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Head of Department

Welcome to the Department of Physics at Imperial College London!

Professor Michele DoughertyAs a new member of staff you will have lots of questions about the Department.  These web pages have been produced to provide an introduction for you and to collate essential information to help you settle in.  We hope that you will find it helpful, and we would be pleased to receive any comments you have on how it might be improved. 

We are proud that our department is one of the largest and most prestigious physics departments in the UK with an outstanding reputation for excellence in research, undergraduate education and postgraduate training.

We are the second strongest Physics research department in the UK in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, are consistently placed within the top three UK physics departments in undergraduate 'good university' guides and were the only institution in Europe to receive the top score of four 'gold medals' in the German Centre for Higher Education ranking of graduate student destinations in Physics.

The Department has a vibrant and internationally leading research programme that provides a broad-based coverage of fundamental and applied physics, that strongly supports interdisciplinary collaborations and that actively fosters the development of new fields.  The Department also provides respected teaching offering six undergraduate degree programmes, including Physics with studies in Musical Performance jointly run with the Royal College of Music and three Masters programmes and from October 2009 three Doctoral Training Centres.  Our Annual review provides a useful and comprehensive overview of our teaching and research activities and achievements. 

We believe that to be successful we have to attract and retain the best staff and the best students and we are committed to providing a positive environment that supports everyone in reaching their potential.  Annual personal reviews for staff focus on this goal and support access to career development opportunities for example through the programmes offered by the Learning and Development Centre. 

I would like to personally wish you all the best for your new position here and I trust that you will greatly enjoy your time with us. Our success very much depends on your success and we look forward to getting to know you and supporting your endeavors. 

Professor Michele Dougherty
Head of Department

Associate HoD

Let me add another welcome to you.

Kenny Weir The department's main home is the Blackett Laboratory, named after the Nobel Prize winning physicist who was the Head of Department from 1953-1963 and oversaw the building of the laboratory.  As the department has grown, we now have some of our activities in the adjacent Huxley building, which also houses the Departments of Mathematics and Computing. 

As one of the largest and most prestigious physics departments, we attract a large number of people who are keen to work or study here.  This means the department is a busy place, with almost 400 staff (academic, research and support), 750 undergraduate students, 45 Masters students and 220 PhD students.  The Director of Undergraduate Studies directs the teaching activities of the department, and the Director of Postgraduate Studies oversees Masters and PhD activities.

A measure of the research activity in the department can be taken from the fact that over £17M was spent on research last year.  The research in the department is organised through nine research groups; Astrophysics, Condensed Mater theory, Experimental Solid State, High Energy Physics, Plasma Physics, Photonics, Quantum Optics and Laser Science, Space and Atmospheric Physics, and Theoretical Physics.  Each of these groups is supported by its own administrative and technical team, and led by a Head of Group.  Heads of Group contribute to the management of the department through regular Head of Group meetings.

The Head of Department's Office (HoDs Office) ensure the smooth running of the Department.  In most cases new members of staff will make their group administrator their first line of contact for all inquiries.  The HoDs Office co-ordinates and oversees the support.  HR and Finance office work in close interaction with the Hod's office and provide specialist advice and support to the entire department. 

I joined the staff of the department in 1994, and I have been the Associate Head of Department since 2005.  I have contributed to many of the department's activities during my time here, in particular to postgraduate education in optics, and well as the managements and administration of the department.

Your new position is an important contribution to the department's activities - I wish you the very best in your work here.



New Staff Induction Information

New staff

Below you will find links to induction processes developed purely for your staff group, we hope you find everything you need to get you settled into the department:

New lecturers

Lecturer appointments are usually probationary for three years.  The probationary period allows you to develop the appropriate teaching, research, management and administrative skills and demonstrate your suitability for confirmation of appointment. 

The probationary period is as much beneficial to you as it is the department.  We want to encourage you to progress well and have all the support possible to do so.

If you’d like to something else on this page or have a question let us know.