A word from our Interim FVP – June 2020

Dear Colleagues, 

I hope you are all well. This edition of The Pulse shows that, despite the current challenges, there is a huge volume of work taking place right across the Faculty. I’d like to thank you again for the continued efforts you are making across all aspects of faculty activity, and the innovative approaches you are taking to deliver key activities in different ways. In one example, Matt Burton, our Faculty Student Recruitment and Marketing Manager reflects on the very different approaches we have had to take to open days over the few months. 

In this update, I want to focus on this year’s SRDS process. This SRDS that we will all undertake this summer is an important opportunity for an in-depth discussion with your assigned SRDS reviewer, where we can reflect upon our experiences and achievements over this most extraordinary period and agree individual goals for the new academic year and beyond, recognising the challenging times ahead for our own University and the higher education sector more generally.  

As in previous years the format for the SRDS discussion includes:

  • Reviewee’s reflection of the past 12 months.
  • Review of main duties and responsibilities with reviewer’s feedback on performance against these.
  • Review of delivery against specific objectives agreed at the previous meeting (or interim review), whilst also bearing in mind the impact of the COVID crisis in 2020.
  • Discussion about how you will support the delivery of Departmental and Faculty objectives.
  • Review of individual training and development needs to support future objectives and career ambitions.

Every year each Department/School in the Faculty develops an annual plan that identifies short, medium and long term priorities. These are then used to inform the Faculty priorities which are presented to and agreed by the University Executive Board (UEB). Bearing in mind the current challenges, UEB have identified a set of key priorities for our Faculty for the 2020-21 academic year. Your Departmental Executive will also set department-specific priorities.  Agreeing individual objectives aligned with Faculty and Departmental priorities will form part of the SRDS discussions, and will be commensurate with your role, career stage and individual circumstances. 

For academic colleagues your objectives will vary depending on the nature of your contract, but should be aligned to the criteria set out in the Academic Career Pathway for your pathway (Teaching-Specialist, T&R or Research Specialist) and the expectations set out for staff at your grade.  For Early Career Researchers who are not covered by the ACP, please discuss with your line manager how you can be working towards meeting these criteria. 

In line with Faculty priorities, I would encourage discussions in SRDS meetings this year relating to the following ACP criteria:

Research Outputs (core ACP criterion)

  • Publish regularly, with at least one item in a rolling two-year period that is judged through peer review as being internationally excellent or world leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour (i.e. 3* or 4* papers).

Research income and supervision (priority ACP criterion in FMDH)

  • Achieve external grant funding secured that is at least in line with the norms for your discipline or sub-discipline (HoDs will advise on this for your department/ discipline and career stage and circumstances). 
  • Evidence the provision of high quality supervision with the aim of supervising an average of two externally funded PhD student each year as Primary Supervisor.

High quality teaching practice (core ACP criterion)

  • Contribute to ensuring an excellent student experience and educational outcomes, including both delivery and/or innovating in undergraduate and postgraduate course design, delivery and assessment following the COVID pandemic.

Academic Citizenship (core ACP criterion)

  • Actively contribute to the collective interests and values of the University through individual action and inclusive, collaborative working. 

Professional Standing and Wider Engagement (core ACP criterion)

  • Represent the institution and develop links with external contacts (within your profession or with industry) to foster collaboration, at a regional and national level within area of specialism.

For professional services staff, please consider any contribution which you make to the delivery of the UEB Priorities, and to departmental priorities. In many different and important ways, you are vital to delivering excellence in learning & teaching, student experience, research and in managing and administering our departments and faculty office so that we can work as effectively as possible.  

Please take some time to consider the above and reflect on how your role also contributes to University, Faculty and Department ambitions.  Reviewers should undertake the relevant training to support the development of staff through discussions at SRDS which includes setting aspirational yet realistic objectives with staff that support career development and align with business need of the Department and Faculty.  All of this will support MDH to continue to make the best possible contribution to supporting our Universities’ national standing and its global impact.  

Should you have any questions please contact your Line Manager or Head of Department.

With kind regards, and sincere thanks for your continued hard work and support,