Vacancies: PhD E-Tutors, Manchester Leadership Programme

We’re recruiting more e-tutors for our undergraduate Manchester Leadership Programme. If you have an interest in

  • sustainability in its broadest sense, whether economic, environmental or social
  • the challenges which leaders face today in all kinds of organisations
  • teaching and supporting undergraduates, using online discussions and face-to-face contact
  • taking part in novel assessment and teaching methods
  • hearing leaders talk about their experiences (Dame Ellen MacArthur was the hot ticket a couple of years ago – see more guest lecturers here)

then this could be for you.

The e-tutor roles take up an average of 5 hours a week but can vary quite widely with peaks coming at assessment time. You are paid at the GTA rate (currently £14.29 per hour). We specifically recruit PhDs for these roles as you need to be trained and ready to go before the start of the autumn term and be available for the full academic year, including attending scheduled MLP lectures (so wouldn’t suit most Masters).

Some of our recent e-tutors commented:

“I learned how rewarding teaching can be. I thought that there would be aspects I enjoyed about it, but I enjoyed it more than I expected to.”

“From tutoring on the MLP online unit; I have gained a wider outlook on life, have enhanced my tutoring abilities and developed new ones, and have had a lot of fun.”

“In terms of development for postgraduate students, the interdisciplinarity of the programme, an increasingly important factor in the research community, enables eTutors to develop transferable skills in terms of communicating and sharpening positions, both through identifying gaps in student responses but also by taking on board student positions.”

“I have learnt a huge amount of practical skills and now have more confidence in this area that will be useful in the future, and is particularly in demand for academic posts.”

If you want to read more comments from some of our e-tutors, have a look at this blog post from a couple of years ago – “What has being an MLP tutor ever done for me?“.

Further details:

Full details of the posts, including application form, are on the MLP e-tutors webpage.

The closing date is 6th August at 12 noon (we will look at all applications up until the closing date). The interviews are scheduled for 20th, 21st or 22nd August, and if you get the post, you must also be available for e-tutor training on either Monday 3rd September or Monday 17th September.

I’ve also updated some FAQs from previous MLP e-tutor posts – just click below to get some inside info.

Who can apply to be an e-Tutor?

  • Postgrads welcome
    In general, you have to be a postgraduate student of the University of Manchester for the duration of the course which you want to tutor. This is because we’ve had administrative problems with on-line access to Blackboard (which is critical for the role) for e-Tutors who are no longer students or employees of the University. Realistically, this means that you should be a current PhD student.
  • Do I need to be in Manchester?
    Although most of the interaction with the students is through on-line discussions on Blackboard, for the lecture based courses, you will also need to run a couple of face-to-face tutorials, and, very importantly, attend the weekly lectures along with the students. For all the courses (including the 20 credit research based programme and the unit which is carried out completely on-line), you will need to attend initial and assessment training sessions with the other e-Tutors at set times in the year. You may be able to fit this in around, for example, field work, but it is unlikely to suit someone who is permanently based elsewhere.

What if I’m not an expert in leadership or sustainability?

  • The courses are so wide ranging that we don’t expect you to be an expert. However, it’s really helpful if you have already demonstrated your interest in volunteering and/or environmental, social or economic sustainability (could be an academic interest, or extra curricular – or both). The role is more about facilitiation and encouraging students to engage with the subject matter, than being an expert in all subjects covered. That said, you’ll need to engage with the subject matter yourself each week, so even if you’re not an expert, you’ll need to pick things up pretty quickly!

What if I haven’t tutored undergrads before?

  • This is a bit more difficult. The tutoring and, particularly, the assessment aspect of the role are pretty challenging. Ideally, we’re looking for people who have already got experience of the basics of teaching at undergraduate level, and are now ready to take it to the next level. Having said that, we have taken tutors with alternative teaching or coaching experience (from the voluntary sector or other educational settings) – but you’ll need to convince us you can deal with criterion based assessment grids and the challenges of fair marking in a subject where there are no clear cut right and wrong answers. There’s a lot of written work involved (you communicate with students mainly through on-line discussions & e-mail) so we’ll be looking for evidence that you can give good written student feedback (we’ll test this in the selection process).

What if I’m an international postgrad?

  • You’ll need an excellent command of written English as most of the role involves clear on-line (written) communication to students from all nationalities (and disciplines) – but our cohort of successful e-Tutors has included postgrads from Finland, Italy, India, Canada and even the occasional Brit thrown in to keep our diversity stats looking good.

If you have any other questions, just drop me a comment below and I’ll find the answers for you.

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12 comments on “Vacancies: PhD E-Tutors, Manchester Leadership Programme

    • Hi Amber

      Sorry about this but the answer’s no. It’s purely a practical problem – we did try having one e-Tutor who was no longer a student or member of staff, and it caused problems with getting them access to Blackboard, to the detriment of the undergrads they were supposed to be tutoring. That means we’ve limited these posts to those who already have access to the University of Manchester’s Blackboard VLE.

      Sorry to disappoint you – I know there are some great MMU PhD researchers.
      Best regards
      Elizabeth

    • Yes – paid at standard demonstrator/PGR teaching rates – see the link to further details.

  1. Hi, I am currently a masters student at the University of Manchester and I am starting a PhD at the University from September. Am I eligible to apply?

    • Might be OK – give Sian or Sam a ring to discuss (see link to further details)

  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    I am a PhD student at Manchester with quite a lot of experience in tutoring/mentoring. I’m currently preparing my thesis for submission so will go to a post doc in November. Can I apply?

    Thanks

    Shaun

    • If your post-doc is definite, may be worth discussing (if you can get the time off?) As ever, worth a ring to Sian or Sam to discuss. (We particularly like experienced tutors!)

  3. NB. I’ve managed to answer some of the queries below, but as I’m at the airport waiting for a flight to go off on my hols (Prague, Vienna, Budapest – thanks for asking ;-) ) I may not get chance to answer any more questions.

    Just give Sian a ring – her number’s in the further details (she’d be your boss so she’s the one to impress!)

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