Leadership in Knowledge Exchange

Prepare to take your first step as a leader in Knowledge Exchange  

Training Outcomes

Confidently describe and understand the impact of current ‘external’ political drivers for KE in the UK and their relationship to other areas of HEIs’ core business 
Demonstrate clear understanding of their institutional KE environment and strategy, and the decision-making hierarchy in their own organisation.  
Understand management/influencing style and adapt it as appropriate when interacting with a diverse range of external and internal contacts 
Develop confidence in managing uncertainty and ambiguity, whilst delivering a clear strategic vision for the organisation 
Become an effective “agent of change” managing an environment of continual performance improvement 


The course also focuses on networking, providing a valuable platform to meet peers, discuss best practice, and interact with the course team and other contributors.

PLEASE NOTE: There may be a requirement for delegates to undertake some pre-course work/reading before the course begins.

Course for 2021 will be delivered online - register your place now

Who should attend?

Knowledge Exchange staff who have been in a Knowledge Exchange operational role for at least 3 years and have recently moved (or expect soon to move) into a strategic leadership role in KE in their organisation. Please note that applications are welcome from non-university research organisations but applicants should be aware that examples and case studies will be drawn from the unviersity sector.  

Experience can have been gained in any – or several - areas of KE. The course is not suitable for those with less than three years KE experience.  

Attendance will be subject to successful completion of a short application process and provision of a personal supporting statement. Applicants will also be required to provide a supporting statement from their line manager.  

Event description

Knowledge Exchange (KE) is an increasingly important area for Higher Education Institutes (HEIs). Thanks to research funders and government policy – notably the R&D roadmap and KE Concordat - KE is increasingly embedded within an HEI’s strategy and activity. Outcomes, outputs, and impact are looked for at local, national and international levels.  At the same time, in our pandemic-led year, the pace of change in KE and the HEI environment has never been greater and expectations around the role of research in social, economic and cultural renewal are high.  

Leading a university KE team therefore calls for a combination of skills across KE strategy, leadership and management alongside a need to understand the political drivers affecting universities in general, and those of your own institution in particular.  How each HEI interprets the external environment within their own strategy and performance measures will influence the KE leadership and team structure.  

By joining this course, you will learn the skills needed to create and deliver an aligned KE strategy for your team, your institution, and its stakeholders. As the next generation of KE leaders you will also be ready to inform and influence the future direction of KE policy.  

Course Directors

Sue Sundstrom RTTP

Sue joined the university sector in 2002 initially as Director, Lifescience Enterprise at the University of Southampton and then as Head of Technology Transfer at the University of Bristol, following a career with AstraZeneca.

Whilst with AstraZeneca, Sue undertook a range of commercial roles in marketing (UK and international), corporate strategy (new and existing businesses), business  development and general management. As Managing Director of a French subsidiary she turned it from loss making to profit in 2 years through a rigorous prioritisation and  rationalisation process. She was responsible for the sale of a subsidiary in Chile to one of its customers, negotiating a good price while protecting staff and maintaining an  appropriate supply arrangement.



Dr. Iain Thomas RTTP

Iain is Head of Cambridge Enterprise’s Life Sciences team at the University of Cambridge where he and his team work in fields as diverse as therapeutics, diagnostics, IVF, epigenetics and agritech. CE’s portfolio of products includes alemtuzumab (Sanofi), breast cancer markers (Brevagen) and mouse touch screen chambers (Campden Instruments).  Spin-outs include Morphogenix, Mission Therapeutics, Cambridge Epigenetix, XO1 Therapeutics (sold to Janssen), Z-factor, Phoremost, Predictimmune, DIOSynVax and Storm Therapeutics.  Iain led discussions with GSK in respect of the University of Cambridge–GSK open innovation drug discovery initiative based at the SBC and was the Cambridge lead for the Apollo Therapeutics Fund.  Iain has been an active trainer for Praxis Courses since 2004.




Course Trainers:

Alisdair Aldous, Director of Knowledge Exchange (University of the Arts London) 




Prof. Simon Haslam, Director (simonhaslam.com) 




Paul Fairburn, Director, Enterprise & Innovation (Coventry University Enterprise Ltd)