Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor appointments strengthen delivery of the university’s renewed research strategy


May 17th, 2021

Professor Neil Crout has been appointed as Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (APVC) for Research and Knowledge Exchange.

This new post has been created as part of a review of leadership roles to strengthen delivery of the university’s renewed research strategy and commitment to knowledge exchange.

Professor Neil Crout

Professor Phil Williams becomes the Faculty of Science APVC for Research and Knowledge Exchange, succeeding Professor Zoe Wilson, who has been appointed interim Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Science.

Professor Phil Williams

Professor Crout, a former head of the School of Biosciences, is the Academic Lead for the university’s REF2021 submission.

He joins the team supporting Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Research and Knowledge Exchange, and will work to further enhance the quality and reputation of the university’s research portfolio and achievements.

Dame Jessica said: “Neil brings a wealth of experience to this new role, as an exceptional researcher, former head of school and as a key figure in our university’s submission to REF2021. This was a monumental exercise, which could not have been delivered without inspirational leadership, fantastic teamwork, an eye for detail and a perceptive grasp of the bigger picture. These qualities – plus a dry sense of humour! – make Neil a very welcome addition to our team.

“Phil is also a fantastic addition to the APVC team. He has invaluable experience of spin-outs and is a champion of transdisciplinary research: it is worth noting he is a fellow of the Pharmaceutical, Chemistry and Biology Royal Societies, as well as a member of the Institute of Physics.”

“At a time when we seeking to engage our whole community in the journey towards a new research strategy, I am delighted welcome Neil and Phil to the team who will help shape this exciting new chapter.”

Neil is Professor of  Environmental Modelling, with a focus on improving understanding of how crops and agricultural systems adapt to the environment.

He said: “It feels like an exciting time to be taking up this role, if a little daunting. The university sector seems set for a tremendous amount of change as we respond to the changing research environment post-pandemic. That’s bound to create opportunities which we can use to help Nottingham researchers get their ideas up and running.”

In his role, Professor Crout will support the Faculty Research AVPC team – Professor John Gathergood (Social Sciences); Professor Chris Tuck (Engineering); Professor Lynda Pratt (Arts), Professor Richard Emes (Medicine and Health Sciences) and Professor Phil Williams (Science), with a broader remit of supporting research and knowledge exchange across the university.

Professor Williams is currently Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange for the School of Pharmacy. A third generation Nottingham pharmacy graduate and Professor of Biophysics, Phil has been involved with the formation of a number of university spin-out companies and is co-founder of the successful spin-out Molecular Profiles Ltd, which twice won the Queens Award for Enterprise and is in now part of the global Catalent group. His latest research includes developing field of Astropharmacy, which looks at the challenges of providing effective healthcare to people in extreme and resource-limited environments, including those of space-flight.

Professor Williams said: “It is a real honour to take up this role. I look forward to working with colleagues across the seven schools and professional services in the Faculty of Science, and the Faculty Research APVC team to find ways to overcome the many challenges we currently face in research, to grow together, and capitalize on the research and knowledge exchange opportunities that we create.”

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