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Department of Plant Sciences


Senior Fellows, as Research Group Heads, have privileges and consequently some of the responsibilities of University Teaching Officers (UTOs: Professors, Readers and Lecturers). The privileges include opportunities to apply for research grants and for quota PhD Studentships allocated to the Department, to bid for space, to build up a research group and to participate in academic staff meetings and discussion sessions. In return they will normally be expected to make some contribution to teaching (e.g. lectures in Part II or postgraduate series, supervision and assessment of Part II research projects and Part I demonstrating, on an unpaid basis) and to examining, and to help with various aspects of "research administration" (e.g. safety).

Shorter-term Fellowships usually depend on sponsorship by a senior colleague in the Department, within whose research group the Fellow may also be accommodated ("hosted"). These Fellows are under pressure to deliver research results in a shorter time frame, and this limits the contribution that they can be expected to make to the Department generally.

Post-Doctoral research associates are usually supported by a Research Council grant, or research grant from a Government Agency or Industry, and are important members of each Research Group. Whilst their research efforts and outputs are primarily targeted towards the needs of fulfilling the specific aims of the research grant, we welcome their contribution to helping the supervision of PhD students, Part II practical projects or demonstrating practical classes, for which payment is made on the basis of experience and expertise, whilst payments for supervisions can be claimed directly from Colleges.

College JRFs may be expected to undertake specific teaching duties for their Colleges, but it is also hoped that through their association with Research Groups they will undertake teaching duties, where applicable, with Part II project students or through supervisions.

Career prospects

The Department cannot make any commitment to support Senior Fellows beyond their Fellowships. However, the Fellows will be welcome to apply for vacant University Lectureships.


Some laboratory space will be retained for allocation to Senior Fellows. In some cases, Senior Fellows will be accommodated within the space of an established UTO (their "host").


Senior Fellows have the same rights of access to Departmental equipment as UTOs. The prospective Fellow should define the equipment (some will be Departmental and some may belong to individual UTOs or other Fellows) to which s/he requires access; this is particularly critical for shorter-term Senior Fellows. It is in both the Department's and the Senior Fellow's interests to ensure that projected use of equipment is examined in detail before the candidate accepts a Fellowship.

Supervision of PhD Students

Senior Fellows are required to attend the Staff Development course on Supervision of PhD students run by the University. They can compete for Research Council Quota Studentships allocated to the Department, but will need to ensure that they are on the BBSRC approved lists before doing so; names of candidates for supervisor status should be submitted to the Research Councils (via the Head of Department) when their Fellowships are confirmed. Senior Fellows need to consider the timescale for supervision (3-4 years), and ensure there are adequate space and facilities available for the student.