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

Policy Adviser

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

Head of Policy – UK and EU

Contact about:

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

Louise Wren

Policy Manager – UK and EU

Contact about:

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

Our work

Open research

We want the research we fund – like publications, data, software and materials – to be open and accessible, so it can have the greatest possible impact.

Brexit and the EU

We're working with the UK government and others to achieve a Brexit settlement that allows research to thrive in the UK and Europe.

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.

Research practice

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

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.

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.


Regulation and governance of health research: five years on [PDF 652KB]

  • June 2017

Report of a joint Academy of Medical Sciences, Cancer Research UK and Wellcome workshop on the regulation and governance of health research in the UK.

The Impact of Collaboration: the value of UK medical research to EU science and health [PDF 395KB]

  • May 2017

Joint report on the value of UK medical research to EU science and health.

Building and sustaining data infrastructures [PDF 531KB]

  • October 2016

This commissioned review looks at the data infrastructure provision available to Wellcome-funded researchers and suggests areas where improvements could be helpful.

More reports

Briefings and responses

The use of digital sequence information on genetic resources [PDF 295KB]

  • September 2017

Convention on Biological Diversity

General Data Protection Regulation derogations [PDF 204KB]

  • May 2017

Department of Culture, Media and Sport

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

  • March 2017

Higher Education Funding Council for England

More briefings and responses