May 15, 2008

Martin Knapp, director of the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the London School of Economics, was recently awarded one of the first 100 Senior Investigator Awards from the National Institute for Health Research. The award is given to support and incentivise individuals who are making a contribution to research essential for decision-making in health and social care. Professor Knapp said: "I am delighted to get this award for achievements in the health policy and social care areas. I intend to use the funding to allow me to pursue some of my own research - this always gets squeezed out by the responsibilities of running two busy and successful research centres, and as a researcher I haven't had a sabbatical in 33 years."

Alan Clements, a professor of computing at the University of Teesside, has been appointed visiting professor to the University of Information Sciences in Havana, Cuba, until 2010. He is now putting his efforts into learning Spanish, although he admits his progress is slow. "I'm beginning to make sense of the average Cuban newspaper article. I can't speak any Spanish yet," he said.

The new Nottingham University Samworth Academy, which is to specialise in health and science, has announced that Michael Rowen will serve as the first chair of the governing body, while David James has accepted the role of deputy chair. Mr Rowen, who will serve as High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 2009-10, is county chairman of the Prince's Trust and has served as a governor of Nottingham High School. Professor James joined the University of Nottingham in 1993 as professor of fetomaternal medicine and was clinical director in obstetrics and gynaecology at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham until 2002, when he was appointed director of medical education for the University of Nottingham Medical School.

Alistair McGrath, who famously challenged Richard Dawkins's views on religion, has been appointed to the new chair of theology and education at King's College London from his current post at the University of Oxford. Jonathan Osborne, head of the department of education and professional studies, where Professor McGrath will be based, said the appointment "recognises the strength of the Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture, its interdisciplinary work and the range of postgraduate courses it offers in theology and religious education".

Pat Chapman-Pincher, chief executive of the Cavell Group, Sue Symington, chief executive of the Good Governance Network, and Victoria Tomlinson, founder and chief executive of Northern Lights PR, have been appointed to the Bradford Business School's advisory board. Commenting on the appointments, Arthur Francis, dean of the business school, said: "These three women bring different and strong business skills to our board. We need critical friends to help us achieve our challenging growth plans, particularly in executive education, in an increasingly competitive market."

Ray Jones is set to lead a host of new research projects after joining the staff at the faculty of health and social care sciences, run jointly by Kingston University and St George's, University of London. In his new role as professor of social work, Dr Jones will take the lead in developing, delivering and disseminating research in social work and social care for children and families and for disabled and older people.

The University of Wolverhampton has appointed a new director of its Institute for Learning Enhancement. Glynis Cousin has joined the university from her previous role as senior adviser at the Higher Education Academy in York. Dr Cousin has worked in adult, community and higher education and is currently writing a book about higher education research approaches. She said: "Having worked for a national organisation for some three years, I am delighted to be back in a university. I look forward to taking the Institute for Learning Enhancement into a new phase and building on the considerable academic expertise we have here."

Gordon Hunt has been appointed university librarian of the University of the West of Scotland. He is currently director of customer services at the National Library of Scotland and has previously managed academic libraries in Glasgow, Oxford and Cambridge. He has been secretary of the Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries since 2004 and is an external examiner at The Robert Gordon University. He takes up his role in July.

The University of Leicester has announced that David Wynford-Thomas has been appointed the new dean of medicine, succeeding Ian Lauder who is retiring after 24 years' service in the university, including nine years as dean of medicine. Professor Wynford-Thomas, currently dean of medicine at Cardiff University's School of Medicine, will head the College of Medicine, Biological and Psychological Sciences at Leicester from 1 October, and will also become a pro vice-chancellor as a result of recent restructuring at the institution. He said: "While I am obviously sad to be leaving Cardiff after many years of working for the School of Medicine, I am greatly looking forward to the new opportunities and challenges Leicester offers."

The former Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, Sir David King, and a former research council head, John Wood, have been appointed to the new European Research Area board. The 22-member board replaces the European Research Advisory Board, which was in operation for six years. The new board is expected to develop and evaluate policy around strengthening the European Research Area. Professor Wood is at present the principal of the faculty of engineering at Imperial College London and Sir David is the director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment based at the University of Oxford.

The North East Wales Institute of Higher Education has appointed Rhys Rowland-Jones head of the Wrexham Business School. Dr Rowland-Jones, who has been head of the School of Operation and Information Management at Bristol Business School for the past three years, will be responsible for developing Newi's Centre for Sustainable Enterprise Research as well as leading on all programmes and initiatives within its business school. His other current positions include visiting professor of strategic operations management at Robert Kennedy College in Zurich and examiner for the international validation unit of the University of Wales.

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