UCL Career Frameworks


Institute Manager and Co-Chair Equality Challenge Team

Dr Wing-Chau Tung, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.

Wing Chau
I have worked as the Institute Manager at the Institute of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Brain Sciences since June 2019. I am responsible for leading and managing all operations within the Institute with around 250 staff and 100 PhD students. I manage a team of 25 professional services and technical staff covering all operational functions including finance, HR, estates and safety, lab management, communications and administration.

I have worked at UCL since September 2014 after moving from Imperial College where I worked for 6 years as a Project Manager after I completed  my PhD in 2008. At Imperial, I had already gained knowledge and experience in education and research management, when I managed a Centre for Doctoral Training and a multidisciplinary £5M research programme with external partners.

From September 2014 to January 2017, I was the Whitehall II Study Project Manager, based at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, Faculty of Population Health Sciences). During this time, I led and managed the overall operation of the data collection for the 30-year-old longitudinal study with a cohort of over 10,000 participants and gained more experience in managing relationships with external commercial companies. I also gained lots  of HR experience, including line management of 3 senior leaders and a team of 11 staff, which further broadened my portfolio of skills and experience. I was also proactive in looking for opportunities outside of the department and was part of the organising committee for the annual Faculty of Population Health Sciences Professional Services Conference in 2016. During this time, I also shadowed the Department Manager which helped to fill my knowledge gap in departmental operations.
When a secondment opportunity came up at the Institute of Health Informatics, Faculty of Population Health Sciences, I applied and was successful in transitioning across into a core operational management role which then became a permanent role. I worked there from November 2016 to May 2019.

In addition to my role as the Institute Manager (at the Institute of Health Informatics) I also acted as the Farr London Centre and the Farr Network Manager for the national Farr Institute of Health Informatics. I gained operational management skills / experience and continued to build up my network across UCL and with external partners. During this time I managed the submission of the successful Health Data Research UK London Site bid which involved 4 other London partners, and contributed to a variety of Athena SWAN initiatives.

I really enjoy working at UCL. There are lots of friendly, diverse and professional colleagues. I value the interaction I have with them and the opportunities we get to share our knowledge and experience with each other.

I decided not to follow a research career path when  I finished my PhD in Chemistry and chose to go into management as I really enjoyed organising and working with people. I was really pleased to have found my first job in my subject area as it meant that I could use the knowledge and experience I gained from my PhD. I also get bored easily, so it was important that the role involves a variety of work.

As I progressed through my career, I found I enjoyed managing a variety of operations and decided to  apply for operational management roles such as department managers. Flexibility in working hours  and the option of working from home was very important to me to allow me to maintain a good work/ life balance.