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Leverhulme Trust invests over £21 million in new Leverhulme International Professors

The Leverhulme Trust Board is pleased to announce the first of five winners of its 2021 Leverhulme International Professorships. These awards are designed to enable universities to attract globally leading scholars to take up permanent professorial posts in the UK. The Trust Board introduced these grants as a means to support the UK higher education sector to maintain its strong international standing and to help universities continue to attract top talent to reshape an existing area or field of study.

The Trust’s mission is to support research of outstanding originality and quality, which is fundamental or curiosity-driven, multi-disciplinary and often higher risk. Applicants were therefore invited to be bold in compiling their bids. In line with the Trust’s responsive mode of operation the choice of research topic was left deliberately open. The quality of the bids was exceptionally high and the task of selecting just five was correspondingly challenging. Niall FitzGerald, Chairman of the Leverhulme Trust Board, said:

Through the Leverhulme International Professorship scheme the Trust aims to maintain the UK’s international standing as a world renowned research destination; open to outstanding talent and ideas from around the globe.

The first of the 2021 appointments is Professor Emma Waterton who will lead the Heritage for Global Challenges Research Centre in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York, with the core ambition of tackling a suite of global challenges related to notions of heritage.

Professor Waterton’s appointment arrives at a time when heritage has become an issue of clear national and international importance. Those who professionally engage with the past are being asked – publicly and politically – to examine crucial questions such as ‘which “pasts” have we rendered present’, ‘which “pasts” have been silenced’ and ‘which “pasts” do we want to take with us’? The centre will position the University of York as a global leader for heritage research. 

Professor Nicky Milner, Head of Archaeology says:

We are delighted that Professor Waterton has been successful with this Leverhulme award, and our department can’t wait to welcome the team to York. We are really looking forward to establishing this important Centre and exploring these critical topics. 

The other four winners will be announced shortly, but we can tell you they will span a range of topics, from green chemistry to theoretical physics, and will be based at the following universities:

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Warwick 
  • University of Nottingham 

Read the University of York’s full media release

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