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Bad Times Just Around The Corner

Imperial College Union … for Plant Sciences at Imperial College London, according to a post on the Imperial College Union website:

Out of the two affected sections (Plant & Microbial Sciences and Cell Biology & Functional Genomics) a total of 17 academics are being evicted, leaving only 12 remaining. These 17 academics are being told to leave by July 2011. Many have PhD students who will not finish their PhDs before that point; what will happen to these students is unknown, and will depend on whether they can switch research group, where their funding is tied to and whether the academic managed to find a position at another institution. This is unlikely in the current economic environment and would still mean the PhD student would have to move with them. Many PhD students therefore face the fact that they may not be able to continue their PhD.
There are also 22 Masters Students on the Plant Sciences MRes course who will be undertaking their research projects between April and October 2011. They will therefore be unable to take up research projects with the 17 academics leaving in July and the burden will pass onto the 12 remaining to supervise them.
What will happen to Undergraduate modules is clearer – they cannot continue in their current form. Out of the course convenors for final year plant and microbial courses, nearly zero remain. In one module (Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions), 4 out of 5 teaching staff are being forced to leave, which no doubt means that this is the last year of this module. This comes after several years in which the final year plant and microbial modules have attracted more and more students. The current numbers are at record level.
First and Second year Biology and Biochemistry are also affected, since the 17 academic staff going do a lot of teaching, especially in the core second year modules of Applied Molecular Biology and Animal and Plant Physiology.
The very running of the Undergraduate Biology and Biochemistry degrees is at risk, since both Undergraduate Directors of Studies, both Senior Tutors and both Admissions Tutors are being forced out.

Another one bites the dust …

AJ Cann

Alan Cann is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Leicester and formerly Internet Consulting Editor for AoB.


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