Melanie Knetsch is ESRC's strategic lead for Innovation and Interdisciplinarity, having taken up the role in September 2016. Her responsibilities include developing ESRC's thinking and activities around interdisciplinary, challenge-led activities and ensuring that our research portfolio is more visible to potential users as well as creating opportunities to enable researchers from other communities to engage with social science.
Her role also includes creating opportunities for social scientific knowledge to influence the formation of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and to ensure that there are opportunities for the social science community to have a central role in responding to inter-disciplinary and challenge-led initiatives. As part of this Melanie is also ESRC's strategic lead for working with Innovate UK. Melanie is also ESRC's strategic liaison for the University of Birmingham and University of Edinburgh.
Prior to taking up this position Melanie has led on developing and delivering ESRC's Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement strategies as well as providing strategic leadership to a breadth of ESRC investments focusing on engagement for impact.
She has also undertaken a secondment to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) as part of the Newton Fund programme management team where she led on creating and implementing the communication and evaluation strategies and working with the 15 UK delivery partners and Newton partnering countries to ensure the timely development and delivery of research, skills and innovation calls. She has also worked in the RCUK office in India where she oversaw the development of several multi-million pound joint RCUK-India calls and an international workshop focusing on challenges and opportunities of knowledge exchange in an international context.