UCL Research


Research policy at UCL

UCL Research works to create the conditions that enable our world-leading research to thrive. Developing and informing policy is a key part of this.

Decisions made by policymakers, notably Government and research funders, play a significant role in shaping the environment in which UK research takes place.

The Research Policy team examines how policymakers’ decisions impact research at universities, spanning policy topics from R&D funding to immigration. This analysis feeds into our work to develop and advocate policies that benefit research at universities. Complementing our work to inform policymakers, we also consider what we can do within UCL to foster a supportive environment for our research, by developing internal policies on issues such as research transparency.

Our activities include submitting responses to parliamentary inquiries and Government consultations; developing position papers on issues of importance to UCL research; carrying out data analysis including on R&D funding; holding policy-focussed events; and engaging and collaborating with stakeholders such as funders and other research institutions.


Policy papers

Regional policy and R&D, Report for HEPI, May 2021

Strength in Diversity – report by Graeme Reid and press release from Universities Wales, September 2020

Supporting UK Research, November 2019 

UCL Statement on Transparency in Research, November 2019

The Impact of QR funding for UK Research, February 2019

Principles for UK Research Institutes - summary and full paper,  May 2018    

Responses to consultations and inquiries 

A new UK research funding agency, Commons Science & Technology Committee inquiry, June 2020

How can UKRI stimulate local economies through placebased research funding? Research England consultation, November 2019

Future frameworks for international collaboration on research and innovation, Smith/Reid Review consultation, May 2019

Balance and effectiveness of research and innovation spending, Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry, September 2018

An Immigration system that works for science and innovation, Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry, June 2018


Levelling up research funding requires a fine balance – Sarah Chaytor, Grace Gottlieb and Graeme Reid, May 2021

Making regional R&D work – Sarah Chaytor, Grace Gottlieb and Graeme Reid, May 2021

It’s time for coordinated action to change research culture – Grace Gottlieb, May 2021

Local Investment and Global Performance - Graeme Reid, Grace Gottlieb and Sarah Chaytor, January 2021

The UK’s research funding boost must not overlook the overheads - Grace Gottlieb and Professor Graeme Reid, March 2020

Why research transparency and reproducibility matter - Grace Gottlieb, January 2020

Innovation key to future prosperity - Professor Graeme Reid, December 2019


The Research Policy Team

Grace Gottlieb 

An image of Grace Gottlieb

Grace Gottlieb is Head of Research Policy. She joined the Office of the Vice-Provost (Research) in 2017 and drives forward UCL’s research policy agenda, leading on policy development and advocacy of UCL’s positions. She also works on implementation of the UCL Research Strategy, including leading the development of internal policy. At present her work focuses on analysis of R&D funding and promoting transparency and reproducibility in research.

Before joining UCL, Grace worked at the Medical Research Council and, prior to that, in health policy at the Royal College of Surgeons.

She has a BA in Natural Sciences, specialising in genetics, from the University of Cambridge.

E: g.gottlieb@ucl.ac.uk


Graeme Reid

An image of Prof Graeme Reid

Professor Graeme Reid is Chair of Science and Research Policy at University College London (UCL). He 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 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


Sarah Chaytor

An image of Sarah Chaytor

Sarah Chaytor is UCL’s Director of Research Strategy & Policy. She 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