A former head of the Policy Unit at Number 10 Downing Street has been appointed as the director of a university institute.
Nick Pearce, who is currently director of the Institute for Public Policy Research thinktank, will join the University of Bath’s Institute for Policy Research in December, where he will be professor of public policy.
As well as running the Downing Street Policy Unit for two years when Gordon Brown was prime minister, he has worked as an adviser in the Home Office, Cabinet Office and former Department for Education and Employment.
The soon-to-be Professor Pearce said: “Governments all over the world face enormous economic, social and environmental challenges.
“They need the in-depth, interdisciplinary and long-range research of universities to inform, shape and hold policymaking up to critical scrutiny.
“The University of Bath has long been ahead of the game in applying its world-class research and teaching to real-world policy, and I am delighted to be joining it to lead the Institute for Policy Research.”
Commenting on the appointment, University of Bath vice-chancellor Dame Glynis Breakwell said: “With his high-profile policy experience, Nick is ideally placed to help us further embed rigorous, academic research into the policy process.
“Under Nick’s leadership the IPR will extend the reach and impact of its work in addressing global challenges across all disciplines.”
The appointment follows other recent high-profile moves into academia for those involved in Westminster politics, including former universities and science minister David Willetts, who has become a visiting professor at King’s College London’s Policy Institute.