Having worked in the NHS for most of his career, Jim Andrews, the new director of human resources at Bournemouth University, is no stranger to the challenges of his new role. "The one thing that links all my jobs is change," he explained. One of his first tasks will be helping to oversee the appointment of a new vice-chancellor. Mr Andrews graduated from the University of Hertfordshire and worked for the NHS in various roles over the following decade. He said his biggest challenge came when he worked for the Department of Health. Originally hired to grow the NHS Modernisation Agency, he was then called on to shrink and streamline the operation. Once that had occurred, the entire department was shut down. The changes came so fast that he had not had time to finish the streamlining project. "For the first time, I started a new change process before I'd finished the last one," he recalled. After 10 years in the NHS, he said, he wanted a new challenge. "Higher education was attractive to me because the favourite part of my job is seeing people develop," he said. "I like the idea of working in an institution where one of its core principles is developing people."
A historian who is carrying out research on "the Middlesbrough of France" has been appointed to the new peer-review college established by the Economic and Social Research Council (see news, page 20). Barry Doyle, professor and head of history, English, languages and media at the University of Huddersfield, said he hoped his appointment would encourage more historians to apply for ESRC research grants. "Historians tend to think that because the ESRC is very focused on contemporary issues and policy outcomes, there isn't a place for them," he said. "But we do support research history; we always have and we will continue to do so." Professor Doyle's most recent research has examined hospital provision in Leeds, Sheffield and Middlesbrough before 1948. He is now looking into similar issues in France, starting with Lille. He said he got involved in the research quite by chance when a colleague originally scheduled to do the work was promoted, and passed it on to him. He found that it was something he was "attached" to, he said.
"A historian's preoccupation with archives and keeping things for posterity" is how the new pro vice-chancellor for research and enterprise at the University of Leicester described his research interests. Kevin Schurer, currently professor of history and director of the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex, began his career at the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, University of Cambridge, before moving to Essex. "Some people might think it's curious going from research to teaching to director of a data archive," he said. "But it's not as unrelated as it sounds. Research has always been very heavily data driven." An academician of the Academy for the Social Sciences, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and the Royal Geographical Society, and a senior member of Wolfson College, Cambridge. In addition, he is the UK representative for the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructure working group in social science and humanities and until recently served as president of the Council of European Social Science Data Archives. "International collaboration has always been a key part of my academic life," he said, adding that he would bring this ethos to his new role at Leicester.
The University of the West of England has created a new role to enhance the institution's links with local businesses. Martin Boddy, assistant vice-chancellor for business engagement and professional development, was previously acting dean of the Faculty of Environment and Technology. Professor Boddy has a long-standing relationship with the area, having taught at the University of Bristol for 25 years. His research interests are in economic geography, and he has been an economic adviser to the South West Regional Development Agency. In addition, he has worked closely with the West of England Business Initiative as well as carrying out consultancy work for the RDA and the Welsh government. He said that in his new role he would not only seek to strengthen existing links, but also to find and nurture new ones. "There is a drive going on for universities to find their own mission or niche," he said. "I would argue that UWE was a very good polytechnic and it was a very good post-1992 university, but now it's going further and recreating itself as something different and even better." He added: "We want businesses to see the university as a key piece of the infrastructure and a key resource for the city region. I want to promote the university as a key source of information and skills."
Thirty-one UK academics have been appointed Fellows of the Royal Society. They are: Gabriel Aeppli, Quain professor of physics, University College London; Paul Brakefield, chair in evolutionary biology, University of Sheffield; Andrea Brand, Herchel Smith professor of molecular biology, University of Cambridge; Eleanor Campbell, professor of physical chemistry, University of Edinburgh; Philip Candelas, Rouse-Ball professor of mathematics, University of Oxford; Peter Cawley; professor of mechanical engineering, Imperial College London; Nicola Clayton, professor of comparative cognition, Cambridge; John Connor, visiting professor, Plasma Physics Group, Imperial; Russell Cowburn, chair in nanotechnology, Imperial; Gideon Davies, professor of chemistry, University of York; Raymond Dolan, professor of neuropsychiatry, UCL; Richard Evershed, professor of biogeochemistry, University of Bristol; Georg Gottlob, professor of computing science, Oxford; Ben Green, Herchel Smith professor of pure mathematics, Cambridge; Robert Griffiths, professor of mathematical genetics, Oxford; Roger Hardie, professor of cellular neuroscience, Cambridge; Michael Hastings, staff scientist, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge; Andrew Hattersley, professor of molecular medicine, Peninsula Medical School; Ronald Hay, professor of molecular biology, University of Dundee; Ian Hickson, professor of molecular oncology, Oxford; Peter Horton, emeritus professor of biochemistry, Sheffield; Jeremy Hutson, professor of chemistry and physics, Durham University; Angus Lamond, professor of biochemistry, Dundee; Alan Lehmann, professor of molecular genetics, University of Sussex; Robin Murray, professor of psychiatric research, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London; Robin Perutz, professor of chemistry, York; Max Pettini, professor of observational astronomy, Cambridge; Wolf Reik, professor of epigenetics, Cambridge; Peter Rigby, chief executive and professor of developmental biology, Institute of Cancer Research; Elizabeth Simpson, emeritus professor of transplantation biology, Imperial; Eric Wolff, science leader, chemistry and past climate, British Antarctic Survey.