Professor Margaret Sheil, the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Research Council, will be the next Provost of the University of Melbourne.


Professor Sheil, whose appointment follows an international search and selection process, will succeed Professor John Dewar who will begin as Vice Chancellor of La Trobe University from January. Professor Shiel will leave the ARC in April next year to take up her new position.

Welcoming Professor Sheil’s appointment, Melbourne's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis, said she would bring a breadth of experience, which would complement the University's Growing Esteem Strategy.

"Professor Sheil has advanced the cause of research nationally and internationally; this, combined with her extensive record of academic leadership, will be an enormous asset to Melbourne as we face an increasingly challenging tertiary outlook globally," Professor Davis said.

Professor Sheil is a member of the Cooperative Research Centres Committee, the Prime Minister’s Science Innovation and Engineering Council and the National Research Infrastructure Council.

She is also a member of the Board of the Australia-India Council, the Advisory Council of the Science Industry Endowment Fund and the National Research Foundation of Korea.

As head of the Research Council, Professor Sheil was responsible for the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative, which aims to assess research quality in higher education.

From 2002 to 2007 she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Wollongong (UOW), following 12 years there as a senior academic and then Dean of Science.

Before joining UOW, Professor Sheil held positions as a Research Fellow at the Australian National University and the University of Utah, in the US. 

Professor Sheil has a PhD and BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of New South Wales. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE) and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (FRACI). In 2011 she was selected a Living Luminary of Australian Chemistry by RACI.

She will begin as Provost in late April 2012. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Pip Pattison will be Acting Provost until then.

Professor Davis also paid tribute to Professor Dewar, saying he would leave behind a great legacy of programs, people and facilities.