Dr Jo FosterDirector
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Jo became the director of IRIS in 2019, after serving as an active trustee.

As vice principal at Camborne Science and International Academy, she led the school’s specialist STEM provision, Nexus. Jo knows, first-hand, the impact of research in schools, particularly its role in unlocking young people’s enthusiasm for STEM subjects.

Jo is the STEM Education Trustee for the Science Museum Group and is a member of the Royal Society Education Committee.

Marcus BernardDeputy Director
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Marcus supports the Director with the strategic leadership of IRIS, ensuring that we are focused on our mission and aims.

A former deputy headteacher at inner-city schools in Birmingham, Marcus believes by offering inspiring learning opportunities we can unlock young people’s fervour for STEM subjects. Marcus holds a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management.

Laura TyzackDirector of Operations
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Laura manages IRIS’ overall operations and resources.

She holds a BSc (Hons) Physics from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc Medical Physics from the University of Surrey.

Mike GrocottRegional Schools Engagement Lead
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Mike oversees schools’ engagement with IRIS, ensuring we’re doing our best to continually inspire and encourage teachers and students to carry out research in schools.

A recipient of the Arthur Clarke Award for Space Education, Mike is a talented and passionate teacher of science. Mike is responsible for the development of our projects and supporting teachers and students. He is also a lead educator for the National Space Academy.

Dr Neil GarridoRegional Schools Engagement Lead
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Neil oversees schools’ engagement with IRIS, ensuring we’re doing our best to continually inspire and encourage teachers and students to carry out research in schools.

As a former head of chemistry at a fully inclusive comprehensive secondary school in West Yorkshire, he understands the benefits of early engagement in research for secondary students. Neil has witnessed first-hand the invaluable learning experienced by young people through extracurricular activities and wants to extend this opportunity to more students across the UK.

He was awarded a Royal Society Partnership Grant for his collaboration with the University of Bradford. The cross-curricular project, ‘Molecular Music: The Sound of Chemistry’ was showcased at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition and its impact published in the Journal of Chemical Education.

Neil holds a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Organic Synthetic Chemistry from the University of Reading.

Dr Richard PhillipsRegional Schools Engagement Lead
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Richard oversees schools’ engagement with IRIS and provides specialist support to students doing original research. His focus is to inspire and develop students’ interest in academic research and to nurture high-quality and impactful research and communication.

Richard brings experience and a wealth of knowledge to his post, formerly a physics teacher for state and independent schools and a successful academic researcher.

Following his PhD studies at the University of Oxford, Richard held posts at the University of California Berkeley, the University of Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Leeds. During this time, he led or participated in a number of scientific expeditions to the Himalaya, the Libyan Sahara, the Italian Apennines, the massifs of central Turkey and the deserts and mountains of the Western USA.

He has contributed over 50 peer-reviewed academic papers and communicated his research through TV, radio and books. Richard is a qualified Mountain Leader and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Clare TurnbullEvaluation Lead
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Formerly a principal researcher for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, Clare gathers data and helps to evaluate the effectiveness of our work. She has an MSc in Psychology from Canterbury Christ Church University and is a member of the British Psychological Society.

Sharon Noble
Sharon NobleDevelopment Manager
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Sharon develops IRIS’ network of partners and funders to enable us to grow and diversify. She holds a BSc (Hons) from Southampton University in Oceanography and Marine Biology and has worked in education and outreach for many environmental charities and organisations.

Jennifer StoremskiCommunications Manager
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Jennifer manages IRIS’ communications channels, promoting the charity and keeping our audiences inspired and informed. She has more than 18 years’ experience as a communications and marketing professional, having worked in a wide variety of sectors including finance, media, business-to-business and not-for profit.

Nick WhiteGraphic Designer
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Nick is our in-house graphic designer. He has decades of experience designing for blue chip clients across a wide range of sectors, mostly at London design agencies.