1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Genomics Forum · ‘Bright Ideas’ fellowships and residencies

Visiting Research Fellows

The Visiting Research Fellowships (VRFs) programme (also branded as our Bright Ideas Programme) was a distinctive component of the work of the Forum. The programme provided an opportunity for visitors from a diverse range of backgrounds to undertake work tailored to their own interests and that also contributed in some way to the Forum’s aims and objectives. Since its opening in August 2004, a total of 100 VRFs spent time at the Forum. Visits varied in length from three days to two months, though most lasted between two and four weeks. Our VRFs came from all over the globe. Fifteen different countries are represented with roughly one third from the UK, one third from North America and one third from the rest of the world.

Since its inception, we worked to refine the way that the VRF programme was developed to attract fellows from the worlds of the natural sciences, policy and practice. Following confirmation of Phase 2 funding for the Forum, the programme was re-launched in January 2010 as the ‘Bright Ideas’ visiting fellowship and residency programme, which took forward our plans to diversify recruitment.

VRFs/Bright Ideas fellows came from many different backgrounds. As one might expect, almost two thirds have been other academic social scientists but the remaining third were divided almost equally between natural or medical scientists; creative artists and writers; and professionals from the worlds of policy and practice. They included an environmental economist; a professor of clinical genetics, a prominent US-based journalist, a freelance poet and author, two ‘speculative designers’ working at the interface of bioscience, innovation and design, key figures at the OECD, a professor of agricultural botany, a department head in environmental technology, a practising IP lawyer, a NASA scientist and officials from the Scottish Parliament and UK Cabinet Office. The Forum also achieved a perfect gender balance in our VRF programme.

As the programme evolved we began to use it more strategically, for example to bring in specialists to contribute to the cross-Centre work streams or to attract other scientists and policy-actors to the Forum. In summary, these activities with VRFs involved international input to the Network from policy, practice and academic backgrounds; they addressed professional and public audiences. Between them, they drew attention from the media, were covered by new electronic media and took part in numerous large-scale public disseminations.

Specific examples where we know that our VRFs achieved lasting international impact would include, in the policy sphere, Professor Fabiana Arzuaga’s work on strengthening the regulation of regenerative medicine in Argentina; and in the academic sphere, Krishnan Muthukalingan’s development of a new curriculum for teaching Science and Technology Studies at Bharathidasan University, India. We also know from private conversations with individuals that our VRF programme has had a transformative influence on their personal scholarship resulting in many further academic impacts within their own institutions. Indeed, the Forum’s influence has been acknowledged in prefaces published by international scholars Professor Jon Marks (University of North Carolina-Charlotte) and Professor John Evans (University of California at San Diego), in books produced during, and as a result of, visiting fellowships.

Bright Ideas fellowships and residencies

Results: 100


Pollock, Allyson

May 2005

Public Health Policy Unit, UCL

Susan Owens

15 - 29 May 2005

Professor of Environment and Policy, University of Cambridge

Arzuaga, Fabiana

October 2005

Professor Fabiana Arzuaga is attached to the Buenos Aires Law Faculty, and acts as an adviser to the Argentinean Parliament.


Margaret Lock

Feb 2006

Marjorie Bronfman Professor Emerita in Social Studies in Medicine, McGill University, Montreal

Dianne Nicol

May 2006

Centre for Law and Genetics, University of Tasmania

Velho, Lèa

15 May - 9 June 2006

Professor in the Department of Science and Technology Policy, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil

Jasanoff, Sheila

June 2006

Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Winickoff, David

Aug 2006

Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management of the College of Natural Resources, at UC Berkeley.

Griffiths, Paul

13 - 16 September 2006

Dept Philosophy, Univ Sydney

Graves, Joseph

4 - 10 October 2006

Professor of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University

Reardon, Jenny

4 - 10 October 2006

Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Newiss, Hilary

15 - 19 October 2006

HGC, UK Biobank

Peterson, Alan


Sociology, Univ Plymouth

Willis, Evan


School of Social Sciences, La Trobe Univ


Busch, Larry

22 April - 19 May 07 2007

University Distinguished Professor of Sociology; Director, Institute of Food and Agricultural Standards, Michigan State University

Porter, Ted

22 April 2007

Professor, Department of History, UCLA

Capron, Alex

25 - 27 April 2007

Scott H. Bice Chair in Healthcare Law, Policy and Ethics, and Professor of Law and Medicine, University of Southern California. Previously Director of Ethics, Trade, Human Rights and Health Law at the WHO 2002-06.

