Support for Departments

How to use this page

The Intranet is for staff in the departments that form the Social Sciences Division. This page is a collection of information, documents and links that staff in departments need from the Division. We aim for everything to be brought together in one place.

Scroll down the page to find the section you want, and click on the links to open the file or go to another page.

Academic Office

You need to be a member of these WebLearn sites to be able to access them. If anyone needs access they should contact Cathy King in the first instance.


The communications team in the Social Sciences Division looks after both internal and external communications. We work closely with departments, supporting and offering guidance when needed, and with other parts of the University, including the Public Affairs Directorate.

Internal External
Website: Intranet (that's this page) Twitter: Follow us on @oxsocsci

Newsletter - to all staff

(once a month)

Press and media relations

Media Relations Manager: Sarah Whitebloom,

Supporting communications staff in departments Website: news and editing


Find out more about the newsletter and bulletin below. If you are a member of staff working in communications in the Division, please join our network.


Head of Communications: Esme Wilks,

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The Social Sciences Division sends a newsletter once a month to all staff in departments.


February | January | November | October | Early October 


2021-2022 June May  March  February  January ꟾ November  October


2020-2021 June ꟾ 2020-2021: April/May ꟾ 2020-2021 March ꟾ 2020-2021 February ꟾ 2020-2021 January ꟾ 2020-2021 December ꟾ 2020-2021 November ꟾ 2020-2021 October


2019-2020 August v2 ꟾ 2019-2020 August ꟾ 2019-2020 End Trinity Term ꟾ 2019-2020 Mid Trinity Term ꟾ 2019-2020 Start Trinity Term ꟾ 2019-2020 Special Edition Trinity Term ꟾ 2019-2020 End Hilary Term ꟾ 2019-2020 Hilary Term ꟾ 2019-2020 End Michaelmas Term ꟾ 2019-2020 Michaelmas Term


2018-2019 End Trinity Term ꟾ 2018-2019 Trinity Term ꟾ 2018-2019 Hilary Term ꟾ 2018-2019 End Michaelmas Term ꟾ 2018-2019 Michaelmas Term ꟾ 2017-2018 Trinity Term


To submit an item to be included in the newsletter, email

Items (e.g. special events, updates, opportunities, etc.) will be considered for inclusion if they are clearly relevant to the whole divisional community, or a substantial proportion of the community. If your item is not suitable for the newsletter, we will advise you about other divisional communication channels (e.g. this website, Twitter, events digest etc.), which may be more appropriate.

The Social Sciences Communications Officers Network meets around every two months. Anyone who works in any aspect of communications in a social sciences department is welcome to attend. Each meeting has a main topic for discussion.

Mailing list:


Meeting dates are in the calendar at the top of this page.

Are you interested in the events that happen around the Division? Subscribe to our mailing list by emailing To unsubscribe from this list, please email

To add an event to the Digest, please email with a link to your event on Oxford Talks.

Crisis management and business continuity

Crisis management - immediate actions taken when an incident occurs 

Security Services guidance on Initial Incidence Response

Important numbers:

  • Emergency Services: 999
  • University Security Services' emergency number: (01865) (2)8999
  • University News and Information Office: (01865) (2)80 528 (office hours), 07738 135 619 (duty officer)

University framework for crisis management

Public Affairs advice on crisis communications

Divisional guidance for departments dealing with a crisis

Business continuity - carrying on essential functions during the disruption

HE sector guidance on business continuity


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The Social Science Divisional Development Office, based in Hayes House, is responsible for delivering on the Division’s philanthropic strategy of securing postgraduate scholarships and endowing key academic posts. The team’s target is the secure £5m in direct philanthropic support per annum across the division. 
The team also;

  • Provides support to academics across the division who have themselves secured, or close to secured, project-specific philanthropy, including ensuring that donors have passed the University’s Committee to Review Donations, paperwork is appropriately approved before signature and that the funds reach the relevant budget/research code.
  • Provides a programme of stewardship and reporting, alongside the Campaign Relations team, for donors who have given across the division.
  • Facilitates connections between departmental academics and colleagues and the wider resources offered by University Development office, including Trusts, Foundation and Corporations, Student Support, Principal Gifts (international fundraising), Gift Registry, Research and Database Support. 

