Professor Alison Park has been appointed interim Executive Chair of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
Professor Park joined ESRC as Director of Research in January 2019.
Prior to joining ESRC she was Professor of Social Research and Director of Cohort and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources (CLOSER).
CLOSER is a significant ESRC-funded collaboration based at the UCL Social Research Institute. It brings together leading UK longitudinal studies, the British Library and the UK Data Service to maximise the use, value and impact of longitudinal studies.
Prior to joining UCL, Professor Park led a research team at NatCen Social Research which designed, implemented and analysed a wide variety of government and academic studies, including:
- Understanding Society
- British Social Attitudes Survey
- European Social Survey.
A distinguished leader across the social sciences
Professor Park was awarded a CBE for services to social sciences in the 2018 New Year Honours and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:
I am very pleased that Professor Alison Park is stepping up to interim Executive Chair of the Economic and Social Research Council. As a distinguished leader across the social sciences, I look forward to working with her to drive forward our R&D agenda.
UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said:
Professor Alison Park is a distinguished social scientist, who will be an exceptional interim Executive Chair of the Economic and Social Research Council. She brings a wealth of experience from her roles at UCL and NatCen Social Research, and her work as Director of Research at ESRC.
Professor Alison Park said:
The last two years at ESRC have highlighted to me the importance of the social science research and infrastructure that we support. I feel honoured to be taking on the ESRC Executive Chair role on this interim basis, and look forward to working with colleagues, new and old, both within UKRI and the research councils, and across the broader research and policy landscape.
Professor Park succeeds Professor Jennifer Rubin, who has taken up the post of Chief Scientific Adviser and Director General Science, Technology, Analysis, Research and Strategy for the Home Office.
The post of interim ESRC Executive Chair is a ministerial appointment. A full and open competition will be launched to appoint a permanent Executive Chair in the coming weeks.
Top image: Professor Alison Park, interim Executive Chair, ESRC (credit: Alison Park)