Rhos Walker joined HDR UK in June 2018 from the Medical Research Council (MRC), having provided strategic leadership to scope and create HDR UK.  Initially as Chief Science Strategy Officer, Rhos shaped the formation and led the establishment of HDR UK’s interdisciplinary research programmes.  This included working with the Institute’s research teams across the UK to lead the transformation of the Institute’s geographically dispersed activities into six strategic national research priorities, including Understanding Causes of Disease, Improving Public Health, Better Clinical Trials, Better Care, Human Phenome and Applied Analytics.

Rhos led a refresh of HDR UK’s capacity building strategy and held responsibility for the Institute’s training programmes from December 2019 to September 2022.  She also led the collaborative scoping and grant funding submission that resulted in the formation of the BHF Data Science Centre in October 2019.

From December 2021 to December 2022, Rhos was made Senior Responsible Officer overseeing HDR UK’s 5-year core-funding renewal and provided overall co-ordination and leadership of the Institute’s core-funding award, which provides the foundation for all of the Institute’s activities. She worked with research leaders across the UK to shape a coherent strategy for the Institute’s second five years and led the dialogue with HDR UK’s nine core funders to secure their significant ongoing investment.

Now as Director of Strategy, Rhos works with the Institute Director and Senior Leadership Team to ensure HDR UK’s strategy and delivery priorities align with HDR UK’s mission to unite the UK’s data to make discoveries that improve people’s lives.  This includes supporting new partnerships and securing additional funding to support the Institute’s goals, while maintaining alignment with the Institute’s existing programmes.  Rhos is responsible for the management of a small team within the Institute’s Director’s Office, including responsibility for open science, research culture and impact.

Prior to joining HDR UK, at the MRC, Rhos held a diverse range of roles and responsibilities, frequently defined by the need to work in partnership across disciplines and sectors.  This included responsibility for the MRC’s data science strategy, drawing together disparate activities across population, molecular and computational research programmes, working across several other Research Councils, government and charitable funders. Other roles included management of MRC’s cancer research, advanced microscopy and skills and training programmes, including supporting the skills needs of industry. Rhos’ first role outside of academic research was a research funding and policy development role within a cancer research charity.  She holds a PhD in molecular virology.