Just Announced


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Tina Assi

Tina Assi is the Director of Global Health Innovation at Grand Challenges Canada (GCC). At GCC, Tina leads impact investments in innovations that improve the lives of underserved women, girls and children in low-resource settings. In this capacity, Tina is GCC’s lead on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for the organization’s Transition-to-Scale portfolio, and provides strategic oversight on GCC’s targeted portfolios: Saving Lives at Birth (SLAB), Saving Brains, Global Mental Health, and the Options for Pregnancy Termination Innovation Initiative (OPTions Initiative). With over 13 years of experience in epidemiology, global health, and business, Tina brings robust experience to GCC and has been central in helping the organization design its strategy and realize its objectives around advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Tina holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and an MPH and PhD in epidemiology from the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Professor Gabriele Bammer

Gabriele Bammer is developing the new discipline of Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S) to improve research strengths for tackling complex real-world problems (see i2s.anu.edu.au) and she curates the popular Integration and Implementation Insights blog (http://i2Insights.org). She is a professor in the Research School of Population Health at The Australian National University (ANU). She is an ANU Public Policy Fellow, an inaugural Fulbright New Century Scholar alumna and has held visiting appointments at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (2001-14), the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center at the University of Maryland (2015-2018) and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany (2019-2020), along with short-term appointments at ETH-Zurich and the Universitaet fuer Bodenkultur in Vienna. She co-convenes (with Michael Smithson) an edX Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on ‘Ignorance!’. Her books include Disciplining Interdisciplinarity: Integration and Implementation Sciences for Researching Complex Real-World Problems (author, 2013), Change! Combining analytic approaches with street wisdom (editor, 2015), Research Integration Using Dialogue Methods (co-author, 2009), and Uncertainty and Risk: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (co-editor, 2008).


Annette Boaz

Annette Boaz joined LSHTM from the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London, where she was a Professor of Health and Social Care Research.  She has more than 25 years of experience in supporting the use of evidence across a range of policy domains.  She was part of one of the largest UK investments in the evidence use landscape, the ESRC Centre for Evidence Based Policy and Practice and has undertaken an international leadership role in promoting the use of evidence. She is a Founding Editor of the first international journal in the field and has recently published a new book on evidence use ‘What Works Now’.  With Kathyrn Oliver, Annette leads Transforming Evidence, an international initiative designed to strengthen the use of research evidence in policy and practice. She has a particular research interest in stakeholder involvement, the role of partnerships in promoting research use and implementation science. She is currently working in the UK Government Office for Science supporting academic engagement with government research priorities. Annette is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a member of the WHO European Advisory Committee on Health Research.

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Thomas Alslev Christensen

Head of Impact in the Foundation’s new impact assessment department and since 2018 Senior Vice President in the Foundation since March 2020.

International STI policy advisor and evaluation expert in international research programmes (Ireland, Germany, Norway, Singapore and the European Commission). Chairman of RegLab which is a national STI-network organization.

Thomas has earlier worked as Head of the Department for Innovation Policy at the Ministry for Science, Innovation and Higher Education 2005-2014 and was Head of Department for analyses on science and innovation 2013-2014, Head of Secretariat at the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation 2006-2014 and before that director in the Nordic Council of Ministers and The Ministry of Economic Affairs as well as in the Danish Prime Minister’s Office where he was an advisor to the prime minister in European economic and monetary integration and international economic affairs.


Dr Anne-Maree Dowd

Anne-Maree Dowd is the Executive Manager for Performance and Evaluation at CSIRO. She delivers all required performance reporting for CSIRO, as well as manages CSIRO’s Investment Decision Making and Impact Frameworks. Anne-Maree has strategic management, planning and performance expertise, monitoring and evaluation skills, and impact assessment capabilities. She holds a PhD in Organisational Psychology from the University of Queensland and has 16 years of experience in scientific research across multiple social science disciplines.


