Further Particulars – About Imperial College London

Overview

Imperial College London is one of the world’s greatest universities, renowned for its ground-breaking research, talented community of staff, students and alumni and its international reach.

With a mission to achieve enduring excellence in research and education in science, engineering, medicine and business for the benefit of society, the College was founded in 1907 in South Kensington, bringing together nineteenth century institutions including the Royal College of Science, Royal School of Mines and City and Guilds College. Today Imperial collaborates extensively with neighbouring institutions, including the Royal College of Art and the Royal College of Music.

From its location in this great cultural quarter, Imperial provides one of the world’s best educations in STEM subjects for more than 18,400 students, over half of whom come from overseas, reflecting its status as the UK’s most international university.

Imperial has three academic faculties – Engineering, Medicine, and Natural Sciences – and the Imperial College Business School, as well as a significant number of interdisciplinary research centres focusing on challenging world problems.

The College’s mission is supported by over 8,000 diverse staff, who collaborate in the UK and internationally, often across disciplines. In 2018-2019 the College had a total turnover of over £1 billion, of which £368 million directly supported research through grants and contracts.

We want to create a world in which society is healthy, sustainable, smart and resilient. Our Academic Strategy provides us with that focus and will help us realise that ambition. It draws on our ground-breaking fundamental research, our creativity, imagination and ability to develop new insights and knowledge to help make sustainable change and improve our world. It sets out our vision for an improved student experience that will prepare our students to lead, innovate and drive change. It reflects how we want to be as a community.

The Academic Strategy builds on the aspirations of the College Strategy and department and faculty strategies, and connects up with other strategies including Learning and TeachingAdvancement and Estates.

The College’s success is recognised all over the world, as is evidenced by daily coverage of Imperial discoveries and innovations in the international media and claims many distinguished members, including 14 Nobel laureates, three Fields Medallists, and members of the Royal Society and National Academies. Imperial places excellence in education at the core of its ethos and the College is consistently rated as one of the world’s best universities in global university rankings, including by the QS World University Rankings 2020, which ranked Imperial as 4th in Europe and 8th in the world. Learn more about out how Imperial performed most recently in UK and global rankings.  

The College also has the greatest concentration of high-impact research of any major UK university. Read more about how the College performed in the latest Research Excellence Framework.

Leadership and governance

Imperial has a leadership model comprising the President, Professor Alice Gast, and the Provost, Professor Ian Walmsley FRS.

As the President, Professor Alice Gast is the College’s Chief Executive Officer, accountable to Council for the overall management of the College. She leads the delivery of Imperial’s Strategy 2020 - 2025. Under her leadership, Imperial has strengthened its ties with policymakers, industry, philanthropists and alumni. In addition, under her watch our new White City Campus is coming to life.

She works in close partnership with the Provost and Vice-Presidents to focus on strengthening and building external relationships with philanthropists, corporations, international partners and government leaders.

The Provost, Professor Ian Walmsley FRS, is the Chief Academic Officer, upholding Imperial’s very high academic standards and its core academic mission. He has direct responsibility for Imperial’s major academic units, via the Faculty Deans, and the College’s teaching and research mission, via the Vice-Provosts for Education and Research and Enterprise. The Provost oversees human and intellectual resources and is responsible for promoting an inclusive and excellent staff and student community.

The President and Provost chair the President’s Board and Provost’s Board, comprising the leadership of the University and setting and delivering the strategic and day-to-day business of the College.

Imperial’s Council, chaired by Mr John Allan CBE, includes external lay members, the Deans and Provost, President and Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for the overall governance of the College.

Imperial’s Court brings together a diverse group of alumni and members of local organisations, who meet regularly and are committed to helping the College achieve its strategic aims. Members of Court regularly attend expert briefings at the College, which provide an insight into our research and education.

An Imperial education

Imperial is a top global university because of its cutting edge and influential research. Students come here to learn from, and work with, the best researchers. Imperial aims to create a learning and teaching environment that is also globally leading. Students want to make their mark in the world, and they expect to learn the necessary skills at Imperial.

The College’s Learning and Teaching Strategy is connected directly to the College’s overall strategy and seeks to embed learning in a vibrant, research-led and entrepreneurial environment, as well as enriching the student experience.

Matching innovative pedagogy with online and digital technology, the College’s aim for its graduates is that they will:

  • demonstrate deep conceptual understanding of their discipline and work effectively in multi-cultural, international teams and across disciplinary boundaries; 
  • approach challenges with curiosity, critical thinking and creativity and apply their skills to tackling complex real-world problems;
  • understand and value different cultures and perspectives while developing into independent learners and displaying a strong sense of personal and professional integrity.

Investment in Imperial’s impact

Imperial conducts research in new and emerging disciplines as well as consolidating and developing advances across its core disciplines and has a rich and lively partnership with the worlds of technology, business and finance.

There are numerous examples of the College’s entrepreneurial drive to produce world-class, high-impact research and education. Recent initiatives include the establishment of the Dyson School for Design Engineering, the Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies, the Brevan Howard Centre for Financial Analysis (made possible by a generous donation from an Imperial alumnus) and the biggest new academic building in a generation, the Molecular Sciences Research Hub (MSRH). The £167 million MSRH on the College’s White City Campus is the UK’s most significant scientific development since the Francis Crick Institute and the largest investment in a university building in 21st century London.

