National Postdoc Conference 2021 Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speech - By everyone, for everyone: supporting people across the research and innovation system

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser’s keynote speech focused on how UKRI is working to build a thriving and inclusive research and innovation system, including through the UK Government’s recently published R&D People and Culture Strategy, and what this means for early career and postdoctoral researchers.

Professor Leyser proposes that we must build and invest in a research and innovation system through which people and ideas move more freely, with each part benefitting from and supporting the others. Our ambition should be for a system in which everybody can participate and from which everybody benefits.

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser DBE FRS

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser is the Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Regius Professor of Botany at the University of Cambridge.

UKRI brings together the UK’s Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England, operating with a combined budget of more than £8bn per year.

Prior to this Ottoline Leyser was Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, an interdisciplinary research institute combining computational modelling with molecular genetics and cell biology to elucidate the dynamical systems underpinning the control of plant growth and development. She has made important contributions to understanding the role of plant hormones in developmental plasticity, using the control of shoot branching in Arabidopsis as a model system.

Ottoline has a long-term interest in research culture and its effects on the quality and effectiveness of the research system.  She chaired the Nuffield Council on Bioethics project examining these issues and has been actively engaged in work aimed at generating a more inclusive, creative and connected culture. She has worked extensively in science policy, for example serving as Chair of the Royal Society’s Science Policy Expert Advisory Committee, Chair of the Management Committee of the University of Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy, and as a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Member of the Leopoldina and EMBO, and an International Member of the US National Academy of Sciences. In 2017 she was appointed DBE for services to plant science, science in society and equality and diversity in science.

Session video and presentation

Download the presentation (PPT, 8.5MB)

Download the talk transcript (Word, 45KB)

Questions answered

Additional questions that arose during the Keynote session were kindly answered separately by Prof Dame Ottoline Leyser. Download the NPDC21 Keynote questions and answers (PDF, 162KB).

All NPDC21 listed resources including presentation slides and top tips are freely available. Please ensure you acknowledge the author(s) and/or source when using them.

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