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Dr Steven Wooding

Steve Wooding is lead for Research and Analysis at CSaP. He is setting up a policy research programme to build on CSaP's Policy Fellowship programme and Policy Workshops.

Steve has 15 years of policy research experience, previously at RAND Europe, where he held various senior roles and co-directed a Department of Health research unit.

Steve is developing research on how best to compile and synthesize evidence to support policy making, and the visualisation and communication of that evidence. Alongside this, Steve examines the most effective funding models for biomedical research and its impact on society.

What are you working on now? 

I'm interested in how we can fund research in the most effective way to provide benefits to society. It's increasingly clear that peer review for awarding research funding has problems of conservatism and bias. How do we address that? How can we ensure we support risky and innovative research? How can we address the imbalance of genders and backgrounds in researchers? How can we provide the right incentives for researchers? How do researchers respond to such incentives? I think there is a role for using lottery elements and other innovative approaches to allocating research funding. My research aims to test and explore those ideas.

How has your career to date led to this? 

I started as a bench scientist working on cell biology and have slowly migrated across to study scientists, researchers and the social machinery of science.

What one thing would you most want someone to learn from what you’ve done or are doing now? 

That we should apply the same sense of enquiry, scepticism and rigour to questions about how we fund science as researchers do to the scientific questions that researchers are investigating.

What do you think of Jesus College and the Intellectual Forum? 

I think it provides a valuable space to bring together new sets of people; alongside providing a home for those who span disciplines and approaches. Most people have a 'home' discipline - one of the valuable things about the IF is it provides a home for those who range across disciplines without calling any of them home.

You can meet the rest of the Intellectual Forum team or contact us via email.

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