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Professor appointed to Hong Kong Research Assessment Panel

Posted on 06 August 2018

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​​​A Leeds Trinity University Professor has been appointed as the Deputy Convenor of the Hong Kong Research Assessment Exercise for 2020, which encourages world-class research and promotes academic excellence.

Professor John Leach, Director of the Institute of Childhood and Education at Leeds Trinity University, will work with the University Grants Committee (UGC) to assess the performance and research quality of UCG-funded universities in Hong Kong.

He will focus on research publications relating to education, sport, and the environment, which will inform the allocation of funding for education and sport research to those universities by the Hong Kong government.

Professor Leach said: "To assess the very best research as a member of an international group of experts is a real privilege – you learn so much by what you read, and by working with the people that you encounter as fellow panel members.

"It is really hard work – lots of reading to be done – but I'm looking forward to it. I feel very honoured to be asked to become part of the panel, and Hong Kong is an exciting and vibrant place to go for work!"

Professor Leach will work with an international panel of experts including leading academics from Europe, North America, Australasia, Hong Kong, China and Singapore.

A qualified teacher, Professor Leach's academic interests are in teaching and learning Science in formal educational settings, and he has undertaken funded research looking at Science teaching and learning from the early years to Higher Education. His research has thousands of citations, and he has undertaken teaching, research and consultancy on Science education around the world. 

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He was previously Deputy Chair of the UK Research Excellence Framework sub-panel for education in 2014, an education sub-panel member of the Research Assessment Exercise in 2008, and is a member of Council of the British Educational Research Association. He also serves on the British Academy/Royal Society Working Group on Educational Research.

In June 2018, Professor Leach joined Leeds Trinity as Director of Institute of Childhood and Education.

Professor Trevor Batten, Director of Research at Leeds Trinity, said: "John has high ambitions for research and knowledge exchange, and we're delighted to welcome him to the team at Leeds Trinity. John's appointment with the UGC provides a real opportunity to make a difference as his assessment will have a direct impact on funding allocation in Hong Kong. It's a great opportunity and a testament to the high regard in which John's extensive research profile is held."