Author: Jonathan Weber

My ambitions for a fulfilling year ahead

Professor Jonathan Weber
This is my first month as Acting Dean of the Faculty, following Gavin Screaton’s departure to become Head of the Division of Medical Sciences at Oxford at the end of September. After 14 very successful years at Imperial, we wish Gavin every success as he takes on his new challenge.

My first few weeks in this role have been busy (inevitably) and fascinating in equal measure; I have been briefed on all the very wide responsibilities which sit with the Dean. It has helped that three of the four Deans of Faculty at Imperial are also in their first month, and we have been learning from each other. Within the Faculty we also welcome two new members of staff to the senior management team this month:

  • Dr Chris Watkins has joined us as Faculty Operating Officer from the MRC, where he was Director of Innovation, as well as having recently completed a part-time secondment as Head of Knowledge Exchange for the Francis Crick Institute.
  • Dr Des Walsh has taken up post as Director of Research Strategy for the Faculty, bringing to this role a wealth of experience from his last roles as Head of Infections and Immunity and, most recently, Head of Population & Systems Medicine at the MRC.

I look forward to working with both Chris and Des and all the senior leads here to support the Faculty’s work over the coming year. (more…)

REF and all that…

Well, it’s over for another 6 years, all bar the shouting. The Faculty finally submitted its REF2014 return on 22 November well ahead of the November 29th deadline, along with the rest of the College.  The hard metrics show that we have returned 435 FTEs (representing 521 academics) across three Units of assessment:

  • UoA1 – Clinical medicine
  • UoA2 – Epidemiology and Public Health
  • UoA4 – Neurosciences.

We take this opportunity to thank all our academics, our impact case contributors, our Divisional administrators and their teams and our HoDs for their unswerving commitment and sheer hard work to make this such a strong return.

UoA1 is our largest return with 334 FTEs representing 406 academics, which is over 25% of the whole College in one single unit. There were 34 impact cases presented – whittled down by the Faculty REF Impact Committee (chaired by Deborah Ashby) from the >80 impacts which we initially reviewed. These impact cases are completely new to this year’s REF so we, and all our competitors, are working without any precedents to guide us. However, we were really impressed by the high quality of the translation of our research into new therapies, clinical guidelines and health policies. Given the size and ability of our Faculty, we have high hopes of a strong result in UoA1.

In the last RAE2008 exercise, our Dept of Epidemiology, Public Health and Primary Care was joint 1st nationally in its UoA with 33 FTEs returned. In REF2014, we have returned 55 FTEs in UoA2 (61 academics), and six impact cases. We believe that the quality of our outputs is as high as previously, and with two new MRC Centres, strong impact cases and the creation of the expanded School of Public Health, we hope and expect to equal our performance in this competitive area.

We have returned 44 FTEs (54 academics) in Neuroscience, representing the College and Faculty support for the rebuilding of this critical component of our research base in Medicine, under the leadership of Prof Paul Matthews. The three Neuroscience themes have each demonstrated critical mass, high quality outputs and compelling impact cases; we are optimistic that we shall exceed our performance in this UoA over RAE2008.

This REF return is very much a team effort involving the whole Faculty, but the contributions of Lyndsey Pallant and Sarah Perkins have been massive and this is an opportunity for the Faculty to thank them wholeheartedly for their skill and dedication.

The results of REF2014 will be public in December 2014; in the meanwhile my colleagues and I brace ourselves for the actual assessment process itself in the Spring.

Professor Jonathan Weber
Vice Dean
 (Research)
Faculty of Medicine