Inside track...

August 4, 2006

Our occasional column keeps you abreast of developments in the jobs market, from tip-offs and career pointers to who's on the up in your field


Six months after luring top-rated sport science researchers from neighbouring Sheffield University, Sheffield Hallam University has announced another cross-city transfer of academic talent.

The Sheffield University health and social care research team being poached includes professors Gordon Grant and Kate Gerrish, and research-ers Margaret Flynn, Gina Higginbottom, Alex McClimens, Sarah Salway and Angela Tod.

They will join the Centre for Health and Social Care Research at Sheffield Hallam, headed by Gail Mountain, and will be based at the university's Collegiate Crescent site.

Last month, Sheffield Hallam announced that Dawn Forman, currently dean of the faculty of education, health and sciences at Derby University, had been appointed dean of the faculty of health and wellbeing.


Sheffield University has suffered another loss, this time to Lancaster University.

Sheila Payne, a health psychologist with a nursing background, who currently leads the palliative and end-of-life care research group at Sheffield, will become the UK's first professor of hospice studies when she transfers to Lancaster's Institute of Health Research and International Observatory on End of Life Care in October.

Professor Payne said: "I see myself as a critical friend to the hospices, which have been an incredible success story in the UK and replicated worldwide. The challenge is to do more to extend all that has been learnt to improve end of life care."


Seven years after leaving Warwick University for the University of the West of England, Kate Purcell is moving back to Warwick.

Professor Purcell, whose research has suggested that university degrees are still worthwhile qualifications in the jobs market, has been based at the Employment Studies Research Unit at Bristol Business School.

She returns as professor at Warwick's Institute of Employment Research.


The University of Wales Newport has set wheels in motion to find a successor to James Lusty, its vice-chancellor, who announced two months ago that he was taking early retirement at the end of the year "to spend more time with his family".

The search committee of the university's board of governors will meet this month to draw up a longlist of candidates prior to a decision in October.

Inside Track understands that Anne Carlisle, Newport's pro vice-chancellor, is thought to be a likely internal contender for the position.

Whoever is chosen, his or her role could prove short-lived. In a recent Welsh Assembly higher education review, Newport came under renewed pressure to re-open merger talks with the University of Wales Institute Cardiff and/or Glamorgan University.


Stuart West of Edinburgh University's School of Biological Sciences is tipped to receive the university's new "rising star" award next week from Edinburgh's chancellor, Prince Philip.

The earring-wearing Professor West, who is described as one of the world's top five young evolutionary ecologists, graduated in zoology from Cambridge in 1991.

He was appointed to a chair in evolutionary biology last year.

His area is social evolution, casting light on the complex interactions between humans, animals and even plants, which vary from lethal combat to peaceful co-operation.

Professor West's findings range from revealing which animals are most likely to babysit for their relatives (pied kingfishers are better than kookaburras) to demonstrating the ruthlessness of soya beans (they cut off the oxygen supply to bacteria that refuse to produce nitrogen for them).

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