Professor Waljit Dhillo has been appointed as dean of the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Academy by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
Professor Waljit – who is also a consultant endocrinologist and the training lead for Imperial College NIHR Biomedical Research Centre – will work with the DHSC and the NIHR Academy chief executive to oversee the design of NIHR research training programmes and NIHR Academy schemes, to ensure they reflect the needs of the current research landscape.
The NIHR said he will work to ensure the Institute prioritises equality and diversity across all academic and research capacity programmes, schemes and initiatives, including the Integrated Academic Training Programme and Personal Research Fellowships.
He will also provide advice on policies and strategies for developing and promoting research training of prospective clinical and non-clinical academics, and those pursuing a mainly clinical or practice-based career.
He will replace Professor Dave Jones in September.
Professor Dhillo said: ‘I will take on this important NIHR leadership role knowing the NIHR Academy is in excellent shape. I think we still have a lot more to do to ensure equality of opportunity – in the context of equality, diversity and inclusion but also ensuring there are attractive robust academic career paths for researchers from all backgrounds.’
Dr Lisa Cotterill, chief executive of the NIHR Academy, said: ‘Professor Dave Jones leaves the NIHR Academy having transformed NIHR’s training and career development agenda, and I look forward to working with Waljit to build on this legacy and take the NIHR Academy to the next level.’
She added: ‘There is more to do, especially as we move to develop a more diverse and inclusive culture. I know Waljit has the enthusiasm and passion to meet the challenges ahead.’