Exeter Announces new Mireille Gillings Fellowships in Health Innovation to Develop Future Women Leaders

Career Climbers / 7th June 2018

The University of Exeter Medical School is creating two new Mireille Gillings Professorial Fellowships to help develop the next generation of leaders that excel in medicine, science, leadership and business. They have been funded from a £10 million donation from the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation – the largest single gift ever made to the University.

The Fellowships will provide opportunities for future leaders to develop the business acumen required to lead entrepreneurial activity that will have meaningful benefits for health worldwide. Candidates will need to demonstrate that they can promote women as part of the Medical School’s award-winning commitment to gender equality, helping to address a shortfall of women in senior roles worldwide.

This passion is shared by Dr Mireille Gillings who is championing the Fellowships. She is a neuroscientist, business entrepreneur and founder of HUYA Bioscience International, the global leader in accelerating drug development of biopharma innovation originating in China. Dr Mireille Gillings said: “I believe in helping others reach their true potential. To be successful in getting medicine to patients faster the next generation of leaders must have skills across what I call the 3Ms – management, money and medicine. I look forward to meeting the Fellows and taking a very keen interest in their progress.”

The Fellowships are open to ambitious and talented researchers of any gender. Each of the five-year Fellowships comes with a very competitive salary and a generous £1 million programme grant. They are part of the Medical School’s innovative approach to maximising opportunities for women in science and medicine at senior levels in response to research showing they are significantly under-represented worldwide. Professor Ruth Sealy, Director of the Exeter Centre for Leadership, found that while eight out of ten students in medical-related subjects are female, women hold just a quarter of directorship roles in private companies specialising in health research and pharmaceuticals worldwide. Professor Sealy welcomed the Fellowships and said: “Our medical schools and research institutes are full of brilliant young women and men. It is all very well to tell these young women to ‘lean-in’ and embrace challenge and risk in the workplace, however in some cases employment culture makes their progress impossible regardless, and this must change. I’m pleased that Exeter is innovating to reap the rewards of these women’s talent, skill and education.”

Professor Janice Kay, Provost of the University of Exeter, said: “I’m really proud of Exeter’s commitment to gender equality, and these innovative Fellowships will allow us to progress that work. This is a tremendous opportunity for people about to approach professorial level to come to Exeter and flourish in research and the entrepreneurial skills needed to make a global impact. I’d like to thank Dr Mireille Gillings for her dedication in this progressive area and extremely generous donation from the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation and I’m looking forward to the impact in terms of making a difference in leadership and in health research.”

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