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Report of the General Board on the establishment of a second Professorship of Psychiatry

The GENERAL BOARD beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. The Department of Psychiatry is widely recognized as having international standing in several principal areas, including the cognitive, neuropsychological, and genetic aspects of affective disorders, the epidemiology of dementia, and cognitive neuroscience. The importance of adult psychiatry as a major area of the Department's research is reflected in its involvement in substantial research programmes with the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, and other medical charities; this aspect of the Department's work is further enhanced by interaction with the Institute of Public Health, the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, the MRC Centre for Brain Repair, the Department of Anatomy, and the MRC Applied Psychology Unit.

2. It is expected that the requirement for the teaching of psychiatry, especially adult psychiatry, through all phases of the clinical medical course will continue to grow. As a result of its close links with Addenbrooke's Hospital, the Department of Psychiatry also plays an important role in the postgraduate and professional training of junior psychiatrists, including research supervision, and in the organization of specialist registrar training programmes.

3. The Faculty Board of Clinical Medicine have informed the General Board that, as part of the research strategy of the Clinical School, there is a need for a new senior appointment in the Department of Psychiatry to develop work on the biology and brain mechanisms of psychiatric disorders. Such an appointment would be timely in view of the impending retirement of Professor Paykel, the present Head of the Department, on 30 September 2001; it would also enable the Department to build on the Clinical School's present strengths in neuropathology, pharmacology, and medical genetics (including work in the new SmithKline Beecham Unit on the Addenbrooke's Hospital Site), and on the work of the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, the presence of which offers the opportunity of developing a major international strength in psychiatric brain imaging. The Faculty Board have accordingly proposed that a second Professorship of Psychiatry should be established in the University.

4. The General Board have accepted the case made by the Faculty Board. Funds have been made available from the NHS Regional Academic Posts budget to meet the full cost of the proposed Professorship, at Consultant level, for a single tenure. Should the NHS financial support cease prematurely, the cost of the office would be met by the Faculty Board from within their existing resources, ahead of any new developments or the filling of vacant offices. The General Board are assured that suitable accommodation for the Professor is available and that the necessary support and facilities can be provided within the Department of Psychiatry. The Board are satisfied that an appointment at this level will be likely to attract a strong field of candidates. The Addenbrooke's NHS Trust have agreed to award an honorary Consultant contract to the Professor, and to provide him or her with access to wards, clinics, community mental health services, and a supporting team for his or her clinical work.

5. The General Board accordingly propose that a second Professorship of Psychiatry should be established in the University for one tenure from 1 October 1998 and assigned to the Department of Psychiatry. They have agreed to concur in the view of the Faculty Board of Clinical Medicine that the election to the Professorship should be made by an ad hoc Board of Electors and that candidature should be limited to persons whose work falls within the field of adult psychiatry.

6. The General Board recommend:

 That a second Professorship of Psychiatry be established for one tenure from 1 October 1998, placed in Schedule B of the Statutes, and assigned to the Department of Psychiatry.

22 July 1998


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Cambridge University Reporter, 29 July 1998
Copyright © 1998 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.