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Emma's role as Director of Research and Innovation involves leading the College’s strategy and policies for research, knowledge exchange, innovation (including student enterprise) and executive education, as well as overseeing provision for postgraduate research students. Based in the Research and Knowledge Exchange office, Emma works across all six Schools, the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Innovation RCA and other College research units.

Before joining the RCA in 2015 as its first Director of Research and Innovation, Emma Wakelin spent 15 years working at the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), where she was Associate Director of Programmes. Emma’s work at the AHRC included overseeing the strategic development of the AHRC’s postgraduate funding provision and its support for modern languages, leading the AHRC’s work connecting academic research in the arts and humanities with creative and cultural organisations, overseeing the development of new partnerships with businesses, other funders and overseas organisations, and overseeing major AHRC knowledge exchange projects. She also led on the development of Design as a strategic priority research area for the AHRC, collaborating with Innovate UK, the Design Council and other partners to deliver this.

Before joining the AHRC, Emma spent five years working as an editor on the revised edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, which was published by Macmillan in 2000. During this time, she also completed her doctorate in Music at Royal Holloway, University of London. Emma is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

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