The Future Shape Of Our College
Our College purpose is to transform lives by tackling the major biomedical and life sciences challenges of our times both locally and globally. Our mission is to bring a community of world-changers together across the College and the University. Our vision is to be a world-changing college, creating impact in society through the delivery of outstanding education, research and innovation.
The world has changed considerably over the past decade and will do so with increasing pace post-pandemic. To succeed in this new, dynamic environment, we need to anticipate opportunities and be agile in our responses.
Our new College shape will create structures that better enable the delivery of College priorities that better enable academic and professional services colleagues to coalesce around thematic strengths, across the strategic pillars of education, research and innovation.
Please watch the video, explore this page and the FAQ section at the bottom that answers some of the questions raised by your feedback.
NEW SHAPE KEY MILESTONES
THE STRATEGIC CONTEXT
We have developed thematic strategies for Education, Research, and Innovation, Engagement & Enterprise. These interlinked strategies have articulated an ambition for our College that require a unification of purpose around core thematic priorities. They also recognise the importance of colleagues coming together, regardless of job family or career stage, to bring diverse expertise to tackle complex challenges through education, research and innovation.
Below you will find these guiding interlinked strategies.
Thematic Directors for each Strategy - School vacancies
The recruitment process for each school's three thematic School Director roles is now live. Each School will appoint a Director of Education, Director of Research and a Director of Innovation, Enterprise & Engagement. These roles will be pivotal in ensuring that every School has a leadership team which gives due prominence to each of the 3 core pillars of our College activity.
The Directors will occupy key leadership positions in their School and lead on the development and implementation of the College Strategies within the School context, ensuring alignment with other College strategies. The role holders will work closely with relevant Deans and their counterparts in other Schools to enhance Research, Education, and IEE.
Director of Education
The role of Director of Education occupies a key position in the strategic leadership structure of the College and School. It carries with it a set of responsibilities that enhance student learning opportunities and the wider student experience, and the personal development of all academic staff who contribute to teaching in the School. Working with the Head of School (HoS), the College Dean for Learning and Teaching, and/or the Dean for Postgraduate Teaching, the post holder(s) will lead on the School’s delivery of KPIs as defined by the College and Schools Education Strategy and other relevant /related strategies and policies. The post-holder(s) will be line managed by the Head of School (HoS),and take direction from and work closely with the College Dean for Learning and Teaching.
To apply for this internal position, please visit the internal opportunites page of CoreHR or click the button below, then search for vacancy number 075647
Director of Research
The Director of Research occupies a key position in the leadership structure of the School and has shared responsibility for School and College development and achievement of key goals. The Director of Research will be line managed by the Head of School, taking direction from and work closely with the Dean of Research.
To apply for this internal position, please visit the internal opportunites page of CoreHR or click the button below, then search for vacancy number 075668
Director of Innovation, Enterprise & Engagement
The Director of Innovation, Engagement and Enterprise will lead the development and implementation of the College’s Innovation, Engagement and Enterprise Strategy within their School. In conjunction with the Dean for Corporate Engagement & Innovation, the role-holder will strengthen the School’s engagement with external stakeholders, including where relevant, industry, the City of Glasgow, the NHS, Scottish and UK policy community, and public, private and third sector organisations.
To apply for this internal position, please visit the internal opportunites page of CoreHR or click the button below, then search for vacancy number 075687
These non-remunerated posts will notionally represent 0.2 FTE of the postholder’s time, however this may vary between Schools and post. This will be confirmed with each successful candidate following interview. Posts will normally be in place for 3 or 4 years and will be confirmed on a case-by-case basis at appointment.
We invite applications from experienced senior academics (Grade 9/10 for Education and normally Grade 10 for IEE and Research roles) with strong and relevant backgrounds to apply. It is anticipated that applicants will apply to the School they expect to be mapped to. Where this is not clear-cut, applicants can discuss this with their new HoS in the first instance or apply to more than one School where appropriate.
Whilst the job descriptions are generic, the role in each school will most likely differ in focus and requirements. Those interested in applying should discuss their application with the relevant Dean:
Prof. Maureen Bain for Education, Prof. Gerard Graham for Research, or Dr. Carol Clugston for IEE, and contact the new Head of School.
Please note: Each new School will have 1 of each Director, with the exception of Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, and Biodiversity, One Health and Veterinary Medicine, which will each have 2 Directors of Education.
The closing date for applications is 28 January 2022. Applications should be made via the University’s internal vacancy page accessible via your Employee Dashboard on CoreHR portal (select the vacancies icon down the left hand side). Please indicate in your cover letter which post and School you are applying to, outlining your vision for the role and what you will bring to it. Interviews for those shortlisted will be held over February and early March.
*School names remain subject to consultation.
