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Image of Photo of Prof Anna Vignoles in a room at Jesus College
Photo: Lloyd Mann, University of Cambridge

Professor Anna Vignoles appointed as Director of the Leverhulme Trust

Professor Anna Vignoles, College Fellow and education economist, has been appointed as the new Director of the Leverhulme Trust. She will start her new role in January 2021.

Anna Vignoles is currently holder of the 1938 Chair in the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. Previously she was Professor of Economics of Education at the UCL Institute of Education and Research Fellow at the London School of Economics' Centre for Economic Performance. Professor Vignoles was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2017 and awarded a CBE in 2019 for services to social sciences.

Her work focuses on ways to improve social mobility and ensure people have the skills they need for the modern labour market. Her research using big data to illuminate the very unequal educational and economic outcomes for children growing up in different family circumstances has been highly influential, informing government policy and helping to shape public debate. 

Professor Vignoles said: “The Leverhulme Trust plays a unique role in the funding landscape and its commitment to fund outstanding curiosity-driven research has never been more vital. I look forward to working with the Leverhulme team to support research that is genuinely ground breaking and pushes disciplinary boundaries. I am also so grateful for the many opportunities that I have had at Cambridge and for the wonderful support I have had from my brilliant colleagues at Jesus and the Faculty of Education. I shall miss them all greatly.”

"I am also so grateful for the many opportunities that I have had at Cambridge and for the wonderful support I have had from my brilliant colleagues at Jesus and the Faculty of Education. I shall miss them all greatly."

- Anna Vignoles

The Leverhulme Trust was established by William Hesketh Lever, one of the great entrepreneurs and philanthropists of the Victorian age. Today, they are one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing approximately £100 million a year.

Niall FitzGerald, Chairman of the Leverhulme Trust, said:

“We are fortunate that Anna Vignoles stood out in a very strong field of candidates. She brings all the requisite experience and skills but also values closely aligned with the special ethos of the Leverhulme Trust. I very much look forward to welcoming Anna and supporting her in what will be challenging years for academic research in the UK.”

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