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DHSC appoints Professor Waljit Dhillo to the role of Dean of the NIHR Academy

Published: 27 April 2021

The Department of Health and Social Care has appointed Professor Waljit Dhillo to the role of Dean of the NIHR Academy. He will take up this role in September.

Waljit is a Professor in Endocrinology & Metabolism, Consultant Endocrinologist and an NIHR Senior Investigator. He also serves as Head of the Section of Endocrinology and Investigative Medicine & Head of Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism at Imperial College London. Waljit is currently the Training Lead for Imperial College NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, was appointed Chair of the national NIHR Infrastructure Training Forum (Oct 2015 – Sept 2018) and NIHR Interim Associate Dean for Infrastructure & Capacity Building Structures (Oct 2018 – Sept 2019).

The Dean of the NIHR Academy supports the delivery and development of NIHR Academy schemes, including the Integrated Academic Training Programme, Personal Research Fellowships, the Integrated Clinical Academic Programme, the Infrastructure Training Forum as well as a number of Global Health Training Programmes. Working in partnership with DHSC and the NIHR Academy CEO, the Dean provides oversight on the development and delivery of NIHR research training programmes, to ensure they meet the needs of the current research landscape, as well as identifying future gaps and formulating solutions.

As a member of the NIHR Strategy Board the Dean will advise, influence and support the development of research training and capacity development across NIHR and ensure that the NIHR’s strategy prioritises the delivery of equality, diversity and inclusion across all academic and research capacity development programmes, schemes and initiatives. The Dean also provides advice on policies and strategies for developing and promoting research training of both prospective clinical and non-clinical academics as well as those likely to pursue a mainly clinical or practice-based career.

Dr Louise Wood CBE, Director of Science Research and Evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care and NIHR co-lead, said: “I look forward to welcoming Waljit to his new leadership role in NIHR as Dean of the NIHR Academy and continuing our work together on promoting equality, diversity and inclusivity in the NIHR Academy’s personal award schemes and NIHR more widely. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience on which to draw in building on the tremendous work of Professor Dave Jones, in partnership with Dr Lisa Cotterill, in establishing the NIHR Academy and implementing the recommendations of the “Strategic Review of Training Report, Ten Years On: Adapting and Evolving to New Challenges in Developing Tomorrow’s Health Research Leaders”.

Professor Waljit Dhillo said “I am thrilled to be appointed as the Dean of the NIHR Academy. It is a huge privilege to be able to serve the academic community and shape the training for the next generation of NIHR's academics. Professor Dave Jones has done a terrific job as the current Dean of the NIHR Academy and 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. This will be an exciting challenge which I look forward to delivering with the fantastic NIHR Academy Team and the DHSC Senior Leadership Team”.

Dr Lisa Cotterill, CEO of the NIHR Academy said “I am very excited to welcome Waljit as the new Dean of the NIHR Academy. He has previously been an NIHR Academy Fellow and NIHR Research Professor and so understands first-hand the need to support and nurture emerging talent. 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. 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”.

Waljit will work closely with the NIHR Academy, DHSC, HEE and other clinical academic training providers.

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