Duties and Responsibilities of Directors of Divisions / Institutes in the Faculties of the School of Life and Medical Sciences (Brain Sciences, Life Sciences, Medical Sciences and Population Health Sciences)

contact: Wendy Appleby, Registrar (and Secretary to Council), Student and Registry Services



In accordance with UCL Regulation for Management 11.4, the Director is responsible to the Council of UCL, via the Dean of the Faculty, the Vice-Provost (Health) and ultimately the Provost, for the organisation and general conduct of her or his Division/Institute (‘Division’ hereafter) and is expected to participate in its teaching, examining and administrative work and to pursue research. Directors of Divisions will be appointed by Council, on the recommendation of the Provost, according to the procedure set out in Regulation for Management 11.3.

Divisions comprise a number of Research Departments (or equivalent sub-Divisional units) undertaking research and with responsibilities for graduate students (research and taught). A separate Teaching Executive Committee is responsible, to the Dean of the Faculty concerned, for undergraduate students.

1 Academic Planning

1.1 In consultation with Heads of the Division’s constituent Research Departments, Vice-Deans, the Chair of the Teaching Executive Committee (as appropriate), Faculty Tutors and the Dean, the Director of Division will: (a) formulate and monitor the academic planning, development and performance of the Division (including planning in respect of the UK higher education funding bodies' Research Excellence Framework (REF)); (b) prepare a Divisional Strategic Plan according to a timetable defined by the Faculty in alignment with UCL’s planning cycle.

1.2 The Director of Division, consulting other staff as appropriate, should discuss major academic developments with the Dean, and may also consult with the Faculty Manager and relevant Divisions of Professional Services. Specific areas of academic planning for which Divisional Directors have responsibility include:

1. the accommodation implications, if any, of proposed academic developments and staff recruitment

2. the REF, via the relevant panel

3. programme review and development, including Quality Management and Enhancement

4. Enterprise and Knowledge Transfer activities

5. Public Engagement and Patient and Public Involvement (PPI)

2 Equal Opportunity

2.1 The Director will be responsible for appointing a Divisional Equal Opportunities Liaison Officer (DEOLO) and for promoting equality of opportunity through the Division’s Senior Management Group.

3 Finance

3.1 The Director has overall responsibility for divisional finances, assisted by their professional support team, working within the parameters set by the Faculty, the School of Life and Medical Sciences (SLMS) and UCL. The Director is responsible for ensuring that activities within the Division are supported by sound financial planning and an appropriate business case where relevant. The Director will handle financial matters in accordance with the Financial Regulations and approved procedures of UCL, details of which will be provided by the UCL Director of Finance and Business Affairs.

4 Estates

4.1 The Director of Division will put in place arrangements to determine the capacity of the space and facilities assigned to the Division. The Director, assisted by their professional support team and staff within UCL Estates, will aim to utilize the space efficiently with due regard for health and safety regulations, occupancy and utilisation rates. The Director of Division will ensure there are appropriate procedures in place to quantify the impact of academic developments (including major grant applications) and liaise with relevant stakeholders to establish timely plans. All major developments requiring additional space or modifications of existing space with costs exceeding £50,000 should be registered using the UCL Project Request form found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/estates/projects/. Requests will be referred to the SLMS Estates Board in accordance with UCL Estates prioritisation and approval process. Except where specifically agreed otherwise by the Director of UCL Estates, all work to the fabric and services will be procured through UCL Estates.

5 Procurement

5.1 The Director will be responsible for ensuring that staff in the Division responsible for purchasing follow the UCL procurement regulations.

6 Communication

6.1 The Director is responsible for ensuring that mechanisms are in place to communicate effectively with their staff, disseminating and acting upon information received directly from senior UCL officers.

7 Meetings

7.1 The Director will ensure that a Divisional Staff Meeting is held at least twice in each academic year and will be responsible for the chairing and conduct of such meetings in accordance with Regulations for Management 11.5 to 11.12.

7.2 The Director, in consultation with the appropriate faculty committee(s) and in accordance with Regulation for Management 12.3, will ensure that: a Staff-Student Consultative Committee is constituted; its constitution and procedures are acceptable to the staff and students of the Division; the Committee meets at least twice in each academic year; and its minutes are forwarded to the Secretary to UCL's Joint Staff Student Committee for receipt on behalf of UCL's Joint Staff Student Committee.

7.3 The Director will attend the Provost’s regular meetings with Heads of Departments (or will nominate another person to do so in her or his absence); and will disseminate information and/or take action in accordance with decisions arising from such meetings, as appropriate.

