Horizon Blog

The Foundation for Science and Technology – call for Foundation Future Leaders 2023

The Foundation for Science and Technology have put out their call for Foundation Future Leaders 2023.

“The Foundation for Science and Technology is a UK charity, providing an impartial platform for debate of policy issues that have a science, research, technology or innovation element. Established in 1977, the Foundation brings together Parliamentarians, civil servants, industrialists, researchers, learned societies, charities and others. It convenes discussion events and round tables, publishes a journal three times per year and regular blogs, and hosts a weekly podcast. It also organises the Foundation Future Leaders Programme, supporting the next generation of professionals from universities, industry and the civil service. In addition, the Foundation provides guidance on governance issues to Professional and Learned Societies.” 

“The Foundation Future Leaders programme brings together a cohort of around 30 mid-career professionals over the course of a year, with approximately 10 representatives each from the research community, industry, and the civil service and wider public sector. Over a 12-month period, the group meet and discuss with senior figures from government, parliament, universities, large industry, SMEs, research charities and others” (more information here)

Horia got to know and experience the impactful work of the Foundation for Science and Technology in 2021-22 when he joined the third cohort of Foundation for Science and Technology Future Leaders.

In my early career research path, I have gained a good understanding of research and innovation within academia, and the challenges the sector is facing in a rapidly changing world.  I have learned a lot about people in academia (e.g. challenges faced by early career researchers, skills, training, progression, research outputs, funding bodies, applying for funding, public engagement, partnerships with industry), as well as other challenges within the sector (e.g. multi-disciplinary research and cross departmental collaboration, university priorities, government priorities, funding, retention of staff, and many others).

The Future Leaders program was an excellent opportunity for me to gain a wider understanding of how science, research and innovation are used in academia and other sectors – government, wider public sector, and industry. In addition it highlighted the importance of involving a diverse range of stakeholders to enrich policy development. I had the chance to attend debates around key challenges in science and technology, research and innovation, policy, government strategic plans and priorities (such as the UK Government’s AI strategy).



The one-year program included:

By-weekly online meetings, which provided the opportunity to attend talks, share experiences and learn from others. These also provided a great forum to present work and inspire other cohort members.

Visits to Government departments, industry and other organisations (e.g. CERN visit in Geneva).

Monthly debates and conferences on key challenges in Science and Technology.

    • These fantastic events were typically hosted at the Royal Society and attended by approximately 100-150 guests from all sectors of Science and Technology. The program included a series of short talks, open debate and question and answer sessions.
  • Below is an overview of the topics covered during the year:
    • January: “How can the National Science and Technology Council and the Office for Science and Technology Strategy direct S&T priorities?”. Recording available here.
    • February: “Delivering the AI Strategy – the use of new AI technologies in industry and the public sector”. Recording available here.
    • March: “Rebuilding the UK Electricity Grid”. Recording available here.
    • April: “UK-China research collaboration”. Recording available here.
    • May: “Increasing Interdisciplinarity in UK R&D”. Recording available here.
    • June: “New Nuclear and the UK Energy Strategy”. Recording available here.
    • July: “Scenarios for a Science Superpower”. Recording available here:
    • July: “Health policy implications of climate change”. Recording available here.
    • October: “Science, Climate Policy and COP27” Recording available here.
    • November: “Leadership in Tomorrow’s World – Foundation Future Leaders Conference 2022”. Recording available here.


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