UCL Public Policy


The Team

Meet the UCL Public Policy team. They provide dedicated support and mechanisms to the research community, across UCL to engage with and inform public policy. Comprising of public policy specialists with knowledge and policy expertise honed from working in both the public policy and university sectors, our team’s focus on mechanisms for policy engagement means that we make connections across UCL, work beyond traditional subject boundaries and embed policy knowledge in research.

An image of Sarah Chaytor
Sarah Chaytor

Director of Research Strategy & Policy

Sarah Chaytor joined the Office of the Vice-Provost (Research) in 2009 and established UCL Public Policy in 2012. Her current role includes overseeing the UCL Public Policy programme and building UCL’s capacity to engage with public policy, as well as advising the Vice-Provost (Research) on research strategy and other aspects of his portfolio, leading UCL’s research policy work, and managing strategic projects.

She is a co-investigator and Co-Chair of the Project Delivery Group for the £10 million Capabilities in Academic-Policy Engagement project.

Prior to joining UCL, Sarah worked as a research fellow at the Russell Group, leading work related to research funding and policy. She previously held research policy roles at the Wellcome Trust and Universities UK, and before that worked as a parliamentary researcher and for a think tank. She was a co-founder of UPEN, the Universities Policy Engagement Network, and is co-chair of the UPEN Futures Working Group.

Sarah has a MA in Issues in Modern Culture from UCL and a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford. 

E: s.chaytor@ucl.ac.uk 

An image of Olivia Stevenson
Olivia Stevenson

Deputy Director of UCL Public Policy

Dr Olivia Stevenson joined in 2015 and is responsible for leading the UCL Public Policy programme.

Focused on generating collaborative opportunities, Olivia develops strategic initiatives to improve the quality of engagement between academic research and public policy. She is co-lead on the Capabilities in Academic-Policy Engagement (CAPE) project.

Olivia is a cofounder of the Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN) and has delivered a range of internationally recognised high impact research projects, published widely, most recently on structural and relational inequalities.

Olivia has a PhD in Social Geography from the University of Leeds.
E: o.stevenson@ucl.ac.uk

Katherine Welch
Katherine Welch

Deputy Director of External Engagements and Partnerships

Katherine joined the team in 2017 and is responsible for supporting UCL researchers and academics to connect their work with strategic partners across academia, policy, third sector and professional organisations. She is leading UCL Public Policy's work on climate and net zero as well as Artificial Intelligence and work.

Katherine was previously Deputy Director and Manager of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, establishing alongside the Director the Institute's research, teaching and engagement agendas. Prior to joining UCL, Katherine worked in the mining sector as a journalist and editor for global mining publication, Mining Journal.

Katherine has a first-class honours in Geology and a Masters in Quaternary Science.

E: k.welch@ucl.ac.uk 

Dr Sinéad Murphy
Dr Sinéad Murphy

Policy Engagement Coordinator

Sinéad joined the team in August 2023 and works primarily on UCL Policy Commissions and the UCL Brokerage Academy. Her role focuses on enabling academic-policy engagement, and bringing together researchers from across disciplines to explore impactful solutions to pressing public policy challenges. 

Prior to joining UCL Public Policy, Sinéad worked in teaching and academic research and knowledge exchange, and has also held roles in research administration, professional services, and learned society management. Alongside her independent research outputs, Sinéad is part of the Beyond Gender Research Collective. Sinéad has a PhD in Comparative Literature from King’s College London.

E: sinead.e.murphy@ucl.ac.uk

Dr Alice Tofts

Policy Fellowship Coordinator

Alice joined the team in September 2023. Her role focuses on developing UCL’s policy fellowship ( secondments, internships, placements) programme, facilitating engagement between academics and policymakers. 

She has a Masters in Museum Studies from UCL and a PhD in modern History from the University of Nottingham and in affiliation with Imperial War Museums. Alongside her PhD, she runs engagement events and workshops on the subject of her research.  

Prior to joining UCL Public Policy, Alice worked at the University of Sussex’s public policy initiative Policy@Sussex as well as working as a research assistant focusing on the history of sustainable business practices and policy. Prior to that she worked in museum consultancy with a focus on environmental sustainability.  

E: alice.tofts@ucl.ac.uk  

Graeme Reid
Prof Graeme Reid 

Chair of Science and Research Policy at University College London (UCL)

Prof Graeme Reid spent most of his career at the interface between science and government, working in the Business Department, the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury before moving to UCL in 2014.

In preparation for Brexit, Graeme and Sir Adrian Smith advised the UK Science Minister on frameworks for international collaboration in R&D. Government published their report in 2019. Graeme advised the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee during their extensive inquiries into Brexit and, more recently, industrial strategy.  He led research policy reviews for the Scottish Funding Council, Welsh Government and Universities Wales.

He is on the Board of the National Physical Laboratory and Chair of NPL’s Science and Technology Advisory Council. He is a strategic advisor to the National Centre for Universities and Business. Previous appointments include chair of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, trustee of the Association of Medical Research Charities and member of the Council of CERN.

Graeme began his career at the National Engineering Laboratory. He has a BSc in Physics and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Institute of Physics, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a Chartered Engineer.

E: graeme.reid@ucl.ac.uk

An image of Dr Robyn Parker
Dr Robyn Parker

Project Manager for the Research England funded project Capabilities in Academic Policy Engagement (CAPE) project

Dr Robyn Parker joined the team in April 2021 and manages the CAPE project across the 5 consortium partners of UCL and the Universities of Cambridge, Manchester, Nottingham and Northumbria. Her role involves overseeing the CAPE project mechanisms, communications, budget and governance.Robyn previously managed an ESPRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in heritage science at UCL and her background is more broadly in doctoral education, engagement, and public policy. Robyn has a PhD in Medieval History from the University of Sheffield.

E: robyn.parker@ucl.ac.uk

Dr Rafael Carrascosa Marzo 

Capabilities and Impact Coordinator, Capabilities in Academic Policy Engagement (CAPE) project

Dr Rafael Carrascosa Marzo joined the team in January 2024 and supports the administration, management, and promotion of the CAPE project. His role involves collaborating with key actors, managing strategic projects, and enhancing engagement with policy professionals and national networks. 

Before this position Rafa was a Science Policy Officer at the Science Advice Mechanism (SAM) to the European Commission, with a background in academia, having worked as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Oxford, where he completed a DPhil in Biophysics.

E: r.marzo@ucl.ac.uk