The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) knows that the way we’re structured and managed has a direct impact on the scientific and technological outcomes we deliver, as well as on our ability to function efficiently and effectively and so provide maximum value for taxpayers’ money.
That’s why we have placed such emphasis on establishing the right framework for our operations and ensuring this continually evolves to meet and anticipate new challenges. It’s a framework geared not simply to supporting and facilitating success but also to scrutinising our activities and questioning our assumptions whenever and wherever necessary.
From the council, board and advisory bodies that oversee, steer and inform our operations, to the policies we implement, the regulations we comply with and the standards we adhere to on a daily basis, a thorough framework of structures, systems and measures contributes to the achievement of best practice covering every aspect of the way we’re governed.
Reinforcing this is a process of continual review and refinement guaranteeing continuous improvement in the good governance that underpins our scientific vision, our reputation and our effectiveness as an organisation.
Our council, board and advisory bodies
Find more information, contact details and declarations of interest for:
STFC Council is responsible for advising and making decisions, as delegated to it by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Board, on scientific, research and innovation matters.
These responsibilities include:
- the leadership of their discipline area or fields of activity, including the prioritisation of budgets within their delegated remits and the development of delivery plans
- ensuring the future of skilled specialists, researchers, scientists and others essential to the sustainability of the UK’s research and innovation capacity
- engaging with their community to develop ideas, raise awareness and disseminate strategic outputs
- encouraging and facilitating collaborative work across the nine UKRI councils to foster strategic relationships.
STFC’s Executive Chair, Professor Mark Thomson provides overall leadership and is responsible for the management and performance of STFC.
He chairs the Executive Board and is responsible for setting STFC’s direction and winning the support of external stakeholders for the vision of STFC as an enabler of world-class science with social and economic impact. Professor Thomson also leads delivery of the UKRI Research and Innovation Infrastructure Roadmap.
The Executive Chair’s Office is in Polaris House, Swindon. The Executive Chair is supported by an Executive Support Team, which also provides support to our Chair and secretariat support to the Executive Board and STFC Council.
Executive Support Team
Janice Masone – Executive Assistant to the Executive Chair
Janice is the point of contact for the Executive Chair’s diary, correspondence and invitations.
Melanie Kidd – Executive Office Assistant and Council Secretariat Administrator
Our staff are organised in seven directorates, plus the Executive Chair’s Office.
Grahame Blair is the Executive Director of Programmes.
The Programmes Directorate (PD) is responsible for the STFC’s science and technology strategy, science operations and planning (including the STFC’s processes for peer review), as well as STFC’s programmes in education, training and public outreach. The PD has one other Director:
- Marc Balcells – Director, Isaac Newton group of Telescopes, La Palma
Grahame is supported in running the directorate by:
- Jason Green, Associate Director External Innovations & 21st Century Challenges
- Sarah Verth, Associate Director Particle Physics & Accelerators
- Justin O’Byrne, Associate Director Particle Astro and Nuclear Physics
- Helen Beadman, Associate Director International User Facilities
- Colin Vincent, Associate Director Astronomy
- Maggie Wilson, Associate Director Skills and Programme Delivery
- Elena Potton, Head of Programme Support Group
- Jane Pritchard, Executive Assistant to Grahame Blair.
Our National Laboratories Directorate is led by Neil Geddes. The National Laboratories provide research facilities and capabilities that, because of their scale, complexity, strategic character or cost, are appropriately operated as a national research resource.
These facilities and capabilities include access for external users to neutron scattering and light source facilities, laser facilities, accelerator research facilities and high performance computing. They also include national technical capabilities in nuclear physics, particle physics, astronomy, accelerator science, instrumentation and space technology.
The primary mission of the laboratories is to facilitate national research capability, and they should therefore complement and collaborate with the university research base.
National Laboratories consists of:
- Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC)
- Central Laser Facility at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL)
- Hartree Centre at Daresbury Laboratory
- ISIS Neutron and Muon Source at RAL
- Particle Physics Department
- Scientific Computing Department
- RAL Space
Tom Britten is the new Chief Operating Officer (from 22 March 2021) for Corporate Services.
Corporate Services is responsible for STFC’s administrative information systems and technology, estates management operations and support services, health, safety and environment, and security.
STFC is an independent, non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
As such, the majority of our funding is public money from BEIS, allocated through the comprehensive spending review.
The Finance Directorate is responsible for STFC’s overall budgeting and associated financial planning and for the financial and management accounting processes within the Council.
Business and Innovation
The Business and Innovation Directorate is responsible for delivering and developing the effective transfer of knowledge between STFC, universities, industries and other organisations.
It is also responsible for developing strategies and co-ordinating implementation plans for increasing the economic impact of STFC’s investments in universities, its own facilities and the international laboratories.
Strategy, Planning and Communications
Strategy, Planning and Communications (SPC) brings together the core functions that are needed to help the organisation shape, communicate and monitor our national and international strategic agenda.
SPC is comprised of specialists from across the strategy, planning and communications arena. Expert and professional, with a deep understanding of STFC and its stakeholders, we are impartial in our work and act as a bridge across the organisation.
The Strategic Communications team is headed by Liz Fellman.
It is responsible for developing and implementing a strong and effective communication strategy and programme, which encompasses STFC’s activities in marketing communications, public affairs, media relations, events management, corporate web services, corporate publications and internal communication.
Research and Innovation Strategy
The Research and Innovation team is headed by Derek Gillespie.
They work with the research community and STFC’s advisory boards to provide a vision, statements of long-term direction, and priorities to develop the overarching research and innovation strategies needed to deliver STFC’s corporate strategy.
Stakeholder and International Relations
The Stakeholder and International Relations team is headed by Catherine Ewart.
They ensure that STFC builds and maintains the strong, stable and long-lasting relationships that are vital to the delivery of STFC’s programme and goals. To achieve this, we have three principal areas of activity:
- stakeholder engagement
- international relations
- government relations and horizon scanning.
Corporate Strategy and Impact
The Corporate Strategy and Impact team is headed by Philip Amison.
Their work includes leading on STFC’s strategic planning processes, impact reporting and evaluation activities, and strategic and policy advice to the Executive Board and Council. It also includes the recently established Strategic Portfolio Management Office, designed to improve the strategic oversight and management of STFC’s large project portfolio covering business case development, initiation, approval, monitoring, review and evaluation processes across STFC.
The Human Resources (HR) Directorate is headed up by Peter Thompson.
It is responsible for delivering and developing people management practices that will support STFC to achieve its vision and strategic goals.
STFC’s HR structure allows HR to operate at a strategic level whilst also providing a solid base of day-to-day operational support. Business partners work with departments to understand their local strategy and challenges and how people management practices can help achieve their aims. HR Centres of Expertise provide specific competence and expertise that help shape the people management practice across STFC:
- Talent and Skills
- Reward and Employee Relations
- Organisation Development.
The Operations and Systems team provides managers with the tools, systems and support in managing, motivating and developing their staff. This team includes HR advisors and HR assistants who provide the day-to-day operational support that is the backbone of the HR department’s service. The team interfaces with the UK Shared Business Services Ltd (UK SBS) who are responsible for HR transactional activity.
Last updated: 13 April 2022