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Dr Claire Donovan

Dr Claire Donovan
Reader - Science Policy & Research Governance


My research is driven by my belief in the importance of providing robust evidence to support high quality decision-making in science policy and science governance. I specialise in research on Higher Education funding systems internationally, and especially the UK and Australia. I am particularly interested in the value of the humanities, arts and social sciences within the overall science system. My original research projects have focused on science policy and science governance, measuring the value of university research for wider society, university-industry relations, and women’s careers in Higher Education. This has allowed me to connect with a diverse international network of collaborators in academia, government, and research funding organisations.

Before joining Brunel, I worked for seven years in the Research School of Social Sciences at The Australian National University, Canberra. I was a Research Fellow in the Research Evaluation and Policy Project (REPP), where I conducted research on the impact of medical research, and also on the wider impact of research in the humanities, arts and social sciences. I also lectured in Sociology, specialising in Science, Technology and Society, and in Classical Sociological Theory. I also had worked in research and teaching posts at Nuffield College, Oxford University; The Open University; and the University of Brighton. I have a D.Phil. and an MA in Social and Political Thought from the University of Sussex, and a B.A. (Hons.) in Philosophy from the University of Southampton.

As well as conducting novel academic research, I have led consultancy work for research funding bodies including the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training; the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences; The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation; Australia’s National Breast Cancer Foundation; and The National Heart Foundation of Australia.

I have secured major grants from the European Commission, the Australian Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. I have also won several competitive awards including an Early Career Researcher Prize from the European Science Foundation, a grant from the ESRC Science in Society Programme Visiting Scholar Competition, and an ESRC a Public Service Placement Fellowship where I was seconded to government to work in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, where I wrote a corporate report on A Holistic Approach to Valuing Our Culture.

I have been awarded visiting fellowships by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Cambridge University; Wolfson College, Cambridge University; the Science, Technology and Society Program, John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; the Department of Government, London School of Economics; Department of Education, University of Oxford; the Science, Technology and Society Cluster, National University of Singapore; and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex. In 2003-05 I was an Elected Associate Member of the Sociology Group, Nuffield College, Oxford University. In 2013 I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


DPhil, Social and Political Thought, University of Sussex

MA, Social and Political Thought, University of Sussex

BA (Hons) Philosophy, University of Southampton


Brunel Business School Impact Champion; member of Brunel Board of Arts.

Newest selected publications

Aiello, E., Donovan, C., Duque, E., Fabrizio, S., Flecha, R., Holm, P., et al. (2020) 'Effective strategies that enhance the social impact of Social Sciences and Humanities research'. Evidence and Policy: a journal of research, debate and practice. ISSN: 1744-2648 Open Access Link

Journal article

Donovan, C. (2019) 'Assessing the Broader Impacts of Publicly-funded Research', in Simon, D., Kuhlmann, S., Stamm, J. and Canzler, W. (eds.) Handbook on Science and Public Policy. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. , 1. pp. 488 - 502. ISBN 10: 178471593X. Open Access Link

Book chapter

Jenkins, F., Keane, H. and Donovan, C. (2019) 'Introduction: Gendered innovations in the social sciences'. WOMENS STUDIES INTERNATIONAL FORUM, 72 (Jan-Feb). pp. 103 - 103. ISSN: 0277-5395 Open Access Link

Journal article

Donovan, C. (2019) 'For Ethical 'Impactology''. Journal of Responsible Innovation, 6 (1). pp. 78 - 83. ISSN: 2329-9460 Open Access Link

Journal article

Jenkins, F., Keane, H. and Donovan, C. (2019) 'Work (still) in Progress: Establishing the value of gendered innovations in the social sciences'. Women's Studies International Forum, 72 (Jan-Feb). pp. 104 - 108. ISSN: 0277-5395 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(35)