Michael Rayner

Dean of Research content

Dean of Research


Michael Rayner

Michael Rayner was appointed as Dean of Research in August 2010.  His role provides broad-based guidance, support and leadership for the development and extension of research excellence and culture.  He is responsible for all aspects of planning and delivery of the university’s engagement with the UK-wide Research Excellence Framework (REF).  In addition, Michael is responsible for the Graduate School and the associated infrastructure to support the university’s research students and their supervisory teams.  This role also extends to the provision of support for development of early career researchers.

He has held a number of roles in higher education, most recently at the University of Strathclyde where he was Head of the University Management Committee office for a number of years, and also led the university’s engagement with the 2001 and 2008 Research Assessment Exercises (precursor to the REF).  From 2008 to 2009 he was seconded as Assistant Director of Research Policy and Strategy at the Scottish Funding Council, with a particular focus on the council’s flagship ‘research pooling’ initiative.  He has also worked at the University of Edinburgh.  Before entering higher education, Michael spent time as a marketing manager in the steel industry, a civil servant, and as a church minister in the USA.

Michael acts as Chair of the Scottish-based REF managers’ group, involving all of Scotland’s universities and higher education Institutions, on behalf of Universities Scotland, and has previously been involved in both national and international policy development roles, including representing Scottish (and broader UK) interests as part of the Bologna Process of European higher education reform (Doctoral Programmes Project). He is also Chair of Universities Scotland's research training sub committee.

He holds degrees from the University of St Andrews and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Contact details

University of the Highlands and Islands
Executive Office
Ness Walk

Telephone: 01463 279244
Email: michael.rayner@uhi.ac.uk