Colm Harmon - Biography#

Colm Harmon is an economist with extensive experience drawn from being a Director/Deputy Director/Head in academic departments as well as a research institute in the Social Sciences; a Pro-Dean for Teaching and Learning role in a large and complex Faculty at a time of institutional and cultural change; and an institutional leader as a member of the University Leadership Team as Vice Provost (Academic Performance) at the University of Sydney, and now as Vice Principal (or Deputy Vice Chancellor) at the University of Edinburgh. Professor of Applied Economics at Edinburgh, he was formerly Professor of Economics at the University of Sydney, Professor of Economics at University College Dublin (UCD) and Director of the UCD Geary Institute, a major research institute in the social sciences. He has held visiting positions at Chicago, Princeton, the Australian National University, Warwick (as a Marie Curie Fellow) and UCL (where he was a Nuffield Foundation New Career Development Fellow).

His primary area of research is the economics of education. – he is currently ranked in the top 4% of all researchers in economics based on citations and ranked in the top 2% globally amongst researchers in economics of education (, January 2018). He maintains an active research programme in these fields, including as a very successful fundraiser, despite being in major University leadership roles for most of his career. He has taught economics at all levels including PhD, and supervised many masters, doctoral and post-doctoral scholars as a mentor and now colleague.

He has been a highly successful fundraiser in the social sciences, leading projects worth in excess of EUR 5m as PI, and being lead PI on a series of major research networks, most recently the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence where the Sydney node was a EU3.5m budget in a project worth over EU22m. He has been a significant contributor to media, print and broadcast. He has held major board roles as member or chair for governmental and NGO groups including the Scottish Qualifications Authority, League of European Research Universities and the Russell Group of Research Intensive Universities.

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