Press release

Reappointment of Chief Executive for the Arts and Humanities Research Council

Professor Rick Rylance reappointmented as Chief Executive and Deputy Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


David Willetts today announced the reappointment of Professor Rick Rylance, as Chief Executive and Deputy Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Announcing the reappointment David Willetts said:

I am delighted that Rick has agreed to remain as Chief Executive of the AHRC for a further term. He has made a significant and valuable contribution to the work of the Council in his first term and I look forward to seeing him continue in this important leadership role.

Sir Alan Wilson, Chair of the AHRC said:

Rick has proved himself to be an enormous asset for AHRC and, more broadly, the Research Councils UK in the last four years. I am delighted that he is going to have a further four years and the Council will benefit hugely from his strategic drive and his commitment to a creative future for arts and humanities research.

Professor Rick Rylance said:

I am delighted to be able to continue working with the AHRC, its Council and my colleagues. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first term and look forward to developing the achievements of arts and humanities researchers during my second.

The appointment is from 1 September 2013 until 31 August 2017.

Notes for Editors

  1. The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.
  2. Alongside his AHRC Chief Executive role, for the past two years Professor Rylance has also served as Chair of Research Councils UK Executive Committee. Before taking up the post of AHRC Chief Executive in September 2009, Professor Rylance was Head of the School of Arts, Languages and Literatures at the University of Exeter. Prior to that, he was Dean of Arts and Letters at the then Anglia Polytechnic University in Cambridge. He was Chair of the English Sub-panel of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008; a founder member of the English Subject Centre’s Advisory Board, a past Chair of the Council of College and University English (CCUE) and is currently a member of the Higher Education Committee of the English Association. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in 1998 and a Founding Fellow of the English Association in 1999. His main research interests are in nineteenth and twentieth-century literature and the intellectual and literary history of those periods. He has a particular interest in the history of psychology and the psychology of the reading process. 3.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:
    • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
    • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
    • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
    • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 8 August 2013