New Deputy Vice-Chancellor to head research and innovation

The University has appointed Professor Nick Plant as its new Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation.

Professor Plant, who has held the role in an interim capacity since May, will continue to lead on the development of the University’s research and innovation strategy, creating a research culture and environment which delivers high quality research and impact for the region and beyond.   

His brief includes promoting partnerships in a number of key sectors, accelerating collaboration across a wide range of academic disciplines and driving recruitment of world-leading academics.   

I am looking forward to working with Nick in the coming years to take our research to the next level.


Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor, said: “Nick has been instrumental in delivering a step change in the University’s research capability, culture and focus over the past four years. He has an excellent understanding of the research community in the University, the sector and beyond, and that makes him the ideal person for this role.  

“I am looking forward to working with him in the coming years to take our research to the next level – delivering global impact through collaboration with other institutions, fully recognising the symbiotic potential of research and education, and harnessing the game-changing potential of digital technology.” 

Professor Plant said: “I am proud to be able to help grow our community of researchers, supporting them to undertake the fundamental and challenge-led research that will shape our world – a world challenged by complex, unprecedented problems, including the current COVID-19 pandemic.  

“I believe the University of Leeds must sit at the heart of the global research community that addresses these challenges.” 

Professor Plant came to Leeds as Dean of Research Quality and Impact, leading on the development and enhancement of the University’s research profile. This included leading the implementation of an institutional-wide quality and impact delivery plan and preparations for the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, the system for assessing research quality in UK higher education institutions, as well as ensuring the University continues to invest in its greatest asset: its staff.  

Before joining the University he was an Associate Professor in Systems Biology at the University of Surrey. He is a science graduate of the University of Nottingham. 

His predecessor as Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, Professor Lisa Roberts, took up the role of Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter on 1 September. 

Professor Plant’s appointment follows an extensive international recruitment process, which produced a strong final shortlist. 

Further information

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