THE FUTURE SHAPE OF OUR COLLEGE
A common framework for each School
To shape how the School operates within a common framework and operating model
EMPOWERED DECISION MAKING
Empowered decision making, with greater budget visibility and fewer decisions requiring College approval
CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE
Embedded within a School, connected through nodes to other areas to enable cross-collaboration
MVLS 2025 IMPLEMENTATION
To facilitate the delivery of the new College shape, a dedicated project team will assist with the implementation of the new College and School structures whilst working closely with colleagues across the College to ensure the new structure builds on the exceptional work already being done, and address any areas for improvement. Five workstreams are being established to support Schools with the transition to the new College shape. The workstreams will include a range of stakeholders from across the College, who will be tasked with consulting widely with colleagues.
Frequently Asked Questions
This section answers some of the queries raised during the consultation process. If you have any additional questions, please send them to:
Who is helping facilitate the delivery of the new college & school shape?
A project team will assist with the implementation of the new College and School structures. The team is excited by the College’s vision and will work hard to support the new Schools to realise the plans. This is an ambitious reshaping of the College which offers many opportunities for improvement and a chance for you to influence the operation of you College and School moving forward.
Have School names been agreed?
We are currently using interim names for the new Schools as a way of highlighting the planned disciplinary homes. The names currently being used for the proposed schools are not final and will be formally agreed after further consultation and with CMG approval.
What College services will support the new structure? (amended 6/11/21)
The College has a number of shared services in operation. These existing services, such as HR, Finance, Graduate School, and Research support, will be complimented by the formation of a Hub for Academic Practice and Scholarship to support Coordinators of non-professional UG degree (more details included in the Education strategy). We also believe that some other areas of College business (for example, core facilities and equipment) may benefit from the opportunities afforded by the new structure. With investment via the Research Strategy we will be working towards this in due course. The College will also continue to benefit from and seek to enhance integration with wider University professional services functions.
How does the College plan to increase porosity and interdisciplinary partnerships with other Colleges in the University?
We want to position MVLS at the heart of the University’s ambitions over the next decade and beyond. Interdisciplinarity and pan-University research partnerships will play a key role in achieving this and, as such, play a key role in each of our strategies. Cross-cutting research will be at the heart of what we do. More information on this will be available in strategy documents, and we welcome your thoughts and ideas on this issue.
Organisationally, the proposed structure is intended to align with the wider University structure, to drive joint working. This should reduce confusion and increase the ease with which we can work with colleagues across the organisation.
Does the College plan to devolve budgetary responsibility?
Delegated budgetary control has been fully rolled out from the 2021-2022 financial year and will continue into the evolved structure. We are also actively trying to simplify our financial management practices to aid efficiency, clarity and transparency.
Are there plans to develop the core IT infrastructure?
IT infrastructure is a challenge for the University and although ambitious plans are being developed centrally, MVLS will be investing early to improve the infrastructure across the College. We will be working within the wider University strategy, and will drive ahead investments in areas beneficial to our staff and students. We have, for example, already made investments in our data storage capabilities.
What are the plans for Centres of Excellence?
Centres of Excellence are thematically aligned and leveraged against external funding. We want to enhance those Centres that we already have in MVLS and make investments in other Centres that will play a key role in realising our strategies and tackling societal issues. More detail on the Centres are included in the Research Strategy. Centres for Excellence will be embedded within Schools but have nodes in other areas to enable collaboration. The Centres will spur research excellence within Schools and play a pivotal role in delivering our Research Strategy. We will publish more information on Centres for Excellence shortly.
What will the thematic School Directors be responsible for?
Each School will have a Director for each of our new strategies. The Directors will be responsible for the development and delivery of the thematic strategy for their School. They will work closely with other Directors and the respective Dean. The role descriptions for the School Directors of Research, Education, and Innovation, Engagement and Enterprise are currently being developed and will be publicised soon.
Cultural change will be required to enable benefits from the structural changes. How will the College ensure cultural changes are made?
A big risk is that behaviours do not change in conjunction with the structures. The strategies should play a fundamental role in driving forward the cultural change, as they are each designed to bring people together and reduce siloes. Local, School and College management will play an important role, but ultimately we hope colleagues will be inspired by the strategies and invest in their fulfilment.
What process will be used to map staff to the new Schools? (amended 14/12/21)
- Staff will transfer to the School that aligns most closely with their current School or Institute.
- Where this is not obvious staff will be provisionally assigned to the School in which most of their teaching activity will be conducted in accordance with planned degree programme arrangements and / or where is considered most logical following discussion with existing School / Institute leadership.
- During December, staff will be informally notified of provisional School mapping plans for their area/role. This information will be shared by your HoS/DoI or line manager, either by written update or at staff meetings (you may not receive notification individually at this point).
