciplinary research hub, focussed on medical law and ethics and their contributions to other cognate disciplines and fields ( The Mason Institute has been home to numerous externally funded projects with support from the Wellcome Trust, the ESRC, the European Commission's Innovation Medicine Initiative, and most recently the Wellcome Senior Investigator Award on Confronting the Liminal Spaces of Health Research Regulation ( As such, the commitment and aim of the Mason Institute, and its internal Subject Area equivalent with the School of Law, is to foster and support medico-legal and bioethics-related research of the highest quality across all areas of medical law and ethics. The recent establishment of the cross-College Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society ( - supported by Wellcome with over £1 million - is further evidence of the interdisciplinary strengths that are driven for the School of Law by this Chair and its wider contribution to the University of Edinburgh.

    Application Procedure

    All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page and submitting an up to date CV. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.

    We anticipate interviews will be held on Wednesday 20th March 2019. You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.
    The closing date is 5pm (GMT) on Friday 1st February 2019.

    Eligibility to Work

    In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and Immigration Act 2016 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).
    To do so, the University requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

    For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work webpage

    If you are from outside the EEA and not currently eligible to work in the UK, there are visa routes that may be available to you, for example:
  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent): If you are an academic in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. This route requires you to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by a designated competent body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech City UK). However, if you are applying for a senior academic role, e.g. Professor/Reader there is an accelerated route to endorsement. Further information can be found on the UKVI website
  • Tier 2: The University is a UKVI licensed sponsor and is able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to successful candidates who are offered highly skilled roles and meet the eligibility criteria. The CoS enables candidates to apply for a Tier 2 (general visa).

  • Further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes can be found at:

    Conditions of Employment

    Pension Scheme

    This role is grade UE10 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

    For further information please visit our Pensions website .


    The role is grade UE10 and attracts an annual salary on the Professorial scale for 35 hours each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

    The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.
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