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Professor David Pyle, Department of Earth Sciences and Fellow of St Anne's College, has been appointed as the MPLS Division's first Academic Champion for Public Engagement with Research (PER) at the University of Oxford. This is the first time such a role has been created in the Division.

Professor Pyle will provide academic leadership for the implementation of a Divisional strategy that aims to embed public engagement as an integral part of research culture, supporting the University and Division's strategies for wider engagement.

On his appointment, Professor David Pyle said: "I am delighted to take on the new role of Divisional Academic Champion for PER. There are two important aspects to this role. First, to help support researchers across MPLS develop and extend their ambitions to engage new audiences with their research. Second, to raise the profile of public engagement across MPLS and the University and beyond."

The role is supported by the Division's Public Engagement Facilitator, Dr Michaela Livingstone-Banks.

Professor Pyle will work alongside the University's champion for public engagement with research, Professor Alison Woollard, and with a network of academic ambassadors from across the University to advocate for public engagement with research.

Dr Lesley Paterson, Head of Public Engagement with Research in Research Services said: "There are many benefits for researchers who build engagement into their research practice to inform and inspire, consult or collaborate with the public. Professor Pyle's engagement work is testament to that and as such he will be the ideal ambassador for the MPLS Division."

Professor Donal Bradley, Head of MPLS Division, said: "High quality public engagement enhances research and its potential impact, helping us to maintain our position as a world-leading research institution. The creation of this role reflects the Division's continued support for and commitment to public engagement."