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Saturday, 6 April 2013

Senior member vacancies 2013-14

I am being asked a lot about senior member vacancies for next year (2013-14).

The most up-to-date, confirmed information about our vacancies will always be posted at Updates to that page will always be publicised via Twitter (, Facebook ( and our RSS feed (, so if you are interested in applying, make sure you are following at least one of those.

However, I also have lots of unconfirmed news that potential applicants will find interesting but is not definite enough for me to upload to the vacancies page. So I will use this blog post to share what I know.

The University of London is currently reviewing senior member posts and the recruitment process. Likely or possible changes include:

  • Recruitment of senior members will be centralised, so all applications will go to the University's HR department instead of to the warden of each hall.

  • Applications will be completely anonymised so the shortlisting panel does not know the name, age, sex, disabled status, or ethnicity of the applicants.

  • Applications may be invited for all eight halls at the same time, on the same form, instead of separate applications being made to individual halls. Interviews may be centralised so there is one big recruitment day for all eight halls.

  • Instead of candidates sending a short "eligibility" form along with a letter, curriculum vitae, and equal opportunities form, there may be one form that covers everything, dispensing with the need for letters and CVs.

  • Appointments will be for one-year, fixed term.

  • It may be possible for appointments to be extended, one year at a time, depending of satisfactory service. This decision may be guided by a formal process of appraisal and assessment, which may be externally validated.

  • The current absolute maximum of three years as a senior member may be lifted completely, or increased to four years.

  • It may be compulsory for senior members to take standard single rooms, losing the option to upgrade to en-suite or other accommodation.

  • For the first time, a formal person specification has been developed, detailing certain "essential" and "desirable" qualifications, training, personal attributes, and experience.

  • There will be detailed guidance on the appointment and eligibility of students who are in the UK on a "tier 4" visa. At present, these students are not eligible to apply as they can only work 20 hours or less per week during term time. This blanket ban may be removed or changed, subject to certain rota requirements.

  • It may become possible for third-year undergraduate students to take on senior member positions. (At present, you have to be at least a fourth-year undergraduate, or a postgraduate student.)

All these changes are still being considered and possibly modified between the wardens, halls management, and human resources. As soon as the recruitment process and eligibility criteria for this year are confirmed, I will update the page.