Director of Research


17th June 2022

The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) is a leading international conservatoire located in the heart of Manchester, with a reputation for attracting talented students, teachers and researchers from all over the world. The RNCM promotes creativity and artistic integrity by developing individual aspirations and ambitions through research-led performance, composition and teaching. Embracing risk, it promotes stylistic diversity and encourages diverse opinions and voices. The College is proud to work in partnership with prestigious institutions and organisations locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, ensuring students gain vital and inspiring real-world learning experiences that challenge them to excel. It nurtures a welcoming, supportive and collegial environment that is inclusive, respectful, open and accessible.

Now in its fifth decade, the RNCM is still relatively young, but its rich history spans back to 1893 when Sir Charles Hallé founded the Royal Manchester College of Music. In 1973, this institution merged with the Northern School of Music, and the RNCM was born. Today, from its base on the dynamic cultural corridor and innovation district of Oxford Road, the College is a thriving conservatoire with around 320 academic staff and over 950 students from 60 different countries.

A world-leading conservatoire, with a £21 million turnover, the RNCM was awarded Gold in the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s first Teaching Excellence Framework and a prestigious Global Teaching Excellence Award (2018). It is the UK’s leading music conservatoire for the quality and impact of research, has been successful in securing significant research grants from Research England, UK Research and Innovation, and Office for Students and has a thriving doctoral programme.  It is proud that 100% of its graduates are in employment or further study within six months of leaving the institution. The RNCM has been awarded three Times Higher Education Awards: Excellence and Innovation in the Arts (2015) Outstanding International Student Strategy (2016), and Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year (2020), two China International Trade Awards (2017 and 2021), and multiple awards for its venues and renowned opera productions.

Our new Director of Research will provide vision and strategic direction for research and enterprise across the RNCM, building on the College’s vibrant and embedded research culture, its distinctive breadth and depth of research specialisms, and its fertile environment for knowledge exchange activity.

As we celebrate our 50th Anniversary in 2022/23, we will be marking the maturity of our research culture and research degree programmes (currently validated by Manchester Metropolitan University) by applying for our own independent Research Degree-Awarding Powers. Our bid will be completed and submitted in September 2022, enabling the new Director of Research to lead us through this important landmark process in the College’s history and have the opportunity to steer the exciting developments within our research degrees portfolio that will follow.

In summary, at this significant turning point in the RNCM’s history, we are seeking a musician and researcher of the highest standing, with a proven record of research, scholarship and teaching, of securing funding for research, and with demonstrable experience of successful academic and/or research leadership, to take the RNCM on the next stage of its journey as one of the world’s leading and most progressive research-led conservatoires.

The successful candidate will be a strategic and creative thinker, passionate about music and the arts and with the ability to inspire and support staff and student research activity across the institution.

A member of the College’s Executive Team reporting to the Principal, the Director of Research will contribute actively to the future strategic direction of the RNCM and to represent the institution externally. The ability to sustain and further develop the College’s already strong and meaningful relationships with key external bodies (e.g. UKRI, RE, AHRC, NW Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership etc.) will be essential to this role, as will the ability to work closely alongside Executive colleagues and academic staff throughout the institution to identify and realise fully our future research and enterprise potential.

Candidates must be eligible to work in the UK, for more information please visit

If you have any queries please contact our Human Resources department via email at

Informal conversations with the Principal, Professor Linda Merrick, can be arranged via mail at

Closing date: Midday Friday 17 June 2022

Interview date: Wednesday 29 June 2022

RNCM recognises that music is in every culture. We are committed to building a diverse community of staff and students.

For full details of the Research Director role and information on how to apply please visit our website