Department audit

March 11, 2005

Julie McLeod, head of department, gives the lowdown on biomedical sciences at the University of the West of England

* Total number of academic staff: 15

* Number of permanent academic staff: 15

* Number of academic staff on fixed-term contracts: 0

* Number of hourly paid/casual academic staff: 51 (external lecturers who provide specialised postgraduate lectures)

* Number of other academic staff: Four honorary research professors and three honorary research fellows.

* Number of professors or senior lecturers: Two professors, two readers, three principal lecturers.

* Number of ethnic minority academic staff: 0

* Number of female academics: Six

* Number of female academic staff who are professors or senior lecturers/principal lecturers: Two

* Research assessment exercise rating: 3a

* When was the last quality assessment? In 1999. We gained 24/24.

* Current and approved vacancies for the next 12 months? Professor in biomedical sciences and lecturer/senior lecturer in immunology.

* Staff changes in the past six months? We have appointed a reader in clinical chemistry from Bristol University and a senior lecturer in clinical chemistry from Brighton University. We have approval for a professorship in biomedical sciences.

* Star teachers or researchers? Ninety-eight per cent of staff in the school are RAE-compliant, with 85 per cent of our professors, readers and principal lecturers being promoted within five years of being appointed senior lecturers. We have a staff member who was appointed a business fellow to develop external research liaison in biomedical sciences.

* Research projects? Recent grants include £584,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for an interdisciplinary adventure fund project with Nottingham University and University College London; £8 million for a European Union Framework project on non-invasive technology for detecting foetal abnormalities; £1.2 million from the EPSRC for a multidisciplinary project and £356,000 from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council to investigate intracellular interactions.

* What have been the main preoccupations of the department in the past six months? We have secured approval of a professional doctorate in biomedical sciences - the first professional doctorate in the university. We have also just completed a refurbishment. Another preoccupation has been balancing teaching, administration and research when we have a strong undergraduate and postgraduate intake, successful research projects and new postgraduate ventures.

* Any other concerns? How best to represent our research strengths, particularly industry-related projects, in the RAE.

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