Prof Jim Dunlop as new Head of School

Prof Arthur Trew has stepped down as Head of School after 8 years. As Prof Jim Dunlop takes the helm, he tells us about his vision for the School.

Prof Jim Dunlop has a number of priorities for the School.  For students, this includes creating a sense of community and ensuring appropriate facilities are in place.  For staff he has plans for greater collaboration across the professional service teams and academic colleagues, and to streamline activities to reduce some of the administration burden. “Many of my first tasks however will be determined by requirements relating to the research excellence framework exercise”, the 2021 assessment on the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

Prior to this tenure, Prof Dunlop held the post of Head of the Institute for Astronomy for 6 years, growing the Institute to cover broader areas of astronomical research and an increased range of PhD opportunities. He has gained valuable experience negotiating the Institute’s vision alongside competing School priorities and University requirements, while maintaining a successful collaborative relationship with the UK Astronomy Technology Centre with which the Institute shares the Royal Observatory site. 

Jim is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE), and the Institute of Physics (FInstP). Throughout his time as an academic, he has been awarded funding by the STFC (Science and Technology Funding Council) and ERC (European Research Council) and received the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. His research focuses on extragalactic astronomy and cosmology - the study of the Universe on the largest scales, and over all of cosmic time, however he has long had a broad interest in all areas of physics and astronomy.

He wants to ensure students and staff have the chance to be the very best in their fields and departments, and to continue strengthening the School’s position as a leading institute for physics and astronomy in terms of research, teaching, industrial exchange and community engagement.

I have every confidence that together we can achieve this vision, not least because we have a committed team of staff and students who have the ambition to succeed in all that they do.