JOBS at Coventry University are at risk from proposed changes at two of its life sciences research centres.
The university says it has launched a consultation for staff at the Centre for Advances in Behavioural Science and the Centre for Innovative Research Across the Life Course.
A Coventry University spokesperson said: “Our Faculty of Health and Life Sciences is reviewing its research activities to focus on the demands and opportunities associated with a changing healthcare and funding landscape.
“As such it is reshaping its resources to ensure that its research is delivering the highest quality outputs.
“The faculty has entered a period of consultation with a number of staff in two of its research centres.
“While the consultation is ongoing, we can’t comment further other than to offer our assurances that staff will be supported throughout this process.”
The University and College Union (UCU) has demanded an urgent meeting with university chiefs to discuss the plans and their impact.
Its Coventry branch posted on Facebook that 53 jobs were at risk in what it claimed would amount to the closure of the centres.
The union added: “… According to senior management these centres are ‘not meeting Research Excellence Framework targets’ and therefore have to be closed.
“UCU did make the point that REF submissions aren’t even due until November 2020.
“Once again at Coventry University we see teaching and research subordinated to the most cynical managerial imperatives.
“This is a disgraceful way to treat hard working and dedicated staff.”
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.
The news comes less than a fortnight after members of the UCU at the university balloted for strike action in relation to a dispute about a controversial system for pay increases.
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