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Personal and Professional Development


Brief details of your secondment

Having spent 4 years in a central (School) office, I did an 8-month secondment to a department to cover maternity leave.

Why did you want to do the secondment?

I had previously worked in a variety of roles, including as departmental administrator, and wanted to try it again in a different departmental structure and in a science School. I had identified a gap in my skills and experience in the practical aspects of research grant applications and management.

How has the secondment benefited your skills, knowledge and experience?

It gave me increased confidence with research grant applications, costing and management, and reinforced my experience of managing fixed term contract staff. It reinforced for me that I wanted to continue my career in a departmental role.

How has the secondment benefited future career progression?

It allowed me to apply successfully to a higher graded position in a science department.

What went well?

It gave me confidence that the skills I had acquired in non-science areas in terms of University policy, practice and procedures were transferable to other areas of the University.

What would you do differently next time?

Nothing - the whole experience was very positive and successful from my point of view.

What impact has your secondment had on the way you work since returning to your substantive post?

Not applicable in terms of returning to my substantive post, as I went straight into a new role. However, it has enabled me to see more clearly how the right departmental structures can make a big difference to the workload and effectiveness of the administrative support team of a department.