Interim PVC Research & Knowledge Exchange


August 23rd, 2022

Professor Neil Crout has been confirmed as the interim Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange.

He will sit on the University Executive Board and have responsibility for the University’s research portfolio from the departure of Professor Jessica Corner to head up Research England in October until a substantive appointment is made to the role anticipated early in the new calendar year, following a competitive external recruitment exercise.

Professor Crout will be responsible for the initial implementation of the new Research Strategy, which aims to transform our research quality, performance and culture over the next five years and will ensure it is robust and truly reflective of our whole community.

Having co-ordinated the University’s submission to the Research Excellence Framework since 2018, Professor Crout will also chair the University’s REF Steering Group and lead its post-REF2021 review to lay the foundations in preparing for the next exercise. He will also chair the Research and Knowledge Exchange Committees and Nottingham Technology Ventures.

Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement, Professor Robert Mokaya will embed aspects of international research strategy within his current portfolio and represent the University in the continuing discussions on association with Horizon Europe or the UK government’s ‘Plan B’ alternative.

He will also represent research and knowledge exchange issues at Promotions, People & Resources and Nominations Committees. Professor Lucy Donaldson will continue to lead the Researcher Academy and ongoing initiatives to improve the PGR experience and, together with Professor Lynda Pratt, takes responsibility for implementing work to enhance the Research Culture at the University, following extensive staff engagement and consultation.

Congratulating Neil on his appointment to the interim role, Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West said:

“Following the achievement of the University’s excellent REF2021 results under his management, which placed us 7th in the UK for Research Power, I am delighted that Neil will take up Executive Board leadership for the Research and Knowledge Exchange portfolio on an interim basis. We have a significant amount of work to implement the Research Strategy which represents the ideas of many colleagues across our research community to enhance our research quality and performance, and Neil’s expertise and experience in research leadership will prove instrumental in its delivery.”

Professor Crout looked forward to the new role, saying:

“I look forward to working with colleagues across the University’s research community as interim Pro Vice-Chancellor, where together we will continue the work to grow our reputation for research excellence at Nottingham. I am particularly grateful to Robert and Lucy with whom I shall be working closely to support the careers, endeavours, and welfare of research staff across the institution and deliver improvements to our research culture.”

A Professor of Environmental Monitoring, Professor Crout has spent much of his academic and research career at the University of Nottingham, having joined as a post-doctoral researcher in 1989 studying radionuclides in the food chain in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. His research area focuses on models of environmental and agricultural systems, examining trace elements in the environment to shed light on environmental change and crop yield forecasting.

During his extensive career at Nottingham, he was Head of the School of Biosciences 2012-16, a Senate Member of Council 2013-17 and Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research since 2021, as well as acting as admissions tutor, director of teaching and learning, research director, REF coordinator and Head of Division.

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