Kahn, Susan

28 May - 1 June 2007

Lecturer in Near Eastern Studies, Harvard University

Matsumoto, Miwao

3 - 10 June 2007

Professor of Sociology, University of Tokyo

Evans, John

13 June 2007

Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California at San Diego

James, Wilmot

27 June 2007

Executive Director, Africa Genome Education Institute; Honorary Professor, Division of Genetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town; Chairman, Immigration Advisory Board of South Africa.

Jasanoff, Sheila

21 - 28 July 2007

Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Marks, Jonathan

5 September - 8 November 2007

Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, UNC-Charlotte

Robins, Rosemary

27 October 2007

Head of Programme in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Melbourne

Brown, Nik

5 - 30 Nov 2007

Senior Lecturer in Sociology, SATSU, University of York


Reardon, Jenny

7 January 2008

Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of California at Santa Cruz

Saha, Dipankar

8 February 2008

Senior Scientist, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Dept. of Agriculture Research and Education

Gibbon, Sahra

15 March 2008

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dept of Anthropology, UCL

Muthukalingan, Krishnan

6 April 2008

Head of Department of Environmental Technology, Bharathidasan University, India

Varkey, Elizabeth

26 May 2008

IP lawyer\advocate in the High Court of Kerala

Walt Willett

June 2008

Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard

Powell, Wayne

2 - 6 June 2008

Director, National Institute of Agricultural Botany

Lindee, M. Susan

15 - 20 August 2008

Professor, Dept of History and Sociology of Science, U of Pennsylvania

Lindee, Susan

15 - 20 Aug 2008

Professor and Associate Dean for the Social Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania

Lynch, Mike

27 September 2008

Professor, Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University

Buiatti, Marcello

15 - 20 December 2008

Professor of Genetics, University of Florence


Lu, Zxy-yann (Jane)

15 Jan -31 August 2009

Professor, Institute of Clinical & Community Health Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan 112

Richards, Martin

2 - 28 February 2009

Emeritus Professor of Family Research, University of Cambridge

Roedder, Simone

17 February 2009

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Science and Technology Studies (IWT), University of Bielefeld

Evans, John

6 July 2009

Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California at San Diego

Clarke, Angus

26 July - 8 August 2009

Professor in Clinical Genetics, Cardiff University, and a Cesagen PI

Duncan, David Ewing

13 - 14 August 2009

Freelance journalist and Director of the Centre for Life Science Policy at UC Berkeley

Erskine, Patricia

28 October-3 November 2009

Communications and Engagement Manager, College of Science and Engineering, The University of Edinburgh

Christie, Mike

30 November 2009

Lecturer in Environmental Economics, Aberystwyth University


Swain, Kelly

11 - 15 January 2010

Freelance writer and poet

Daisy Ginsberg and James King

1 - 5 February 2010

Speculative designers

Harwood, Jonathan

31 May - 5 June 2010

Emeritus Professor of the History of Science, University of Manchester

Mercer, David

7 - 11 June 2010

Associate Professor and Convener of Science and Technology Studies, University of Wollongong

Shenk, David

14 - 21 August 2010

Science writer and journalist

Lingard, Ann

September 2010 - January 2011 2010

Freelance novelist and science writer

Rosenberg, Tracey

1 October 2010

Freelance poet and author


Smith, Malcolm

11 - 29 January 2011

Claims Manager, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London

Norcross, Sarah

19 - 21 January 2011

Director, Progress Educational Trust and Commissioning Editor of BioNews

Bennet, Gaymon

13 - 16 February 2011

Doctoral student, Graduate Theological Union, University of California at Berkeley

Cécilia Claeys

21 February - 4 March 2011

Maître de Conférences en Sociologie, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille. Cécilia Claeys is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Aix-Marseille (France), where she teaches environmental sociology, sociology of science, political sociology, as well as theories and methodology