The commercialisation of intellectual property is central to the College’s aim to maximise the potential impact of its research. There is a dynamic and growing Enterprise culture among students and staff with numerous programmes of support, incubators and networking opportunities. The Research Office, and faculty-based research services teams provide essential support for the active research community.

Imperial locations

While Imperial’s main campus is in South Kensington, the College is based at seven other locations in London, including in White City and at the hospitals at Charing Cross, Chelsea and Westminster, Hammersmith, Northwick Park, the Royal Brompton, and St Mary’s. The College also has the Silwood Park Campus near Ascot, which focuses on ecology, evolution and conservation. Learn more about each campus on the Imperial website.

The major new White City Campus in the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham is a long-term development to create a collaborative environment focusing on multi-disciplinary research, postgraduate study, collaboration with partners from industry, healthcare and higher education, entrepreneurship and community engagement.

A state-of-the-art translation and innovation centre at White City, the I-HUB, has a vibrant incubator and is attracting exciting new enterprises. In 2018, a brand new cutting-edge facility for chemists and multidisciplinary researchers, the Molecular Sciences Research Hub, opened. From 2020, the Sir Michael Uren Biomedical Engineering Research Hub will co-locate engineers, scientists and doctors to help solve complex medical challenges. It has been made possible through a generous donation of £40 million from Sir Michael Uren, an Imperial alumnus. Imperial has also launched an ambitious £100 million campaign to support the development of a new, innovative and interconnected School of Public Health at the White City Campus which will pioneer new approaches to society’s most pressing healthcare challenges.

Influence and Outreach

In addition to its transformative scientific discoveries, Imperial aims to make a positive impact on communities, both locally and throughout the world.

The College established a new medical school, The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, in partnership with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Its first students graduated in 2018. Imperial also has many highly successful academic collaborations with institutions around the world, including biomedical imaging with Tsinghua University, quantum computing with MIT, and malaria with universities and organisations across the United States, Europe and Africa.

From its work with schools and businesses, and its annual science festival, the College provides a broad range of benefits to society. At White City, The Invention Rooms, is a highly innovative programme to bring maker spaces and hackspaces together, for university-industry collaborations, and for the local community so that local school children can join in making discoveries and inventions. Imperial’s widening participation policies and practices encourage entry to higher education, particularly in STEM subjects. A range of measures encourage pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to aspire to higher education, including the provision of special courses, practical help in the application process and support to school teachers in science education.

Staff Recognition

The College is very proud of its staff, of their many talents, contributions to world class research and to teaching some of the brightest students in the world.  We offer extensive support for them to pursue their research including Faculty-based research services teams, central strategy, research proposal and intellectual property guidance, scholarly communication and open access and research data management.  Teaching and postgraduate supervision is also strongly supported and continuously strengthened, through training programmes and workshops.

Imperial is committed to building a supportive, inclusive and highly motivated staff community across all disciplines, functions and activities. As part of this commitment, we have created a number of staff recognition awards  to recognise and celebrate the achievements and hard work of our staff.  These awards are for all staff, at all levels, across research, teaching and professional services roles, who have shown outstanding commitment and demonstrated a valuable contribution to the College's mission such as:

  • President’s Awards for Excellence in Culture and Community
  • President's Awards for Excellence in Education, Research, and Societal Engagement
  • Julia Higgins Medal and Awards
  • Provost's Awards for Excellence in Health and Safety
  • Provost's Awards for Excellence in Animal Research
  • Imperial Garden Party, an annual event which celebrates all staff and students who have been nominated by their managers, peers and colleagues for their vital contributions to the College over the last year.  It also recognises staff who have supported important projects, provided excellent service and taken on new challenges.

Supporting our Staff

Pride in the work of our staff and the College:

  • An inclusive, supportive, multi-cultural community where every individual feels that they belong
  • A community where all interactions are respectful and where every role is recognised as being important to the College's mission

The development of staff and their high performance potential:

  • An academic promotion framework to recognise academic success and growth in roles, specialist expertise and responsibilities
  • Talent programmes to support progression and strengthen existing high performance, such as the Academic Leadership Programme and the Female Academics’ Development Centre which offers targeted support, career guidance and mentoring
  • A skills development programme to enhance potential and meet the College’s strategic objectives
  • Faculty-specific learning and teaching development programmes
  • An annual personal review and development discussion for all staff, followed by regular feedback
  • A minimum of five days per annum development time tailored to an individual's role and career path

Sector leading pay and benefits:

  • A competitive pay and benefits package, commensurate with our position as a leading international University, as well as a generous annual leave package.

Supporting well-being:

  • The College supports many initiatives to support staff in their personal life (flexible working, support networks, childcare and carers )
  • Benefits to support an active lifestyle and health initiatives, such as free health checks for over 50s and cycle to work scheme, whereby you apply for an interest free loan for the purchase of a bicycle to encourage cycling to work for fitness.

Childcare on campus

Our staff have access to the Early Years Education Centre which is the College’s ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rated nursery, located at the South Kensington Campus. The EYEC caters for children of six months to five years and has capacity for 154 children and it is expanding. It is set across two Victorian townhouses on the College’s South Kensington Campus, and has its own garden and sensory room. All staff working directly with children have specialist training, and children benefit from continuity of care.

Imperial offers support with EYEC fees in the form of a salary sacrifice scheme enabling parents to pay fees before tax and national insurance contributions are taken. A reduced fee rate is available for students.