Dr John Kirkland

Dr John Kirkland, Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), is the Senior Advisor (External Affairs) at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) in the UK. His long career in research management includes two previous positions at the NIESR: as Chief Operating Officer (2018–2020) and Company Secretary (1994–1999). He also initiated the research management programme at the Association of Commonwealth Universities, where he worked for eighteen years, including ten years as Deputy Secretary General. Dr Kirkland served for six years as Head of the Research Services Office at Brunel University in the UK, where he also obtained his doctorate.

He maintains a strong interest in international development issues. He currently serves on the steering committees of two major donor-funded programmes to develop research capacity in Africa. In 2020, Dr Kirkland was appointed as Chair of the School Club of Zambia, a UK-based charity that promotes sustainability and employability in Zambian schools. He was the Executive Secretary of the UK Commonwealth Scholarship programmes, the major development scholarships of the UK government, for 18 years. More recently, he has undertaken consultancy for the Wellcome Trust (UK), the National Research Foundation (South Africa) and COMSATS University Islamabad (Pakistan).

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