Lee, Sandra Su-Jin

18 - 29 April 2011

Senior Research Scholar, Stanford Centre for Bioethics

Lee, Francis

8 - 10 June 2011

Assistant Professor, Technology and Social Change, Link

Stilgoe, Jack

4 - 29 July 2011

Senior Policy Adviser, Science Policy Centre, Royal Society

Evans, John

4 July 2011

Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California at San Diego

Wetmore, Jameson (Jamey)

15 - 19 July 2011

Assistant Professor, Center for Nanotechnology in Society, Arizona State University

Levitt, Mairi

12 September 2011

Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Lancaster University

Gillespie, Iain

1 October 2011

Independent consultant in intellectual property and knowledge markets. Ex head of Science and Technology Policy Division, OECD

Arzuaga, Fabiana

9 October 2011

Professor of Regulation of Biotechnology and Patent Law, University of Buenos Aires and Chair, National Advisory Stem Cells Commission, National Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation

Cloatre, Emilie

24 - 28 October 2011

Lecturer in Law, University of Kent

Matthews, Lisa

21 November 2011

Freelance creative writer

McCandless, Julie

28 November 2011

Lecturer in medical and family law, LSE

Dobbins, Maureen

30 November 2011

Associate Professor, School of Nursing, McMaster University


Delfanti, Alessandro

10 January 2012

Research Fellow, Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA), Italy

Wald, Priscilla

25 February 2012

Professor of English, Duke University

Cunningham Burley, Sarah

1-31 March 2012

Professor of Medical and Family Sociology, Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh

Cook-Deegan, Robert

5 - 9 March 2012

Director, IGSP Center for Genome Ethics, Law & Policy, Duke University

Hershman, Tania

2 - 16 April 2012

Freelance author and journalist

Langlois, Adele

30 April - 22 June 2012

Lecturer in social sciences

Meyer, Morgan

21 May - 27 June 2012

Post-doctoral researcher, Centre de Sociologie de l

Lightowler, Claire

August-November (Fridays only) 2012

Programme Manager, Evidence Informed Practice, Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS), Glasgow

Chiang, Derek

10 - 11 September 2012

Assistant Prof, Dept Genetics, University North Carolina

Vogel, Kathleen

12 - 14 September 2012

Assistant Professor, Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University

Roberts, Craig

18 - 28 September 2012

Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of Stirling

Rajan, Kaushik Sunder

24-Sep 2012

Associate Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences, Chicago

Robinson, Deborah

1 - 21 October 2012


Levina, Marina

5 - 26 October 2012

Assistant Professor, Dept Communications, University of Memphis

Kearns, Peter

25 - 26 October 2012

OECD: Principal Administrator, Environment, Health and Safety Division. Head of OECD

Bennett, Ira

5 - 9 November 2012

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Center for Nanotechnology in Society, ASU

Wetmore, Jamey

5 - 9 November 2012

Assistant Professor, Center for Nanotechnology in Society, ASU

Smith, Mal

5 - 6 December 2012

Lecturer, Law School, QUT, Australia


Payne, Jude

Mondays from 21/1/13 to 29/3/13 2013

Senior Researcher - Health & Social Care, SPICe, The Scottish Parliament

Webster, Naomi

21 - 26 January 2013

Education and Interpretation Officer, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Kane, Pat

12 days during period 11 February - 30 April 2013


Dyke, Stephanie

18 February for 2 weeks 2013

Policy Adviser, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Melville, Barbara

21-Feb 2013


Feinstein, Leon

3 - 10 March 2013

Cabinet Office (ex Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE)

Rothschild, Lynn

1 - 2 April 2013


Walton, Samantha

2 April - 3 May 2013


Marks, Jonathan

30 April -1 May 2013

Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, UNC-Charlotte

Norcross, Sarah

30 April - 1 May 2013

Director, Progress Educational Trust and Commissioning Editor of BioNews

Delfanti, Alessandro

30 April - 1 May 2013

Research Fellow, Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA), Italy

Langlois, Adele

30 April - 1 May 2013

Lecturer in social sciences, Univ Lincoln

Meyer, Morgan

30 April - 1 May 2013

Post-doctoral researcher, Centre de Sociologie de l

Levitt, Mhairi

30 April - 1 May 2013

Senior Lecturer, Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Lancaster University

Vogel, Kathleen

30 April - 1 May 2013

Assistant Professor, Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University