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London, UK – The Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, today (11 February 2016) announced the appointment of Professor Melanie Welham as interim Chief Executive (CEO) of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
Announcing the appointment Jo Johnson said:
I am pleased to appoint Melanie Welham as interim Chief Executive of BBSRC. As the previous Director of Science at the BBSRC and with an excellent track record across research, academia and management, Melanie is very well placed to take on this role. I wish her well in her appointment.
Professor Sir Gordon Duff, Chairman of BBSRC, said:
We are entering a period of great opportunity and change in the Research Councils and I am delighted that BBSRC, its staff and UK bioscience researchers will have high quality leadership in Melanie Welham. Melanie brings not only in-depth knowledge of BBSRC and our science but experience and networks across the Research Councils, government and the research community.
Professor Welham said:
Prof Jackie Hunter has done a fantastic job as Chief Executive since 2013 and is leaving BBSRC in a very strong position for the future. Having been part of BBSRC’s leadership team for over 3 years and having had a long association with the Council, both as a researcher and member of research committees, I am very aware of the value, impact and potential of the organisation and the science we support. I am very much looking forward to leading BBSRC and ensuring that we continue to support excellent bioscience – vital to building the UK bioeconomy.
The interim appointment will run from 1 March 2016 until a new CEO is recruited to replace Jackie Hunter.
The BBSRC is a national funding agency supporting biotechnology and biological sciences research and study in the UK. In the 2015 Spending Review, the government protected science funding of £4.7 billion in real terms over the Parliament. This will include a new £1.5 billion Global Challenges Fund.