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Education and Science Policy Committee


This Principal Committee reports directly to Council and is responsible for:

  • Proactive development of a strategic policy framework across education and science policy, and its communication.
  • Development of the evidence base to underpin policy work.
  • Guidance and support in responding to relevant consultations.
  • Guiding schools engagement work and relevant careers and outreach activity as part of the strategic framework.


Members of the Education and Science Policy (ESP) Committee:


Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Committee Chair
Sarah-Jayne is Chair of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, and leader of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Group. Her group's research focuses on the development of social cognition and decision making in the adolescent brain.

Clari Burrel
Clari has an undergraduate degree in plant science from the University of Edinburgh. She is currently in the final year of her PhD, working on plant-microbe interactions in crop disease. She is particularly interested in equity of access and opportunity within scientific education and careers.

Professor David Coates
David is Chair of the RSB Accreditation Committee, most recently Dean of Life Sciences Learning and Teaching, University of Dundee; previously Dean of Life Sciences at Bradford, and Head of the School of Biology at Leeds. Before that, David was a teacher and researcher in genetics and genomics with an interest in genome structures and evolution; and a keen reorganiser of HE curricula with a strong focus on student learning.

Franziska Fischer
Franziska is an agricultural scientist, working on her PhD at Cambridge University, investigating disease resistance in wheat. She also holds an MSc in agricultural economics and brings experience in agribusiness and in public service to the ESP Committee. Franziska enjoys public engagement with science and has a keen interest in sustainable agriculture.

Nicola Kelting
Nicola has a passion for the natural world, BSc Hons Biology, MSc in Plant Diversity, and an adventurous 8-year career in tropical field conservation. She now focuses her skills and knowledge in secondary education. Nicola teaches biology with interests in engaging girls in STEM and positive impacts of outdoor learning.

Dr Catriona Manville
Catriona is a Research Leader in the Innovation, Health and Science team at RAND Europe, where she leads a portfolio of work around translating research and innovation into practice, and evaluations of funding schemes at a programme and national level. Between 2014 and 2016 Catriona was seconded to NIHR as a Business Analyst to support the monitoring and evaluation of NIHR’s research portfolio. Catriona has a PhD from the Institute of Cell and Molecular Biosciences from Newcastle University.

Dr Jamie McFadzean
Jamie's interests are veterinary/agricultural disease and policy. Jamie has researched: livestock genetics; AMR; East African livestock; and grassland livestock production microbial cycling. Jamie graduated from University of Glasgow BSc(hons) Veterinary Bioscience (2013), Master of Veterinary Public Health (2015), and completed his PhD at Rothamsted Research and University of Exeter (2018). He currently works for Defra as a senior policy advisor on zoonoses.

Professor Stephen Price
Stephen is a Professor of Developmental Neurobiology and is also Director of Education in the Division of Biosciences at UCL. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Heads of University Biosciences, a special interest group of the RSB, and is a member of the ESP Committee in that capacity.

Professor Sara Rankin
Sara has a first class hons degree and PhD in Pharmacology from Kings College London. She joined Imperial College London in 1995 where she is now Professor of Leukocyte and Stem Cell Biology. In addition to her research she is NHLI lead for both EDI and public engagement.

Rebecca Robertson
Rebecca carries out interdisciplinary research at the University of Leeds. Rebecca's PhD project explores the health and wellbeing benefits of green spaces. Rebecca's work aims to empower local community members and connect them with nature. Rebecca is experienced in evidence-based conservation and policy engagement. Rebecca wants to inspire people through biology and encourage more diversity within the biosciences.

Professor Susanne Voelkel
Susanne is Director of Education (School of Life Sciences) at the University of Liverpool. After a PhD and Postdoc (Animal Physiology) in Germany, Susanne moved to the UK and started a second career as an HEI educator. Her area of research now focuses on assessment and feedback.

Dr Philip Young
Philip is an Associate Professor at the University of Warwick, where he is the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the School of Life Sciences. Pedagogically, Dr Young’s main interests are assessment strategies and constructive alignment in tertiary education.

RSB Committee Observers:

Dr Mark Downs, Chief Executive
Dr Laura Bellingan, Director of Policy and Public Affairs
Rachel Lambert-Forsyth, Director of Membership and Professional Affairs
Lauren McLeod, Head of Education Policy
Dr Laura Marshall, Head of Science Policy


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