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Research and Higher Education Committee

The responsibilities of the Research and Higher Education Committee shall be to guide both Council and the Senior Management Team in work that promotes and supports geographers, geographical communities, and geographical research through a wide range of activities in higher education and beyond. The Research and Higher Education Committee receives reports from the Research Groups and the Editors Sub-Committees (see separate Terms of Reference) and reports to Council.


Research and Higher Education Committee members (2024-25)

  • Professor Jamie Woodward (Chair, Vice President: Research and Higher Education
  • Professor James Esson (Councillor)
  • Professor Beth Greenhough (Councillor)
  • Professor Stephen Legg (Chair of Conference 2024)
  • Professor Patricia Noxolo (Chair of Conference 2025)
  • Professor Siwan Davies
  • Professor Jenny Pickerill
  • Dr Olivia Mason (Research Group Representative)
  • Dr Cheryl McGeachan (Research Group Representative)
  • Dr Sam Halvorsen (Research Group Representative)
  • TBC (Postgraduate Representative)

Ex-Officio members are the Director, Head of Research and Higher Education, and the Research and Collections Manager.

The Committee will be chaired by the Vice President for Research and Higher Education or their designate.

The Vice President for Research and Higher Education will chair the annual Editors meeting.

A Council member for Research and Higher Education will chair the Research Groups Sub-Committee.


Frequency of meetings

The Committee meets formally bi-annually, in October and March. Additional meetings may be scheduled to discuss specific and timely issues.



The Research and Higher Education Committee shall be quorate when 50% of its members are present, in person or through teleconferencing.



Decision-making shall be by consensus as far as possible. If a vote is required, each member shall have one vote and the Chair shall have the casting vote.



The duties of the Committee shall be:

Policy and strategy

  • To contribute to the review, development and delivery of the Society’s strategy, focusing on areas relating to, or with an impact upon, research and higher education.

  • To contribute to the development of the Society’s thinking on all aspects of geographical research and higher education and its understanding of the wider research and higher education context.

  • To advise on the Society’s response to consultations on research and higher education

  • To advise on the prioritisation of work within the Society’s Research and Higher Education Division, leading to an agreed work plan.

  • To monitor progress against agreed priorities, in line with the published work plan

  • To represent the Society at the IGU (International Geographical Union) and other national and international organisations as appropriate.

Research and Higher Education activity

  • To understand, support and advise on the range of work undertaken by the Research and Higher Education Division, including:

    • Grants and support for field work, including any Society-led field programmes

    • Annual international conference

    • Journals, book series and guides

    • Research groups

    • Programme accreditation

    • Awards and recognition

    • Resources to support geographical teaching and learning in higher education

    • Equality, diversity and inclusion in geographical research and higher education

    • Research-led work on the Society’s Collections, including via AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards

    • All other work relevant to research and higher education

Recruitment and professional development

  • To support the Society’s work promoting geography at university and in the professions

  • To support work by the Research and Higher Education Division (working with the Education team) to promote geography at school

  • To advise the Society on work with postgraduate students, early career researchers and other academics

  • To recommend areas in which the Society might most effectively contribute to the professional development of academic and professional geographers, and methods by which this might be achieved


  • To advise the Society on the handling of controversial issues in research and higher education where there is an overlap with the Society’s interests

  • To recommend effective engagement strategies for the communication of the Society’s thinking to those working in research and higher education

  • To advise on membership recruitment, retention, engagement and communications with the research and higher education communities, specifically for Student Members (undergraduate), Associate Fellows (postgraduate) and Fellows.

Safeguarding, research ethics, and health and safety

  • To support the Society in the safe and effective running of any Research and Higher Education led event promoted by the Society 

  • To ensure that research by those in Research and Higher Education funded by the Society is risk assessed and compliant with ethical review requirements

  • To monitor the implementation of the Code of Conduct at the Annual Conference, to review it on an annual basis and to support its use in other Research and Higher Education activities.



These Terms of Reference will be reviewed by the Committee every three years.

Due for review by Council in December 2025.