Supplementary written evidence submitted
Professor Guy Dodson and Dr Tim Bliss (UKCMRI 16a)|
I attach some comments on NIMR staff morale. These
comments come from me and Tim Bliss, like me a retired NIMR staff
For me there are two questions. The first is not
usefully addressed at your meeting tomorrow, the second is. Clarification
on these issues are key to staff morale. Paul Nurse et al. should
be able to provide some answers to question 2.
1. What do the staff know about the arrangements
for their future? How will the quinquennial reviews impact on
future planning and decisions?
2. What are the scientific strategies that
will be followed by the UKCMRI and how do they relate to those
existing at NIMR and LRI? How will staff from NIMR and LRI be
chosen? How will the emphasis on translation be increased?
I write with a colleague, Dr Tim Bliss FRS, who retired
as Head of Neurosciences at NIMR in 2006. We wish to emphasise
the importance of robust funding arrangements for UKCMRI in order
to maintain staff morale. The committee will be pleased to know
that the Divisional quinquennial reviews have recently been completed;
they confirm that the research continues to be excellent and there
is much in these reviews to be pleased with.
The morale of NIMR staff is of critical importance,
and although we are now retired from NIMR, we would like to make
some comments based on our experience of the Institute. NIMR on
its current site offers a superb scientific and working environment
that is hugely valued by its staff. Nevertheless, those NIMR staff
involved in the development of UKCMRI have shown a full and admirably
professional commitment to its planning and design. They are motivated
by assurances that UKCMRI will exceed the joint research capacities
of the two institutes it will replace (NIMR and the London Research
Institute, run by Cancer Research UK). It is essential that the
commitment shown by NIMR staff to UKCMRI is matched by equal commitment
from the MRC and its partners to guarantee adequate funding for
the new Institute.
In this connection it is essential for staff morale
that they can have confidence in the scientific strategies at
UKCMRI and we wonder if these are known and have been discussed.
Secondly it is critical that funding for the NIMR by MRC is going
to be properly preserved until the move to central London. The
previous MRC CEO undertook to maintain NIMR funding until the
move to central London. We assume that this policy will be continued.
The MRC cannot afford planning blight at NIMR and such problems
as retention and recruitment.
Tim Bliss and Guy Dodson
15 February 2011