26th Jun, 2019

Coventry University confirms research centre closures amid concerns of 44 job losses

Felix Nobes 9th May, 2019

COVENTRY University has confirmed the closure of two research centres amid concerns more than 40 jobs could be lost.

The university concluded a consultation on the future of the ​​Centre for Advances in Behavioural Science and the Centre for Innovative Research Across the Life Course.

And it was decided the two centres will close at the end of July and a new centre – the Centre for Intelligent Healthcare – will open in their place.

The Coventry branch of the Universities and College Union (UCU) claims 44 employees will be made redundant.

The university says staff affected by the closures will be supported but the extent of the job losses will not yet be revealed.

The controversial move prompted outrage from university academics and students who spoke to us about being in a state of limbo and not knowing whether they can continue their studies.

The consultation on the fate of the centres had been running since February.

A university spokesperson said: “Following this period of consultation staff and trade unions have now been informed that the centres are due to close at the end of July and a new centre – Centre for Intelligent Healthcare – will open.

“We recognise that changes of this nature can take time to adjust to, so our support for staff will continue over the preceding weeks.

“The university is unable to comment on the final number of people that may be affected while staff are on notice, however we will continue to work closely with staff, guiding them on their individual situations and future career options, whilst being on hand for further advice during this challenging time.”

The UCU demanded an urgent meeting with university chiefs to discuss the plans and their impact.

A Coventry UCU spokesperson said: “As expected, there are only minor changes to the original proposal with 44 now being made redundant, as opposed to the original 53.

“There are only 17 posts in the new centre and given the difference in focus here, it isn’t clear if many of those 44 are likely be employed there.

“After a presentation staff were humiliatingly lined up in the lecture theatre and given individual letters which in most cases confirmed in black and white what we have known was going to happen all along.”

The Centre for Advances in Behavioural Science leads the university’s research in psychology.

The Centre for Innovative Research Across the Life Course leads research into healthcare and public health.

CIRAL is staffed by a team of 30 academics, 22 doctoral researchers and several research associates, its website states.

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