Faculty Directors of Research & Innovation

Our five Faculty Directors of Research & Innovation (FDRIs) are responsible for developing and leading research, innovation and knowledge exchange strategies for their respective research areas. 

Working together, and with the Vice-President for Research & Innovation, Professor David Petley, they play an important role in promoting inter-departmental and inter-disciplinary research activity.

Arts and Humanities: Professor Nicola Dibben

Nicola DibbenNicola Dibben is Professor in Music, and took up the role of Faculty Director of Research and Innovation in 2018. Her priority is to foster internationally excellent research by enhancing research support, increasing research funding capture, facilitating interdisciplinary and collaborative research, leading preparations for REF 2021 and communicating the value of Arts and Humanities research. She brings to the role her experience as a subpanel member for REF 2014 and REF 2021, Director of the Humanities Research Institute from 2015 to 2018, and almost twenty years as a member of academic staff at Sheffield. Her research in the psychology of music and popular music studies critically examines the place of musical engagement in how people think about and make sense of themselves and the world. Her numerous research partnerships include a collaboration with pop icon Björk on the first app-based music album in 2009-2011.

Research and Innovation in the Faculty

Professor Nicola Dibben's staff page (with contact details)

Engineering: Professor John Haycock

John HaycockJohn Haycock is Professor of Bioengineering. He joined the Faculty of Engineering in 2001 from the Medical School at the University of Sheffield where he was a Research Fellow. He obtained his first degree and PhD in Biochemistry at Newcastle University and was a Research Fellow at Albany Medical College in New York. His research is on the development of biomaterials and medical devices for: 

  1. Repairing and regenerating nerve injury
  2. 3D in vitro models.
  3. Creating bioactive surfaces.

His largest grant currently is from the EU, funding a consortium to design and develop surgical implants to repair nerve with partners in the UK, Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

Research and Innovation in the Faculty

Professor Haycock's staff page (with contact details)

Medicine, Dentistry and Health: Professor Wendy Baird

Wendy BairdWendy Baird's research interests focus on inequalities in health and access to health services for both those with chronic disabling diseases and those who are socially excluded from care, as well as being a leading national advocate for public and patient involvement in research. As the Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service for Yorkshire and the Humber (based in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health's School of Health and Related Research), Wendy leads the regions service to support researchers to develop and design high quality research proposals for submission to the NIHR and other national, peer-reviewed funding competitions for applied health or social care research.

Research and Innovation in the Faculty

Professor Baird's staff page (with contact details)

Science: Professor Simon Foster

Simon FosterSimon is a Professor of Molecular Microbiology having worked for over 20 years on the molecular physiology of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), a major cause of death and disease in humans. The spread of antibiotic resistance (MRSA, VRSA) highlights its importance. His research has concentrated on a number of areas including stress responses, vaccine development, essential genes, host-pathogen interaction and cell wall architecture/dynamics. His research spans from fundamental biology to the discovery and development of targets for novel therapy and prophylaxis.

Research and Innovation in the Faculty

Professor Foster's staff page (with contact details)

Social Sciences: Professor John Flint

John FlintProfessor John Flint was awarded an MA in Politics from the University of Glasgow in 1994. Whilst continuing his studies at Glasgow, he lectured part-time in HM Prison, Saughton, Edinburgh before gaining an MPhil in Urban Policy in 1998.

He was employed as a research associate at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow before becoming a lecturer in Housing Studies at the University of Glasgow. He joined the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam in 2005 and was appointed Professor in 2007.

In 2011 he moved to the University of Sheffield as Professor of Town and Regional Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (formerly TRP). He was Head of Department between 2012 and 2016 and then Interim Head of the Department of Geography until September 2017.

John is currently the Co-Executive Managing Editor of the Housing Studies journal and a Trustee of the Urban Studies Foundation. He was also a member of the REF2014 sub-panel 16 and was formerly a member of the Housing Studies Association Executive Committee.

Research and Innovation in the Faculty

Professor John Flint's staff page (with contact details)