Professor Dame Jessica Corner

Research England Executive Chair

Jessica Corner

Professor Dame Jessica Corner is the Executive Chair for Research England, part of UK Research and Innovation. She leads the biggest research funder in the UK with responsibility for:

  • university block-grant funding, used to deliver excellent research and knowledge exchange
  • unlocking potential
  • generating impact
  • meeting national priorities and global challenges

She acts as custodian of the dual support funding mechanism for research in England which balances funds to institutions for competitive or cause-directed research and innovation funding.

Research England aims to create and sustain the conditions for a healthy, dynamic and inclusive research and knowledge exchange system in the higher education sector.


In her previous role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Nottingham, Dame Jessica led a portfolio worth over £900 million. She strategically directed the research, commercialisation and knowledge exchange efforts of close to 3,000 dedicated research colleagues at the University’s campuses in:

  • UK
  • China
  • Malaysia

Her own research has focused on supportive and palliative care in cancer and long term-health outcomes after treatment for cancer. She led some of the first clinical trials of nurse-led care in the world. Along with her role at Nottingham, Dame Jessica was Registrar for Academy of Medical Sciences.

Previously, Dame Jessica was:

  • Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Southampton
  • Director of National Institute for Health Research funded Wessex Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Research in Healthcare
  • Executive Director of Improving Cancer Services for the charity Macmillan Cancer support responsible for the charity’s Macmillan professionals and services throughout the UK and links with government and policy
  • Chair of the Council of Deans for Health

She has also held academic positions at King’s College London and at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, for 12 years where she was the first nurse to be appointed to a chair at the institute.

Dame Jessica was:

  • made a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) in 2014 for services to healthcare research and education
  • elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015
  • elected Fellow of the European Academy in 2019

In 2018, when the UK National Health Service turned 70, Dame Jessica was named as one of the most influential nurses in its history.

Last updated: 1 September 2023

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