I am the incoming ministerial adviser on science and innovation in the UK government department of business, innovation and industrial strategy (BEIS).
Until June 2019, I held an executive-level position at Research England, working primarily on organisational strategy and stakeholder engagement. Before that I worked at BEIS to help create UK Research and Innovation. Even before that I did a number of years at the Higher Education Funding Council For England (HEFCE) where I was involved in various research policy agendas.
I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to issues relating to the cultures and infrastructures of research practice, information, communication, access and assessment. Open research was my specialism for a good while – I led the development of the Open Access policy for REF2021, I sat on the G7 expert group for open science, I supported Geoff Crossick on the OA monographs project and co-authored the Metric Tide report with James Wilsdon.
I set up a team at Research England to engage with universities and find out what they are doing on research. Through this work, I’ve become somewhat obsessed with our university sector, which is truly one of the most wonderful things about this country, and something that should be strengthened through national policy. I’d love for people to talk proudly of UK university sector in the same way people talk about the NHS – as a national treasure.
I am incredibly excited about the prospects of a more R&D-intensive economy and society. I truly believe that ramping up R&D investment is the best way to raise productivity, prosperity and wellbeing. Structural issues around place, university-business partnering, and skills development are particularly interesting, and I like spending my spare time pondering these issues. In each of these areas, I don’t think we know enough about what works on a granular level and I am super keen to hear about examples of successful practice. I might use this blog for exploring these in more detail over the coming months, if I can find the time to post.
Tweet me at @ersatzben