Next Chair of Russell Group announced

03 March 2023

Newcastle University Vice Chancellor Professor Chris Day has been named as the new Chair of the Russell Group, taking over from current chair, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, later this year.

Professor Day will take up the post in September 2023 becoming the ninth Chair of the Russell Group. He has been Vice Chancellor and President of Newcastle University since 2017. Previously, he was a consultant hepatologist with an international reputation in medical research.

Commenting on his new role, he said:

“It is such a privilege to be named the next Chair of the Russell Group.

"Over the past few years, the contribution our universities make to wider society - improving lives, driving innovation and tackling global challenges - has never been more evident.

"There are many more challenges ahead of us, but by working together with our partners, universities will continue to play a vital role in the future economic success of our country and I look forward to working with this group of world-class institutions to ensure our universities remain global leaders in research and education.

“I would also like to recognise the excellent work done by the current Chair, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, who has done an exceptional job during what has been an incredibly challenging time for the sector.”

Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said:

“Harnessing the innovation going on at our universities to improve the lives of people across the UK and around the world is more important than ever. So, as we approach the run up to the next General Election, I am delighted to welcome Chris as our incoming Chair and look forward to working with him to make the case for our universities as well as the transformational impact of science and innovation as a whole.

“I would also like to pay tribute to Nancy for leading our group through unprecedented challenges such as the pandemic and for always championing our world class universities, our researchers and the wider role the whole Russell Group community plays across the UK and internationally.”

Outgoing Chair of the Russell Group, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said:

“It has been an honour to Chair the Russell Group, during a time when we have faced challenges as a sector like never before. Through it all, I have been proud of the resilience, inventiveness and dedication of the people who form our member institutions.

“Our Russell Group universities are a real asset to our country, and Chris will make an excellent Chair, who will ensure we continue to grasp the opportunities and overcome any challenges of the next few years.”

The Russell Group represents 24 leading UK universities, based across every region and nation of the country. The Russell Group believes world-class research and education are key to meeting global challenges and helping to create a dynamic economy, stronger communities and a better future for the UK.

Notes to Editors

Professor Chris Day has been Vice-Chancellor and President of Newcastle University since January 2017. Previously a Consultant Hepatologist with an international reputation in medical research, he is a Fellow and former Clinical Vice-President of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He has served on the Council of the Medical Research Council and the Executive of the Medical Schools Council and chaired the Clinical Medicine Sub-Panel for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) Exercise. For REF 2021, he chaired of the Institutional Environment Pilot Panel, for the assessment of the research environment at institution level.

Professor Day is currently a member of the Council of the All-Party Parliamentary University Group and serves on the Advisory Board of the UPP Foundation. He is a former Chair of the Board of the Office for Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research (OSCHR) and of the N8 Group of research universities.

He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear.

Professor Day was awarded a CBE for Health Research and Treatment in the New Year’s Honours List 2023. 

List of Russell Group Chairs



Sir Colin Lucas

2000 to 2003

Professor Sir Michael Sterling

2003 to 2006

Professor Sir Malcolm Grant

2006 to 2009

Professor Michael Arthur

2009 to 2012

Professor Sir David Eastwood

2012 to 2015

Professor Sir David Greenaway

2015 to 2017

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli

2017 to 2020

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

2020 to 2023


Media Enquiries

Follow us on Twitter