Her appointment was made by David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science, and was formally announced today (Friday 6 May).

Professor Breakwell said: “Research by economists and social scientists is vitally important to policy making and to understanding how our society works. I am honoured to be asked to take a role in the governance of the ESRC.”

Professor Breakwell’s appointment is for a three year period from 1 August 2011 to 31 July 2014.

The ESRC is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector.

Its total budget for 2010/11 is £218 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.

Professor Breakwell’s appointment to the ESRC was one of four announced today.

The other three new appointments are:

  • Dr Justin Davis Smith, Chief Executive of Volunteering England and a visiting Professor at Birkbeck, University of London;
  • Professor Simon Collinson who sits on the Board of Directors for the Advanced Institute of Management and is Professor of - International Business and Innovation at Warwick Business School;
  • Professor Stuart Croft is Professor of International Security at Warwick University and formerly Director of the ESRC’s New Security Challenges Programme.