Strategic Research Development

Based within Research Strategy and Services (RSS), the Strategic Research Development Team play a critical role in developing and shaping strategies for major research investment opportunities aligned to delivery of the University’s strategic priorities.

The team provide strategic support to the University’s Executive Board (UEB), Heads of College, Directors of Research in the Colleges, Academic Leads and other teams in Professional Services in developing proposals and business cases for securing major investments for research and innovation.

The team is responsible for providing support across a range of projects from individual researcher-led innovation projects, to multi-million major collaborative programmes. All our projects build on a clear academic leadership and partnership vision, typically involve multi-disciplinary academic and professional teams engage a range of public, industry and third-sector stakeholders and partners.

UK Funding Schemes for Major Projects

For more information on major funding schemes or support with bid development for large and complex research projects please contact the Strategic Research Development Team.

Meet the Team

Steve Taylor


Head of Strategic Research Development and Director of Birmingham Life Sciences Park

Steve heads up the Strategic Research Development team within RSS, focussed on the development of major strategic research and innovation initiatives across the University. These multi-million pound projects require a clear academic leadership and partnership vision with engagement of multi-disciplinary academic and professional teams and a range of public and private stakeholders and partners. Such projects are typically long-lasting delivering major societal and economic impact, regionally, nationally and internationally. In his other role Steve is Director of Birmingham Life Sciences Park, a regionally-significant new initiative driven under the wider banner of Birmingham Health Partners. Steve leads a small team engaged to deliver the vision, strategy and partnership for the Park. Following a degree in Astrophysics, Steve trained and worked as an environmental geophysicist before undertaking a number of roles in research development at the University.

David Boardman

David B

Head of Strategic Projects and Partnerships (Engineering and Physical Sciences)

As Head of Strategic Projects and Partnerships in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and the Deputy Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute, David works closely with businesses and researchers at the University as well as national and international stakeholders to develop highly ambitious and frequently world leading research and innovation programmes.  David originally studied Civil Engineering at Loughborough University where he went on to develop his research career before discovering a talent for helping others grow their ambitious research portfolios.  Over the last 20 years David has worked within the private sector, higher education and within numerous government funded innovation translation programmes, including for example, Knowledge Transfer Networks. 

David Evans

David E

Head of Strategic Projects and Partnerships (Institute for Global Innovation)

As Head of Strategic Projects and Partnerships in the Institute for Global Innovation (IGI), David helps researchers at the University forge the connections they need to advance our understanding of some of the world’s most pressing challenges, including Gender Inequality, Transnational Crime and access to Water. David studied International Relations and Diplomacy at Lancaster University, before working as a quantitative researcher in the private sector.

Rooqia Malik

Rooqia 2

Head of Strategic Projects and Partnerships (Regional)

As Head of Strategic Projects and Partnerships, Rooqia works with academics, researchers, industry and professional services to develop regionally led strategic opportunities leading to research innovation, business support and product development and processes. Over the last 20 years Rooqia has worked within further education and various government agencies on policy, project management and change transformation. 

Dr Eliot Marston


Head of Strategic Projects and Partnerships (Life Sciences)

Eliot supports major research investment programmes aligned to delivery of the University’s Life Sciences Strategy. He works closely with relevant College academic and Professional Services leads on behalf of the University and its partners to represent its interests around Life Sciences to key external organisations, bodies, individuals and stakeholders. He also has a role to maximise the value of partnership working across the region, including Birmingham Health Partners as well as other NHS Trusts, West Midlands AHSN, our LEPs and Midlands Innovation/Midlands Engine, to ensure that the University is best placed to capitalise on these geographic partnerships in the development and securing of major strategic research programmes.

Sue Gilligan

Sue Gilligan

Deputy Director and Manager, Institute of Advanced Studies

Sue has managed the work of the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) since it was founded in 2013. IAS runs programmes to catalyse new multi-disciplinary ideas, with the support to test and grow ‘blue-skies’ thinking, and visiting fellowship programmes for distinguished and early career researchers.  Sue’s training and background is in theatre management as a stage and company manager with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. Her varied experience at the University of Birmingham includes roles as Production Manager in the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts and Operations Manager in the University’s College of Arts and Law.

Kathryn Miles

Kathryn Miles

Strategic Projects Development Partner (Engineering and PhysicalSciences)

As Strategic Project Development Partner working in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Kathryn works with academics and external stakeholders to develop major strategic research projects, investments and innovations, to maximise the University’s impact and influence. Kathryn has a wealth of experience of strategic development across Birmingham and HE including enabling the development and implementation of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science and AI and project managing the successful University bid for the National College for Advanced Transport & Infrastructure.  She has a background in academic research as Associate Director for the NIHR Horizon Scanning Research & Intelligence Centre, College planning, change, project and operational management, and has led various study programmes in partnership with the health sector. She is a graduate of the University of Birmingham (BSc Environmental Science; Public Health MPH). 

Michelle Read


Strategic Projects Development Partner (Life Sciences)

As Strategic Projects Development Partner for Life Sciences, Michelle works with academic leads to support the development of major research programmes in line with the University’s Life Science strategy. Michelle studied Biological Science at University of Birmingham and has been a qualified project manager since 2008, delivering projects with Abu Dhabi Police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police whilst working with the Forensic Science Service and has managed the Academic Services Project Team at the University of Birmingham prior to joining the Strategic Projects Team.

Sunny Bhogal


Strategic Projects Development Officer

As Strategic Projects Development Officer, Sunny supports the management and delivery of major research themes for the University working across Life Sciences, Engineering and Physical Sciences, Regional Activity and the Institute for Global Innovation.  Sunny studied Sociology at the University of Birmingham and International Development at Oxford, before working for Parliament and in policy roles for a number of international development charities.



Professional Services