The University of Newcastle, Australia

From Idaho to Newcastle - New Deputy Vice-Chancellor announced

Monday, 11 November 2019

The University of Newcastle has today announced that research leader Professor Janet Nelson will start as the new Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) in February next year.

Prof Janet Nelson

Professor Nelson is currently the Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the University of Idaho in the US.

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky, said the appointment was a significant win for the university.

“I’m thrilled that Professor Nelson, a demonstrated leader with experience across academia, government, not-for-profit organisations and industry is joining our senior executive team,” Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky said.

“Professor Nelson has extensive experience in scientific research, scientific review and research portfolio administration, complex and multidisciplinary program and project management, business development, and science policy implementation.”

“Our university is home to some of the world’s most well-regarded researchers who work across a range of disciplines. Our innovation programs and partnerships are fundamentally changing lives and improving industries, and it’s wonderful that Professor Nelson will accelerate and amplify this work,” Professor Zelinsky said.

Professor Nelson holds a PhD in Chemistry from California Institute of Technology and a BA in Chemistry from Carleton College, Minnesota. In her current role, Professor Nelson is the University of Idaho's Chief Research Officer and the principal point of contact for the university in all research-related matters. Prior to this, Professor Nelson was the Associate Vice-Chancellor of Research Development at the University of Tennessee and, earlier, the Director of Business Development for URS Corporation (now AECOM) and a Director at Biotechnology Industry Organisation in Washington, DC.

“The University of Newcastle is a vibrant academic community where faculty and students are engaged in ground-breaking research with a view toward positive societal impacts. I’m excited about the possibility of supporting ongoing efforts and encouraging new cross-disciplinary research teams, raising the profile of the university nationally and internationally, and developing new community partnerships,” Professor Nelson said.

“The University of Newcastle already has an excellent reputation among Australian and world universities. I look forward to supporting the outstanding work that is already happening at Newcastle, while encouraging new innovation at the university and new partnerships with industry and with the broader research community.”

“Newcastle is located in the heart of one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines. I’m a sailor and an enthusiastic walker. I look forward to exploring the paths and waters of the Hunter and the Central Coast with my family and new friends,” she said.

Professor Nelson takes on the role made vacant following Professor Kevin Hall’s move earlier this year to the role of Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President – Global Engagement and Partnerships at the University of Newcastle.


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