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Report of the General Board on the establishment of Readerships in the Departments of Pathology and Zoology

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

1. In their Report, dated 19 February 2003 (Reporter, 2002-03, p. 618), on the structure of academic offices in the University, the General Board recommended that Statute D, XVI, 2 be amended to allow the permanent establishment of a Readership in cases where this would assist Faculties and Departments in enhancing their research profile and thus maintain the University's international pre-eminence in research. This amendment was approved by the Privy Council on 11 February 2004. The Council of the School of the Biological Sciences have now proposed the permanent establishment of two Readerships in the Departments of Pathology and Zoology, both to be filled through open competition.

2. The Department of Pathology has very few research active parasitologists despite the subject being of considerable scientific and sociological significance. Teaching is therefore constrained despite parasitology forming an essential component in the undergraduate courses in the natural, veterinary, and medical sciences and in the Wellcome Trust's four-year Ph.D. programme in infection and immunity. Recent developments concerning parasitic cell biology indicate a significant potential for research both to improve treatment of parasitic diseases and to take forward analysis of mammalian cell function. The Department consider it essential that an appointment is made at the Readership level to provide the necessary leadership in cell biology, and to ensure that research opportunities are fully explored, that teaching capacity is strengthened, and that the University remains at the forefront in this field.

3. In the Department of Zoology, Professor Bryan Grenfell has resigned from his personal Professorship with effect from 6 September 2004. The Department have made the case for a senior appointment in the general field of population biology, since they are of the view that only a more experienced candidate with an active research programme and established teaching skills could fill this position and provide leadership for the Department's work in this field. This is particularly the case given the need to maintain the current high level of external research grants and the imminence of the next Research Assessment Exercise.

4. The General Board are assured that, in both cases, there would be a number of candidates at the Readership level who could make major contributions in their areas of specialism to the research profiles of the Departments. Cell biology and population biology are fundamental components in the five-year strategic academic plans for the Departments of Pathology and Zoology respectively and senior appointments in these fields would considerably benefit their research profiles for the next Research Assessment Exercise. In both cases, the Board have been assured that suitable accommodation is available and the Council of the School of the Biological Sciences have confirmed their approval of the Departments' arrangements for funding the Readerships.

5. In accordance with the conditions set out in the Board's Report, the criteria for appointment through open competition to a Readership will be identical to those for appointment through promotion. Regulations already exist for the constitution of the Appointments Committee (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 699).

6. The General Board have accepted the case from the School of the Biological Sciences and accordingly recommend the establishment, from a date to be determined, of two Readerships, one in Cell Biology in the Department of Pathology, and one in Population Biology in the Department of Zoology.

7. The General Board recommend:

I. That a Readership in Cell Biology be established in the University, from a date to be determined, and assigned to the Department of Pathology.

II. That a Readership in Population Biology be established in the University, from a date to be determined, and assigned to the Department of Zoology.

14 July 2004ALISON RICHARD, Vice-ChancellorH. A. CHASED. W. B. MACDONALD
 JOHN BELLM. J. DAUNTONMELVEENA MCKENDRICK
 TOM BLUNDELLPETER LANDSHOFFKEITH PETERS
 WILLIAM BROWNDREW LIVINGSTONS. J. YOUNG
 N. O. A. BULLOCK  

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Cambridge University Reporter 21 July 2004
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