Imperial College London

www.imperial.ac.uk

Imperial College London Reviews in London, England

Updated January 26, 2015
Updated January 26, 2015
176 Reviews
3.7
176 Reviews
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Imperial College London President & Rector Sir Keith O’Nions
Sir Keith O’Nions
49 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Flexible working hours, nice and fruitful environment, plenty of equipment and support available to use (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 Highlights

111 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Enjoyable place to work!

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

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

    Pros

    You never know what new experience the day is going to bring, very varied environment so you never get bored.

    Cons

    Management redtape and management bias when it comes to enuring that all team members carry out their duties effectively.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    For an educational establishment you really do need to support staff more in their continuing professional development!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Protecting and nurturing bullies

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

    I worked at Imperial College London full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Access to high quality infrastructure and resources, the cache of working for a "top" institution.

    Cons

    A management culture that prefers to suppress complaints rather than investigate them, and is happy to let bullies thrive as long as they are "productive". For all their kind words, if you go to them with a complaint management will work behind the scenes to make sure nothing happens - a typical tactic is to wait so long that your legal options have been timed out. Academic management have an excuse for being useless - they aren't trained in management. But Human Resources have no excuse. They know exactly what they are doing. Some of them are malicious and seem to take pleasure in the pain they cause.

    This is an institution who has an employment lawyer from one of the most expensive legal firms in the country (the Queen's solicitors) on retainer, working on site one day a week. And they make full use of them. The lawyer isn't there to help Imperial stick to the law. They are there to help them get away with flouting it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do your jobs properly. You have policies on bullying harassment and victimisation - implement them. When someone complains of bullying, don't assume they are a trouble-maker. When several people complain, don't call it a conspiracy. Some big name professors get where they are by threatening, exploiting and oppressing their staff, not by actually being any good. If you removed them, the staff under them would flourish.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great place where to work

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

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

    Pros

    Imperial is a great place where to work full of nice people.

    Cons

    The only negative thing is the salary...

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 5 people found this helpful  

    Inefficient, over-ranked, and bloated university.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marie Curie Fellow in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Marie Curie Fellow in London, England (UK)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    There are (un)limited potentials

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

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

    Pros

    You get to make friends fairly quickly here and the work is exciting. You don't just work here but continuously learn and build your credibility. Having Imperial on your CV already says you're doing something great.

    Cons

    Bad policies. Forget about being in academia and trying to do something good in a relaxed environment - these are all fantasies. Expectations are high and unrealistic. There is no such thing as rewards. Just forget sleeping, friends or family.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you're trying to run an academic institution like a corporate business, at least pay staffs like one, not 50% of what they actually worth. Always remember that the staffs are the ones who keeps the place going, treat them right and dont pretend like you already are.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Nice place to work at, except for usual academia 'mafia'

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

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

    Pros

    Very good university, generally nice environment.

    Although work load is usually high and you get to work long hours, you have great flexibility (you can work at whatever time you want, as long as you deliver and publish).

    Great location.

    Bike, shower and gym facilities available.

    Cons

    Long working hours in spite of flexible hours, hard to keep work/life balance.

    As is common in academia, senior professors, even at top universities, have often lost track of research and end up delegating lots of their own work to their research assistants (overloading us, but usually getting the credit and the payment for it).

    As is also common in academia, permanent lecturing positions are rare (you need to wait for someone to retire or die...). Research assistant's contracts are project-based, which means you have little stability.

    While the salary is not bad, it is still not enough to have a fully comfortable life in central London (with this salary you most likely need to share a flat or so).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Would be great if professors' performance was assessed more strictly to stop the abuses that often take place in academia (which I myself have experienced).

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Best time in many years

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - PhD Student in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - PhD Student in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Imperial College London full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great academics, motivational super, great people to work with. Life is what you make of it. What you get is the snob factor great equipment lots to learn and a reputation to set you up for life. Network with really great people
    You don't need to look for funding your super has done all that. Your super just needs a new pain in the neck!

    Cons

    Space gets tight. Pressure is high to achieve . Some of my fellow phd era were far to intelligent for their own good

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Compete with international unis, in a British way.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Relatively happy, easy-going and interesting workplace

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

    I have been working at Imperial College London full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great location (South Kensington) with beautiful surroundings (Hyde Park, Royal Albert Hall, museums, etc); prestigious reputation; public sector benefits (good pension, sick pay, extra leave on top of your annual leave when college is closed for Easter, Christmas, etc); relatively stable job market (security); access to library, student catering outlets and the gym/swimming pool; fairly easy-going office culture; good training opportunities; good support for those with long-term health issues and/or disabilities; highest salary (for my role) compared to other London universities.

    Cons

    The College can be a little old fashioned and stuck in its ways at times. No opportunity for flexible working in my (student-facing) department. Some of the buildings/facilities are stuck in the 1960s (particularly administrative departments). No air conditioning in my building (which is a furnace in the summer!) Once you've reached the highest pay level within your role you are more or less stuck on that salary forever, unless you leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There tends to be a 'one rule for one person, one rule for another' climate at times. In my opinion a good manager should follow the rules they set their employees themselves. So if no one else can leave work early, neither should they! 'Do as I say, don't do as I do' should be eliminated in order to be fair to all staff, whatever their level.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Generally satisfied - pleasnat experience

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

    I have been working at Imperial College London full-time

    Pros

    Great environment to work and there are always money available for reseseah purposes. Great support from experienced professors of the department and a well-structured MSc project in general.

    Cons

    Could benefit from more young group leaders on the field. Marking should be quicker and not take that long. Lack of opportunities for students wishing to stay at the Departmenet of Surgery and Cancer for a PhD.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give more opportunities to your students to stay at the department

    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    very mixed indeed

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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