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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. 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

Directors of Research develop the research strategy for their Department 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 Ramon Vilar. The FRC meets monthly 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 strategy and its implementation within FoNS, and provide advice to the Dean and Vice-Dean (Research)
  • To promote research excellence across FoNS
  • To work closely with FoNS Departments to support their research strategy. To this aim, Directors of Research should ensure effective two-way communication between Departments and FRC
  • To explore and help develop new research initiatives, including multidisciplinary inter-Departmental and inter-Faculty initiatives
  • To proactively help identify partners for specific research objectives and initiatives
  • To review and explore funding opportunities from a broad range of agencies (including UKRI, international funding agencies, charities and other organisations)
  • To support and enhance engagement with industry, including strategic partnerships and impact
  • To support and enhance engagement with trusts and foundations and philanthropic donors
  • To review FoNS research infrastructure and practice with a view to identifying challenges, improving effectiveness of research and academic staff and minimising internal competition
  • To help shape College’s research strategy
  • To provide advice to College on research policy documents, consultation and research assessments
  • To disseminate information regarding policies and opportunities for FoNS research
  • To review and rank internal funding applications as they arise


Chair:  Faculty Vice-Dean Research (Ramon Vilar)

Members: FoNS Directors of Research

  • Centre for Environmental Policy (Audrey de Nazelle)
  • Chemistry (Mark Crimmin)
  • Life Sciences (Erhard Hohenester)
  • Mathematics (Mauricio Barahona)
  • Physics (Riccardo Sapienza)

Ex officio members

  • Associate Dean for Enterprise (David Klug)
  • FoNS Head of Research Strategy and Development (Sophie Armstrong-Brown)
  • Director of Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation (Viraj Perera)
  • FoNS Head of Development (Natalie Sauter)

Secretary and minuting secretary

  • FoNS Strategic Research Coordinator (Craig Bryce)

Faculty of Natural Sciences FRCC Committee


Chair: FoNS Research Computing representative (David Colling)

Ex officio:

  • Faculty Vice-Dean of Research (Ramon Vilar)
  • 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.