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Heads of Department Update 27 January

ARC Annual Planning Round


This is a follow-up to some of my earlier messages around the ARC planning round. Despite all the uncertainty, challenge and risk, this is one of those recurrent processes that needs to continue. We followed a very light touch process last year; I think we need to be able to talk to you in a bit more detail this year, but we are trying to be sensitive to the pressures that everyone is currently facing.

The ARC annual planning round meetings will be held remotely again this year and diary invitations will be sent to Heads of Departments and Departmental Administrators shortly. At its meeting on 11 January 2021 the ARC Executive agreed that it would be helpful to have the full range of meetings this year, although the meetings will be shorter than usual and the paperwork will be reduced.

In recognition of the pressures that everyone continues to face, we aim to ease the burden, wherever possible, in terms of departmental returns and preparation requirements for the planning round meetings, particularly for departments that have been through the Strategy Development process and have ARC agreed gateways.

Further detailed guidance will be circulated but in the meantime please note:

  1. Departments that have been through the Strategy Development process: Where Strategy Development process documentation is clear and the flow of the resulting strategy has not been disrupted, ARC will work in relation to the expectations and milestones articulated in the strategy. These lighter touch 45-minute meetings will focus the discussion on progress against the ARC agreed strategy; ARC will not ask for more documentation but will work with the financial plan commentary and strategic gateways.

Economics, Physics, WMS, Chemistry, WBS, CES, Film & TV, Psychology, and Sociology.


  1. Departments who will be completing the Strategy Development process during the planning round period: The Phase 2 meeting with ARC will cover the strategic and financial discussion and no further documentation or meeting is required.

Centre for Teacher Education and English & Comparative Literary Studies.


  1. All other departments: will have a more traditional style meeting with ARC for one hour. ARC is asking for a strategy proforma but requests that departments work from last year’s submission and only change anything that needs to be changed – there is no need to re-write from scratch and indeed we would expect that changes may be minimal. ARC Administrators will send you last year’s submission shortly to give you as much time as possible to review and update if required. Updates or confirmation of no change will be due one week before your planning round meeting.


Also please note:

  • ARC will receive Faculty level Risk Registers so departments are not required to submit anything separately.
  • ARC are not currently inviting bids into the Strategic Investment Fund or the Academic Equipment Fund until the University financial position is clearer.

Further guidance will be forthcoming in due course regarding financial expectations for the 2021 planning round, and in particular for the 2021/22 financial year.

I hope that all of this makes sense, but if there is anything that is not clear, please can you let me know?



Professor Christine Ennew OBE

ARC post approvals update


Apologies for a flurry of email correspondence, but there have just been a few issues that I need to share with you.

We’ve had a couple of mis-understandings recently about approvals for externally funded roles from R codes. And we’d also been looking to offer some additional blanket approvals in areas where approvals would be routine. So just to clarify, and following discussions with both Finance and HR:

  • If you’re requesting pre-approval for posts in any of the following categories please ensure that your Finance contact is aware and send direct to HR with [ARC PRE APPROVED in the subject line. In effect you have blanket approval for the categories below.
    • FTC 100% externally funded by research grant/contract for the duration of the post (and automatically approved for external advert);
    • Maternity adoption, shared parental leave cover for internal advertisement (external advertisement will need to be approved by UEB via Karen Terry Weymouth [KTW]);
    • Sickness absences cover for internal advertisement (external advertisement will need to be approved by UEB via KTW);
    • Bridging extensions of 3 months or less between two externally funded research contracts;
    • Re-grading (subject to HR approval);
    • Handover period of no more than one month duration;
    • Pre-approved cover for Warwick Academic Returners Fellowship.
  • Other posts in plan – please email to relevant VP and me, cc Finance Manager. Admin roles normally approved by VP, academic roles normally approved by me. (We will forward to KTW if external appointments needed).
  • Other posts outside of plan – as above but will need separate approval because outside of plan – please contact me and relevant VP and we’ll deal with these on a case by case basis.

I hope this will avoid any future mis-understandings and hopefully speed things up on one or two other areas.

Any queries, let me know!



Professor Christine Ennew OBE