Professor Neil Crout
Professor Neil Crout is Interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor (PVC) for Research and Knowledge Exchange, with responsibility for the University of Nottingham's research portfoilio.
He is currently responsible for the initial implementation of the university’s new Research Strategy, which aims to transform our research quality, performance and culture over the next five years and will ensure it is robust and truly reflective of our whole community. Neil is also leading Nottingham’s post-REF2021 review to lay the foundations in preparing for the next exercise, and is chair of Nottingham Technology Ventures, which manages the university’s portfolio of spinout companies. He works closely with:
- Associate Pro-Vice- Chancellor (Research & Knowledge Exchange)
- Director of Research and Innovation (R&I)
- Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Industrial Strategy, Business Engagement and Impact)
- Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Graduate School & Researcher Career Development)
Professor Crout is a member of the University Executive Board and chairs Research Committee and Knowledge Exchange Committee.
From 2018 and latterly as Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange (2020-21) Professor Crout coordinated the university’s submission to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, in which Nottingham was placed 7th in the UK for research power
A Professor of Environmental Monitoring, Neil has spent much of his academic and research career at the University of Nottingham, having joined as a post-doctoral researcher in 1989 studying radionuclides in the food chain in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster.
Teaching and Research Summary
Professor Crout's research focuses on models of environmental and agricultural systems, examining trace elements in the environment to shed light on environmental change and crop yield forecasting. Farms have been able to improve their business performance and environmental sustainability thanks to Neil’s advancing of real-time crop yield forecasting.
His evaluation of complex models, especially through simplification and reduction, has also been widely recognised.
He has been awarded research grants and contracts totalling around £5.5m, supervised 31 research students and published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in addition to a range of conference papers and book chapters He is a long-serving member of the Natural Environment Research Council Peer Review College (2012-) and has served on Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council grant panels.
A former director of teaching and learning in the School of Biosciences, Neil’s contribution to undergraduate and post-graduate teaching has centred on quantitative methods for environmental models and statistical interpretation of data sets. These can be challenging subject areas for students and Neil emphasises a practical approach, in which students ‘do’ through student-led work in specific topic areas rather than being ‘told’.
During his extensive career at Nottingham, Neil has also served Head of the School of Biosciences from 2012-16 and as Member of the University Council, 2013-17.