Professor Niki Ellis

Professor Niki Ellis is an occupational and public health physician.  After working on public policy for ten years in both State and Federal governments, she worked in the private sector for another decade, initially building up her own consultancy practice in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.  She went into PricewaterhouseCoopers when she sold the business to them.  She returned from a few years in London working on health innovation for the UK Department of Health and London Southbank University, to take up the position of Foundation Chair and CEO of the Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health at the University of Queensland.  CMVH was funded by the Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs to undertake research relevant to this sector’s needs.  Niki followed that with the role of Foundation Chair and Professor of the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research at Monash – which aimed to provide relevant and practical research to WorkSafe Victoria and the Transport Accident Commission and their stakeholders.

She has retained an adjunct appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash and sits on the boards of SuperFriend, Centre for Evidence and Implementation, DrinkWise and the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Bond.  She is also the Work for Health Advisor for Comcare.  She has advocated for and supported the measurement of social impact by these organisations.

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Jude Fransman

Jude Fransman has an interdisciplinary background spanning international development, education and science and technology studies.  She holds an Honorary Fellowship at the Open University’s Institute of Education and is the Convenor of the Rethinking Research Collaborative; an international network of networks committed to exploring effective, equitable and environmental research collaboration through complex consortia. Previously, she worked for the UCL-Institute of Education, the Institute of Development Studies, the OECD, UNESCO and ActionAid International. Her research focuses on the politics of knowledge for global development and she advises a range of stakeholders including international NGOs, the media, research funders and policy makers.

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Jonathan Grant

Jonathan Grant is professor of public policy at the Policy Institute, King’s College London, and founding director of Different Angles, a consultancy that focuses on the impact of universities and research. He was formerly Vice President & Vice Principal (Service) at King’s. Service is King’s award-winning and unique commitment to social responsibility and covers a range of activities including social reform, research impact, service-led learning, volunteering, and environment sustainability. Jonathan’s main research interests are in biomedical and health R&D policy, research impact assessment, the use of research and evidence in policy and decision-taking, and the social purpose of universities in the 21st century. Jonathan’s new book, The New Power University. The social purpose of higher education in the 21st Century, will be published by Pearson in March 2021.


Chonnettia Jones

Chonnettia Jones has more than two decades of experience in science and health research, strategy and policy in government and philanthropic sectors in the US, UK/Europe and Canada.

As Vice President, Research at the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, British Columbia’s health research funding agency, Chonnettia oversees the foundation’s research portfolio and strategic partnerships with provincial, national and international partners to maximize British Columbia’s investments in health research and address health and health system priorities for the benefit of the public and patients. She also sits on a number of international advisory boards on scientific publishing, open science and anti-racism in research.

Prior to joining the Michael Smith Foundation, Chonnettia held an executive leadership role at the Wellcome Trust in London, where she provided strategic leadership to maximize the impact of Wellcome’s funded research and strategic initiatives in global health research. While at Wellcome, she was also a founding partner of the Research on Research Institute, an international consortium driving a translational research agenda to make research systems more equitable, diverse and inclusive.

Initially trained as a scientist in developmental neurobiology in the US.

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Adam Kamenetzky

Adam Kamenetzky is a Senior Research Fellow at NIHR’s Central Commissioning Facility. His work applies social research methods to improve NIHR’s capacity to learn about the wider value of its £1 billion+ investments in health and care research. With colleagues across NIHR, he is developing a programme of ‘research on research’, staff training and capacity-building to help NIHR better understand, support and evidence impact.

Before joining NIHR, Adam worked as a research fellow at the Policy Institute at King’s College London, conducting research into science policy and organisational approaches to research impact and evaluation. Adam is at the early stages of a practice-oriented PhD in research impact and assessment and holds an MSc in Science Communication and BSc in Developmental Biology.