For any enquiries about philanthropic support in the division, please contact;

Postgraduate Scholarships

  • Case for Support
  • Toolkit PDFs
    • ARCH School of Archaeology
    • BLAV Blavatnik School of Government
    • DPIR Department of Politics and International Relations
    • DSPI Department of Social Policy and Intervention
    • ECON Department of Economics
    • EDUC Department of Education
    • INT.DEV Department of International Development
    • LAW Law Faculty
    • OII Oxford Internet Institute
    • OSGA Oxford School of Global Area Studies
    • SAME School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography
    • SOCI Department of Sociology
    • SOGE School of Geography and the Environment

In 2015 Council took the decision to ring-fence £110m from Oxford University Press to be used as match funding. The aim is to encourage fundraising for endowments to support existing University activities in order to substitute for funding by the University. Council agreed for matched funding to be on 2:1 ration (£2 from a donor matched by £1 from University funds). The money has been set aside in the Endowment Challenge Fund (ECF).

ECF Guidance (SSO only)



Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in the Social Sciences Division

Further details about EDI in the Social Sciences Division can be found here.


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The Divisional Finance Team seeks to ensure the sound financial management of the Division and its departments. We are formally part of the Finance Division, but are firmly embedded within the Social Sciences Division, and pride ourselves on working closely with senior management in the Division, and with academic, administrative and finance colleagues in departments. Our key responsibility is to lead the Division’s financial planning, budgeting and forecasting activity. We support departments in addressing their challenges – whether through the delivery of specific projects, acting as a source of advice, or by advocating for change on our departments’ behalf across the wider University. We strive to build a network of financial professionals across the Division, ensuring departments can learn from and support each other.

Our Divisional Finance Managers (DFMs) are each linked to departments, where they provide Finance support and are also a focal point for the divisional/departmental finance relationship. The departments are supported as follows:


Helen Parker

  • Geography (incl. ECI, Smith School & Transport Studies)
  • Education
  • Social Policy & Intervention
  • Economics


Peter Sheppard

  • Law (incl. Criminology & Socio-Legal Studies)
  • International Development
  • Anthropology & Museum Ethnography
  • Oxford Internet Institute
  • Politics & International Relations


Sarah Goad

  • Social Sciences Divisional Office
  • Archaeology
  • Global Area Studies
  • Sociology


Kathleen Parsons (DFC)

  • Saïd Business School
  • Blavatnik School of Government
  • Oxford Martin School


Rachael Stewart

  • Primary finance support for the Social Sciences Divisional office and the DTP


The DFMs interactions with departmental finance teams are to:

•       support the Division’s budgeting, forecasting and planning activity, ensuring an appropriate level of scrutiny and challenge, as necessary.

•       ensure effective monthly controls, reporting and analysis is in place, and that appropriate action is taken as a result. 

•       develop and enhance departmental reporting processes through improved management information 

•       effective sharing of best practice

•       support departments in responding appropriately to control weaknesses, as identified through, for example, self-assurance processes or audit findings.

•       undertake financial planning and analysis in support of decision-making in departments. To include for example, the preparation of business cases, scenario modelling, capital planning etc.

•       help identify and deliver finance process improvements.

•       provide a level of professional finance support and guidance to existing finance staff within departments. 

•       offer sound guidance to departments on ways of maximising resources by developing a detailed understanding of each department’s non-research and research activities, as well as of the University’s financial structure and resource allocation mechanisms.



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The Social Sciences Board has oversight of the organisation, development, and delivery of curricula in collaboration with the colleges, and oversight and development of strategy relating to research in the social sciences. It prepares five-year strategic plans and approves departmental budgets and operating statements annually. It is also responsible for the appointment and reappointment of academic staff, and the maintenance of educational quality and standards.

The Board meets twice each term, on Friday of Second and Seventh Week. Its membership is drawn from across the division and includes representatives of the Conferences of Colleges and the undergraduate and postgraduate student bodies.

Standing orders of the Board

Board membership

SharePoint site

Seven committees report directly to Board: Planning and Resources Committee, Undergraduate Studies Committee, Graduate Studies Committee, Quality Assurance Committee, Grand Union ESRC DTP Management Board, Committee on Library Provision and Strategy in the Social Sciences. The Management Committee of the Oxford Martin School is under the governance of the Social Scienes Divisional Board.

Planning and Resources Committee (PRC), chaired by the Head of Division and on which all Heads of Department serve. The Committee supports departments and the Board in their strategic planning in respect of academic, financial, IT, space and staffing issues. The Committee meets on Friday of 0th Week and Tuesday of Sixth Week at 9.30 a.m. of every term.  

PRC SharePoint site

Three sub-committees in turn report to PRC:

  • Research Strategy Group, chaired by the Associate Head of Division (Research) and on which all departmental rsearch directors/co-orindators or equivalent serve. The Group acts as a cross-departmental forum of departmental Research Directors, Coordinators and Associate Deans for the development and implementation of research strategy and the exchange of information and good practice across departments within the division. It meets on Wednesday of Third Week from 10.00 every term.
  • IT Forum, collates and represents the views, requirements, and interests of departments within the Division as they relate to all aspects of IT provision. It meets termly in Second or Third Week. 

