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Our team

 Director: Rebecca Fairbairn

Rebecca moved to Delhi as Director in May 2019. Her connection with India spans working for a UNICEF funded charity in Kolkata in 2004, to setting up the UKRI (then RCUK) Office in India in 2008. She has also worked in India for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Bangalore from 2009-2011. Rebecca is leading the transition from RCUK to UKRI in India, maximising the value of the creation of UKRI to our work in India.

Rebecca has worked with UKRI since 2005, primarily for the Economic and Social Research Council, covering roles in research funding, postgraduate training and evaluation. She led the transformation of ESRC’s approach to knowledge exchange and impact, successfully embedding it across the whole of the ESRC's remit and most recently Rebecca was Head of Data & Infrastructure where amongst other things she was responsible for the ESRC's longstanding, world class, portfolio of longitudinal studies and the shape and sustainability of that multi-million pound portfolio into the future.

Tel: +91 11 2419 2496

Sukanya Kumar-SinhaDeputy Director: Sukanya Kumar

Sukanya has been working with UKRI India since their launch (as RCUK India) in 2008. In her current role as Deputy Director, Sukanya works on delivering UKRI’s vision for a stronger, deeper research and innovation partnership with India. She works closely with Indian funding partners developing and delivering large multi-million-pound UK-India collaborations across the remits of public health and well-being, agriculture and food security, and civil nuclear energy.

Prior to joining UKRI India, Sukanya worked with the UK Border Agency at the British High Commission, New Delhi and has also, previously, worked with The Times of India.

Tel: +91 11 2419 2123

Helen DewberryDBT-UKRI Senior Portfolio Manager: Helen Dewberry

In September 2018, Helen started a new role as Senior Portfolio Manager overseeing the UKRI portfolio with India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT). She works closely with UKRI India and DBT officials to manage the development of UKRI-DBT research partnerships.

Previously Helen was at the UK Research Office in Brussels as European Advisor, supporting UK engagement in EU research and innovation programmes. Before being based in Belgium, she worked as an International Policy Manager at UKRI’s Economic and Social Research Council, where she led on the development and commissioning of a number of international research funding calls. Helen holds an MSc in International Rural Development and a BSc in Environmental Geoscience.

Tel: +91 11 24192416

 Newton Fund Programme Delivery Manager: Dr Monika Sharma

Monika joined UKRI India office in May 2014. She holds a doctorate degree in Life Sciences from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her area of research was on multidrug resistance in the pathogenic fungus Candida albicans. Monika is responsible for managing programme activities, engagement and negotiations with the relevant stakeholders towards building UK-India research collaborations under the Newton Fund programme.

Prior to joining UKRI India, Monika was working with Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) and Geschäftsstelle Deutsche Wissenschafts- und Innovationshäuser (German Centre For Research and Innovation) as Senior Programme Manager where she was responsible for managing Indo-German research collaborations, and the coordination for early researchers to participate in the Nobel Laureate meeting in Lindau, Germany.

Tel: +91 11 2419 2309

Geeny GeorgePartnership Engagement Manager: Geeny George Shaju 

Geeny is responsible for the development and implementation of a strategic approach to engagement activities promoting the impact of the UKRI-India partnership. She leads the delivery of our joint programmes on arts, humanities and social sciences.

Geeny holds a degree in Sociology from Delhi University, and has studied International Law. She also holds a degree from Chartered Institute of Public Relations, UK. She has been working at the British High Commission, New Delhi since 2006.

Tel: + 91 11 24192637

Sarah Lobo Senior Programme Manager: Sarah Lobo

Sarah joined UKRI India in February 2019 as a Senior Programme Manager to support delivery of UK-India collaborative research and innovation across a variety of UKRI programmes. Previously Sarah was in the Health and Human Behaviour team at the Economic and Social Research Council, primarily supporting the antimicrobial resistance and dementia portfolios. Prior to UKRI, Sarah undertook an undergraduate degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Southampton and an MSc in Neuroscience at King’s College London. This was followed by various research roles at the University of Bath, King's College London and St George's University of London.

Tel: + 91 11 2419 2415

Shivani GarkalEvents and Visits Manager: Shivani Garkal 

Shivani is responsible for planning and leading on all UKRI India events and visits. Shivani has over a decade of experience working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the UK Border Agency at the British High Commission in New Delhi. She has also worked in Nigeria as an Operations Manager with Visa Facilitation Services Global. 

Tel: +91 11 24192284


Manju SinghAdministrative Officer: Manju Singh

Manju manages all the administrative activities for the team. She maintains oversight of financial transactions and budgets, and is the first point of contact for stakeholders in India, and in the UK.

Previously Manju worked at the Science and Innovation Department at the Australian High Commission, New Delhi. She has also worked for non-banking financial sector. She holds a degree in Finance (PGDBM), and has studied Cost & Management Accounting (CMA).

Tel: + 91 11 24192370

General enquiries: india@ukri.org