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Jordi Molas-Gallart

Jordi Molas-Gallart is Research Professor at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Director of INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), a joint research centre of CSIC and the Polytechnic University of Valencia, and Visiting Fellow at SPRU (University of Sussex) where he obtained his PhD and worked for some 15 years as a researcher and Senior Lecturer. His research interests focus mainly on science and technology policy evaluation and impact assessment. He has led and contributed to many research projects for a wide variety of organisations, including the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), INSERM, the European Commission, and the Russell Group of British universities among others. He was editor of Research Evaluation, a journal published by Oxford University Press between 2013 and 2020, and President of the European Network of Indicator Designers (ENID) between 2015 and 2019. He has contributed to many European Commission expert groups, and chaired the Science Europe working group on Research Policy and Programme Evaluation.

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Terry Rachwalski

Terry Rachwalski leads the Entrepreneurial Investments business unit of Alberta Innovates, the provinces’ largest public corporation charged with investing in diversifying the economy through growth in emerging technology and knowledge-based start-ups, companies and technologies. Entrepreneurial Investments funds early stage, high growth, high potential firms, fosters entrepreneurial culture, regional innovation and global partnerships.

Previously she was President of Front Porch Perspectives, a Canadian management consulting firm providing business development and go-to-market and action plans for technology product launches. She has worked extensively providing industry, market and competitive analyses along with digital services, social media launches and integrated marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns in Canada, the United States, Europe and Central America.

Terry has worked as an executive, founder and investor with multiple Canadian and international technology firms in progressive management, sales, marketing and operational roles. She is a mentor and facilitator at CETAC-West’s Entrepreneur to CEO week-long intensive workshop in Banff. An award-winning Certified Management Consultant, she holds an MBA from Royal Roads University where she is Associate Faculty in the MBA program running the problem-based learning, live consulting cases during the rigorous capstone project. She developed the CAPE model to assist clients determine pricing models, is co-author of Business Diagnostic, 3rd Edition and co-developed the online Five Minute Business Assessment Tool.

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Dr Anne River

Anne is currently leading the co-development of the NIHR Outcomes Framework, a tool to facilitate
communication and organisational learning across the complex system of NIHR. Anne has held multiple
roles within the research sector, including analytical roles at RAND Europe, MQ and Wellcome Trust, and
prior to this as Head of the Laboratory of Behavioural Genetics at the Feinstein Institute for Medical
At Wellcome Anne was part of the team working to introduce an outcomes-focused approach to
organisational learning, including project managing and then leading the first two co-development
phases of the Wellcome Success Framework, and leading the co-development of Wellcome’s Diversity
and Inclusion outcomes framework. Inspired by this, Anne is studying behaviour change, and systems
thinking and system dynamics at UCL. Anne has a strong belief that evaluation and monitoring needs to
adopt a context-sensitive approach, moving beyond monitoring for governance to facilitate both
individual and organisational learning.

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Yulye Jessica Romo Ramos (Jessica Romo)

Yulye Jessica Romo Ramos is a leader specialized in strategic management, organizational change and monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL). MSc-educated with approx. 15 years of monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) experience in a wide range of thematic areas across Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe. Jessica is a leader that loves developing and improving MERL functions and is specialized in the use of theory-based evaluation approaches and systems thinking for complex interventions. Her experience includes top MERL positions at international organizations where she has been responsible for facilitating strategic, adaptive and evidence-based management as well as enabling strong project design and business development with the help of MERL approaches. Currently Jessica works for Wellcome Trust (https://wellcome.org/) , where she provides MERL leadership, and is a member of the American, UK and European Evaluation Societies.

For a list of publications and talks please consult this page: https://jessicaromo.wordpress.com/publications/

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Georg Schütte

Since January 2020, Dr. Georg Schütte has been Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation. Prior to this, he served as State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for ten years and, among others, led the negotiations between the Federal Government and the German Länder on the future financing of the German research system.

