Dear candidate,

Thank you for your interest in the role of President of Imperial College London, one of the world’s leading universities, recognised for its strengths in research, education and innovation. Our position as an institution of excellence across science, engineering, medicine and business is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all of our staff and students throughout the years. As Chair of the College’s Council, I am constantly reminded of the extraordinary impact that Imperial has across the globe due to our world-leading research and education, the lives of consequence that are lived by our students and alumni, and the array of innovations generated by Imperial that directly will help to solve the greatest issues of our time.

We have achieved a great deal under Professor Alice Gast’s Presidency. Our research has gone from strength to strength and every year academics at Imperial are recognised by a myriad of international prizes and through their membership of organisations such as the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Academy of Medical Sciences. We have innovated in our education and platform for student engagement, and the past year has highlighted yet further ways in which we might develop our educational delivery. We have established major international partnerships with leading overseas institutions such as the Technical University of Munich (TUM), France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and deepened our existing collaborations, the most significant of which being the joint medical school with Nanyang Technology University in Singapore: the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.

In addition to the academic endeavours of Imperial, Professor Gast has also overseen the establishment of fundraising and philanthropic activities across the College, building and shaping a contemporary platform that is able to generate support for the College, its students and its activities, and that has ushered in a new era of large-scale fundraising.

We are a university with connections to the local, national and global. Our White City campus has expanded our footprint in our home in London, connecting us to the west of the city and providing exciting, innovative space that brings together researchers, corporate partners, entrepreneurs and the local community to co-create on an unprecedented scale. However, we are also resolutely global: 60 per cent of our students come from outside of the UK and two-thirds of our research includes an international academic collaborator, encompassing peers from more than 130 countries.

It is, of course, a challenging time for higher education and research in the UK and globally. The impact of COVID-19 and other fast-moving trends in the external environment provide challenges and real opportunities for Imperial. The appointed candidate will bring a deep understanding of these, together with a commitment to our mission to benefit society which is underpinned by modern, values-based leadership skills that will inspire our extraordinary staff and students.

The President plays a leading role in representing Imperial externally, and as such, candidates will demonstrate an ability to develop relationships, and to advocate for the positive impact of science, engineering, medicine and business on society, as well as a track record of success in strategic leadership of a large, complex, and excellent institution. Thank you again for considering Imperial. It is an exciting time to join and lead this great university to build upon its world-leading research and teaching and to fulfil its aspirations.

John Allan CBE
Chair of Council, Imperial College London