Rosalind Franklin Institute Announcement

The interim leadership team for the new Rosalind Franklin Institute has been announced. The £100m interdisciplinary institute was unveiled in February as part of the government’s Industrial strategy.

The Institute, which will have a physical hub on the Harwell Campus, close to Diamond, will develop disruptive new technologies - based on advances in the engineering and physical sciences - designed to tackle major challenges in health and life sciences.


The new leads are Professor Andrew Livingston FREng, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London and Professor James Naismith FRS FRSE FMedSci, Director of the Research Complex at Harwell, and Professor of Structural Biology at the University of Oxford. 

Profs Livingston and Naismith will drive the next phase of the RFI development - working with the current university partners to define the initial science and technology programmes, build partnerships with industry and academia, set up the Institute's formal and legal structures and l oversee the design of the flagship new development on the Harwell Campus. 

Prof Naismith said: “Rosalind Franklin is recognised as an experimental pioneer in physical science. Her famous image of DNA diffraction was an experimental masterpiece that unlocked the structure of DNA and started molecular biology. It is an exciting opportunity to bring together a new generation of physical scientists to create new technologies that will unlock post genomic medicine.”

The initial RFI Joint Venture will comprise of ten university partners - Birmingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Imperial, King's College London, Leeds, Manchester, Oxford, Southampton, and UCL - which will form a network of spokes across the UK.

The Institute will have a flexible structure that allows other partners to join over time; and researchers from all UK universities will be able to access facilities at the hub, and complementary facilities in the spokes. Town Meetings will be held from the autumn onwards to engage with the wider UK community.

The close location of the Institute to Diamond and other key facilities on the Harwell Campus is an exciting development, and we look forward to working with Prof Livingston and Prof Naismith as the plans develop. 

Read the full announcement from EPSRC here.