Provost and Pro-Vice-Chancellors
Professor Gill Nicholls
Gill’s senior leadership roles have included King’s College London as Director of King’s Institute of Learning and Teaching (KILT), 2000, Pro-Vice Chancellor Student Experience at Durham University in 2006, Pro-Vice Chancellor Academic at Salford University in 2008, and, Vice President and Deputy-Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs at the University of Surrey in 2010. Her senior management portfolio responsibilities have focused on the strategic development of infrastructure, resources, teaching, learning, regulation, quality, widening participation, and the student experience. Gill’s research profile, particularly related to teaching and learning, scholarship and pedagogic developments within higher education are demonstrated through her publications such as “Teaching and Learning in Higher Education” and “The Challenge to Scholarship”. Her disciplinary background in Physics, with a PhD in Thermodynamics and concepts of energy, and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, has enabled Gill to publish within science and science education.
Gill has contributed to many national and international advisory committees including HEFCE Advisory Boards for: Widening Participation, Teaching, Quality and Student Experience, TRAC and financial sustainability, the QAA Degree Awarding Powers Board, Chair of Changing the Learning Landscape Advisory Board, and the EU Commission for University-Business engagement, and a member of Council for the All Parliamentary Committee for Higher Education. She currently advises KPMG on Higher Education issues. She received an OBE for services to Higher Education in December 2015.
Professor Jon Scott
Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Student Experience
Jon started life in Hove on the Sussex coast before venturing north to read biological sciences at Durham University. He stayed there for his PhD on sensory feedback in movement control. He then moved to Paris as a research fellow at the College de France before returning to Durham as a lecturer in zoology.
From Durham, Jon moved to a lectureship in physiology at Leicester, working on the control of hand movement. During this time he became increasingly involved in developments in learning and teaching and became Director of Biological Studies before being appointed Academic Director of the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology in 2009. In 2012 he was appointed to a personal chair as Professor of Bioscience Education and in 2014 took up the role of Academic Registrar.
Jon has led a number of projects in the areas of assessment and feedback, academic integrity, retention and the student experience which contributed to him being awarded a University Teaching Fellowship in 2006 and being named UK Bioscience Teacher of the Year in 2011. He was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in 2012 and also recognised as a Principal Fellow of the HEA in 2013.
When not at his desk, Jon is a choral conductor and singer, and a not-very-successful grower of vegetables. He is also a (fairly) dedicated cyclist and has clocked up over 50,000 miles commuting since joining the University.
Professor Iain Gillespie
Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise
Iain Gillespie became Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise in January 2016. Previously he was Director of Science and Innovation at the Natural Environment Research Council, the UK’s leading funder for environmental science, and was lead director across the seven UK research councils for international research. He is honorary visiting professor at University College London, honorary professorial fellow at the University of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (where he takes an active role) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.
Prior to NERC, Iain was Visiting Professor in innovation in the life sciences at the University of Edinburgh. He spent 10 years at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development leading work on science, technology and innovation, with a particular focus on the bioeconomy – a concept which he developed in the early 2000s – and more than a decade in UK central government, with science-based roles in the Cabinet Office, and the Departments of Environment, of Trade and Industry and of Health. He has had considerable engagement at UN and regional international level as well as in UK domestic policy and enterprise relations.
Iain is a microbiologist by training (BSc, PhD Edinburgh) and holds masters degrees in International Relations and European Politics (Kent) and Business Administration (Open). He sits on a number of advisory boards, including for NERC’s Centre for Environment and Hydrology and the Scottish Government’s Rural Affairs and the Environment Strategic Research Programmes.
Professor Sarah Dixon
Professor Sarah Dixon joined the University of Leicester in February 2016 as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, International. She has 23 years’ international management experience working for Shell International in a variety of roles including business management in expatriate postings in Austria and Russia, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions.
Her academic career started in 2002 at the Faculty of Business and Law, Kingston University, where she became Director of Postgraduate Programmes. In 2008 she moved to the School of Management, University of Bath, taking over the role of Director of MSc Programmes. From 2010-2012 she was Dean of Bradford University School of Management, which gained triple crown accreditation (AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA) under her leadership. In 2013 she moved to China as Dean of International Business School Suzhou at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, a ground-breaking Sino-British Joint Venture which gained AACSB accreditation within three years.
Her research interests lie in the strategic management of large international corporations, more specifically dynamic capabilities, management innovation and organisational change. She has conducted research into radical organisational transformation in a transition economy (Russia) and the dynamic capabilities of Western high tech multinationals facing radical change.
Professor Martin Barstow
Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Strategic Science Projects
Martin Barstow joined the University of Leicester and the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1979, following his undergraduate degree in physics at the University of York. Following his PhD and a series of post-doctoral space mission roles, he won a research council Advanced Fellowship and was appointed to a Lectureship, became Reader in 1998 and then Professor of Astrophysics and Space Science in 2003. He was head of the Physics and Astronomy department from 2005 to 2009 and Pro-Vice Chancellor and founding Head of the College of Science and Engineering from 2009 to 2016.
Martin’s research interests are the study of hot white dwarf stars and the surrounding interstellar medium. He has been involved in many space missions during his career, including NASA’s Voyager probes, which travelled to the outer planets of the Solar System. More recently he has worked on the Hubble Space Telescope helping to develop the plans for the final servicing mission, which took place in May 2009. He leads the Leicester contribution to the ESA Gaia mission and is looking forward to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018, while already working on proposals for an even larger space telescope to follow that.
During the past few years, Martin has been invited to play an increasingly important role in scientific funding and advisory structures, as a member of the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (2009-2015) and the Physics REF panel. He has also been a member of the ESA Astronomy Working Group and Space Programme Advisory Committee of the United Kingdom Space Agency. In 2005, he was elected to the Council of the Royal Astronomical Society, becoming Astronomy Secretary in 2008 and President for two years from May 2014 to May 2016. Martin was closely involved in the development of the National Space Centre in Leicester and continues to support its educational programme.
In his leisure time Martin is an active musician as a member of the choir and part-time organist at St Michael and All Angels, Cosby. He is regularly seen performing around the county as a member of Leicester Morrismen and finds time to tend a large garden and an allotment.