Former Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Michael Boyd has been named as the next Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at St Catherine's College, Oxford.

Boyd, who stepped down at the RSC last month, will succeed Meera Syal in the role from January 2013.

The Professorship was founded in 1990 following a grant from the Mackintosh Foundation. Previous incumbents include Stephen Sondheim, Ian McKellen, Alan Ayckbourn, Richard Eyre, Nicholas Hytner, Tim Rice, Kevin Spacey and Trevor Nunn.

According to the college's website, the aim of the role is to "promote interest in, and the study and practice of, contemporary theatre at Oxford".

Boyd's tenure at the RSC included the award-winning Histories cycle, the Complete Works Festival and this year's World Shakespeare Festival. He officially handed over to new artistic director Gregory Doran at last month's AGM. Boyd was knighted in the 2012 birthday honours for services to drama.

Speaking about his new role, Boyd said: "I have always enjoyed the company and inspiration of scholars and look forward to working with both dons and students at Oxford."

Professor Roger Ainsworth, Master of St Catherine's College, added: "We are very excited at the prospect of Sir Michael's year with us. His wealth of directing experience, coupled with his time at Stratford, will bring a leading practitioner’s art into close contact with students and academics alike keen to interact with him."