Nicholas Canny, an historian, is a Member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council, where he is serving on the committee dealing with open access. He was Vice President for Research at NUI Galway from 2005-2008, where he also served as Founding Director of the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities, 2000-11. He was President of the Royal Academy 2008-11, and co-ordinated the RIA publication on key performance indicators for Humanities disciplines. He is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and a Member of the American Philosophical Society.
An expert on early modern history broadly defined, he edited the first volume of The Oxford History of the British Empire (1998) and, with Philip D. Morgan, edited The Oxford Handbook of the Atlantic World, c1450-c1850 (2011). His major book is Making Ireland British, 1580-1650 (Oxford, 2001), for which he was awarded the Irish Historical Research Prize 2003; an award he had previously won in 1976 for his first book The Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland: a Pattern Established, 1565-76.