Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor and President at the University of York, has been appointed chair of the N8 Research Partnership Board of Directors.
As part of his role, Professor Jeffery will seek to promote the N8 and its programmes to key audiences throughout the public and private sector as a key mechanism to deliver solutions to the many challenges society is currently facing.
This includes Net Zero North – which seeks to drive growth in the green economy in the North of England and beyond by co-producing research and innovation with businesses and other stakeholders – and Child of the North, a platform for collaboration, research and policy engagement that seeks to improve the lives of children living in the North of England in a post-pandemic age.
The Child of the North All-Party Parliamentary Group was recently launched, bringing together policy makers and experts in child outcomes from across the country to find solutions to the disparities suffered by children growing up in the North. The Net Zero North programme, meanwhile, is convening a Skills Alliance of Further and Higher Education providers and business, to support a reshaping of the skills landscape in the North of England as part of the shift to a low-carbon economy.
Professor Jeffery will also ensure strategic engagement with government officials, industry, research funders and other stakeholders, working closely with the Vice-Chancellors and Pro Vice-Chancellors of Research of the other N8 universities, as well as the N8’s Director, Dr Annette Bramley.
Before taking on his current role at York, Professor Jeffery was Senior Vice-Principal at the University of Edinburgh and was a Member of Council of the Economic and Social Research Council from 2006-12 and Chair of the Political Studies Association of the UK from 2009-12.
Professor Jeffery is also a member of the Partnership Board of key organisations in the City of York, the York Central Steering Board, and the York Health and Care Alliance Board. He is currently Deputy Chair of the Russell Group of leading universities in the UK.
His predecessor as chair of the N8 was Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor and President of Newcastle University, who had held the role since 2019.
Professor Jeffery said: “The N8 is the North’s very own ‘golden triangle’ – an extremely powerful partnership of universities which supply the R&D innovations and graduate talent that drive collaboration with business and industry across the North of England.
“Harnessing that power to meet challenges like climate change and decarbonisation and to bring new vitality to the North’s economy are areas where N8 research is making a real difference to people’s lives, and really puts the N8’s research capabilities in the shop window.
“Given all the challenges we face, that role is more important than ever. So, I am looking forward immensely to continuing to work to translate N8 expertise into real economic and societal impact.”
Dr Bramley said: “Having had the pleasure of working with Charlie Jeffrey over recent years, I know that his passion and vision for the North of England makes him a perfect fit for the role.
“He has a deep-rooted interest in how university research and education can serve to the general benefit of society. In Edinburgh and now in York he has worked to bring together leading academic institutions with local authorities, businesses, other universities and colleges to promote inclusive economic development. During this challenging period for so many, it is vital that we promote collaborative research and demonstrate the importance of our universities to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of our region and the country.
“I would also like to pay tribute to Professor Chris Day, who has been an inspirational advocate for Northern research excellence during his tenure.”