Head of Department of Applied Social Sciences

Job Title: Head of Department of Applied Social Sciences
Contract Type: Permanent
Location: Hong Kong
Salary: Highly Competitive
Job Published: August 05, 2020 11:58

Job Description


The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is a government-funded tertiary institution in Hong Kong.  The University was ranked 75th according to the QS World University Rankings 2021.  It offers programmes at various levels including Doctorate, Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees.  It has a full-time staff strength of around 5,300 including 1,200 academic staff.  The total annual consolidated expenditure budget of the University is in excess of HK$7.4 billion.  Committed to academic excellence, PolyU aspires to become a leading university that excels in professional education, world-class research and partnership for the betterment of Hong Kong, the nation and the world. For further details about the University, please visit PolyU’s website at


Head of Department of Applied Social Sciences (Ref: 20080409)

As one of the largest social sciences departments in the Asian Pacific region, the Department of Applied Social Sciences offers research degrees at MPhil and PhD levels as well as taught programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in various disciplines. 

The Department is home to many thriving research and practice units: Centre for Social Policy and Social Entrepreneurship, Child Development Centre, China Research and Development Network, and Professional Practice and Assessment Centre.  It is also strongly connected with the Institute of Active Ageing of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences and other health related disciplines. They provide platforms for collaborative research, practice projects, and policy discussions with government departments and NGOs.  Focused areas of research in the Department include but not limited to: (a) Family, Child, Youth and Ageing Studies; (b) Psychology, Mental Health, and Health; (c) Social Work and Human Service Management; (d) Social Policy, Social Welfare, and Community Development; (e) Social Theory; and (f) the Chinese Mainland and Global Social Development.  Please visit the website at for more information about the Department.

The University is now inviting applications and nominations for the post of Head of Department of Applied Social Sciences.  The successful candidate will be appointed as Chair Professor/Professor normally on regular terms of appointment, commensurate with his/her qualifications and experience, and hold a concurrent headship appointment. The headship appointment is normally for an aggregate period of six years in two three-year terms of office. Other suitable candidate(s), if deemed appropriate by the University, may be appointed as Chair Professor/Professor.

Job Functions

The position calls for a visionary academic leader with responsibilities of ensuring the smooth and successful operation and sustainable development of the Department.  Reporting directly to the Dean of Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, the appointee will be required to:

(a) provide effective leadership in the development of long-term strategies and plans of the Department, in alignment with the University’s Strategic Plan, and provide leadership, coaching, and support to all staff members in the Department in pursuit of the planned objectives in a high-quality standard and cost-effective manner;

(b) ensure a high-quality of teaching as well as holistic development of the students, and align the Department’s programmes with the needs of the community; 

(c) facilitate the conduct of innovative and original research of high quality and impact, and promote and develop genuine cross-disciplinary/departmental research with the optimal use of research funds; 

(d) provide leadership in technology development, commercialisation and entrepreneurship initiatives to extend the impact of research outcomes of the University to the society;

(e) provide leadership in developing a strong network of partnership with leading institutions for opportunities and collaboration in education, research and knowledge transfer activities;

(f) enhance the local and international networks of partnerships and linkages with the community, particularly the professional, public and business sectors, so as to gain their support for the major strategic initiatives of the University; 

(g) ensure effective internal communication that leads to transparent decision-making, and promote the Department’s education and other services to target students, community leaders and stakeholders; 

(h) ensure optimal deployment of human, financial and other resources in the Department;

(i) implement an effective mechanism to acquire donations and other forms of sponsorship to support the University’s pursuits and long-term development; and

(j) undertake other responsibilities and tasks as may be assigned by the Dean of Faculty or the President’s designate from time to time. 


Applicants should have:

(a) academic qualifications at the doctoral level in a relevant academic discipline, evidence of eminent scholarship, substantial relevant experience in a senior academic position, and relevant professional qualifications where appropriate; 

(b) attainment of an academic rank of full professor or above at an internationally recognised university;

(c) a distinguished international reputation in research and scholarship, and demonstrated international leadership in one or more specialist areas, namely (i) Philosophy; (ii) Psychology; (iii) Sociology; (iv) Social Policy and Administration; (v) Social Work Theory and Practice; and (vi) Leadership and Intrapersonal Development;

(d) a strong record in attracting competitive research funding;

(e) a demonstrated commitment to excellence in teaching; 

(f) a global perspective, proven qualities of academic leadership and substantial administration/management experience, as well as demonstrated ability of building up a strong team of faculty members with different research and cultural backgrounds; 

(g) effective interpersonal communication and resources management skills, and excellent adaptability to changes and challenges;

(h) good knowledge of the higher educational environment in the local and global context; and

(i) high standard of personal integrity. 

Experience in fund-raising will be an additional advantage.

Remuneration and Conditions of Service

The terms of appointment and remuneration package are negotiable and highly competitive.  For general information on terms and conditions for appointment of academic staff in the University, please visit the website at

Application and Nomination

Applicants are invited to send a detailed curriculum vitae and direct any enquiries to the Chairman of the Search Committee for recruitment of Head of Department of Applied Social Sciences, Human Resources Office, 13/F, Li Ka Shing Tower, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong via email to, quoting the position being applied for and the reference number.  It is optional for the applicants to include two to three reference letters in their applications.  Consideration of applications will commence in mid-September 2020 until the position is filled.  Candidature may be obtained by nominations.  General information about the University is available at or from the Human Resources Office [Tel: (852) 2766 5293].  The University’s Personal Information Collection Statement for recruitment can be found at

PolyU is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusivity.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to gender, ethnicity, nationality, family status or physical or mental disabilities.