    IT Forum SharePoint site

  • Equality and Diversity Steering Group provides oversight of divisional strategy for equality & diversity and oversees the progress of departments in making applications for Athena SWAN awards. It meets once a term.

    E&D Steering Group SharePoint site

Four committees covering different asepcts of education report directly to Divisonal Board.

  • Undergraduate Studies Committee, chaired by the Associate Head of Division (Education) and on which all Directors of Undergraduate Study serve. The Committee advises Board on academic policy, teaching and learning strategies, and quality assurance matters in respect of undergraduate studies. It meets on Tuesday of Fifth Week from 9.30 a.m. every term.

 USC SharePoint site

  • Graduate Studies Committee, chaired by the Associate Head of Division (Education) and on which all Directors of Graduate Study serve. The Committee advises Board on academic policy, teaching and learning strategies, and quality assurance matters in respect of graduate studies. It meets on Monday of First Week  and Friday of Sixth week at 11.00 a.m. every term.

GSC SharePoint site

  • Quality Assurance Committee, chaired by the Associate Head of Division (Education) with members elected by Board on the basis of their experience . The Committee has responsibility for reviewing  proposals for new courses and major changes to existing courses, and for maintaining oversight of matters related to examinations (including review and approval of examiners' reports, examination regulations and examination conversations). It meets on Monday of First Week  and Friday of Sixth Week at 9.00 a.m. every term.

QAC SharePoint site

  • Grand Union ESRC DTP Management Board advises on strategy pertaining to ESRC funding, training provision for students, ESRC policy and related matters.

The Committee on Library Provision and Strategy in the Social Sciences (CLiPS – SocSci) advises Board and the Curators of the Bodleian Libraries.

The Appointments Panel advises Board on matters relating to appointments of academic and academic-related staff. It is chaired by the Head of Division and is comprised of three further members of Board.

Health and Safety in departments

Responsibilities for health and safety in departments

The University has a responsibility for your health, safety and welfare while you are lawfully on University premises and business. Meanwhile, members of the University have a responsibility to comply with university policies and procedures. Health and Safety management responsibilities - sets out University policy on who is responsible for health and safety at each level. This includes detail for:

  • the Head of Department
  • Supervisors - academic supervisors and to those who direct or manage the activities of others on a day-to-day basis
  • Departmental Safety Officers

The Safety office also provides a Proforma departmental statement of safety organisation.

The Social Sciences divisional safety officer can advise departments on health and safety. He will also undertake an annual  workplace inspection, and will contact the DSO and Head of Administration & Finance to arrange a visit in advance. A report will be produced after the visit and will identify any actions that need to be taken by the department.

With exceptions (Archaeology, SOGE), Social Science departments are largely office-based departments. Many departments have students that undetake fieldwork overseas. Departments should therefore take particular note of the following:

Fieldwork safety

The divisional office provides extensive guidance to departments on policies, procedures and good practice for keeping students and researchers safe when undertaking fieldwork.

The site sets out the responsibilties of supervisors, departmental safety officers and heads of department; provides the divisional template and procedures for risk assessments; and provides advice and guidance on travel insurance, country specific information, gender issues, ethical review, vicarious trauma, and managing emergency situations. The divisonal safety officer can provide advice on all aspects of fieldwork safety.

Overseas Travel

The University has an Overseas travel policy.  In all cases, supervisors/academic line managers are required to approve Overseas travel/fieldwork. High-risk travel (e.g. to FCO flagged areas) must in addition be approved by the Head of Department. Individual departments will have their own wider approvals processes in place, which are likely to include Head of Department maintaining oversight/approval of all travel.

The University provides travel insurance to all staff and to students. Full information is available on the University’s travel insurance policy pages.


Guidance from the safety office on fire drills, fire risk assessments and routine testing and maintenance of fire alarms.

A fire risk assessment must be undertaken for each building occupied by a department, and this must be checked annually.

Departments are responsible for ensuring appropriate fire evacuation procedures are in place. Details are provided in the memo on fire wardens and managing fire evacuations.

The divisonal safety officer can advise departments on their responsibilities with respect to fire safety.


Sets out the University's procedures for asbestos management and checks, including a link to the Asbestos register. The Estates Services Compliance Team is commissioning and managing a full programme of asbestos management surveys across the functional estate. Departments should notify the Estates Services Compliance team ( before any work that disturbs or alters building fabric or services is commissioned. This would include refurbishment / alteration works, including cabling; minor works to building fabric or services (e.g. fixing shelving); and reactive maintenance. 

Display Screen Equipment

The Safety office sets out the University policies. The appendices include useful checklists and diagrams to share with staff, and the link to the DSE self assessment programme.

