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Leadership quality: What will it take to get the top job at UKRI?

Image: Grace Gay for Research Professional News

A glittering research career may no longer be enough to command UK Research and Innovation

In 2015, when UK Research and Innovation was but a twinkle in ministers’ eyes, Paul Nurse was clear about who the leader of a national research funding body should be. 

In the former president of the Royal Society’s review of research councils, he said that Research UK (the working title for such a body) “should be headed by a highly distinguished scientist”. When Mark Walport was appointed to the role of UKRI chief executive two years later, after a stint as the government’s chief scientific adviser, ministers appeared to have taken Nurse’s advice. 

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