Research Excellence

Network Aim: To explore and evaluate the depth and breadth of London’s research excellence in multiple fields; create a balanced picture of research in the capital; identify performance measures that reflect the full diversity of research activity; advocate and promote said excellence to various funders and stakeholders. This network seeks to build an appreciation among HE stakeholders of the strength of London as a centre of research excellence, to gain an understanding of the challenges and opportunities for research in London; and support research in London.

Membership: Deputy/Pro-Vice-Chancellors Research/Innovation, Directors of Research, Heads of Research Policy


Prof. Maria Delgado, Vice Principal (Research and Knowledge Exchange), Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Professor Maria Delgado is an academic, critic and curator whose work in the area of Spanish-language and European theatres and Spanish-language film has been published in eight languages. She previously taught at Queen Mary University of London (and was a founder member of the Drama department), Hull University and Manchester Metropolitan University, and has held visiting professorships, fellowships and residences at the Universities of Santiago de Compostela, Queensland, Stockholm, Virginia and UC-Davis.

Maria has vast experience of research management and peer review, including membership of the Leverhulme Trust’s Advisory Panel, HEFCE’s Strategic Advisory Committee for Research and Knowledge Exchange (2015-17), HEFCE’s KE Framework Steering Group (2017-18), and the founding Council of Research England (2018-20).

She has served on a range of AHRC committees and panels, including its BGP2 Expressions of Interest and Moderating Panels (2012-13) and its Strategic Reviewers’ Group (2011-13, 2017-22), its DTP Moderating Panel (2018), and its ‘Where Next?’ Panel (Chair, 2020), and undertaken overseas consultancy work and assessment (e.g., European Science Foundation, Portuguese Scientific Foundation, Australian Research Council’s ERA, 2020 Hong Kong RAE). She was a member of the panel for Drama, Dance and the Performing Arts for the Research Assessment Framework [RAE2008] and chaired the sub-panel for Music, Drama, Dance and the Performing Arts for REF2014 and REF 2021 (which included Film and Screen Studies), and was Deputy Chair of Main Panel D for REF2021. She is currently a member of the Jisc/Elsevier Open Science Forum, Jisc’s Research Strategy Forum and its Open Research Hub Steering Group, and also a member of UKRI’s Committee on Research Integrity (CORI).

Prof. Hua Zhao FREng, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research, Brunel University London

Professor Hua Zhao is Pro Vice Chancellor Research at Brunel University London, and was previously Vice Provost and Dean (Research) of the College of Engineering, Design and Physical Science. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. He had previously served as the Chairman of Association of British Chinese Professors (ABCP) and the CEFG/PSFG of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He graduated from Tianjin University China and obtained his PhD at the University of Leeds in 1989. He then worked as a research fellow at Cambridge University and Imperial College in London. Since 1994 Professor Zhao has been working at Brunel University and was the Head of Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering between 2010-2014.

Professor Zhao has collaborated closely with the industries and established strong academic links with many universities overseas. He has published several books and over 400 papers and was awarded a DSc in 2009.

Executive Chair: Prof. Alan Thompson, Dean of Brain Sciences, and Pro Vice Provost (London), UCL.

Meeting Regularity: Termly

Follow the work… #LHResearchNetwork #LHNetworks @LondonHigher #LondonHE

Contact: Mark Corbett or Darren de Souza