About our Institute
The Institute is a fundamentally multidisciplinary research body with a key strength of working on interdisciplinary boundaries. We are unique in the UK in our ability to link research on animal diseases, production and welfare with ecological and evolutionary approaches. Our research addresses multiple biological levels: from research into molecules and cells, to research into individuals, human populations and ecosystems.
The need for a holistic approach such as this has never been more pressing, given the threat posed by rapid environmental change and human population increase. We are driven by the need for multidisciplinary teams to address major research challenges in relation to environmental change, emerging diseases and the conservation of biodiversity. We do this by integrating empirical research with rigorous quantitative analysis, appropriate theoretical frameworks and predictive modelling.
Our work meets national and global agendas and aligns well with the research priorities of major funders. We benefit from a research income of £6.5m per year from funders including the UK research councils (BBSRC, NERC and MRC), DEFRA, Wellcome Trust, Gates Foundation, and European Commission. See a list of our current active grants.
Part of the College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences
We have built a vibrant, dynamic and supportive research environment where all staff enjoy working, and seek to attract the most creative, imaginative, and collegiate researchers to join us. Find out about our . We currently have 90 members of academic staff (38 who are tenured) and around 100 postgraduate students (two thirds PhD students, one third MSc students) who work across our ; they are supported by 31 professional services staff.
Our recent Silver Department award establishes our commitment to gender equality for recruitment, career development and progression of our staff and students, and sets out our future plans to continue developing this culture.
Impact of our research
Our researchers have a strong track record of translating our research into real world solutions, and have worked hard to develop strong and enduring relationships with a broad range of stakeholders. Our work has benefited a range of conservation bodies, animal welfare charities, global health bodies and government policymakers nationally and internationally.
The strength of our impacts both within and beyond academia are driven by our ability to develop interdisciplinary teams, working with a broad range of partners within the College, elsewhere in the University and around the world.
Our Sustainable Travel Policy
Policy for Travel Associated with the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine
The research and teaching activities of the IBAHCM inevitably involve travel, both by members of the Institute and by those it invites (for instance to interviews, to give seminars or to act as external examiners). However, as an Institute we also believe that we should be acting to minimise the adverse impact of travel, and so should always consider aspects such as carbon emissions when making travel decisions. With this in mind, we adopt the following guidelines (which reflect the University's own Sustainable Travel Policy detailed in the document "Guidance for Sustainable Business Travel for Staff and Postgraduate Researchers" available for download from that policy page):
The normal expectation is that invited speakers should not travel by air – this is not ruled out but should only occur occasionally. We should therefore choose our speakers carefully, asking those who are based at a distance or who have limited time availability due to caring responsibilities to give seminars by videoconference (VC). We should embrace the idea of VC seminars and promote their benefits (e.g. allowing more members of the Institute to hear them regardless of the physical location of the audience, and allowing us to have seminar speakers from across the globe and those who would be unable to travel) while minimising their limitations (e.g. by facilitating one-to-one meetings between seminar speakers and Institute members, in particular ECR’s, as well as broader post-seminar discussions).
- External examiners:
The Covid19 pandemic has shown us that it is possible to run PhD oral examinations via video links, but that in these situations the student is in danger of missing out on the social interactions related to vivas: for instance, running the viva within the buildings of the Institute allows the candidate to celebrate with their peers after the event. However, as with seminar speakers the normal expectation is that external examiners should not travel by air, so that they should either be selected from within the UK or should conduct their examination by VC (while the rest of the committee and candidate gather in person). In this situation it is still possible for the candidate to interact informally with the external examiner (so gaining the benefits of networking) after the event, through arranging a subsequent VC chat on a different day. External examiners who have travelled to Glasgow should be encouraged to also meet ECR’s and to give a seminar, in order to maximise the value gained from their visit.
- Job interviews:
Depending on the nature of the job under consideration, it is often possible to hold interviews with candidates via video (there are no requirements e.g. from Human Resources for interviews to be held in person). One advantage of video interviews is that arrangements can potentially be made more quickly (since there is no need to sort out travel/accommodation). The option of video interviews should be given serious consideration for any job interview being held in the Institute – one model being to hold a first round of interviews by video, with the aim of selecting 1-2 top candidates who are then invited to Glasgow for a final interview and the chance to see facilities and meet other members of the Institute.
- Other travel:
Members of the Institute need to travel for a range of reasons, and in some cases this must be by air, and there is no desire to clamp down on this necessary travel (e.g. for fieldwork or conferences). But all members of the Institute should adopt the same approach as outlined above, avoiding air travel where possible, and asking about the possibility to present seminars or act as external examiners by VC if flying is the only option. Those examining by VC should offer to talk separately with the student to discuss their next steps etc.
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