February 25, 2010

A prominent geneticist has been named deputy vice-chancellor (academic) at the University of Sunderland. Peter Strike will take responsibility for research, knowledge exchange and business engagement at the institution. Previously he was deputy vice-chancellor for research and innovation at Northumbria University and vice-principal at Edinburgh Napier University.

A member of staff at Imperial College London has been named secretary-general of an organisation that represents more than 500 higher education institutions worldwide. John Wood, senior international relations adviser at Imperial, has been appointed to lead the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

An emeritus professor at University College London has been given an award for his research in neuro-psychology. Chris Frith, who is also a visiting professor at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, was awarded the Fyssen Foundation's International Prize for his contribution to the use of brain imaging in the study of mental processes. The annual award is granted to a scientist who has conducted research in areas supported by the foundation.

Two new appointments have been made at the University of Hull's Centre for Educational Studies. Carol Azumah Dennis has been made director of a course in teaching and learning in the lifelong learning sector. A former head of the "Skills for Life" programme at Lewisham College and the City Lit adult learning institute in London, her research interests include adult literacy and teacher education. Mike Cooper has joined the centre as a lecturer working with maths enhancement and secondary mathematics PGCE students. He has previously worked with local authorities to help develop maths teaching across the primary sector.

Two academics at Cardiff University have been shortlisted for a major medical prize. Christopher Butler and Kerenza Hood from Cardiff's School of Medicine comprise one of four groups being considered for the Research Paper of the Year category of the British Medical Journal Group Awards. Their research, conducted with colleagues from Maastricht University, examines ways of reducing the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics without impeding patients' recovery times or satisfaction with their care. They are the only UK academics in the running for the BMJ prize.

A former employee of City University London has returned to the institution as chief operating officer for the schools of arts and social sciences. Laura Flynn, former senior administrator for strategic planning and human resources at the School of Social Sciences at City, has experience of managing support service academic units at University College London and King's College London. She will take up the new post in March.

A visiting professor at Middlesex University's Institute for Work Based Learning is to be given a lifetime achievement award for his work in psychology. David Lane, research director for the International Centre for the Study of Coaching, will be presented with the accolade by the British Psychological Society for his contribution to "the professionalisation of counselling psychology". He will share the prize with Graham Turpin, director of the University of Sheffield's Clinical Psychology Unit.

Veronique Ambrosini, professor of strategic management at Cardiff University, has transferred to the University of Birmingham to take up a parallel position in the College of Social Sciences. Also at Birmingham, Sarah Colvin has been named professor in the study of contemporary Germany and director of the Institute of German Studies. Professor Colvin is currently Eudo C. Mason chair of German at the University of Edinburgh, and is due to join Birmingham in July.

Peter Winstanley has been named dean of the University of Warwick's Medical School. He has been head of the School of Clinical Sciences at the University of Liverpool since 2007, and is a former director of the Liverpool Biomedical Research Centre. Professor Winstanley previously held a Medical Research Council Training Fellowship, conducting three years of research in Kenya on the treatment of severe malaria.

The University of Southampton has appointed a new chief fundraiser. Sarah Jarman, the new director of development and alumni relations, joins from the University of Bristol, where she was head of the major gifts team and deputy director of campaigns and alumni relations.

A deputy principal at the University of Strathclyde has been appointed to head a Scottish network responsible for pooling expertise and resources in the chemical sciences. David Gani, deputy principal for external affairs and advancement, has been made executive chairman of ScotChem, a venture linking seven universities, the industry body Chemical Sciences Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council. Professor Gani's remit will be to attract more leading researchers to Scotland to maintain a strong skills base for its future chemistry research.

The Quality Assurance Agency has appointed a new student member to its board. Alex Smith, academic affairs officer at the University of Leicester's Students' Union, takes over the post from Will Haywood, academic affairs executive at Sheffield Hallam University's Students' Union. Mr Smith will be involved in setting the QAA's strategic direction.

London Business School has appointed Dame Mary Marsh as chair of its International Alumni Council and a member of its governing body. In the roles she will develop relationships between alumni, students, faculty and the school, from which she graduated with an executive MBA in 1989. In 2005, Dame Mary was awarded the LBS Alumni Achievement Award, and was appointed DBE in the New Year's Honours List in 2007. She is director of the Clore Social Leadership Programme and was chief executive of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Sir Duncan Rice, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, has announced that he will step down from office six months earlier than planned. He will now leave on 31 March to offer sufficient time for his successor, Ian Diamond, to settle into the role before the start of the new academic year. Professor Diamond is joining Aberdeen from his current post as chief executive of the Economic and Social Research Council. Sir Duncan has led the university for 14 years.

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