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Helen Freeman

Research and Innovation Development Manager
Priestley Centre for Climate Futures

As Research and Innovation Development Manager for the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures, I support the Centre’s mission, specifically in climate-related research and innovation development. I work with academics and professional services to identify, develop and sustain portfolios of research and innovation, leverage internal and external funding and assist in the preparation and submission of high quality interdisciplinary research proposals in response to external funding opportunities.

I have a degree in Physics, ten years of academic research experience in materials science and environmental engineering, and an ongoing interest in research impact.

I joined the University of Leeds in 2011 where I completed a PhD in materials engineering for nuclear power (2016). This was followed by two research fellowships; one at the German research centre for geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam, Germany (2016-2018), and another at the University of Leeds (2018-2020). My research expertise is in using electron microscopy techniques to study the atomic structure of a wide variety of materials.

In 2020 I moved to work in professional services, supporting policy, research, and innovation activities. This began with a fellowship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and was followed by several interdisciplinary institute management and policy engagement roles. These included Network Manager for one of NERC’s Clean Air Strategic Priorities Fund networks; ‘Breathing City’ (2020-2023), Policy Engagement Manager for UKRI’s Future Leaders Fellows Development Network (2023), and Institute Manager for Leeds Institute for Fluid Dynamics (2022). My research impact expertise is in policy engagement.