July 16, 2009

Two senior directors have been appointed at the Scottish Funding Council. Laurence Howells will take on the position of senior director of learning, research and knowledge exchange, and Martin Fairbairn the role of senior director of finance and corporate resources. They will play leading roles in the delivery of the SFC's 2009-12 Plan to form partnerships with colleges, universities and other organisations.

The London Mathematical Society, which promotes and extends knowledge of the subject in the UK, has announced the winners of its 2009 prizes. The awards have been presented to scholars at various stages of their careers in recognition of their work. The recipients are: Roger Heath-Brown, University of Oxford, winner of the Polya Prize; Vladimir Maz'ya, University of Liverpool, who has been awarded the Senior Whitehead Prize; Philip Maini, University of Oxford, who wins the Naylor Prize and Lectureship in Applied Mathematics; and Joseph Chuang, City University London, and Radha Kessar, University of Aberdeen, winners of the Berwick Prize. The Whitehead Prizes were awarded to Mihalis Dafermos, University of Cambridge; Cornelia Drutu, University of Oxford; Robert Marsh, University of Leeds; and Markus Owen, University of Nottingham.

Lord Drayson, the Science Minister, has announced two appointments to the governing body of the Medical Research Council. They are Tony Caplin, chairman of the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, and Dame Sally Davies, director-general of research and development at the Department of Health. They will help oversee the MRC's policy and science strategy, and will hold their posts for four years.

The University of Greenwich has named two new deputy vice-chancellors. Neil Garrod, executive director of enterprise and civic engagement at Glyndwr University, takes up the post of deputy vice-chancellor for resources. He replaces David Wills, who is retiring. Simon Jarvis, currently pro vice-chancellor at the University of Westminster, has been made deputy vice-chancellor for academic development. He replaces Margaret Noble, who is moving to University College Plymouth St Mark & St John to become principal.

Two medical experts from the University of Glasgow have been awarded fellowship funding by the Scottish Funding Council. Colin Berry and Mhairi Copland, both clinical senior lecturers at the institution, have been awarded the prizes, which will fund their research for the next four years. Dr Berry, a cardiovascular expert, specialises in heart attacks, and previously worked at the National Institutes of Health in Washington DC. Dr Copland, a haematology specialist, focuses on leukaemia and bone-marrow transplantation. The Scottish Senior Clinical Fellowship Scheme is funded jointly by the SFC and Scotland's five medical schools, at the universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews.

Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, has become a visiting professor at King's College London. Dr Carter joins the institution's Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery and will aim to strengthen teaching and research in nursing. Dr Carter began his NHS career at Hill End Hospital, St Albans, where he trained as a psychiatric nurse. He has since held a number of clinical and managerial posts.

A new principal has been appointed at Queen Mary, University of London. Simon Gaskell, currently vice-president for research at the University of Manchester, will take up the post on 1 October. A leading researcher in the development of mass spectrometry for the biomedical sciences, Professor Gaskell's career has included spells in the US, Scotland and Wales. Sir Nicholas Montagu, chairman-elect of Queen Mary Council, said he had been selected for his "distinguished record of scholarship and leadership".

A specialist in bridge structures will join the University of Greenwich to become its first Rochester Bridge Trust professor next month. Amir Alani is a specialist in the assessment, repair and maintenance of bridges, and will carry out research and teaching deemed significant by the trust and relevant organisations. Dr Alani is also an expert in the repair of structures damaged by earthquakes, and will be involved in teaching Greenwich engineers about maintenance and strengthening techniques.

The University Vocational Awards Council, which promotes vocational learning, has appointed five new board members. They are: Margaret House, deputy vice-chancellor academic, Middlesex University; Peter Treadwell, dean of academic development, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff; David Green, vice-chancellor, University of Worcester; Sue Scott, pro vice-chancellor of learning innovation, Glasgow Caledonian University; and Jackie Dunne, director of lifelong learning, University of Leicester.

Martin Seligman has been awarded the first Wiley Prize in Psychology. The new accolade is a collaboration between the British Academy and publishers Wiley-Blackwell, and recognises excellence in the field. Dr Seligman is director of the Positive Psychology Centre at the University of Pennsylvania and is an expert on depression and happiness. His bestselling books include What You Can Change and What You Can't (1995) and Authentic Happiness (2003).

Bill Harvey has been appointed director of the Quality Assurance Agency Scotland, the watchdog for academic standards in higher education north of the border. Dr Harvey, deputy director of learning and teaching at the Scottish Funding Council, will take on the role in September. He replaces Norman Sharp, who is retiring.

Matthew MacIver will succeed Colin MacKay as chair of the UHI Millennium Institute's board of governors. Professor MacIver is the former chair of Bord na Gaidhlig, the Gaelic Development Agency, and was chief executive and registrar of the General Teaching Council for Scotland. This year he was made CBE for his services to education, and last year was given an honorary professorship by UHI for his work on Gaelic.

The Open University has appointed Lynn Burke as change director of its employer-engagement programme. Ms Burke was formerly international practice manager at business solutions provider Hubbard One. She will oversee the delivery of The Open University's strategies for the health, IT and telecoms sectors, as well as projects on cultural and technological change.

The Committee of Heads of University Law Schools has appointed a new chair. In the position, Elizabeth Mytton, acting dean of the Business School at Bournemouth University, will represent the views of more than 100 law-school heads in the higher education sector.

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