Executive Chair & Management Board
The terms of reference for the board are to manage operations where policy and decisions have major importance for the delivery of our objectives and/or for our key stakeholder relationships.
The main areas of responsibility are to:
- Monitor our performance and delivery and to determine control strategies to mitigate risk
- Take policy/operational decisions or make recommendations to the Council where authority rests with the latter
- Exchange, generate and develop ideas and provide advice as appropriate
Professor Fiona Watt
Fiona Watt obtained her DPhil from the University of Oxford, and carried out postdoctoral research at MIT, Cambridge, USA. She established her first lab at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in London, and then moved to London Research Institute.
From 2006 to 2012 she was Deputy Director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute and Deputy Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research, University of Cambridge.
As well as being the MRC's Executive Chair Fiona is Director of the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine at King's College London where she leads a team of 80 academic researchers. Internationally recognised in her field, she has expertise in the stem cells of healthy and diseased skin..
- To shape and develop MRC’s head office scientific operations, Boards, Committees etc to maintain excellence and to respond to the changing needs and integration into UKRI
- To personally provide leadership for major science implementation programmes in select areas, by agreement with the CEO
- To ensure MRC’s external networks and internal communications provide up-to-date insight. Through effective contributions to strategy; evaluation; at Board level and across MRC
- Responsibility for MRC’s family of Units, Centres, and Institutes, ensuring that they make exceptional contributions to MRC’s research. Optimising communications, funding, review and governance arrangements, to ensure continuous evolution
- Act as an ambassador for MRC, developing networks and inter-organisational relationships and providing a public voice for MRC on science funding, quality, etc, both nationally and internationally
- Develops and communicates our research strategy and its impact.
- Is our main interface with the scientific community and with the Health Departments and the NHS.
- Manages research strategy development and processes for stimulating research proposals in priority areas.
- Delivers the research strategy including managing demand, assessing proposals, making and managing awards.
- Manages the investment in research training and career development for scientists.
- Takes a lead in developing ethics and research governance.
- Provides scientific intelligence and advice – both to external stakeholders and within the MRC.
- Responsible for managing financial risk.
- Responsible for the delivery of operational corporate functions, including acting as Chair for the Operations Board.
- Ensures that our research programmes are provided with adequate operational support.
- Responsible for financial strategy and planning; for monitoring, controlling and accounting for expenditure and resources.
- Provides information and advice to assist corporate decision-making.