Press release

Wellcome Trust appoints new Head of Education and Learning

Dr Hilary Leevers has been appointed as Head of Education and Learning at the Wellcome Trust, the UK’s largest medical research charity. Dr Leevers will lead in the delivery of the Trust’s recently announced education strategy.

Before joining the Trust, Dr Leevers had worked at the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) as Assistant Director since 2007, researching and developing policy campaigns on issues affecting the science and engineering community.

Dr Leevers said: "Policy changes must be based on real evidence. The Education team at the Trust already has much original research to draw upon to inform improvements in science education. Our top priority will be to build on this work and further disseminate its findings, so that we can magnify its impact and influence change where appropriate."

Dr Leevers studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and obtained a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Oxford University. She then ran a variety of research projects at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers University, Newark, USA, before returning to England in 2001 to work as a Research Consultant.

Clare Matterson, Director of Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome Trust, commented on the appointment: "Hilary's experience in advocacy and policy will be invaluable to help achieve the Wellcome Trust's ambitions to provide high-quality science education for all."

The Wellcome Trust has a long-standing interest in science education and identified four goals to achieve its mission of making inspiring, high-quality science education available to all young people. These are: to take a leading role in stimulating debate and influencing action on key issues; to build on current investments and embed continuing professional development at the heart of teaching careers in science; to become a trusted provider of contemporary resources in science education; and to conduct research on specific priority areas to generate a robust evidence base to inform education policy.

Dr Leevers will take up the post from September 2011.