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Durham University

About Durham University

Professor Colin Bain, Vice-Provost (Research)


The Vice-Provost (Research) is responsible for the delivery of the University’s Research and Engagement Strategy and for supporting our academic and research staff and students to deliver internationally leading research and impact.

Professional background and expertise

Colin joined the Chemistry Department at Durham in 2005 from Oxford University. He has held a number of leadership roles at Durham including Director (Science) of the Institute of Advanced Study and Dean and Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research). He is currently Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Soft Matter for Formulation and Industrial Innovation (SOFI2).

Colin’s research is in the area of colloid and interface science and crosses the boundaries between chemistry, physics, biology and engineering. Awards for his research include the Craig Lectureship from the Australian National University, the Founder’s Lecture at the National Chemical Laboratory in India, the Tilden Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the 2020 Sir Eric Rideal Award for lifetime contributions to colloid and interface science.

Education and qualifications

Colin received a BA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Harvard University. He then returned to the UK as a Royal Society research fellow at Christ’s College, Cambridge before moving to a Lectureship at Magdalen College, Oxford University.