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International research review role for Dean of School

A Leeds Beckett academic has taken up a prestigious role within New Zealand’s higher education sector.

Rhodri Thomas Professor Rhodri Thomas, Dean of the School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management, has been appointed to the panel of the southern hemisphere country’s version of the Research and Excellence Framework (REF).

New Zealand’s Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) 2018 Quality Evaluation peer review encourages and rewards the breadth and diversity of research excellence.

It is part of the country’s Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), which oversees an annual £2bn budget.

Professor Thomas said his appointment to the peer review panel, which is part of the TEC’s Business and Economics Unit, builds on his School’s international reputation in research.

“I was delighted to be nominated by academic colleagues in New Zealand and I look forward to making my contribution to their research assessment process,” he said.

“I am sure I will learn a lot from my participation. My appointment is another indicator of our School’s reputation for being internationally well-connected.”

Originally trained as an economist, Professor Thomas now focuses on multidisciplinary research in the tourism and events sector. His research includes public policy studies and innovation, and he has provided specialist expertise for the European Commission and numerous government departments and agencies in the UK and abroad.

Dr Dafydd Davies, Manager for University Investment at New Zealand’s TEC, said the panellists played a crucial role in the evaluation of research portfolios.

“The 13 peer review panels assess the quality of research in specific subject areas and assign a Quality Category to each researcher’s portfolio. For the PBRF 2018 Quality Evaluation, panellists will assess an estimated 8,000 portfolios from 36 tertiary education organisations,” he said.
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