Before he entered government service, Georg Schütte was Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He has worked in research and foundation management for more than 25 years. Georg Schütte holds a doctoral degree in media and communication research from the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany and a Masters Degree of the City University of New York, USA. He conducted research at Harvard University and at the University of Siegen. Dr. Schütte was born in Rheine, Germany, in 1962

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Dr Rafael Simó

Dr. Rafael Simó is the Chair of the Division of Endocrinology and Nutrition at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Director of Diabetes and Metabolism Research Unit at Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), Professor of Medicine & Endocrinology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and Deputy Director of Clinical Research at VHIR. His group belongs to CIBERDEM (the Spanish network for the research of diabetes and associated metabolic diseases) and he is also principal investigator of RECAVA (Spanish network for the research of cardiovascular diseases).

Prof. Simó has authored over 300 articles related to diabetes which have been published in high-profile peer-reviewed journals, besides 14 book chapters. He has participated in 26 research projects related to diabetic retinopathy and in 34 projects related to clinical diabetes. He has been the Coordinator of the European Consortium for the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy (EUROCONDOR). This consortium (constituted by 19 partners all of them leaders in diabetic retinopathy from 8 different countries) has been funded by the EC for developing the first clinical trial using neuroprotective agents topically administered to prevent or arrest the development of diabetic retinopathy. In addition, he is the current coordinator of the “Retinal and cognitive dysfunction in type 2 diabetes: unravelling the common pathways and identification of patients at risk of dementia (RECOGNISED). This consortium has also been funded by the EC and consist of 21 partners (including EATRIS and 3 SMEs) from 9 different countries.

Prof. Simó is the Diabetologist of Expert Committee on Diabetic Retinopathy and Vascular Diseases of the EVICR.net (European Vision Clinical Research) and the current President of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes-Eye complications (EASD-ec). He is renowned worldwide for his contributions to the pathophysiology of diabetic complications, in particular diabetic retinopathy. Prof. Simó received the Spanish Society of Diabetes Award (Rodríguez Miñón Award-2008) for a career in the field of Clinical Research in Diabetes, the “Dr. Josep Trueta” Award of the Academy of Medical Sciences from Catalonia (2011) for his innovative contributions in Biomedicine, and the Award of the Spanish Society of Endocrinology (2015) for the development and consolidation of a high-quality research group.

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Derek C Stewart

Derek C Stewart, patient advocate for involvement in research mainly in the United Kingdom. Hon Professor at NUI Galway, Ireland.

Born too many years ago in Ayr, Scotland, Derek was treated successfully for throat cancer in 1995.  A former teacher he became actively involved in numerous aspects of patient involvement and advocacy at a local and national level, being the founder Chair of the Consumer Liaison Group for the National Cancer Research Institute.

Derek was Associate Director for the National Institute for Health Research – Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) for nine years up until 2017. He is a Member of Cancer Research UK.

Currently, Derek is involved with a number of research projects mainly to do with the Trials Methodology Research including Evidence Synthesis Ireland.

Blog: https://wordpress.com/home/involveddotblog.wordpress.com

Twitter: @DerekCStewart

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Dr Grace Sweeney

Grace is a Senior Manager in the Knowledge and Evaluation for Improvement (KEI) team in the Improvement Directorate, NHS England and NHS Improvement.  She leads a small team, supporting colleagues across the directorate capture and demonstrate the value and impact of their improvement programmes.  Her team also plays a key role in building health and care colleagues’ skills, confidence and capability in capturing and demonstrating the impact of their improvement work.

Over the past four years, she has overseen and championed the development of the Impact Framework and is convinced about the difference it can make to improvement programmes that are looking to evidence the impact of their work in a robust, pragmatic and meaningful way.

Grace and team have presented extensively on the Impact Framework, most recently at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare, Amsterdam, May 2018; NHS Expo, Manchester, September 2019; NIHR meeting, Wellcome Collection on 22 January 2020.

