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National Postdoc Conference 2023 – Keynote speakers

Professor Dame Jessica Corner

Professor Dame Jessica Corner is the Executive Chair for Research England, part of UK Research and Innovation. She leads the biggest research funder in the UK with responsibility for university block-grant funding, unlocking potential, generating impact and meeting national priorities and global challenges.

In her previous role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Nottingham, Dame Jessica led a portfolio worth over £900 million. She strategically directed the research, commercialisation and knowledge exchange efforts of close to 3,000 dedicated research colleagues.

Her own research has focused on supportive and palliative care in cancer and long term-health outcomes after treatment for cancer. She led some of the first clinical trials of nurse-led care in the world. Along with her role at Nottingham, Dame Jessica was Registrar for Academy of Medical Sciences.

Hetan Shah

Hetan is chief executive of the British Academy, the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. He is visiting professor at the Policy Institute, Kings College London. Hetan is a board member of Our World in Data, a website which provides long run data on global challenges such as poverty.

He is also a member of the board of The Legal Education Foundation, a philanthropic body supporting a better justice system. Hetan sits on a number of advisory boards, including for the Resolution Foundation, the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, and the Pissarides Review of the Future of Work. 

Professor Turi King

Professor Turi King is a scientist, presenter, speaker and author who is passionate about communicating science to the public.

Turi uses genetics in the fields of forensics, history, genealogy and archaeology. She is perhaps best known her work “cracking one of the biggest forensic DNA cases in history”  (Globe and Mail, February 2013) leading the genetics and identification of the remains of King Richard III. 

Turi is also Professor of Public Engagement and Genetics at the University of Leicester, and carries out a great deal of media and television work. as well as public speaking. She is an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association, a Fellow of the Society of Biology, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, a Member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and a Member of the International Society of Forensic Geneticists.

Frances Burstow

Frances Burstow is the Director for Talent and Skills for UK Research and Innovation. She has responsibility for leading the strategic development of UKRI’s approach to talent and skills and the transition to working in a collective manner across its £2b of talent initiatives.   

In her previous role as Deputy Director for Skills and Methods at ESRC, Frances led the Councils investment and policies in the area of researcher skills development, methodological development and innovation and equality, diversity and inclusion and Co-Chaired the cross UKRI Research and Innovation Careers Network.

Most recently she led the ESRC Review of the PhD in the Social Sciences.  She joined ESRC in 2004 from local government and has worked in a variety of roles since then, including strategic lead for longitudinal studies and head of research grants and policy.

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