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For more information on the membership or Terms of Reference for either of these Committees, please contact Sophie Armstrong-Brown.

The various committees below ensure that the strategic vision of the College and the Faculty is implemented across all departments.

Each Research Committee is comprised of members drawn from a pool of experts from each department and institute. This ensures the appropriate expertise is available to assesss the plan and development of the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Members of staff are encouraged to raise any issues with the research strategy team who will bring these items at the appropriate committee meeting.

FoNS Research Committees

Faculty Research Committee

Directors of Research and Directors of our major Institutes and Centres develop the research strategy for their Department, Institute or Centre, in consultation with their Heads of Department and colleagues as appropriate. They sit on the Faculty Research Committee (FRC) where they share their strategy and discuss cross-Faculty initiatives and opportunities with other FRC members. The FRC is chaired by the Vice-Dean (Research), Professor Paul French. The FRC meets quarterly with specialist panels on ad hoc basis.

If there is an item that you would like to see discussed at the FRC, please contact your Director of Research.

Terms of Reference

  • To review research practice and strategy within FoNS
  • To disseminate information regarding policies and opportunities for FoNS research
  • To review recommendations of operational-strategy committee (OSC) 


Chair: Faculty Vice-Dean Research (Paul French)

Ex officio:

  • Faculty Dean (Richard Craster)
  • Faculty Operating Officer (Nazia Hirjee)
  • Faculty Finance Officer (Tim Ovenden)
  • Faculty Dean Associate Enterprise (David Klug) 
  • Faculty Research Computing Representative (David Colling)
  • Director of Industry Partnerships & Commercialisation (Viraj Perera)
  • Head of Research Strategy and Development (Sophie Armstrong-Brown)
  • Head of Development (Jay Longworth) 
  • Faculty Strategic Research Coordinator (Craig Bryce) - minuting secretary

Departmental Representatives:

  • Centre for Environmental Policy (Niall Mac Dowell)
  • Centre for Environmental Policy (Clive Potter)
  • Chemistry (Ramon Vilar Compte)
  • Chemistry (Anthony Kucernak)
  • Life Sciences (Vincent Savolainen)
  • Life Sciences (Erhard Hohenester)
  • Mathematics (Eva-Maria  Graefe)
  • Mathematics (Mauricio Barahona)
  • Physics (Henrique Araujo)
  • Physics (Jeremy Chittenden) 

Institute Representatives:

  • Grantham Institute (Ralf Toumi)
  • Energy Futures Lab (Anthony Kucernak)
  • Data Science Institute (Niall Adams)
  • Institute for Security Science and Technology (Deeph Chana)
  • Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering (Nicholas Harrison/Claire adjiman)


  • AHSC Research Committee (David Klug)
  • Institute for Systems and Synthetic Biology (Geoff Baldwin)
  • Institute of Chemical Biology (Ramon Vilar Compte)

Faculty Operational Strategy Committee

The Faculty Operational Strategy Committee is responsible for ensuring that the strategy developed by the FRC is implemented. This Committee also deals with other operational research issues and information transfer to Faculties. The FOSC meets every month or more frequently as required.

If there is an item that you would like to be discussed at FOSC meetings, please contact the Faculty Strategic Research Manager, Sophie Armstrong-Brown.

Terms of Reference

  • To review and support the development of research strategy in FoNS
  • To explore and help develop new multidisciplinary research initiatives, including  inter-Divisional/ Departmental/Faculty collaborations
  • To review UKRI and other funding opportunities and to help identify/develop appropiate projects, champions and partners for specific research opportunities and strategic goals
  • To support and enhance engagement with industry 
  • To allocate internal FoNS funding to enhance research in FoNS
  • To review FoNS research infrastructure and practice with a view to identifying challenges, improving effectiveness of research and academic staff and minimising internal competition


Chair: Faculty Vice Dean Research (Paul French)

Ex officio:

  • Faculty Dean Associate Enterprise (David Klug)
  • Director of Industry Partnerships & Commercialisation (Viraj Perera)
  • FoNS Head of Research Strategy and Development (Sophie Armstrong-Brown)
  • FoNS Head of Development (Jay Longworth)
  • FoNS Strategic Research Coordinator (Ester Buchaca-Domingo)

 Departmental Representatives:

  • Centre for Environmental Policy (Clive Potter)
  • Chemistry (Ramon Vilar Compte)
  • Life Sciences (Erhard Hohenester)
  • Mathematics (Mauricio Barahona)
  • Physics (Jeremy Chittenden/Henrique Araujo)

Departmental representatives should be closely integrated with their Departmental research committees and colleagues responsible for strategy development and industry engagement. They should liaise closely with their HoD and maintain comprehensive overviews of research on their Departments and any specific challenges faced. They should be able to identify potential partners for multidisciplinary and industry-facing research proposals. The Departments should recognise the significant commitment and workload associated with this role.

Faculty Research Computing Committee

Faculty of Natural Sciences FRCC Committee


Chair: FoNS Research Computing representative (David Colling)

Ex officio:

  • Faculty Vice-Dean of Research (Paul French)
  • Head of Research Computing Service (Andrew Richards)
  • Director of User Engagement (Mike Bearpark)
  • Lead Digital Partner (Ellen Pengelly)
  • Head of Service Operations (Leigh Davenport)
  • FoNS Strategic Research Co-ordinator (Craig Bryce) – minuting secretary

Departmental Representatives:

  • Centre for Environmental Policy (Iain Staffell)
  • Chemistry (Fernando Bresme)
  • Life Sciences (Mike Sternberg & Will Pearce)
  • Mathematics (Eric Keaveny)
  • Physics (David Colling & Richard Bantges)

Terms of Reference

  • To discuss and agree with the Faculty computing research needs and emerging trends in the field in order to provide recommendations to the College Research Computing Services (RCS) Operations Board.
  • To discuss current RCS budget and recommend budget and priorities for the coming year to the RCS Operation Board.
  • To discuss the operational performance of the RCS based on feedback of FoNS users.
  • To review FoNS research computing infrastructure and practice with a view to identifying challenges, improving effectiveness of research and academic staff – essentially improve quality of computing research experience.

Student Staff Committee

The FoNS Student Staff Committees will normally meet once each term. In these meetings, student representatives make the opinions of students known to staff in an informal and non-confrontational environment.

Full details of the FoNS Student Staff Committees membership and Terms of Reference are available here: