Royal Holloway University of London (UK) Leverhulme International Professorship awarded to Royal Holloway

Royal Holloway has been awarded an esteemed Leverhulme International Professorship and will welcome Professor David Levine in September 2023 to lead a project on Social Mechanisms and Applications in collaboration with the university’s departments of Economics, Computer Science and Psychology.

The Leverhulme International Professorships are grants of up to £5m, of which Royal Holloway was awarded £4.1m, for a five-year period to help universities attract a globally leading scholar to take up a permanent professorial post in the UK.

The Leverhulme Trust Board introduced these grants to support the UK higher education sector to maintain its strong international standing and to help universities continue to attract top talent. The quality of the bids was exceptionally high and the task of selecting just three universities in the UK to receive the award was correspondingly challenging.

Professor Levine will be joining Royal Holloway from the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence where he is a professor in the Department of Economics and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Study.

He is one of the world’s premier game theorists, one of the pioneers of the theory of dynamic games, and a founder of the theory of learning in games. In a career that spans senior chaired Economics professorships at University of California, Los Angeles, Washington University, and the EUI, Professor Levine has published three books and over 150 articles including publications in all of the profession’s top journals.

Professor Levine’s work will span three of the university’s schools: Law and Social Sciences (Economics), Life Sciences and the Environment (Psychology), and Engineering, Physical, and Mathematical Sciences (Computer Science).

Professor Matthew Humphreys, Executive Dean of the School of Law and Social Sciences at Royal Holloway, said: “This is a fantastic outcome for economics and the wider School of Law and Social Sciences.

“The work is exciting and will bring us many opportunities, not least in the PhD studentships and postdocs. It gives us a platform for further collaboration with psychology and computer science. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with David Levine, who will be a tremendous addition to our academic community.”

Professor Ken Badcock, Senior Vice Principal at Royal Holloway, added: “Professor Levine will be a great contributor to our existing research across Economics, Psychology and Computer Sciences.

“He brings an unrivalled expertise in game theory and extensive experience of successful interdisciplinary collaborations. I very much look forward to David joining the university and building a strong collaboration across the three departments and schools involved.”

Professor David Levine commented: “I am excited to take up this position within the Department of Economics and grateful to the Leverhulme Trust for this opportunity. It is a unique chance to join a university that is both deep and broad: the departments of economics, psychology and computer science have enormous strength. Combined I believe we can attain a deeper knowledge of social norms and social mechanisms that will have an impact across all three disciplines. I am looking forward to working with the outstanding faculty, students, and administration at Royal Holloway.”

Professor Klaus Dodds, Executive Dean of the School of Life Sciences and the Environment at Royal Holloway, added: “The School of Life Sciences and Environment looks forward to welcoming Professor David Levine as a Leverhulme International Professor. Throughout his distinguished career, Professor Levine has shown an extraordinary ability to demonstrate how economic theorising and game theory can speak to some of the most pressing societal issues of our time including climate change, environmental insecurities and planetary health.”

Professor Gavin Shaddick, Executive Dean of the School of Engineering, Physical, and Mathematical Sciences at Royal Holloway, said: “We are delighted to welcome David to Royal Holloway and really excited about the inter-disciplinary research and collaborations that his appointment will facilitate.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to develop collaborative research across economics, computer science and psychology to gain meaningful insight into the development of social norms under the leadership of a genuine world expert in the field.

“Within the plans for research associated with the grant, there is a strong emphasis on developing opportunities for early career researchers, including PhD students and post-doctoral researchers. This will offer an unrivalled opportunity for those at the start of their careers to work with world experts across a number of fields and engage in an exciting new area of inter-disciplinary research.”