University of Southampton

  www.soton.ac.uk
  www.soton.ac.uk

University of Southampton Reviews

Updated 10 December 2014
Updated 10 December 2014
26 Reviews
3.6
26 Reviews
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Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Mainly positive experience, but some negatives

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

    I have been working at University of Southampton as a contractor (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Attractive main campus with lots of green space. Good support of interdisciplinary working. Excellent academic and research staff in general. Department heads and deans can be very supportive (with some caveats). Overall I have found it a positive experience to work at Southampton and over the time I have been here there have been substantial improvements in many areas. For example, I think over the past few years the support provided to ECRs has improved a lot, and there is now more focus on research staff development, supporting fellowship applications etc. However, I think you need to be proactive to get the most out of your time here.

    Cons

    Some excellent researchers are sidelined in a way, because their research is not high impact, or they are not bringing in large grants...even when they are recognised to be the top of their field.
    Opaque and variable practices with regards to retaining early career researchers, but generally not a great deal of job security (although this is similar across academia as a whole).
    The level of attention by supervisors/other more senior academics to things like appraisals or internal review of grant applications is highly variable. E.g. can be difficult to find someone who will give a very rigorous and critical internal review of a proposal.
    Southampton in general is not a particularly nice city, but the surrounding countryside, towns and villages are beautiful and the area in general is a nice area to live in.
    Food available on campus is fairly poor.
    "Staff club" is no longer only for staff. "Staff bar" generally closes at about 6pm.
    General dislike of upper management within the university which reduces staff morale and motivation. In particular VC pay is very high.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take more notice of what the majority of people that keep the university running want (hint: those are the lecturers, researchers, profs and support staff, not the top management). Reduce the salaries of the top earners.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Lecturer in Soc Sci

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at University of Southampton full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Friendly staff in my dept
    Never had problems with management

    Cons

    Random decisions from on-high can sometimes occur, e.g. changing around all the admin roles at once, or refusing to accept that there is a market price for certain professors.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3.  

    Great company to work for if you work in one of the offices, not so much in the field

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

    I worked at University of Southampton

    Pros

    Great company culture, good support, great benefits and incentives

    Cons

    Field sales is a lonely job where it's difficult to hit targets. Also the company insists on silly 'steps to the call' to employ in a sales conversation which, in my experience, negatively affected my relationship with my customers.
    Also they preach that experience and movement to different departments is both available and supported, however this was not true

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure that field sales employees are well looked after and have more team contact time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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  5.  

    Great university

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Humanities Assistant
    Former Employee - Humanities Assistant

    I worked at University of Southampton as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    passionate staff, great resources, green campus

    Cons

    some of the staff in leadership positions (eg: dissertations coordinators) are not the most adequate choices

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  6.  

    Awesome place to be, great people, lots of cool projects

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

    I worked at University of Southampton as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    dual stack h NAT-free IPv6/IPv4 with /16 IPv4 allocation.
    very interesting projects.
    lots of alarmingly smart people to talk to
    nice big coffee room

    Cons

    Can't think of very many! It's such a great place

    A split IT system
    sharepoint.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work!
    Try to drop some of the MS stuff

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    Good academic staff, poor management and administration

    Former Employee - Lecturer in Southampton, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Lecturer in Southampton, England (UK)

    I worked at University of Southampton full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    There are good academic staff in the university, although many are leaving because of the horrible management.

    Cons

    The administration act as though the university is there for their benefit, and not for producing research and educating students. Human resources imposes policies on academic hiring that are not appropriate to academic hiring (e.g. not requesting letters of reference until a short list is made). Management, from the rank of associate dean up, is generally full of either people who try to micromanage things without understanding the implications of their policies, or their toadies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Council should clean house. Rank-and-file employees have completely lost confidence in the upper management. It would be good for morale to actually publicly dismiss the worst of the lot, rather than allowing them to step down. That would restore confidence that someone in charge actually cares about doing things right.

  8.  

    Excellent place to work

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at University of Southampton

    Pros

    Outstanding academic environment, good colleagues

    Cons

    Difficult to get a permanent post

  9.  

    PhD researcher

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

    I have been working at University of Southampton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Freedom, personal growth, excellent equipment and research teams. Campus is very nice, national parks nearby are beautiful. Would consider living in winchester and commuting however

    Cons

    Salary, work-life balance. Local town is quite poor, food on campus is bad, can be quite boring place to work. Not a lot of outside social organisation.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10.  

    PhD Student in Biological Sciences.

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

    I worked at University of Southampton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Decent access to publications, new building/facilities, close knit department. Decent seminar programmes. A few big names in the department

    Cons

    Poor IT support, lack of working space, cannot access some journals (even some high impact ones), not as much technical support as one would like sometimes. Also the hospital lab facilities are old and in great need of updating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide more support to researchers - things like a dedicated statistician, full access to ALL the important journals, and spend some money on the outdated hospital facilities.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Decent benefits, but poor management

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

    I have been working at University of Southampton full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Generous holiday allowance. Campus is nice enough, with relatively easy access to the city centre and surrounding areas by bus, although train connections are a bit more challenging. Also easy access to a variety of Chinese food restaurants nearby.

    Cons

    Administration appears to care little for the impact of their policies on researchers. Little opportunity for early career researchers to distinguish themselves, however, this has been improving as of late. The amount of paperwork, harassment and bureaucracy imposed by health and safety is a significant impediment to performing research. Hired technical staff does not have sufficient background and expertise to perform their jobs at a reasonable standard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider instituting policies to make it clear that all employees are valued by the University. Hiring appropriate support staff and providing conditions that promote creativity instead of imposing impediments to new ideas is crucial for a research orientated university. Being open with staff regarding changes to facilities would promote trust.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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