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Former Innogen Honorary Fellow - current STIS Honorary Fellow
As Senior Partner of Technology Development Group, Laura Meagher conducts a range of projects related to strategic change in higher education, research, knowledge exchange and policy. She has become increasingly involved in evaluation of initiatives and funding schemes targeted toward interdisciplinarity, knowledge exchange or research impact for clients such as ESRC, EPSRC, AHRC, SFC, SNIFFER and others. In addition, she designs and conducts forward-looking workshops and also facilitates the actual development of interdisciplinary initiatives.
Development of methodologies for evaluation of research impact, along with development of strategies for optimising knowledge exchange processes, form a substantial component of her current activities. An example can be seen in Meagher, Lyall & Nutley (2008) ‘Flows of knowledge, expertise and influence: a method for assessing policy and practice impacts from social science research’ Research Evaluation, 17 (3): 163-173.
With a PhD from Duke University in zoology, focusing on evolution, and an interest in policy, Meagher turned her attention to research-related change in the economy, society and academia. Meagher was co-founder and first vice-president of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, the first such state-wide economic development effort now a model internationally, having led to well over 50,000 additional jobs and nearly $30B in annual biotechnology sector revenues. She continued her interest in complex, big-picture change when she founded Technology Development Group in the States prior to becoming a research dean at Rutgers University where she set up several interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, inter-sector and sometimes international initiatives and spun-out an environmental biotechnology company, among other activities. She spent 1995-1996 working with all of Scotland’s universities as part of her Fulbright Fellowship in Institutional Change, based at the University of Edinburgh. In 1999 she moved to Scotland, where Technology Development Group is now located.
Collaborations with Innogen staff (in particular Dr Lyall and Professor Tait) include contributions to: the NERC project “QUEST: Capturing Lessons for Interdisciplinarity”; the upcoming book Research Journeys: Practical Strategies for Capturing Creativity; the ISSTI Interdisciplinary Masterclasses and related short guides; and Detection and Identification of Infectious Diseases Foresight Panel.
Meagher, L, Lyall, C, Nutley, S (2008) ‘Flows of knowledge, expertise and influence: a method for assessing policy and practice impacts from social science research’, Research Evaluation 17 (3) 163‑173