- In February, all staff will receive individualised notification of their School membership.
- Staff may discuss membership with senior leaders and this may be amended where, for example, someone’s research aspirations could be better supported elsewhere.
- Where necessary, cases may be referred to College management for resolution (involving discussion with individual/group in question, relevant Dean(s)/School Leadership Team(s) and Head of HR).
- A light touch process for reviewing School membership will be developed to provide colleagues with opportunity to move within the structure (after first year of placement). This will be ongoing rather than periodic to allow for discussion through existing mechanisms such as P&DR.
Will it be possible to be member of more than one School in the future?
Staff will be assigned to one School for clear line management purposes. As at present, it will be possible to denote affiliations with other Schools by the use of Associate status. Moreover, our College and University is underpinned by a commitment to porosity in order that colleagues can collaborate in ways that best align with our strategic priorities and opportunities. Our leadership teams are committed to engaging with staff in exploring how such flexibility can be well supported and enabled, and will continue to welcome such ideas from all staff.
What does the College plan to do around career development and progression for professional services staff?
We aim to reduce barriers around career progression for all staff. We hope that with the reshaping of the College, there will be greater opportunities for colleagues to engage across our College and University with a diverse range of colleagues, aligned with our collective direction and core business, while also offering stretching professional development opportunities. A number of initiatives addressing career development are contained in the Education, Research, and Innovation and Engagement strategies. We look forward to discussing these issues in more depth as part of the phased implementation dialogue.
How will future School/Service membership influence how regrading cases are prepared/submitted/assessed? (added 25/11/21)
The regrading process remains available in the normal way for professional services roles across the College. As the regrading process is based on considering the grade implications of agreed, established and permanent changes to the formal responsibilities and duties of the job, there will naturally be the need for due consideration of whether the Job Description content may be influenced by the new College shape. This will be considered by the line and senior managers who contribute to, and sign-off, regrading submissions.
The future School membership will come into effect during Summer 2022 and as such, your existing Head of Professional Services will continue to consider and sign off regrading applications up until this date. Thereafter your new Head of Professional Services/Unit Head, will consider and sign off regrading cases.
How will future School membership influence how academic promotion cases are prepared/submitted/assessed? (added 25/11/21)
The academic promotions process will be followed in the normal way in the coming promotions round (launches early January 2022). New School membership will come into effect from summer 2022 and as such your proposed new School will have no bearing on the promotion application process. If you feel that you meet the relevant criteria for promotion, you should apply in the normal way, seeking guidance from your existing line manager and a supporting statement from your existing DoI/HoS. Your existing DoI/HoS will continue in their membership of the College Promotion Committee for 2022 and as such will be in a position to provide any factual information relating to your case, as necessary.
Will there be any redundancies as part of the proposed changes? (added 6/11/21)
There is no intention to reduce the number of staff in the College as part of these proposals. This is not a cost saving exercise, but rather a quality enhancing and strategy enabling proposal. We envision all staff in the College playing an important role in the proposed structure. Due to the nature of the higher education sector, there are time-limited roles and grant-dependent positions that will inevitably expire during the implementation of the proposed changes, but no reduction in staff numbers is envisioned directly as a result of the MVLS 2025 remodelling.
What scope is there for hybrid roles in MVLS? E.g. academic/professional-services where a role can and does bridge the boundaries?
We already have roles that are hybrid in nature and expect the need for such roles to increase over the coming years. We have established career pathways demonstrating our commitment to such roles (e.g. expanded pathways for Research Scientists and Technical & Specialist roles).
How can my role develop flexibly?
The overall aim of the College reshaping is to create a collaborative environment, where roles and teams develop flexibly to address our organisational needs, irrespective of School or Job Family. While formal contractual matters can continue to be informed by normal University employment policies, we also recognise that our College’s organisational design and culture influences career development opportunities. We will continue to value regular team and individual development discussions, and formal processes like the PDR also help ensure that there are opportunities for all staff to have dedicated spaces to talk about their career aspirations and support wishes.
Is College Management liaising with Trade Unions on the proposals?
We will have ongoing dialogue with Trade Unions throughout this process. College senior management have already met with Trade Union representatives to discuss the emerging plans and will establish arrangements for regular liaison across the phased implementation stages.
Will an Equality Impact Assessment be conducted?
Data is currently being reviewed as an initial Equality Impact Assessment, which will help us understand the potential ways in which this reshaping may need to take account of protected characteristics and associated considerations. We can share more on this EIA during the consultation period. We also anticipate that the phased implementation process that we are planning for January 2022 onwards will include unit level Equality Impact Assessments, and those will address the detailed local implementation circumstances.
What is the College’s strategy for NHS partnerships working and associated clinical academic staff?
