The Department Council consists of tenured teaching staff, researchers, who may also be untenured, and staff of equivalent status, the RAD, who takes the minutes, and representatives of the technical and administrative staff and of the students. The latter consist of post-graduate students undertaking research doctoratess, specialist diplomas and those master's degrees taught chiefly by the department and representatives of holders of annual grants for study or research or longer research contracts based in the department. Elected representatives hold the position for two years. The council's main functions include the election of the Director of the Department, the establishment of general criteria for the use of the funds allocated to the department for research, the approval of an annual plan for the development of research areas of interest to the department, the formulation of requests for teaching and research posts, the expression of opinions relating to the non-tenured teaching staff, the approval of proposals for the setting up of PhD courses handled by the department, the formulation of proposals and the taking of decisions as to its participation in the setting up of centres. The latter may be for research, for research and services, inter-university and for services. It expresses its opinion, at the request of the Academic Senate, as regards the proposal to set up such centres; it dictates provisions for the functioning of the organizational structures handled by the department for the library and for services, which may also be for teaching, according to the university rules, and makes the necessary resources available; it expresses opinions and formulates proposals to the Faculty Council as regards the planning and piloting of teaching activities, it takes decisions as regards applications to join the department's teaching staff, it approves the estimated annual budget and the final balance, in compliance with the University Regulations on administration, funding and accounting, and it works together with the university authorities and with the national planning agencies.