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Department of Plant Sciences



The Department has a Resources Committee, chaired by the Head of Department, which administers departmental research and equipment funds, and co-ordinates a mentoring programme. A Biological Safety committee monitors and gives approval to any new projects using genetic modification. The Equality, Diversity and Wellbeing Committee work to support and recognise the achievements of members of the Department, respecting minorities, gender identities and cultural diversity, as well as unconscious bias, in the workplace. Contract research staff, professional services staff and postgraduates each have individual organisational committees and are represented on the Departmental Staff Committee, which meets on the first Tuesday of each Term. The Department also organises termly Group Leaders' mornings to discuss forthcoming research grant submissions, as well as informal Group Leaders' lunches to advance key strategic issues. There is a annual Departmental Research Day, normally held in December, at which Senior Research Fellows will be asked to contribute.

At Postgraduate level, the Departmental Postgraduate Education Committee (PGEC) is managed by a Graduate Administrator ( is responsible for admissions and reviews termly assessments from postgrad students and their supervisors. The Teaching Committee, managed by the Teaching Administrator (, co-ordinates teaching delivery and receives and reviews the termly reports from each contributing course committee, as well as examiners' reports. A Teaching Associate also organises demonstrating and supervisors for undergraduate classes, often undertaken by Fellows and Research Associates.

The Departmental Administrator (Mrs Catherine Butler) co-ordinates ordinates the team facilitating overall Departmental administration. This includes HR, finance, reception, undergraduate and postgraduate support, devising and implementing strategic planning relating to teaching, research and facilities in conjunction with the Head of Department, Deputy Departmental Administrator, Principal Technician and Departmental Committees HR Issues and overall Departmental administration, including line management and external representation. The Deputy Departmental Administrator and Accounts Manager (Mr Del Hawtin) coordinates the activities of the Finance Team ( as well as providing external research grant costings and submission with the central Research Office Organisation and Finance Offices, as well as external auditing. The Accounts Office maintains reporting on accounts and budgets, and submission of expenses claims etc. Consumables not obtainable through the stores have to be purchased via the University accounting system (CUFS), following University competition procedures. Mr Dik Jeffrey in the Stores can initially help with processing orders. Marcus Jarman (Principal Technician) co-ordinates requirements for specialised laboratory installations, equipment or space requirements whilst Richard Fieldsend deals with computing issues ( The Departmental website is maintained by Helen Scott, to whom group details, news and scientific developments should be sent. Safety is co-ordinated by Prof. John Carr, with the assistance of Ms Sue Aspinall, Departmental Safety Manager.