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New BBSRC Executive Director appointed

Dr Sarah Perkins

Dr Sarah Perkins has been appointed to lead strategic planning, evidence and engagement for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

She will take up her role on 12 October 2020.

Dr Perkins said:

I want to take this opportunity to say how much I am looking forward to joining BBSRC next month.

Returning to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has been a long-held goal, so to be returning to take up this role, at such a crucial time for the organisation, is truly exciting.

We have recently seen just how important a role science plays in policy making and society. I hope that my experience can support the crucial work of UKRI.

Wealth of experience

Dr Perkins brings a wealth of experience to this position, having worked in a range of research-related roles.

For the past four years she has been director of the GW4 Alliance, which brings together the combined research power and capability of the universities of:

  • Bath
  • Bristol
  • Cardiff
  • Exeter.

As director, she built strategic, influential relationships with industry, policy makers, funders, and government both locally and nationally to deliver collaborative, multidisciplinary projects at scale in a complex research environment.

Previous roles

Prior to this she was Programme Director of Research at the Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London and spent periods of time at The University of Hong Kong and on secondment to Higher Education Funding Council of England to assist with the Research Excellence Framework impact assessment.

Earlier in her career she spent five years working at the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Dr Perkins holds a degree in pharmacology from The University of Sheffield and completed her PhD at the MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Leicester.

Professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair at BBSRC:

Dr Sarah Perkins brings excellent scientific credentials and has vast experience in management of research. She joins BBSRC as UKRI continues to evolve and develop as a leading player in the UK’s research and innovation ecosystem.

I look forward to welcoming her to BBSRC’s executive leadership team and working with her on many of our vital activities.

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