Photo: Wikipedia

Bristol University sacks lecturer over failure to secure grant

A lecturer at the University of Bristol has recently been sacked due to not securing enough grant monies, according to the University College Union (UCU).

Dr Alison Hayman, a Veterinary Sciences lecturer, lost her job in Autumn 2014.

Her dismissal has sparked a campaign against the decision. ‘Reinstate Alison Hayman!’ was started by a group of lecturers and is led by Bristol UCU’s vice-president Dr Jamie Melrose.

A petition gathered 200 signatures in 24 hours. The dismissal arose around a time where staff at Warwick Medical School were faced with plans that if they did not secure £9000 worth of funding, they too could be made redundant.

The campaign has called Dr Hayman’s dismissal, “spurious and one-sided”.

She added that the decision to sack her does not take into account “the fact that she is described as having made a considerable Research Excellence Framework contribution”.

In 2007 the University required staff to aim for higher academic positions and with this, staff required to become senior lecturers also needed to secure large amounts of external grant money.

Hayman, however, did not meet these criteria and so was placed on ‘capability’, meaning that she had to attend regular meetings and submit evidence proving that she was able to secure grants.

Hayman found this, “demoralising and paralysing” rather than supportive as was initially the idea behind the meetings.

Dr Hayman was eventually subject to a Stage 3 hearing in July 2014 and was given three months’ notice and sacked after failing to gain funding.

Prior to this, Hayman was put on Stage 2 Warning in 2013, meaning that she had another five months to prove that she could secure funding.

She called the process an ordeal: “I have found the capability process to be an extremely stressful and harassing process.”

Dr Hayman noted how she was “described as being a former employee on the University of Bristol website back in August 2014 long before my final date of employment in October 2014”.


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