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New MRC Chief of Strategy announced

25 Oct 2016

Dr Declan Mulkeen has been appointed as the MRC’s Chief of Strategy. He will take up the position in December 2016, on the departure of current Deputy Chief Executive and Chief of Strategy at the MRC, Dr Jim Smith.

Dr Mulkeen, currently MRC’s Chief Science Officer, will continue to sit on the MRC’s Management Board and will provide strong direction to the MRC’s Strategy Group, which is divided into four areas: Strategic Planning, Strategic Evaluation and Impact, International Strategy, and Capacity, Skills and Infrastructure.

Professor Sir John Savill, Chief Executive of the MRC, said: “I am delighted with the appointment of Declan Mulkeen as the new Chief of Strategy, a role that has been successfully driven by Dr Jim Smith since April 2014. Declan, as Chief Science Officer, is already an integral part of the MRC family and, with his wide experience, he will undoubtedly provide excellent leadership to the MRC’s Strategy Group as we move into the research landscape reforms and the successful roll-out of UKRI.”

Commenting on his new appointment, Dr Mulkeen said: "I'm looking forward to moving to MRC's Strategy Group and working with the very experienced and expert colleagues who make it so effective. Scientific progress steadily opens up new challenges and new strategic opportunities for the MRC, and so will the exceptional policy and structural changes we are going to see in the UK over the next few years. Our focus needs to stay firmly on the core mission - scientific excellence driving improvements in health - and on achieving this aim with partners in the public and private sectors, nationally and internationally."

After joining the MRC in 1988, Dr Mulkeen was seconded to the Office of Science and Technology’s Foresight Programme, returning to Head Office to work on strategy, policy and ethics in the Corporate Affairs Group. He joined the Research Programmes Group in 2001 and was appointed as the MRC’s Chief Science Officer, previously titled Director of Research and Training, in January 2008. In his current role, Dr Mulkeen provides scientific intelligence and advice to external stakeholders and within the MRC, and is the MRC’s main interface with the scientific community, the Health Departments and the NHS. 

A recruitment campaign across the Research Councils for a replacement Chief Science Officer will begin shortly.  

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer vacancy is currently open, with a closing date of Sunday 30 October; interviews are planned for 22 and 23 November.

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