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Especially in research-intensive universities, lecturers lead research groups and supervise research students, as well as teach. After a number of years, lecturers might be promoted to senior lecturers with increasing research, leadership, and administrative responsibilities. In most research-intensive universities (such as those that are part of theRussell Groupand1994 Group), a senior lecturer position is between alecturerand areader, with a strong focus on research. At the same time, in some universities (for instance, University of Leeds), the rank of reader is no longer used for new appointments. A senior lecturer position can be a parallel position to reader in other universities. In some universities (notably post-1992 UK universities and former polytechnics), the senior lecturer and reader ranks denote different responsibilities, with the former being more teaching-focused and the latter being more research-focused. Senior lecturers can progress to either a reader or aprofessorposition.

​Sandwell is a metropolitan borough of the West Midlands county in England. The borough is named after the Sandwell Priory, and spans a densely populated part of the West Midlands conurbation. According to Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, the borough comprises the six amalgamated towns of Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury, and West Bromwich,[3] although these places consist of numerous smaller settlements and localities. Sandwell's Strategic Town Centre is designated as West Bromwich, the largest town in the borough, while Sandwell Council House (the headquarters of the local authority) is situated in Oldbury.

Bordering Sandwell is the City of Birmingham to the east, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley to the south and west, the Metropolitan Borough of Walsall to the north, and the City of Wolverhampton to the north-west. Spanning the borough are the parliamentary constituencies of West Bromwich West, West Bromwich East, Warley, and part of Halesowen and Rowley Regis, which crosses into the Dudley borough.

At the 2011 census, the borough had a population of 309,000 and an area of 86 square kilometres (33 sq mi).[4]

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