We are a small team comprising experts in a wide range of disciplines.
Find more information on our Board of Directors/Trustees and Advisors to the Board, including individual bios.
Our Board is responsible for the effective governance and development of Research Data Scotland, supports the directors in overseeing the delivery of our strategy, monitors key risks, and ensures resources are managed effectively.
Our Directors/Trustees and Advisors bring exceptional and diverse skills and expertise to support us in the delivery of our mission to improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing in Scotland by enabling access to and linkage of data about people, places and businesses for research in the public good.
Roger Halliday is Chief Executive of Research Data Scotland and Co-Director of ADR Scotland. Roger was previously the Scottish Government’s Chief Statistician. Before that, he worked in the Department of Health in England as a policy analyst managing evidence for decision-making across NHS issues. He qualified with a degree in statistics in 1993 from St. Andrews University. He has worked for various UK Government Departments and at the Scottish Government in several statistical and policymaking roles. His areas of expertise are around transforming services with data, and he has experience working in the fields of health, children, learning, skills and the economy.
Professor Paul Boyle was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University in 2019 following his role as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester. Previously, Paul was Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK’s largest funding agency for social science research; the International Champion of Research Councils UK, with responsibility for international strategy on behalf of all seven UK research councils; and President of Science Europe, representing over 50 European funding agencies. Paul is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Academy of Social Sciences, Chair of Universities Wales’ Research and Innovation Network and a Board Member of Universities UK, who provide leadership and support to executive heads of 133 UK university institutions.
Jill Pell is Henry Mechan Professor of Public Health and Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Jill is currently a member of Council at the Medical Research Council and a non-executive director and medical trustee of the British Health Foundation. She was awarded CBE in 2017 for services to public health research and has more than 30 years' experience of using routine data and record linkage for health research.
Professor Parsons is the Director of EPCC, the supercomputing centre at the University of Edinburgh. EPCC operates many of the UK’s national research computing services including the new ARCHER2 National Supercomputer. As Dean of Research Computing, he provides expert advice and guidance to the College of Science and Engineering and the University on all aspects of modern research infrastructures with a particular focus on supercomputing, AI and data infrastructure. Mark also works part-time for EPSRC at UKRI as the Director of Research Computing. He joined EPCC in 1994 as a software developer working on several industrial contracts following a PhD in Particle Physics undertaken on the LEP accelerator at CERN in Geneva.
Scott Heald is Public Health Scotland’s lead Director for data, digital and statistics. Before that, he held a variety of statistical leadership roles in the Information Services Division (ISD) of NHS National Services Scotland. He qualified in 1994 with a degree in mathematics and statistics from the University of Edinburgh. After initially working within the field of education statistics, Scott has spent most of his career in the health and care statistics arena and has a particular passion for the use of data and statistics to drive transformative change which improves the outcomes for individuals. Scott is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.
Julie Fitzpatrick was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) for Scotland in June 2021. Alongside this part-time position within the Scottish Government, Julie also remains Scientific Director of Moredun Research Institute and CEO of The Moredun Foundation. She also holds a Chair in Food Security at the University of Glasgow’s College of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences. As CSA Scotland, Julie champions the use of science to inform policy development. She works closely with the Scottish Science Advisory Council, of which she is an ex-officio member, to help ensure that the Scottish Government has access to the best scientific advice to inform its work across all policy areas.
Martin Sinclair is a qualified accountant and auditor with more than 30 years’ experience as an external auditor of central government working on behalf of the UK Parliament. For 15 years, prior to his retirement in 2015, he was a Management Board Member of the National Audit Office (NAO). During that time, he led the NAO’s financial audit practice for 10 years and subsequently was Executive leader for National Affairs, a client portfolio embracing many of the major offices of State. Since then, he has worked as a consultant in public financial management and corporate governance in a number of EU candidate countries and undertaken a various trustee and non- executive roles. These have included nine years as a trustee and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of Asthma UK and as a Non-Executive of two major NHS Trusts in the south of England. He was also for a time Treasurer of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.
Shannon Vallor is the Baillie Gifford Professor in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence in the University of Edinburgh’s Department of Philosophy. She serves as Director of the Centre for Technomoral Futures in the Edinburgh Futures Institute and is a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute. Professor Vallor's research explores how emerging technologies reshape human moral and intellectual character, and maps the ethical challenges and opportunities posed by new uses of data and artificial intelligence. Her work includes advising academia, government and industry on the ethical design and use of AI.
Professor Andrew Morris became the inaugural Director of Health Data Research UK in August 2017, the UK’s national Institute for health data science. Its mission is to unite the UK’s health data to improve people’s lives and is supported by 12 funders. He also convenes the International COVID 19 Data Alliance (ICODA) supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Minderoo Foundation. He is seconded from his position as Professor of Medicine, and Vice Principal of Data Science at the University of Edinburgh, having taken up position in August 2014. Prior to this Andrew was Dean of Medicine at the University of Dundee. Andrew was Chief Scientist at the Scottish Government Health Directorate (2012-2017) and has served and chaired numerous national and international grant committees and Governmental bodies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Gillian Docherty is chief commercial officer at the University of Strathclyde and works across the institution to drive forward the University’s sector-leading activities with industry and support Scotland and the UK’s economic recovery from the global pandemic. Prior to joining the University in 2022, Gillian was the Chief Executive of The Data Lab, Scotland’s innovation centre for data science and artificial intelligence. Gillian was appointed an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019 for Services to Information Technology and Business. Formerly of IBM, Gillian was named Digital Leader 2018 for the UK, she received an Outstanding Achievement Award at Scotland’s Women in Technology Awards in 2019.
Read our latest Board meeting minutes.
We are a small team comprising experts in a wide range of disciplines.
Find out why we think RDS is a great place to work and what opportunities are available.
We work with the Scottish Government and Scotland’s leading academic and public bodies.