Professor Paul Crowther


I grew up in West Yorkshire, attending King James' School and Greenhead College, before studying mathematics and astronomy (BSc) at University College London (1986–89) followed by a PhD in the UCL astrophysics group, under the supervision of Professor Allan Willis and Dr Linda Smith (1989–93).

I spent five years as a Research Council (PPARC) funded postdoc at UCL, before receiving a Royal Society University Research Fellowship which I held at UCL (1998–2003) and Sheffield (2003–06). I was initially appointed to Lectureship in Sheffield (2003–05), followed by a Readership (2005–06) and Personal Chair (2007–).

I have previously served on the Royal Society University Research Fellowship Ai appointment committee (2014-2016, Deputy Chair, 2016-2018).

I was the Director of Learning and Teaching of the Department of Physics and Astronomy from 2012–16, Head of Department from Jan 2018 to Aug 2022, having earlier been interim HoD between June 2016 and January 2017. I was also a member of University Senate between 2011-2020.

University of Sheffield staff profile

Positions held and memberships

I have previously served on the following:

  • TAC member and sub-panel chair for HST Cycle 28 (2020)

  • IAU Commission 29: Stellar Spectra. Organising Ctte Member (2012–15)

  • E-ELT UK Design Study Steering Ctte (2009-2016)

  • IAU working group on massive stars. Organising Ctte Member (2003–12)

  • TAC member and sub-panel chair for HST Cycle 18 (2010)

  • Sub-panel member for Spitzer Cycle 5 (2008)

  • Gemini Telescopes. UK National Time Allocation Committee (NTAC) Chair from semester 08A until 09B, and PATT linked grants panel member.

  • Sub-panel member for HST Cycle 16 (2007)

  • Isaac Newton Group (ING) board member (2004–07)

  • ESO Observing Proposal Ctte (OPC), member-at-large (2001–03)


I have contributed the following (guest) blog posts:


I have made the following contributions to UK science policy: