Imperial College London Reviews

Updated August 13, 2015
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Imperial College London President & Rector Sir Keith O’Nions
Sir Keith O’Nions
3 Ratings

Pros
  • Great opportunities, high level of research, fully flexible working hours (in 9 reviews)

  • Good number of holidays, and flexible working hours (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • teaching might require working long hours to match standards (in 7 reviews)

  • Main site is in South Kensington, very expensive to live there (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

10 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Prinicipal Investigator

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    have a short ride on the Imperial College name. Make use of good and large range of scientific Journals without paying a subscription

    Cons

    Commute long distances or rent a hole in the wall to live in at exorbitant prices. Work in confined spaces moving your equipment often so others can use your space. Share noisy office space. Work long hours to make up for lost time because equipment or space was being used by others. Never take your full entitlement of leave because you are trying to make up for lost time.

    Advice to Management

    Stop trying to cram people together in small places and honor commitments made at interview. Honor commitments and contracts with charity organizations providing research funding.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Not responding expectation

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Imperial College London full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The College name is a pass-part tout.

    Cons

    Not mentoring and personal development.

    Advice to Management

    Stay in the college only one maximum two years to just add the institution to your CV


  3. Helpful (2)

    Hierarchical irrational management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Research Fellow in London, England (UK)
    Former Contractor - Research Fellow in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Imperial College London as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent colleagues both the academic staff below management level and the junior administrators.

    Cons

    Irrational high-pressure atmosphere. Make many permanent academics redundant every few years

    Advice to Management

    Restore tenure


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (3)

    Corporate attitude, poorly managed

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Lecturer in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Lecturer in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Imperial College London full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are many good colleagues across sciences and it is a prestigious university (if you like that kind of thing).

    Cons

    It's a very target focused environment, with a survival of the fittest attitude. This is not conducive to happiness of employees or actually good science. Management are very explicit about it not being a charity and they consequently feel they owe staff nothing. There is a frequent analogy with a market and faculty are stall holders who have to pay rent through grant income. Or analogy with a bank, and they make a loan to you (when you start) that you then have to pay back (through grant income). I don't know of other academic institutions in the UK where this is made that explicit. Administration and high-level management are very very wasteful, with prestige projects that lose money, which then have to be paid for by increasing grant income from faculty. They are also having a huge building project, that again has to be These problems are particularly bad in the Faculty of Medicine. Another problem is that there is no career advancement mechanism in the Faculty of Medicine to move from post-doc to lecturer etc.

    Advice to Management

    Observe how other universities are run. Make management less centralised.


  6. Helpful (5)

    Inefficient, over-ranked, and bloated university.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marie Curie Fellow in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Marie Curie Fellow in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Imperial College London full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Scientifically amazing and friendly working colleagues. Lively surroundings in London provides good work-life balance.

    Cons

    Inefficient administration and central facilities Culture that relies of health and safety to reduce work load Administration that uses bureaucracy as an excuse to not work

    Advice to Management

    Take the university back from the administrators. This is a college that should be educating the next generation's leaders and solving scientific challenges, not just paying administrators' salaries.


  7. Helpful (3)

    very mixed indeed

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Academic in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Academic in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Imperial College London full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    some great people stand out good opportunities for networking/making contacts fantastic staff development team and postdoc support unit also excellent Great equalities team doing their best in very difficult environment

    Cons

    some parts of the College have toxic culture and poor employment practices culture of cuthroat competition - sink or swim in some departments practical/financial research support is given only to favoured "stars" some bad apples seem to be supported and their bad behaviour is condoned - HR is shocking in these cases

    Advice to Management

    You need to seriously address the well- known problems (systems and individuals) - make every part of the College step up to the benchmark set by the best Departments. Hold HR and Faculties to account. Never mind the fine words - staff are watching what you actually do about problems - act deciseively and make it known what you are doing. Remember that when people leave they tell others what their experiences have been - improve the culture to improve the College's reputation as an employer


  8. Helpful (2)

    Dissapointing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Imperial College London full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is a Centre of excellence, not a bad reference for your CV.

    Cons

    Terrible management. Lots of politics around. No rewarding environment at all.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Disappointing experience, but hopefully beneficial careerwise.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Doctoral Student in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Doctoral Student in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Imperial College London full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Extra pay for teaching jobs. Personal development seminars. Location in South Kensington is great. Bike and shower facilities are available. Flexible work hours.

    Cons

    Very isolated work. Little teamwork on the job. Little infrastructure to carry out the tasks. Very bad professional services in some areas (virtually non-existing IT department). Often mishaps with finances which can result into two months without pay.

    Advice to Management

    Define goals more clearly. Make an effort into creating supportive environments and functioning teams. Follow through with promises that are made towards employees and students.


  10. OK if you know the right people

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    Pros

    Good location Modern facilities great teaching opportunities exist

    Cons

    Very difficult to advance There is a lot of competition

    Advice to Management

    Feedback


  11. Helpful (3)

    It's all about the lab

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in London, England (UK)

    Pros

    Imperial is a prestigious institution for academics - arguably the most prestigious one in London. Having the name on your CV is very helpful in terms of opening doors. Facilities are generally good to very good and a lot of money is being spent on upgrading the not so good ones. Generally speaking people here are at the top of their field.

    Cons

    Your experience strongly depends on the lab you are in - unfortunately academics are promoted based on research prowess rather than management skill so there are some truly awful managers here. Awful means failure to acknowledge achievements / extra effort and sometimes pressure to work ridiculous hours. Time off is some times an issue as some PIs do not respect it.

    Advice to Management

    It would be worthwhile to require that professors and lecturers attend some management courses to improve the problems mentioned above. I don't think people are (for the most part) inherently bad people - it's more a matter of learning some management skills.



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