The Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) will launch a bachelor of health education degree in September to meet increasing demand for expertise in this field. 'Primary health is becoming more and more popular in Hong Kong as people pay extra attention to health issues,' says Joanne Chung Wai-yee, chair professor of health studies and head of the department of health and physical education. 'The problem is there is a lack of talent in the field.' The school is looking for associate and assistant professors to join its team for the top-up degree programme - the first of its kind in Hong Kong. Appointees will participate in research, knowledge transfer and community service. They will also be responsible for developing programmes at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. 'Our professors need to be willing to interact with students and must have good social skills as they need to be in contact with students and patients,' Chung says. 'They should also be patient, creative, willing to test out new models and not be afraid of failure.' Professors will guide smaller tutorial groups, assist students with honours projects aimed at developing knowledge and research skills, and contribute to a practice course where students have to carry out health education programmes in select settings under supervision. Candidates must have a doctoral degree in nursing studies or other relevant disciplines and have a record of good research, academic publications and hands-on work experience. Candidates for associate professor should be actively involved in research, while those with less experience will be considered for positions as assistant professors. HKIEd is looking for adjunct professors who are specialised in areas such as infection control and drug prevention. It is also looking for general administrative staff who will support teaching staff. Experienced administrators, with project management backgrounds, will be responsible for negotiations and promotions. 'Teachers need to have a broad understanding of health education,' Chung says. 'If the candidate has a strong background, they will be able to teach students from their past experience.' The programme has a school health specialisation aimed at teachers and social workers. The nursing studies specialisation provides training in primary health care to registered nurses or students who have obtained a higher diploma in nursing. 'One of the aims of this programme is to train talent so that they can contribute to the field as nurses, teachers and social workers as well as train students to be future professors,' Chung says.