GuildHE has today announced that Professor Peter Childs, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research & Scholarship at Newman University, has become the fourth Director of the Consortium for Research Excellence, Support and Training (CREST). Prof Childs takes over the post from Dr Andy Dixon, Director of Research at the University of Chichester. Dr Dixon reflected on his experiences as Director of the Consortium:

I have been proud to serve CREST as Director over the past 4 years and am most grateful to members for their collegial support, creativity, and contributions during this time.  This collaborative ethos has enabled us to grow in size and vitality and maintains our relevance in the turbulent HE landscape.”

Gordon McKenzie, CEO of GuildHE, recognised the contributions that Dr Dixon and Prof Childs have made and will make to the Consortium:

“GuildHE is very grateful to Dr Andy Dixon for the work and enthusiasm that he has put into CREST, and we are very pleased that Professor Peter Childs is taking up the reins. CREST is an invaluable network for our members and Peter’s perspectives and commitment will help us to continue to develop the excellent services and support it provides.”

Professor Childs, who assumed the Directorship in August 2017, said “I am extremely pleased to be taking over as the new Director of CREST. It has been a pleasure to see CREST grow from strength to strength under the excellent leadership provided by Dr Andy Dixon since 2013. I would like to add that CREST is ably managed by an exceptionally capable core team and this bodes very well for our future as a group and for the success of staff and postgraduate researchers at our participating institutions. It is an honour to take over the helm at such an exciting time for the sector and for the Consortium”

Peter Childs is Pro Vice Chancellor for Research & Scholarship at Newman University, which he joined in 2013. He is also Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature. Peter is well known internationally as a leading critic of contemporary British writing and culture as well as post-colonial and twentieth-century literature. The author or editor of approaching 30 books he has published widely on literature since 1900, and on such writers as E. M. Forster, Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes and Paul Scott. Prior to his appointment at Newman Prof Childs was Dean of Research at the University of Gloucestershire.

Looking to the future, Dr Dixon expressed his delight at Prof Childs’ appointment, reflecting that “he brings a wealth of experience and insight to the role. I have no doubt that the consortium will continue to grow in stature and impact under his leadership.”

Prof Childs is looking forward to “helping drive through the many initiatives Andy has introduced and overseen, such as the strides forward made to develop shared and cooperative approaches to research services, as well as to supporting new ones to the benefit of all members of the Consortium”.

Notes to editors

1. The Consortium for Research Excellence, Support and Training (CREST) provides an innovative model for how to further research excellence and promote institutional and interdisciplinary collaboration. The CREST exists for institutions that have achieved high levels of research excellence concentrated in smaller communities of research practice, in order to

  • create a collaboration of equal partners seeking to achieve research excellence through collegiality and mutual support
  • achieve collective and individual innovations in translational research with benefits for students, society and industry
  • build research capacity within participating institutions and secure critical mass together while retaining diverse, student-centred, research-led learning environments
  • provide an external structure for the sustainable delivery of the research objectives of members and the promotion and promulgation of their achievements.

2. CREST is a sub-association of GuildHE, one of only two formal representative bodies for higher education in the UK. Its members represent the full diversity of the HE sector and share a commitment to socially inclusive higher education which values excellent teaching and high impact research. It was founded in 1967 as the Standing Conference of Principals, registered as a company in 1992 and became GuildHE in 2006. the recognised higher education representative body. 

3.  More information about CREST and a list of members is available at

For further information:

For media queries to GuildHE please call 020 3393 6132 or email