ESRC today announced that its Chief Executive Professor Jane Elliott is to leave the organisation, after three years at ESRC, to take up the position of Professor of Sociology at the University of Exeter in September 2017.

Professor Elliott took up the post of ESRC Chief Executive and Research Councils UK International Champion in October 2014.

Before joining the ESRC, Professor Elliott was Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department of Quantitative Social Sciences, at the Institute of Education, University of London, as well as Director of the ESRC-funded Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) which manages the 1958, 1970 and Millennium Birth Cohort studies together with the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (now known as Next Steps). In 2012 Jane became the founding Director of the Cohorts and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources (CLOSER) programme.

ESRC Chair Dr Alan Gillespie said: "On behalf of ESRC, I would like to thank Jane for her invaluable leadership and contribution to the ESRC. Under her guidance the ESRC has remained focused on its priorities, funding research that has vital real-world impact, and positioned as the leading partner for economic and social science research both at home and throughout the world."

We offer Jane many good wishes for the years ahead at the University of Exeter.”

Professor Jane Elliott commented: "It has been a huge privilege to lead the ESRC over the past three years, and to help celebrate the Council’s 50th anniversary in 2015. I have enjoyed working with such committed and professional staff, council and committee members, dedicated to supporting the social sciences. The research ESRC funds and the academics it supports have a demonstrable societal impact and make a real contribution to prosperity in the UK. I am sorry I will not be with the organisation to complete the transition to UKRI, but this opportunity at Exeter came at the right time for myself and my family. I am confident that, with such a dedicated and enthusiastic team at ESRC, the social sciences will continue to thrive in the new landscape."

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will begin the process of recruiting Professor Elliott's successor shortly.