7.4 Enquiries regarding Head of Department responsibilities in respect of the above meetings should be referred to the Quality Assurance Coordinator in Academic Services, Student and Registry Services (in respect of 7.2) or the office of the Vice-Provost (Operations) (in respect of 7.3).

7.5 The Director will be a member of the Faculty Senior Management Group and is required to attend meetings of SMG. In this capacity the Director has a responsibility to act in the interests of the whole Faculty and University as well as the interests of their Division.

8 Quality Management and Enhancement

8.1 In consultation with the Dean, the Director will ensure: that quality management and enhancement processes operate within the Faculty in accordance with policies and procedures laid down in the UCL Academic Manual, as in the HoDs document; and that staff and, where appropriate, students are informed of such processes.

8.2 Enquiries regarding the responsibilities of Directors of Divisions in respect of quality management and enhancement should be referred to the Director of Academic Services.

9 Research Governance

9.1 The Director will ensure that staff and, where appropriate, students of the Division are apprised of UCL’s arrangements for research governance and the associated procedures (see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/srs/governance-and-committees/resgov), the main components of which include:

  • UCL’s research ethics framework
  • UCL’s code of conduct for research
  • Procedure for investigating and resolving allegations of misconduct in academic research
  • Delaration of interest policy (in relation to research)
  • UCL animals ethical review process (Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986)
  • Policy, principles and procedures for the care and treatment of human remains at UCL.

9.2 The Head of Department/the Director is responsible for agreeing all ethical approvals which may be required for research activities carried out by members of the Department/Division. 

9.3 Enquiries regarding Director of Division responsibilities in respect of research governance should be referred to the Registrar in the first instance.

10 Safety and Environmental Sustainability

10.1 The Director of Division will demonstrate commitment to UCL's published Health and Safety and Environmental Sustainability Policies by making, recording and ensuring the implementation of arrangements to meet the policies and associated UCL requirements.

10.2 The Director of Division will be required to set out and record a summary of the Division’s priorities for improvement action in the current year which will reflect the outcomes from their annual review as well as the overall UCL Safety Objectives and Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

10.3 The Director of Division will ensure that their organisation is adequate to ensure that the Divisional arrangements will be implemented to meet UCL requirements for Safety and Environmental Sustainability. 

10.4 The Director of Division will be required to appoint a Divisional Safety Officer, a Divisional Environment Officer and other Nominated Persons specified by UCL Policy and requirements. (These Officers and Nominated Persons must be competent to advise the Director of Division of the arrangements within the Division which are necessary to discharge adequately the Director of Division's responsibilities.)

11 Security

11.1 In consultation with the UCL Security Office, the Director of Division will implement agreed security measures in the Division during normal working hours and in respect of all visits to, or other special events in, the Division which may have particular security implications.

11.2 Enquiries regarding the Director of Division’s responsibilities in respect of security should be referred to the UCL Security Manager.

12 Staffing

12.1 Directors of Divisions will be responsible for the management of staff of the Division, including (i) training, development and career management and (ii) day-to-day management matters, such as leave of absence, sick leave, etc. The Director of Division may delegate these responsibilities to Heads of Research Departments as he or she sees fit.

12.2 The Director of Division will be responsible for and/or for delegating to Heads of Research Departments responsibility for: ensuring that the Appraisal, Review and Development Scheme is undertaken for all appropriate staff of the Division; implementing UCL employment procedures.

12.3 The Director of Division will review and report annually on probationers' progress and performance in respect of academic staff, and review the probationary service of non-academic staff, in accordance with the relevant UCL Induction and Probation Procedures, or will delegate such responsibility to Heads of Research Departments.

12.4 The Director of Division, following appropriate consultation, will be responsible for putting forward cases for Senior Academic Promotions.

12.5 Details of the above schemes can be obtained from the Human Resources Division or are available on the Division's website.

13 Students

13.1 The Director of Division will, in consultation with the appropriate Faculty Tutor and the Dean, be responsible for the implementation and general overview of processes within the Division to ensure the educational progress and welfare of students registered with the Division.

13.2 Enquiries regarding Director of Division responsibilities in respect of students should be referred to the Registrar.

14 Business Continuity

14.1 The Director is responsible for the maintenance of business continuity in the Division and for working with UCL's Major Incident Team in the event of a major incident or emergency at UCL. This will require being contactable, if necessary, outside working hours and for Professional Services to make available information and system necessary to communicate effectively with staff, students and visitors.

15 Other

15.1 The Director may be asked to carry out such other duties and responsibilities as the Council, the Provost or the Dean of the Faculty may from time to time prescribe.

January 2015