We are delighted to welcome Neil Jacobs as the new Head of the UKRN Open Research Programme. Neil will be leading our Research England funded project “Growing and Embedding Open Research in Institutional Practice and Culture”. He has over 30 years of experience in the UK research sector, having led national innovation programmes and overseen global open science services for Jisc, the UK Research Councils, and cOAlition S.  More recently, he has taken a leading policy role in both Government and UKRI, covering open research and research integrity.

Following a degree in economics and politics, Neil started his career in academic libraries at Sussex, completing his Masters and leading research projects both in the library and in social psychology. He moved to Loughborough to undertake a PhD in information science and epistemology while leading a national library development project. He joined the Institute for Learning and Research Technology at the University of Bristol in 2001, eventually directing the ESRC’s then awards and outputs database, before joining Jisc as a programme manager in 2005.

Neil directed and managed a wide range of national and international open science programmes and services at Jisc, and specifically developed a suite of services to support Open Access. He was also seconded as co-head of open science to the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and to cOAlition S as programme manager for an international alliance of research funders supporting Open Access.  In 2020 he joined UKRI as a senior strategy advisor, directing work to improve UKRI’s support research integrity, including groundwork for the new UK Committee on Research Integrity.