Strong partnerships with the NHS are, and will remain to be, a fundamental aspect of College business. The new Schools will include a strong clinical focus and the skills of all clinical academic staff will remain key to our College strategy. Our aspirations around flexible careers have a commitment to enhancing clinical academic career progression opportunities and improving the retention of clinical staff after periods of training.
If I am currently on the Learning, Teaching & Scholarship career track, does the increased integration of research, teaching and innovation mean that my job or workload will change?
We are not seeking to change individual roles, duties or location. In most cases staff will continue with the same duties and focus that they currently have. Over time, we imagine that the new structure will enable staff and line managers to work together to decide how roles and workload distribution will change in line with operational needs and individual preferences.
Will any additional investment will be made in College technical staff?
As at present, investment decisions can be made at School and College levels as appropriate in line with operational needs and plans. In line with the University’s Technician Commitment action plan, we will put additional efforts into monitoring and reviewing resourcing levels and skills development for technical staff. We are aware of the need to forward plan for technical facility and skills development to ensure that we have the required capabilities.
How will the Post-Doctoral Research Associate community be involved the planned changes?
A lot of thought continues to be put into fostering the careers of early career research staff within the Research Strategy. Developing individuals at all points in their career is paramount to the strategy. We will pay specific attention to our research staff community, ensuring that they have a voice and included in all relevant communications. Dialogue with our College Early Career Researchers Representative Group, which has representation from across our current College structure, has been a part of this consultation.
Will my job change?
We are not seeking to make any changes to individual roles or duties as part of this restructure, notwithstanding that all roles evolve over time. As already the case, should any proposals arise to formally change jobs and terms and conditions then appropriate staff and trade union consultation would be involved. As normal we encourage staff and line managers to liaise regularly to address any specific role or development issues arising.
Learning and Teaching
How will life science degree programmes be delivered moving forward?
There are no planned changes for teaching delivery. Levels 1 and 2 will continue to be delivered by staff from across the College, and we hope the increased porosity of the proposed structure should make this more streamlined. Students in prehonours, honours will benefit from the bringing together of research and education expertise in each of our new schools.
The Hub for Academic Practice and Scholarship will provide College-wide oversight for the administration and governance of teaching activities across all of the life science degree programmes.
What will the Hub for Academic Practice and Scholarship enable? (added 6/11/21)
We hope to have consistency of approach across PGT and UG offerings. In much the same way as the Graduate School addresses for PGT, the Hub for Academic Practice and Scholarship will coordinate and enhance UG provision across the College. Whilst we seek consistency of approach and administration, degree programmes will be developed and nurtured within a home School. The Hub will provide oversight for pedagogy and leadership.
How will the College ensure that management continue to allow staff to teach in other disciplines?
Our intention is to bring people together, and the concept of interdisciplinarity underpins much of the Education Strategy. The leadership team in each School will be responsible for delivering the three thematic strategies. For Education, each School will have a Director for Education, who will be responsible for ensuring that staff are working with other Schools. The Head of School and Education Director will be obliged to work alongside other Schools on the delivery of teaching.
Who will have authority for each degree programme?
The outer years of a degree programme will ultimately decide the School in which a programme sits. The College will provide centralised governance and administration via the Hub for Academic Practice and Scholarship to ensure consistency across the College. A review of all UG programmes is planned for the near future, and this will be cognizant of the new structures.
What plans are there for PGT programmes?
PGT programmes are currently overseen by the Graduate School and this will remain the case in future. The Graduate School has brought standardisation of programme governance and is a great example of what is achievable through a central educational hub. We are investing in increased support for PGT delivery and plan to identify where this resource is most needed.
How will the College ensure that the new structures will not have a detrimental impact on the delivery of UG programmes?
Much of the Education Strategy is focussed on developing the good practice that permeates the College already. We also want to share good practice and learn from colleagues in other areas. The new structure will enable that. Breaking down Job Family divisions will engage more staff who are currently research-focussed into the design and delivery of programmes. With increased expertise and research-embedded curriculum content, we hope our programmes will only benefit from the proposals.
Buildings, Facilities and Relocation
Will staff have to move office or building?
In the short and medium term, it is unlikely that many people will move office/building locations. Any such moves are likely to be few and based on suggestions from teams and staff members themselves. The proposed reorganisation is about the more general organisational shape rather than geographical arrangements. We hope that long-term we can attract significant investment in our physical infrastructure, and our organisational shape may of course influence how we plan office/laboratory/building space. The more detailed decisions that might be necessitated in the short and medium term would be part of the phased implementation plans.
What are MVLS’s sustainability ambitions?
Sustainability is a crucial issue and will be woven into every strand of our planning going forward. We will work hard to fulfil the University’s green framework but will also embed sustainability in our cross-cutting strategic priorities moving forward. More information on our sustainability objectives will be captured in our thematic strategies.