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Leyser focus

UKRI’s next leader must make her mark fast

The announcement of the next head of UK Research and Innovation was a long time coming. When Ottoline Leyser, director of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, takes the reins at the UK’s largest public research funder at the end of June, it will be nine months since Mark Walport announced his intention to step down. 

With the role of science and research in the UK now centre stage in a way no-one imagined when the vacancy was first advertised, many had started to think that Walport—whose departure date was never made explicit—might be persuaded to stay a while longer. 

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