Policy team

We aim to influence policy developments so that researchers can be as effective as possible and health can be improved.

We work with a wide range of partners – including governments, research funders, learned societies, charities and commercial organisations – in the UK, Europe and globally. 

Team contacts

Ed Whiting

Director of Policy and Chief of Staff

Natalie Paloma-Solis

Executive Assistant to Ed Whiting

Michelle Marshall

Policy Team Assistant

Natalie Banner

Policy Adviser

Contact about:

patient data and medical records, Expert Advisory Group on Data Access, research ethics and governance

Ben Bleasdale

Senior Policy Officer

Contact about:

Research Excellence Framework, APPG on Medical Research, What’s it Worth studies

Adrienne Hunt

Research Ethics and Governance Manager

Contact about:

research ethics and governance, UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council, Global Forum on Bioethics in Research

Alice Jamieson

Policy Officer

Contact about:

research practice, research integrity, improving reproducibility

Katherine Littler

Senior Policy Adviser

Contact about:

data sharing in public health emergencies, research ethics and governance, epidemic preparedness, biobanking, gene editing, H3Africa, returning research findings

Sophie Mathewson

Policy Adviser

Katherine Powell

Policy Officer

Contact about:

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research, parliamentary communications, diversity

Stuart Pritchard

EU Affairs Manager

Contact about:

EU affairs

Beth Thompson

Senior Policy Adviser

Contact about:

Data Protection Regulation, research involving animals, regulation of clinical trials, research in the NHS

Louise Wren

Policy Adviser

Contact about:

government investment in research, innovation policy, immigration, parliamentary communications, Accelerated Access Review

Our work

Open research

We want the research we fund to be open and accessible, so it can have the greatest possible impact.

Patient data in research

Patient data is hugely valuable for research. But the value of that data can only be unlocked if concerns about patient privacy are taken seriously.

Government investment in research

Government investment plays an important part in supporting scientific excellence in the UK.

Data sharing in public health emergencies

Research is an essential part of being ready for and responding to public health emergencies.

Research practice

Good research practice is one of the foundations of high-quality research.

Accelerated Access Review

The recommendations set out in the review mark one of the first steps towards making sure that promising drugs, devices, diagnostics and digital products are adopted quickly across the NHS.

Gene editing in research

Gene editing allows scientists to change gene sequences by adding, replacing or removing sections of DNA.

Data Protection Regulation

The new European Data Protection Regulation was agreed in April 2016 and will take effect from May 2018.

EU copyright law reform

The European Commission has published a proposal to update EU copyright law so that it applies equally across Europe and is fit for purpose in the 21st century.

Research involving animals

Almost every major breakthrough in human and veterinary medicine has depended on the use of animals in the research, development or testing of new therapies. 

Mitochondrial donation

Mitochondrial donation is an IVF technique that gives families affected by mitochondrial disease the chance of having healthy children.

EU medical devices regulations

The European Union is revising regulations governing the manufacture and sale of medical devices.

Expert Advisory Group on Data Access

The Expert Advisory Group on Data Access provides strategic advice to its funders about the scientific, legal and ethical issues of data access for cohort studies and human genetics research.

Public Health Research Data Forum

The Public Health Research Data Forum brings together more than 20 funders of global health research to support ways of sharing health research data.


Developing skills for managing research data and software in open research [PDF 365KB]

  • October 2016

We explore potential gaps in data management skills and capacity, and how these needs can be met in future.

Embedding cultures and incentives to support open research [PDF 271KB]

  • October 2016

This commissioned review focuses on how cultures and incentives can be embedded to support open research.

Ensuring global equity in global research [PDF 338KB]

  • October 2016

A commissioned review looking at how to make sure data sharing benefits research globally.

More reports

Briefings and responses

Consultation on the second Research Excellence Framework [PDF 292KB]

  • March 2017

Higher Education Funding Council for England

General Data Protection Regulation consent guidance [PDF 177KB]

  • March 2017

Information Commissioner’s Office

Joint response to the inquiry into genomics and genome-editing [PDF 287KB]

  • January 2017

House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

More briefings and responses