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New Research Deans appointed

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The University is pleased to announce the appointment of Professors Roberta Gilchrist and John Gibbs as the Research Deans for Heritage and Creativity; and Professor Carol Wagstaff as the Research Dean for Agriculture, Food and Health.

The appointments follow a recruitment process that was initiated in December last year, and is for a fixed period of six years. They will take up their new roles on 1 August 2021.

Heritage & Creativity

Roberta Gilchrist and John GibbsProfessor Roberta Gilchrist has been a Research Dean for the last six years, while Professor John Gibbs is currently the Head of School for Arts and Communication Design. They will lead the Research work on Heritage and Creativity on a job-share basis.

The Research Theme encompasses nearly 170 researchers in 9 research divisions (Art; Archaeology; Classics; English Literature and Language; Film, Theatre, and Television; History; Modern Languages and Linguistics; Philosophy; Typography and Graphic Communication) across four Schools.

As Research Deans, Professors Gilchrist and Gibbs will lead the strategic development of the Heritage and Creativity theme, in particular the partnerships with the British Museum and with creative industries, and strengthening Digital Humanities at the University of Reading. They will also contribute to University-wide strategic research leadership as members of the University Committee for Research and Innovation and to the wider leadership of the University as members of the University’s Leadership Group.

Agriculture, Food & Health

Professor Carol Wagstaff currently leads the School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy. She will be taking over from Professor Adrian Williams, who had been leading the Agriculture, Food and Health theme for the last six years.

Carol WagstaffThe Research Theme encompasses nearly 200 researchers in 6 research divisions (Agri-Food Economics and Social Science; Biomedical Science and Biomedical Engineering, Food and Nutritional Sciences, Pharmacy, Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems) across three Schools.

As Research Dean, Professor Wagstaff will lead the strategic development of the theme, in particular the partnerships with the Royal Berkshire Hospital and local NHS Trusts. She will also contribute to University-wide strategic research leadership as a member of the University Committee for Research and Innovation and to the wider leadership of the University as a member of the University’s Leadership Group.

Reactions

Announcing the appointments, Pro-Vice-Chancellors for Research and Innovation Professors Parveen Yaqoob and Dominik Zaum said, “We are delighted that Roberta, John and Carol will be part of the University’s Research leadership team. They all bring ambitious and exciting ideas and plans for their respective research themes; and will lead by example as we continue to build a research culture and environment that is both inclusive and supportive of excellence.”

Professors Roberta Gilchrist and John Gibbs said, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with excellent researchers across the Arts and Humanities at the University and to continue to grow our recent success in grant funding, impact and partnerships.  We are looking forward to working together, bringing our respective experience to shape a shared forward vision for the Heritage and Creativity theme.”

Professor Carol Wagstaff said, “I am really excited to be taking on the role of Research Dean for Agriculture, Food and Health at a time when this theme is such a focus for funding priorities across the UK and globally. We already have world-class researchers at the University of Reading working across this theme and my vision is to grow our internal and external partnerships to nurture even greater strength in depth, building on the excellent foundations that my predecessor Professor Adrian Williams has already put in place.”

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