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Professor Tim Wheeler, appointed UK Research and Innovation Director for International

18/09/2018

Professor Tim Wheeler, appointed UK Research and Innovation Director for International

Following an external and highly competitive process, UKRI is pleased to announce that Professor Tim Wheeler has been appointed as UKRI’s new Director for International.

As Director for International, Professor Wheeler will be responsible for overseeing the development and delivery of a collective UKRI International strategy, ensuring alignment with the UK government’s broader international strategy for research and innovation.

This will include strategic leadership and oversight of UKRI’s work with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on the implications of decision to leave the EU, along with the development and delivery of a new £110 million Fund for International Collaboration announced as part of the UK government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper.

Professor Andrew Thompson, Executive Chair Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and UKRI Executive Champion for International said:

‘It gives me great pleasure to announce Professor Wheeler’s appointment. His experience will be vital as we work with the UK research and innovation community, government and our international partners to enhance the UK’s position as a leading research and innovation nation at this crucial time’

He will work closely with Professor Stuart Taberner, UKRI Director for International and Interdisciplinary Research, who leads on UKRI’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) research activities, including the Global Challenges Research Fund and the Newton Fund.

Professor Wheeler will be moving across to lead UKRI International from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) where he has been Director for Research and Innovation since 2016.  At NERC he was responsible for overseeing its world-leading environmental research and innovation portfolio, addressing global issues such as climate change, clean air and environmental influences on human health. He will take up the role from 15 October 2018.

Professor Wheeler said:

‘I very much look forward to this exciting and challenging new role, working closely with colleagues across UKRI, as well as our international partners, to ensure that the UK remains an international partner of choice for research and innovation. UKRI is at the heart of world-leading international collaborations, delivering impacts which promote economic growth, prosperity and societal well-being, not just for the UK but globally’.

For six years prior to joining NERC, Professor Wheeler was Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Department for International Development, providing science advice to ministers and overseeing a research portfolio for international development. He has also served as specialist adviser in the House of Lords. Over 25 years at the University of Reading he addressed the relationship between climate change and the sustainability of agriculture and food, undertaking research in Bolivia, Honduras, The Gambia, Uganda, China, India and elsewhere. Professor Wheeler is currently Visiting Professor at the University of Reading. 


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