Dr Lesley Thompson joined Elsevier in 2016 as Director Academic & Government Strategic Alliance in the UK. Prior to joining Elsevier, Lesley worked for 26 years at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, EPSRC, the largest of the UK’s 7 Research Councils.
In 2006 she was appointed Research Director, and made responsible for the strategy and delivery of the scientific programme, with an annual budget of 800 M UK pounds. As Research Director she was responsible for driving the quality of the research portfolio as well as fostering the collaboration with industry. EPSRC’s collaboration with industry grew from 12 to 54% from 1994 to 2015 while the international research standing grew ensuring the portfolio delivered Excellence with Impact. During her time in EPSRC, Lesley introduced a number of innovations including; Ideas Factories, designed to encourage radical thinking with funding available to enact research following a sandpit in a research area; Discipline Hopping enabling academics to take time out in another discipline and cohort based doctoral training growing the investment of 2 centres in 2001 to 115 centres in 2014.
She has always championed early career researchers, interdisciplinary research and diversity. She is a member of the Royal Society Diversity group and in January 2016 was awarded an MBE for services to research. Lesley has a PhD in Biology from the University of Essex and is married with 2 children.