Restructuring within Research
Frequently asked questions about the Research Review
- Why is Research restructuring?
- What is the proposed new structure?
- How will staff and students be affected?
- How were decisions made about the proposed restructuring?
- Where does Academic leadership for research lie in the Research Review proposal?
- Who is responsible for supporting Research Degree student administration during the Research Review?
- How will the academic community be involved in the development of the new Research Strategy?
- How is UAL planning for the Research Excellence Framework submission?
- How do I find out more?
Why is Research restructuring?
Following two research audits in 2008, the Landscape Review and Research Service Review, the University recognised that the current administration and management of Research needed reviewing to ensure efficiency. The significant annual reduction of £3.5m Quality Rated Research Funding following the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2008 reinforced this need.
The Research Review takes into account the outcomes of the RAE 2008, as well as the two research audits, and has focused on four core areas:
- The inefficiency and duplication of research administration and support across the University
- Unclear lines of responsibility and management
- The difficulty of developing cross-College expertise and skills in research administration
- The need to invest in areas of identified research excellence.
What is the proposed new structure?
It is proposed that Research Administration and Management is located within one central University Service, rather than the existing four Research Offices in the Colleges and the Research Support office. The proposed department will be managed by a Head of Service, the Director of Research Administration and Management, line managed by the Deputy Rector: Academic, and reporting to the Heads of Colleges. The Director will work with the nominated Dean in each College responsible for Research. There may be some local variations.
How will staff and students be affected?
This streamlined, centralised structure will provide a more efficient service to our academic staff and research students. We are confident that the proposed restructure will support the ongoing and future development of world-leading research at the University.
A number of staff posts have been identified as at risk. Those staff affected have been informed in the first of a series of consultation meetings. A meeting has taken place with research student representatives to inform them of the proposed new structure and to canvas their views.
How were decisions made about the proposed restructuring?
The review was led by a Research Strategy Group, comprising the Deputy Rector: Academic, the four Heads of College and the Director of Research Support. The Group reported to the University's Executive Board.
Where does Academic leadership for research lie in the Research Review proposal?
In the new structure it is proposed that the Head of College, the nominated Dean of College and an Associate Dean of Research will be responsible for the academic leadership of Research in the Colleges, working with the College's academic community.
Who is responsible for supporting Research Degree student administration during the Research Review?
All arrangements for research degree students will continue as at present until further notice, including those for admissions, registration, confirmation, submission, examination, etc. Postgraduate research students and supervisors will be informed as soon as any changes have been agreed and a timetable for change will be distributed.
- An outline Research Strategy was approved by Executive Board and has been sent to the academic community for consultation. It has been discussed at the Research Management Group, the Senior management conference, research Standards and Development Committee, the Professoriate Committee, Dean's Group, and has been circulated to the Reader's Group. Feedback from these meetings, from groups and individuals is being collated to inform the next stage of drafting the Strategy.
- The University is ensuring that it is well informed on the requirements for the REF submission, which we contributed to the REF 2nd consultation in December 2010. A senior member of staff, Professor Sandra Kemp, is on the REF Expert Advisory Group. The University is in the process of developing a timeline for the REF submission, a draft of which was discussed by Research Standards and Development Committee in December 2009 and will be considered for approval at its March 2010 meeting.
How do I find out more?
These FAQs will be regularly updated. Alternatively if you have any questions, you can contact your HR consultant or email email@example.com.