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David Sweeney

David Sweeny, after gaining First Class Honors in Statistics at the University of Aberdeen, worked at two BBSRC research institutes, as a statistician consultant before developing mathematical models or plant growth. His work on the computer aspects of this led into broader applications of IT in education and research, and was Director of Information Services at Royal Holloway, University of London, before moving into university leadership as Vice-Principal (Communications, Enterprise and Research) in 2004. In this role he was responsible for research strategy and for developing Royal Holloway’s research-led commercial and consultancy activities.

He joined HEFCE in 2008 as Director (Research, Innovation and Skills) and led the development and implementation of the first Research Excellence Framework including the new impact agenda element. He was responsible for research policy and funding, knowledge exchange and university/business relations. In May 2017 he was appointed the first Executive Chair of Research England, a new council established as part of UK Research and Innovation, alongside the seven disciplinary Research Councils and the UK Innovation Agency. Research England is biggest research funder in the UK with responsibility for university block-grant funding for research and knowledge exchange. In UKRI he has responsibilities for Place (Regional Funding), Commercialisation and Open Science. David has been invited to visit many countries to advise on research assessment and funding, particularly with respect to research impact. He is also a member of the Executive Steering Group for Plan S, the international initiative on full and immediate open access to research publications. David was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Aberdeen in 2012, was Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Newcastle, NSW in 2015 and is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.

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Dr Alison Tweed

Dr Alison Tweed is a clinical psychologist by profession and spent over 20 years working within mental health services as a clinician and also in higher education settings as a senior lecturer on the professional doctorate in clinical psychology programmes at Leicester University, Staffordshire University and the University of Keele. She specialises in qualitative approaches, particularly grounded theory and is a published author in this area.

Alison joined NHS England/Improvement in 2014 and currently leads the Knowledge and Evaluation for Improvement (KEI) team within the Improvement Directorate. The KEI team focuses on capability-building in knowledge management and evaluation approaches, consultation and evaluating the impact, value and learning of the improvement and transformation programmes delivered by the directorate. Most recently, Alison has led the evaluation workstream of the Beneficial Changes Network, a national initiative to harness the innovations and best practice arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Alison also teaches on the Improvement Directorate’s quality improvement and transformational change programmes on the topics of psychological responses to change, qualitative approaches to data and engagement, and personal resilience. 

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Dr Ian Viney

Dr Ian Viney MBE, MRC Director of Strategic Evaluation and Impact has led the evaluation and analysis team at the Medical Research Council since 2007. The MRC aims to take evidence-informed decisions, supported by the best information available, and its analysis team focuses on leveraging in house and external quantitative and qualitative evidence to evaluate research programmes and inform strategy development.  The team recently completed a large evaluation of the last ten years of MRC translational research (https://mrc.ukri.org/publications/browse/10-year-translation-research-evaluation-report-2019/) and is actively working with colleagues across UK Research and Innovation councils and with academic teams and funders in the UK and internationally.

Visit the MRC website and read about the progress and productivity of MRC research http://www.mrc.ac.uk/Achievementsimpact/Outputsoutcomes/index.htm

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James Wilsdon

James Wilsdon is Digital Science Professor of Research Policy at the University of Sheffield and Director of the Research on Research Institute (RoRI), a global consortium of research funders, academics and technologists working to advance transformative & translational ‘meta-research’. He is also vice-chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA). An interdisciplinary social scientist, he works on the politics, governance and management of research systems, and the relationship between evidence and decision-making. Over his 25-year career, in addition to posts at the universities of Sheffield, Sussex and Lancaster, he has worked in think tanks and as director of science policy for the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science. His recent publications include (with Richard Jones) The Biomedical Bubble (Nesta 2018). Previously, he chaired the UK’s Campaign for Social Science, and led an independent review of the role of metrics in research, published in 2015 as The Metric Tide.  He is a Fellow of the UK’s Academy of Social Sciences, serves on the editorial board of the OA journal Humanities and Social Sciences Communicationsand is on twitter @jameswilsdon.

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