Professor Martin Burton MA DM Oxon, FRCS (Oto), FRCS-ORL has been elected as the next Master of Sidney Sussex College, taking up the role from September 2023.

Succeeding Professor Richard Penty, he will be Sidney’s 28th Master. Martin is currently Professor of Otolaryngology in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Clinical Medicine at Balliol College. He is the Vice-Master (Executive) at Balliol.

Image of Professor Martin Burton

An active NHS clinician for over 30 years, Martin read Medicine at Cambridge (Corpus Christi) before continuing his training in Oxford and Bristol and undertaking research roles all over the world, so his career has in a sense come full circle. As well as his distinguished academic record, he brings with him business and leadership experience as a Director of Cochrane UK (and previously Co-Chair of The Cochrane Collaboration) and having served on a large number of boards and panels for organisations including National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Cabinet Office.

Martin said:

‘Sidney is well known for its academic integrity and scholarly values, and the close-knit nature of its community.

I am delighted and privileged to be joining the College as its Master next year. There are tremendous opportunities to build on the achievements of my predecessors, to lead the College to fulfil its ambitions and to ensure that every student, Fellow and member of staff can achieve their potential. 

Over the last few months, I have been struck by the warmth and friendliness of those people I have met. It’s clear that the whole Sidney community is working hard to find solutions to the many challenges we face. I am very excited that we have the opportunity to embrace these and address them head on. I believe strongly in Sidney’s commitment to academic excellence and that it can be further developed by an even stronger focus on diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility within a supportive and sustainable environment.’

Outgoing Master Professor Richard Penty said: 

‘I congratulate Martin Burton on his election as the next Master of this wonderful College. The College community is one of its great strengths and I’m sure Martin and his family will receive a very warm welcome from our Fellows, Students, Staff and Alumni. It’s been an honour and a privilege to serve Sidney over the last 10 years and to contribute to its development through good times and bad. I wish Martin every success in leading the College to even greater successes.’

Martin will be coming to Cambridge with his wife Sarah, who works as a nurse with the homeless community, and Basil, their elderly black Labrador. Their son Charlie is a graduate-entry medical student in Swansea.

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