Behind the scenes of our Faculty, forces are acting that are not always noticed. These forces are the staff members who help our researchers and educators perform their jobs and enable the Faculty to flourish. Who are these people and what drives them? We put the spotlight on six very different departments.
The Human Resource Management department advises the organisation and its managers on goals and ambitions. Together with managers and employees, it ensures that the right person has the right job, that professional development is guaranteed, and that people are acknowledged and rewarded. ‘I’m proud of our diverse team that harvests a lot of brainpower and creativity. It’s great that we can use our abilities to help the institutes and the Faculty Board,’ says Valérie Héraud-Lagro, Head of the department.
With a team of 14 colleagues, the Finance and Projects department is responsible for the financial management of the Faculty. ‘We want to be a sparring partner for the institutes and the Faculty Board,’ says Head Karin van den Elzen, who recently joined Leiden University. ‘This is about good registration of costs and revenues, including the projects, but also about possible windfalls and setbacks now and in future years, and how to deal with them. The Faculty of Science is Leiden University's largest Faculty in terms of number of institutes, project income, and material costs, which makes our work exciting and full of technical challenges.’
2800 is the number of students that the laboratory services (CLD) annually provides the practicals for. The students follow academic training ranging from chemistry to medicine development. With four school lab technicians, two laboratory assistants and one volunteer, the CLD, aided by the media kitchen, makes sure that day after day the lab requisites are clean, the rooms are tidy, and safety is guaranteed. On the basis of practical manuals, the CLD crew makes sure that all necessary chemicals are ready to use: chemical solutions are often readily prepared and quantities are measured to perfection. The team also support students during the actual practical. ‘On practical days, we attend at 8:30 hrs AM; aft er 18:00 hrs PM, we often have to ask the last students to leave,’ coordinator Richard van den Berg says. ‘There are times that we serve 650 students at once, divided over labs in three buildings. On those days, we really hit the ground running.’
From career advice to students to ICT in education, and from welcoming international master’s students to student administration: the Science Education and Student Office supports and facilitates the educational organisation of the Faculty of Science. This involves providing services to over 4,200 students in 8 bachelor’s programmes and 14 master’s programmes. The Science Education and Student Office is located at the educational heart of the Faculty: in the Gorlaeus Lecture Hall. In 2018, a new desk was opened to further improve visibility and accessibility for students and staff.
The Electronics Department and the Fine Mechanical Department support experimental research within the institutes of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, the Centre for Drug Research, Leiden Observatory and the Sackler Lab. Experimental research often requires specific functions that are not available in commercial equipment. Both teams consist of highly trained and skilled technicians and engineers. They support our researchers with specific knowledge and experience in (micro) electronics, engineering and production of the development of tailor-made designs or devices.
With great enthusiasm and high standards for hospitality, the employees of the Facility Management facilitate a comfortable, safe and healthy working environment for our staff, students and visitors on a daily basis. They manage the service desks, warehouse and expedition department, are responsible for the administration of chemicals, they offer technical support and maintenance, and take care of the Faculty’s waste flow - not only during office hours but 24/7, including weekends and holidays. Their work is mostly performed behind the scenes, but it is of great importance for the operational management of our Faculty and essential in case of incidents and calamities.