Professor Iain Gillespie

Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Executive, University Executive Office

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Iain Gillespie is Principal and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Dundee, appointed in January 2021. Prior to that Iain was Pro Vice Chancellor, Research and Enterprise at the University of Leicester. During his time in Leicester, Iain led their £100M Space Park development, the designation of the UK’s first Life Science Opportunity Zone at Charnwood, and  the university’s Global Strategy, including Joint Education initiatives with Dalian University of Technology and  with Chongqing Medical University as well as the establishment of the sector-leading Nairobi Alliance in partnership with leading African universities.

He was formerly Director of Science and Innovation at the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the UK’s leading funder for environmental science, and was lead director for international research across all seven UK research councils that are  now part of UKRI. He is Honorary Visiting Professor at University College London, Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, Honorary Professor at Jiangsu University, China, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

Prior to NERC, Iain was Visiting Professor in innovation in the life sciences at the University of Edinburgh. He spent 10 years at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development leading work on science, technology and innovation and more than a decade in UK central government, with science-based roles in the Cabinet Office, and the Departments of Environment of Trade and Industry and of Health. He has had considerable engagement at UN and regional international level as well as in UK domestic policy and enterprise relations.

Declared interest  
Start date on Court 1 January 2021
Employment (other than University of Dundee) None
Directorships Design Dundee Ltd
Other pecuniary interests Member of USS
Any other disclosure
  1. Chair, Universities Scotland RKEC
  2. Board Member, UCEA Scottish Committee
  3. Board Member, Dundee Design Ltd (DDL Board)
  4. Board Member, Science & Industry Committee, Genome Canada
  5. Trustee, UKCEH Board
  6. Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  7. Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology
Related parties None
Register last updated 2022