Additional guidance: First AidWorking safely with electricity


Heads of Administration and Finance

This group meets twice each term and once over the Long Vacation. It comprises the Heads of Administration and Finance/Chief Operating Officers from all departments within the division and senior members of the divisional office staff. Agendas can be wide-ranging given the scope of the Head of Administration and Finance role. The group provides a conduit for communication between the division and its departments and a forum in which both challenges and good practice can be shared. Speakers from central services often attend to seek departmental feedback on new initiatives. The meetings are convened by the Divisional Registrar,

Communications Officers

The Social Sciences Communications Officers Network meets around every two months. Anyone who works in any aspect of communications in a social sciences department is welcome to attend. Each meeting has a main topic for discussion. Meeting dates are in the calendar at the top of this page. The meetings are convened by the Senior Divisional Communications Manager. All queries can be sent to

Mailing list:

Finance Working Group

The Finance Working Group meets quarterly, and is attended by departmental and divisional Finance Managers. It provides a forum for finance colleagues across the division to share and discuss priorities, issues and solutions, as well as to keep-up-to-date with Finance and Social Science Divisional news and developments.

Contact: Social Sciences Divisional Financial Controller

Green Impact Network

The Social Sciences Division Green Impact Network (GIN) meets once a term, and is a discussion group for departmental Green Impact representatives to meet and share ideas, whilst supporting each other with progressing through the NUS Green Impact initiative. The group is convened by

HR Network

This group meets once a term and is jointly run by the divisional HR Business Partner team and the Academic Appointments HR team. The network is designed for those whose roles include responsibility for HR matters and it aims to have a at least one representative from each of the departments that make up the Social Sciences Division. The network is a forum to share best practice as well as provide development opportunities for our HR colleagues. We encourage colleagues to share any initiatives they have in their respective departments and invite guest speakers to update on employment law or policy issues as well as relevant hot topics. The forum provides an ideal opportunity to network with colleagues who have similar roles. Contact one of the HRBP team if you want to find out more.

IT Managers

The IT Officers' network is an informal discussion group for any staff working in IT technical and support roles across the Division and its departments. The group meets termly, depending on need, to discuss current issues in IT across the University and/or receive operational presentations. Previous topics have included Canvas, Sophos EndPoint security, Research Computing and Research File Services, and Network storage. The group meets at the start of term so that its discussion and any action points can be taken through the divisional IT Forum, which usually meets in 2nd or 3rd Week, and any colleagues working in IT roles are welcome. The group is convened by Peter Franklin Routh, Planning and Projects Manager.

Research Support Officers and Research Services

This group meets bi-monthly throughout the year. It comprises the Research Facilitators and Research Support Officers (administrative and financial) of our 14 departments in Social Sciences Division, representatives from Research Services (Grants team and Research Accounts), and members of the Research Impact and Engagement Team. In addition we invite representatives from Continuing Education and Institute of Ageing as units with significant representation of social science disciplines, but sitting outside of an Academic Division. Agendas are set by the group and also includes updates on research policy and matters affecting research in our departments. As such, external speakers are often invited to discuss specific topics (e.g., Reverse VAT charging, GCRF programme) and seek departmental feedback on new initiatives. The group provides a conduit for communication between the division and its departments and a forum in which both challenges and good practice can be shared. The meetings are convened by Richard Baxter, Divisional Research Facilitator.

Departmental Safety Officers

This group meets once a term, normally between weeks 8 and 10. The group consists of the Departmental Safety Officers from all departments within the division. The Divisional Secretary, Departmental Administrators (where these are different from DSO) and the Safety Office have an open invitation to attend. The aim of the group is to facilitate the continuing development and review of Divisional health and safety management procedures in accordance with University Policy. It provides a supportive forum for two way exchange of information and examples of good practice and the opportunity to discuss Division wide issues to ensure a consistent approach. We discuss all new policies and memorandum from the central safety office and any other relevant hot topics. It is an opportunity for the sharing of best practice across departments as well as being a wonderful opportunity to network and to spend some time outside of their respective departments. The meetings are convened by the Divisional Safety Officer. All queries can be sent to

Student Administrators' Discussion Forum

This group meets once each term on the morning of Thursday of week 7. All student administrators are invited, and departments and faculties are strongly encouraged to ensure at least one representative attends who can then provide feedback to colleagues. Agendas are normally split between matters affecting undergraduate students only, postgraduate students only, and all students. Guest speakers are invited to attend from Central Services to provide updates and answer questions. The group provides a conduit for communication between the division and its departments and a forum for student administrators to share ideas and issues. A summary digest is circulated to departments after each meeting. For further information, or to suggest agenda items, please contact:

Info for the divisional office