February 24, 2020, by Rob Ounsworth
A welcome message from Pip Peakman, Director of Research and Innovation
Pip Peakman joined the University in September 2019. A Biochemistry graduate from the University of Birmingham, Pip was previously the Director of Research Operations and Strategy at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre.
My first few months at the University have been spent in full absorption mode. I have met with many colleagues, started to become familiar with our fantastic UK campuses (UNNC and UNM visits in planning), visited external partners, sampled the cafes and have nearly mastered the car parking.
There is still lots to learn and I will continue to work to understand the challenges and opportunities we face as a broad, research–intensive institution.
It is clear that there is excellent work taking place across the University and tremendous support and enthusiasm to do even more. From discovery and translational research, through to commercialisation and industry partnership, we have an extraordinary impact.
This blog is an opportunity to introduce myself, to reflect on my first few months and to set out my priorities for 2020 and beyond.
Developing the focus for Research and Innovation
I am delighted to lead a team of talented people in Research and Innovation. We support the diverse needs of our academic community throughout the research and innovation lifecycle. Our vision is to provide an expert framework to deliver research excellence and knowledge mobilisation. In practice, this means we provide advice, guidance and the tools to support you to reach your research potential.
To further align with the new University strategy, we are continuing work to refine our department’s objectives and priorities. Our University is large and complex and there is a challenging and rapidly changing external environment. My aim is to build on our excellent track record, make sure we respond effectively and efficiently to new initiatives, and challenge ourselves to work in new and agile ways to meet the demands of the evolving research funding landscape.
See our updated Research and Innovation website to find out more about our department’s structure and how our teams could support you.
Priorities for 2020
I am hugely grateful to colleagues who are working so hard on our REF 2021 submission. It is a huge piece of work and the results are of great importance to our University.
We have a number of important initiatives planned over 2020, from implementing the research operations delivery models, to the rebrand of the Graduate School to mention a couple. But to focus on just one area – 2020 will definitely shape the future of our knowledge exchange. The soon-to-be-launched Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) will, alongside REF, be an important measure of university performance. We have been consulting for over a year to shape our new Knowledge Exchange and Impact Strategic Delivery Plan. This will launch in the coming months. Look out for details on how we will embed new ways of working, develop our culture and work more effectively together.
We are developing closer relationships with industry. A new Business Partners Programme will enhance how we collaborate with key industry partners. And we are working closely with employers to develop and deliver a suite of degree apprenticeships.
Universities have a crucial role to play in tackling global and local issues. We should be bold and brave with our vision. I look forward to working with colleagues across the University to deliver our ambitions around research and innovation. I am always happy to discuss ways we can improve what we do so please feel free to get in contact with me.
For now, thank you to everyone who has made me feel so welcome.