BBSRC Executive Chair's blog

News from our Chief Executive, Professor Melanie Welham

Professor Melanie Welham
  • My vision for BBSRC within UK Research and Innovation

    Melanie Welham

    It is an absolute pleasure to sit down to write this, my first blog since being appointed as Executive Chair of BBSRC within UK Research and Innovation.

    We are now just over one month into UK Research and Innovation and in conversations I have with members of the community I know there is an appetite to understand what this means for them. There are plans to publish UK Research and Innovation’s strategy soon, and this will be important for setting out the organisation’s approach, but here I would like to take the opportunity to set out my vision for BBSRC.

  • Impacts from bioscience research more surprises

    Melanie Welham

    Along with other research councils, BBSRC has recently published its annual impact report ‘Harnessing the power of biology’ (PDF).

    When I review drafts of our impact report I am always surprised by the unexpected discoveries, developments and impacts that feature – many of these would have been hard to predict at the outset of a particular programme of research and history tells us this is so often the case for frontier bioscience.

  • A look ahead for 2018

    Melanie Welham

    It is customary, close to the beginning of each New Year, to consider what the year ahead might hold, so my first blog of the year sets out some of my thoughts and predictions.

    For 2018, I anticipate we will see an increasing emphasis on discovery research. The importance of researcher-led discovery science is something which I have often heard members of our research community speak passionately about – and is something which I am a fervent supporter of too. Through BBSRC’s ‘Frontier Bioscience’ theme we have highlighted our commitment and support for discovery research – and I hope this will become increasingly apparent throughout the coming year.

  • Inspiration or imposter: coming to terms with how you are viewed by others

    Melanie Welham

    Throughout my career as a research scientist, wife and mother, and now as CE of BBSRC, I have always tried to be a positive role model. In doing so I did not set out with the intent of being seen as an inspiration to others, and I have to admit that the thought that I might be viewed in this way makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. Yet recently, a series of seemingly unrelated events and conversations have led me to reflect on this.

  • International collaboration, diversity and green tea chocolate

    Melanie Welham

    I was fortunate to travel to Japan recently, first to Kyoto to attend the 14th Science and Technology in Society forum (STS forum) and then on to Tokyo for a series of visits and meetings.

    A key focus on the trip were a series of bi-lateral meetings with funding agencies (from around the globe) which Sir Mark Walport and I attended together. These meetings provided the opportunity to update colleagues on progress towards UK Research and Innovation and also emphasise the importance of international collaboration in maintaining excellence in research and innovation.