Open Position

Assistant Programme Director, PhD Programme

Part-time, freelance, telecommuted


Alef Trust CIC is a not-for-profit company that aims to nurture individual and societal transformation by providing learning and community programmes in the fields of transpersonal psychology, spirituality and consciousness. Both educational and applied wings of the Alef Trust’s business have grown in recent years, and the company is going through an exciting phase of expansion, with community and research project developments in addition to the continued growth of the company’s core postgraduate educational provision.  

Alongside our online MSc in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology and our PhD programme in Applied Transpersonal Psychology, both of which are validated by Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), Alef Trust delivers a number of professional certificate programmes and open learning courses and an award-winning arts-on-prescription service called “Creative Alternatives”. 

The business model for Alef Trust is predominantly online; the Higher Education and open learning courses are offered to a global community of students through online platforms. Whilst the company’s head office is located in the Northwest of the UK, administrative and teaching staff are globally distributed, bringing together the expertise of lecturers and practitioners from around the world. Alef Trust has a highly loyal and engaged student and alumni community. Our students are based in some 40 countries, they come from all walks of life, and apply their studies in professional settings, such as counselling and therapy, coaching, policing, and business to name but a few. 


Details of Appointment

Alef Trust is now looking for an Assistant Programme Director for the Applied Transpersonal Psychology PhD programme to work alongside the Dean and PhD Programme Director, Prof Emeritus Les Lancaster, in establishing and developing this exciting new collaborative PhD with LJMU, which operates in both full-time (FT) and part-time (PT) programme modes. The ideal candidate will be an established academic with expertise in psychology or a cognate discipline, relevant experience of teaching and programme leadership at postgraduate level, and who is passionate about the vision that transpersonal psychology embraces. The Assistant Programme Director of our Applied Transpersonal Psychology PhD programme will be an individual who is committed to the development of high-quality research in the broad area of transpersonal psychology and allied disciplines. We are looking for an experienced, creative, and discerning individual who enjoys navigating the complexities of programme management as much as fostering research students in their aspirations to create new knowledge and applications in the fields in which Alef Trust operates. The Assistant Programme Director will take on academic and managerial responsibilities supporting the day-to-day needs of our PhD students through liaison with their supervisory teams and with support staff. 

The individual will be expected to take on a supervisory role (paid in addition to the annual fee – see below) for several new PhD students. If the successful candidate has a record of successful PhD supervision, they would take on Lead Supervisor roles; if they do not have such a record, they would take on Co-Supervisor roles. 

The position is home-based and freelance, and it would suit someone who is self-motivated and highly organised, has an eye for detail, is comfortable with digital communications technologies, and is able to work independently. Communication with colleagues and students will take place through a collaborative learning environment and platforms such as Zoom, Skype or Big Blue Button. The successful candidate will need to demonstrate that they have the appropriate knowledge and mastery of technology, as well as a fully equipped home office with excellent internet access, to carry out the role.  

In liaison with the Dean and other relevant Alef Trust staff, the Assistant PhD Programme Director will be expected to:

  • Engage in promotional activities to bring this new programme to the attention of potential students, academics, and others with interests in expanding research activity in transpersonal psychology and allied disciplines.
  • Undertake programme management tasks, such as supporting admissions processes, monitoring student progression, ensuring reviews are conducted effectively, and updating student records.
  • Offer advice to prospective students.
  • Ensure that appropriate opportunities for the development of research skills are available to PhD students on the programme.
  • Cultivate potential PhD supervisors. Supervisors will be drawn from qualified staff both from Alef Trust and LJMU’s Faculty of Health. Appropriate academics not connected to these two organisations, who have specific expertise related to potential students’ research interests, may also be appointed as supervisors. 
  • Maintain up-to-date understanding of all regulations that apply to students on the Applied Transpersonal Psychology PhD programme.
  • Liaise with supervision teams to ensure that appropriate internal and external examiners are appointed.
  • Liaise with staff across the organisation to support student feedback processes, boards of study, student surveys, community activities, guest webinars, etc.
  • Liaise with our Wellbeing Officer to ensure consistent pastoral care for PhD students, and process applications for deferrals and study leave. 
  • Support liaison with Liverpool John Moores University, aiding ongoing evaluation and periodic programme reviews. 

Essential knowledge, experience and skills

  1. Alignment with the ethos of Alef Trust
  2. Proven experience as an academic programme manager/leader/chair at postgraduate level.
  3. Proven teaching and/or supervision experience at postgraduate level in the fields of consciousness studies, spirituality and/or transpersonal psychology
  4. A record of research and contributions to the development of knowledge and applications in transpersonal psychology and/or allied disciplines
  1. Successful supervision of students at MSc and/or PhD level.
  2. Proficient in MS Office, G-Suite, and digital communications software
  3. Excellent communication and people skills
  4. Strong independent worker with time-management abilities
  5. Experience of working in an online education environment
  6. A ‘can do’ creative attitude, passion and visionary motivation to collaborate in the field of transformative education.

Remuneration & Work Arrangement

We require someone who can work flexible hours throughout the year, accommodating peak times and being able to meet deadlines. This position is offered as a 2-year freelance contract in the first instance, with potential for renewal. You will be responsible for tax, professional insurance, and social security payments in your country of residence. You will be in charge of your working hours and your tasks will be self-directed, notwithstanding the need to meet agreed deadlines and adhere to academic timetables within the scope of the role.

Percentage of time: Variable. The time commitment will depend on the amount of supervision undertaken. The managerial / leadership component of the role is initially set at 0.2 of a full-time position (i.e., 8 hours per week, flexible) and will be reviewed after the first year.

Type and length of contract: 2-year freelance commission, renewed biannually; 6-month probation period.

Location: Online.

Fee: An annual fee of 9,200 GBP will be paid for the managerial aspects of the role. The annual fee will be reviewed each year and there is scope for an increase in line with the number of students enrolled on the PhD programme.

The annual fee will be supplemented by fees earned as a supervisor. Supervisors are paid through a combination of annual fees and ‘milestone’ fees. There are two milestones, the first being confirmation that appropriate standards are being attained (within year one for FT students, or year two for PT students), and the second being the examination of the final thesis (3-4 years FT, 5-7 years PT).

How to apply

The Alef Trust is committed to creating and sustaining a fully inclusive culture. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and communities. Please apply via email and include:

  1. Your CV, including details of successful postgraduate supervision
  2. Two journal articles for which you were sole or first author, which you regard as exemplifying your research output
  3. Your letter of application (no more than two pages), sharing with us why you wish to apply for the post and what you would bring to the organisation

Your application package should be sent to Nick Theo (

The closing date for the return of completed applications is 14th December 2021.

Interviews will be held via Zoom in the week beginning 3rd January 2022.

The successful candidate will be invited to commence duties as soon as possible. It would be possible to delay the start date by negotiation, should the successful candidate’s circumstances require it.

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