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Wales draws big names...

Cardiff University is at the head of a drive by Welsh institutions to attract high-profile research stars as the next research assessment exercise draws near.

Among its latest appointments are a world-renowned management academic from Cambridge University and a leading political theorist from California.

They have been attracted with the help of a £5 million recruitment pot accumulated following the university's merger with the University of Wales College of Medicine in 2004.

Meanwhile, new research collaborations between other Welsh institutions are expected to add to the head count of top professors taking up posts in Wales.

Bangor University said this week that it expected to make nine professorial appointments as a result of research collaboration with Aberystwyth University, which has been backed by £11 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.

University heads hope that a rush of new appointments will help bring about a renaissance in Welsh research performance. To that end, the HEFCW is planning to invest an extra £46.5 million for this purpose in the next two years.

Cardiff is leading the charge. The two latest appointments bring its tally of internationally renowned academics recruited in the past year to ten.

Hugh Willmott, Diageo professor of management studies at Cambridge's Judge Business School, will become professorial research fellow in organisational behaviour at Cardiff in April. Professor Willmott is the author of 19 books and a member of editorial boards of many key journals in his field. He has developed an international reputation for management analysis.

Carole Pateman, a top political theorist, will leave her post as professor of political science at the University of California to become professorial fellow of Cardiff's School of European Studies.

Professor Pateman was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Political Studies Association in 2004 and the Benjamin E. Lippincott award by the American Political Science Association for The Sexual Contract, her best-known book.

Her appointment follows a long association with academic life in Wales. She became an honorary fellow of Cardiff University in 2001, and she has been a Cardiff distinguished visiting fellow, giving a series of lectures.

Both new recruits will be ontop salaries, but the real attraction of moving to Wales may be the opportunity to do pure research.

tony.tysome@thes.co.uk

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