University of Sheffield appoints Professor Koen Lamberts as its next President and Vice-Chancellor

Professor Koen Lamberts

The University of Sheffield has today (Tuesday 26 June 2018) announced the appointment of Professor Koen Lamberts as its next President and Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Lamberts, an exceptional leader in higher education, is currently Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of York.

Speaking of his appointment, Professor Koen Lamberts said: "I feel enormously privileged to be appointed President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield.

"Sheffield is known across the world for the excellence, impact and distinctiveness of its research and teaching, and for being a university which speaks fearlessly for the value of international scholarship to transform lives for the better.

"I am committed to working with colleagues to further enhance Sheffield's reputation as a global university which strives to solve society's greatest challenges at the same time as upholding its proud history, guided by its founding principles."

He added: “At its heart, Sheffield is a civic university for the 21st century and I am looking forward to working with partners in the Sheffield City Region.”

Professor Lamberts is a cognitive psychologist with an extensive track record in experimental and theoretical research on human perception and memory, for which he has been awarded prizes from the Experimental Psychology Society and the British Psychological Society.

Throughout his career he has held a number of significant leadership roles in higher education, including Chair of the N8 group of research-intensive universities in the north of England.

Tony Pedder OBE, Chair of the University of Sheffield Council, said: “I’m delighted to announce Professor Koen Lamberts as the next President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield.

“This is an extremely important appointment for our University as we look to build further on our global reputation for world-changing research, inspirational teaching and a unique student experience.”

I am committed to working with colleagues to further enhance Sheffield's reputation as a global university which strives to solve society's greatest challenges at the same time as upholding its proud history, guided by its founding principles.

Professor Koen Lamberts

He added: “The University of Sheffield is a truly international community that continues to put civic commitment at its heart with a profound belief in the public benefit of providing excellent higher education in a research-intensive environment.

“We know Professor Lamberts shares these values and will work with an exceptional community of colleagues and students while proudly serving as an advocate and ambassador for our University, both at home and across the world.”

Prior to joining the University of York as Vice-Chancellor and President in 2014, Professor Lamberts was Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the University of Warwick. He joined Warwick in 1998 and was elected Head of its Department of Psychology in 2000, serving until 2008. He became Chair of the Faculty of Science in 2007 and was appointed as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research a year later. He later served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Resourcing before being appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost in February 2012.

Before moving to Warwick, he was a Research Associate at the University of Chicago (1991-1992), and a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Reader at the University of Birmingham between 1992 and 1998.

Professor Lamberts was born in Hasselt, Belgium, and undertook both his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Leuven, culminating in the award of his PhD in Psychology in 1992.

Professor Lamberts succeeds Professor Sir Keith Burnett, who is retiring at the end of September after a very successful decade as the University’s leader. The University’s Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Gill Valentine will be the interim Vice-Chancellor from 1 October 2018 until Professor Lamberts joins the University on 1 November 2018.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett said: "I am delighted that Professor Koen Lamberts will take up the role of President and Vice-Chancellor of this great University. In addition to his reputation as a scholar and educational leader, Koen has been a true advocate for the international community of scholars who together make such a profound difference for society here in the UK and around the world.

“He will lead an institution which is deeply committed to the public benefit of education and its power to transform people's lives. I could not be more pleased for the University and for him, and wish him the very best in his endeavours."

Additional information

Professor Koen Lamberts

Professor Koen Lamberts is currently Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of York. He is Chair of the N8 Research Partnership and Chair of UKCISA's Board of Trustees. He is also Deputy Chair and a Board Member of the Russell Group, the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership, the Outward Mobility Strategy Board, Universities and Colleges Employers Association, the White Rose University Consortium, the Worldwide Universities Network and Yorkshire Universities.

Professor Lamberts was born in Hasselt, Belgium. He holds undergraduate degrees in Philosophy (1985) and Psychology (1987) and a PhD in Experimental Psychology (1992) from the University of Leuven.

Following a research appointment at the University of Chicago, he became a lecturer at the University of Birmingham in 1992. He was Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Warwick from 2000 to 2013. At Warwick, he served as Faculty Chair for Science, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research (Science and Medicine) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost.

Professor Lamberts has a track record of experimental research into cognitive processes in perception, memory and decision making, and of mathematical and computational modelling of these processes. He has collaborated with commercial and industrial partners in applied research that has focussed on consumer behaviour and product design.

He was a recipient of the British Psychological Society’s Cognitive Award (1996) and of the Experimental Psychology Society Prize (1997).

The University of Sheffield

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For further information please contact:

Hannah Postles
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 1046