UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


Dr Leonie Tanczer named as UKRI Future Leaders Fellow

16 June 2022

Dr Leonie Tanczer has been awarded UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship in recognition of the potentially world-changing and transformative nature of her research.

Leonie Tanczer

Dr Leonie Tanczer, Lecturer in International Security and Emerging Technologies at UCL STEaPP, is working to stop gender-based technology-facilitated abuse (“tech abuse”) at its roots. Every year, more than a million women and girls report experiencing domestic abuse in the UK, while at the same time, the growing interconnectedness of the world puts even more at risk for online harassment and violence. Through her proposed "Gender and Tech” lab, Dr Tanczer will study how abusers might exploit the ever-expanding digital landscape in order to design new technologies, systems and policies to combat emerging abusive behaviours and protect victims and survivors of intimate partner violence.

Dr Tanczer studied political science as an undergraduate at the University of Vienna and the University of Limerick before receiving her master’s degree and PhD from Queen's University Belfast. Her research at UCL STEaPP focuses on the intersection of technology, security, and gender. She is a member of the Advisory Council of the Open Rights Group, a Steering Committee Member for the Offensive Cyber Working Group, affiliated with UCL's Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, and a former Fellow at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin.

Dr Tanczer is among 84 of the “most promising scientists and researchers” in the UK identified for government funding this year to help them develop their ideas from the lab and lecture theatre to the market, creating workable solutions to major global problems. The announcement, made yesterday by Science Minister George Freeman as part of London Tech Week, will see researchers benefit from a total of £97.8m, with grants spanning between four and seven years. 

The Future Leaders Fellowship is an effort by UKRI to help academia and businesses support innovative early-career researchers and scientists regardless of background.

UKRI Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said: “The Future Leaders Fellowships provide researchers and innovators with the freedom and generous long-term support to progress adventurous new ideas, and to move across disciplinary boundaries and between academia and industry.

“The fellows announced today provide shining examples of the talented researchers and innovators across every discipline attracted to pursue their ideas in universities and businesses throughout the UK, with the potential to deliver transformative research that can be felt across society and the economy.”

Professor Geraint Rees, UCL Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation and Global Engagement), said: “My warmest congratulations to this year’s UKRI Future Leadership Fellows. These highly prestigious Fellowships recognise not only the excellence of their work, but the huge potential of their future plans and leadership abilities. Our Fellows come from different academic disciplines, highlighting the importance of comprehensive universities like UCL that can bring different disciplines together to help research transform lives.”