President and Vice-Chancellor
University of New South Wales


Professor Ian Jacobs

BA, MA, MBBS, MD, FRCOG

Research Australia_Ian Jacobs

President and Vice-Chancellor
University of New South Wales

Professor Ian Jacobs is the President and Vice-Chancellor of UNSW Australia, a leading public research university and member of the Group of Eight (Go8), based in Sydney, Australia.

Professor Jacobs was raised in North London and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (BA, MA), Middlesex Hospital (MBBS), and the University of London (MD); qualified in obstetrics and gynaecology at the Royal London Hospital and Rosie Maternity Hospital Cambridge; and specialised as a surgical gynaecological oncologist at St Bartholomew’s Hospital (Barts) and The Royal Marsden Hospital.

Professor Jacobs has held a number of positions in in the federal University of London including Professor of Gynaecological Cancer at Queen Mary University of London, as well as a number of roles at University College London including Dean of Biomedical Sciences and Dean of Medicine. After seven years at UCL Professor Jacobs moved to the University of Manchester, where he took up the position of Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences.

Professor Jacobs is the Principal Investigator for the Cancer Research UK and Eve Appeal funded PROMISE (Prediction of Risk of Ovarian Malignancy Screening and Early Detection) programme and on several large multicentre clinical trials including the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening involving 202,000 participants in 13 collaborating UK centres and the UK Familial Ovarian Cancer Screening Study.

In 2005 Professor Jacobs established the Uganda Women’s Health Initiative, which he still chairs and which conducts a series of projects in Uganda including a cervical screening programme. He has been President of the British Gynaecological Cancer Society (2001-2004) and of the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (2005-2007). He is Medical Advisor to the Eve Appeal charity (also known as the Gynaecology Cancer Research Fund) which he founded in 1985, a Patron of Safehands for Mothers, founder and non-Executive Director of Abcodia Ltd and patent holder of the ROCA (Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm).

In addition to the Directorship at Research Australia, since joining UNSW in February 2015 Professor Jacobs has been made an Honorary Senior Principal Research Fellow of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, has been appointed to the Chair of the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Leadership Forum for Energy Transition and has been made a member of the Australian Research Council Impact and Engagement Steering Committee.