Review Threatens Harwell Institute


Review Threatens Harwell Institute

Staff were shocked to hear on 18 June 2019 that a review into the future of the Harwell Institute has been conducted and made recommendations without them being aware that it was happening.

The Medical Research Council Harwell Institute comprises two entities on the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire: the Mammalian Genetics Unit (MGU) and the Mary Lyons Centre (MLC), although both share key support services such as HR and Finance.

The Review Panel Report dated 11 September 2018 recommends 2 options;

  • Evolution of the Current Institute by scaling back on research carried out by the MGU, or;
  • Closing the MGU and establishing a distributed facility based around the MLC.

Both options threaten the jobs and livelihoods of the 250 Institute staff, especially the 125 or so who work in the MGU.

Prospect, the union for specialists in the Institute is appalled at the nature of the review and the total absence of consultation with staff and their recognised trade unions.

Prospect National Secretary Tony Bell said:

“The review appears to have been rushed. The panel met for only one day, did not visit the Institute and failed to consult with major stakeholders, including the staff. The recommendations have been made with no business case to demonstrate how they might be delivered and little engagement with the users or the wider scientific community. This threat to the Harwell Institute is not based on sound review principles and should be withdrawn.”