Paul is President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester. Previously, Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK’s largest funding agency for social science research; the International Champion of Research Councils UK, responsible for international strategy on behalf of all seven UK research councils; and President of Science Europe, representing over 50 European funding agencies. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Academy of Social Sciences, and the Royal Geographical Society of Scotland. He is also the Vice President of the European Universities Association.

He is an ‘impact champion’ for the United Nations HeForShe global solidarity movement for gender equality; a Council Member and Trustee of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, which has over 500 member institutions in 37 Commonwealth countries; Chair of the Q-Step Strategy Board, promoting quantitative social science training in the UK; on the Advisory Board of the UPP Foundation; and the Advisory Board of Sporting Equals, promoting ethnic diversity in sport and physical activity.