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The University of Southampton

Prof Russell Minns

Professor of Chemical Physics

I joined the UoS in 2011 as a RS URF, initially on a fixed term contract. The department supported me through reduced teaching and administration roles which allowed me to obtain Fellow of the Higher Education Academy status through completion of PCAP. Further development opportunities in leadership and management enabled me to start to build a research group, ensuring the Fellowship was a success. Despite initially being on a FTC, I was always given exactly the same opportunities and support as any member of permanent academic staff. Financially, the department has supported the development of my research through two PhD studentships and in 2016 I became a permanent member of academic staff. Throughout, I have had an extremely supportive mentor who is a constant source of encouragement, advice and support.

Dr Russell Minns
Dr Russell Minns

Since joining the department I have had one period of paternity leave and due to the complexities of family life with three young children and the various travel requirements of the job, I have always been given the freedom to work flexibly on a very informal basis. A significant proportion of my research is performed at central laser facilities where beamtime allocations can be of the order of 3-4 weeks at a time. This obviously puts significant strain on family life, particularly as my wife is self-employed and suffers health problems that flair up rapidly such that preparing for them is impossible. The flexibility afforded by Chemistry means we can organise our work requirements around childcare, often at short notice.

Through the efforts of my line managers and the wider chemistry community I have always felt supported through these periods such that the impact on my family life and career has been minimised.

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