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Professor Rusi Jaspal

University of Brighton announces new Pro-Vice-Chancellor to lead Research and Knowledge Exchange

Professor Rusi Jaspal will join the University of Brighton this autumn as the new Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Exchange).

Professor Jaspal joins from Nottingham Trent University where he is currently Professor of Psychology. He has previously held various senior management roles at De Montfort University Leicester, including that of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research).

The University of Brighton’s Research and Knowledge Exchange (R&KE) team works with academic staff across the institution to help maximise the impact of research and knowledge exchange activities. Together, established experts and the next generation of talent are tackling today’s most pressing challenges both locally and globally, solving practical problems and seeking to improve people’s lives and environments.

Professor Debra Humphris, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, said: “I’m very pleased that Professor Jaspal is joining us at the University of Brighton. His leadership, research expertise and approach to developing our research and knowledge exchange ambitions will make a significant difference. He brings with him a strong commitment to our institutional values and a determination to add value to the experience of our students through engagement with research and knowledge exchange.”

Professor Jaspal said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to lead, as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, the important portfolio of Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Brighton. As an active researcher myself, I passionately believe that our R&KE activity will enable us to realise our ambition to become a leading global university committed to creativity, sustainability, inclusivity and partnership. These values are central to the university strategy and will be at the core of our R&KE activity.”

He also said: “What excites me most about the University of Brighton is the breadth of R&KE activity already underway. Not only is it intellectually stimulating and socially relevant, but also extremely impactful. In the years ahead, I intend to work with colleagues across the entire university to take this activity to the next level. Together, we shall consolidate the knowledge we are creating to make a lasting, positive impact on local, national and global communities. I have a firm belief that our students – both undergraduate and postgraduate – should be at the heart of everything that we do, including our R&KE activity. Their involvement will be key to realising our ambitions.”

Rusi Jaspal studied at the University of Cambridge, University of Surrey and Royal Holloway, University of London. He was an ESRC Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham before joining De Montfort University Leicester in January 2013. Rusi Jaspal was awarded a personal chair in Psychology and Sexual Health at De Montfort University Leicester in 2015. He has also held professorships at Åbo Akademi University in Finland, where he helped set up the Minority Research Profile, and at Nottingham Trent University, where he led the Identity Change Research Group.

Rusi’s research cuts across the fields of psychology and public health, focussing particularly on social psychological approaches to promoting good psychological and physical health outcomes, especially in minority groups (e.g., LGBT people and people of ethnic minority background). He has developed the Health Adversity Risk Model to predict the impact of social and psychological stress on health outcomes. Much of his research using the model has focused on HIV prevention, HIV care and mental health. Alongside Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, Rusi Jaspal has contributed to the development of Identity Process Theory. Additionally, Professor Jaspal has conducted extensive research into aspects of psychological wellbeing among gay men, the management of identities in conflict, national identity, prejudice and discrimination, public understanding of science, technology and medicine and the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is the author or editor of six books and has written over 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and several reports for the Department of Health.

Professor Jaspal is a Chartered Psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Since 2016, he has sat on the Advisory Board of the Terrence Higgins Trust. From 2019-2020, he was Social Isolation Advisor to Wandsworth Borough Council, London. Professor Jaspal serves on the editorial boards of HIV Medicine, Mental Health Religion & CultureBritish Journal of Social PsychologyJournal of Social and Political PsychologyPsychology and SexualityIsrael Affairs, Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism and European Journal of Social Psychology. He continues to contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and supervises and examines PhD students in his areas of expertise.

Outside of work, Rusi is passionate about languages, literature and travelling. He enjoys walking and hiking in his native Derbyshire, where he also mentors prospective university students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Catherine Johnson • September 21, 2021

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