RoRI appoints new Director of Strategy to lead horizon scanning

Professor Stephen Curry of Imperial College London will be joining RoRI.

We are delighted to announce that Professor Stephen Curry of Imperial College London will be joining RoRI as Director of Strategy from 1 October 2023. Stephen has just stepped down as Imperial’s first Associate Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and has now taken on the part-time role of College Consul. This gives him the opportunity to bring his considerable experience in research funding, assessment, policy and communication to RoRI.

As a researcher, Stephen worked for over three decades on molecular aspects of protein-drug interactions and on the replication of RNA viruses. Alongside, he has written extensively on social, cultural and political aspects of research on his Reciprocal Space blog and at the Guardian, covering topics including open access, research assessment and science policy.

Stephen was a founder member of the campaign group Science is Vital and from 2012 to 2018 served on the board of the Campaign for Science and Engineering. This autumn he reaches the end of his six-year term as chair of the steering group of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), an organisation he has helped to position as a singularly influential force for the promotion of research assessment reform worldwide.

Stephen was a member of the UK government-convened group which in 2015 produced the Metric Tide report on the use of metrics in research assessment and, most recently, was a co-author of the 2022 Harnessing the Metric Tide report which looked at options for implementing responsible assessment practices within REF 2028. He has served in an advisory or review panel capacity for a range of organisations including LERU, ERC, JISC, UKRN, SNSF and FWF.

As RoRI’s new Director of Strategy, Stephen will add intellectual breadth and management depth to its leadership team, take oversight of a number of its flagship projects, and lead international horizon scanning, to support the codesign of RoRI’s work programme, in close consultation with its partners. 

Welcoming his appointment, James Wilsdon, Executive Director of RoRI, said:

“I’m thrilled that Stephen Curry is joining RoRI at a crucial time, as we embark on a fresh wave of projects and partnerships. As the demands that societies place on research continue to intensify, RoRI’s mission has never been more urgent. For years, Stephen has been one of the wisest, most articulate and passionate champions of positive transformations in research systems and cultures that so many of us want to see. I look forward to working with Stephen to ensure that we have the evidence we need to unlock the full potential of research.” 

Stephen Curry said: “I am a huge admirer of the work that RoRI does and am really excited to have the opportunity to contribute. It will be fantastic to help advance research on so many different and important aspects of research policy and culture. We live in exciting, fast-changing but also deeply troubling times. It has never been more important for us as an international community to think deeply about who and what research is for, and how to construct scholarly ecosystems that are productive, healthy, and best placed to meet the challenges of humanity.”