UoN Malaysia Vice Provost to leave post in new year


December 18th, 2020

University of Nottingham in Malaysia Vice Provost (Research & Knowledge Exchange) Professor Deborah Hall has today announced that she will be leaving the University early in 2021 as she has accepted an offer of a professorial role with Heriot-Watt University Malaysia.

In her new role as Professor of Positive Psychology, Deborah will provide core leadership to the Psychology academic team at the Malaysia campus, as well as head the formation of an exciting new research institute in Positive Education across the global campuses.

Professor Hall has secured numerous achievements for our Malaysia campus since her appointment as Vice Provost including creating a research vision that seeks to raise aspirations towards inter-disciplinary research that changes lives and, as part of the delivery of that vision, establishing a number of new research centres and groups, including Future Food Malaysia and Nanotechnology.

Provost & CEO Professor Graham Kendall paid tribute to Professor Hall, saying: “As Vice Provost, Deb has been a key player at UNM and helped to lead our institution as part of our senior management team as well as bringing a real focus to our research and knowledge exchange outputs. She will be missed by her many friends and colleagues at Nottingham, whether that is in Malaysia, China or the UK and I wish her every success for her continued career at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia.”

Professor Hall said: “Reflecting on my time at UNM, I’m extremely proud to have led a team that has created a research vision that seeks to raise aspirations towards inter-disciplinary research that changes lives. As part of the delivery of that vision, we’ve established a number of exciting new research centres and groups, including Future Food Malaysia and Nanotechnology. I’m also pleased to have expanded support for early-career researchers with many new initiatives that provide pump-priming funding and grant-writing, and have improved our success rate in securing competitive research grants from the Malaysian government.

“But of course, more than any single professional achievement, I’m most privileged in having been part of such a friendly University community stretching across Malaysia, China and the UK. I’d like to thank the academic and professional services staff with whom I’ve worked over the years. While I’m sad to leave behind so many good friends and colleagues, the opportunity at Heriot-Watt University was one that was too good to miss.”

The University will instigate a recruitment competition in the new year to secure the next Vice Provost (Research & Knowledge Exchange) for the University of Nottingham Malaysia.

Professor Hall’s academic career associated with the University of Nottingham began in 1996 when she joined the Medical Research Council (MRC) Institute of Hearing Research on University Park, where she established and led an auditory functional magnetic resonance imaging team, in collaboration with the Nobel Prize-winning Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre.

Securing the Thomas-Simm Littler prize in 2010 for her services to audiology, Professor Hall went on to lead the renewal of the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit as its Director from 2012 – 2017, and was also part of the School of Medicine senior management team that established the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre (2017 – 2022).

Driven by a passion for interdisciplinary research that empowers people and enriches lives, Deborah is an advocate for actively involving patients in “doing science together with researchers”. This is epitomised in her work to lead the COMiT tinnitus initiative since 2016 that has engaged more than 700 patients with healthcare professionals, clinical researchers, commercial representatives, and funders across the globe. In 2018, this work received a ‘Putting Patients First’ award from the NIHR Clinical Research Network East Midlands Research.

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