Meet our team

The Institute consists of three core teams that respectively focus upon policy, public engagement and research advocacy, to help the University of Nottingham's world-leading research reach the right audience.

Find out more about the members of our team via the short profiles below.

Not sure who to contact? Email our team inbox instead 



Stephen Meek


Stephen spent 25 years working in the UK as a civil servant, including board level posts in two government departments. 

He has led the Institute since its creation in 2018 and oversees both its public engagement and policy impact work. He has particular expertise in the policy making process and how to influence it.

Email Stephen




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Phillipa Abery

Administrative Assistant

Phillipa joined the team in 2023 as an Administrative Assistant at the Institute.  

With a background in communication and copywriting, Phillipa works closely with both the Policy and Public Engagement teams, supporting with various projects and the day to day running of the Institute.

Email Phillipa


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Gabrielle Bunn

Operations Manager

Gabrielle joined the team in August 2022 to create the SHAping Sustainable Futures Hub, an Institute resource dedicated to social sciences research around climate change, sustainability and the net zero challenge.

Gabrielle now leads the Institute's operations team, supporting project delivery and overall strategy across the Institute. She is a project manager with extensive experience in marketing communications, event management and content development. 

Email Gabrielle

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Iyanuoluwa Fatoba

Communications and Content Officer

Iyanuoluwa brings in over 5 years of experience in strategic and advocacy communications across the public and third sectors. She is working closely with the team to amplify the impact of our projects and programs internally and externally. She also collaborates with the team to create and deliver impactful campaigns to drive and shape our engagement and public discourse across our online platforms.

Iyanu holds a B.Sc. in Economics from UNAD, Nigeria, and an MA in International Development from Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom.

Email Iyanu

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Sally Nightingale

Public Engagement Project Manager

Sally brings over two decades of management experience within a variety of tenant and community involvement, marketing and heritage roles primarily within the public sector.

She joined the team in June 2023 to support in the delivery of an ambitious programme of public engagement events and activities, reaching diverse audiences and responding to the needs of communities. 

Email Sally



Maria Richards

Head of Public Engagement

Following a career in museums and heritage Maria joined the team in 2020. She specialises in planning for public engagement, co-production methods and understanding diverse audience needs.

Maria oversees our public engagement programmes, manages our public engagement funding streams and works with external partners to bring new opportunities to our researchers.

 Mobile number: 07976 951571

 Email Maria


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Ben Sherwood

Project Coordinator and Executive Assistant 

Ben joined the team in 2020 as an administrative assistant, assisting with the day-to-day running of the Institute. 

Ben has a creative background and supports with a variety of engagement projects, taking the lead on the Institute's podcast, Knowledge, Engaged.

 Email Ben


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Chris Sims

Deputy Director and Head of Policy

Chris joined the team in 2018 as Head of Policy Impact. He previously spent nine years in the UK Diplomatic Service before working in a variety of policy roles in the voluntary sector.

Chris oversees the Institute's work to support academics to achieve policy impact, and supports Stephen on the Institute's strategy, communications and stakeholder engagement.

Mobile number: 07966 875614

Email Chris

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Tiffany Trundell

Programme & Project Manager (Policy)

Tiffany joined the team in 2023 as Programme and Project Manager (Policy). She previously spent two years working for a local domestic abuse charity and prior to that was part of the Knowledge Exchange team at Nottingham Trent University.

Tiffany manages aspects of the training programmes including PIPP and PIAP, as well as supporting and advising academic researchers with engaging policy makers and creating policy impact particularly in the civic sphere.

Email Tiffany