Salil Gunashekar

Salil Gunashekar
Senior Research Leader and Deputy Director (Science and Emerging Technology, RAND Europe)


Ph.D. in wireless communications engineering, University of Leicester; M.Sc. in information and communications engineering, University of Leicester; M.Sc. in informatics, University of Delhi; B.Sc. (Hons) in physics, University of Delhi (St Stephen's College)


Salil Gunashekar is a senior research leader and Deputy Director of the Science and Emerging Technology team at RAND Europe. With over a decade of experience of working in policy research, he has a particular interest in exploring the impact of digitalisation and emerging technologies, and in examining research systems policy. 

Gunashekar leads RAND Europe's portfolio on emerging technology research. He has conducted studies for several public, private and third sector funders across the globe including UK government departments, charities and foundations, universities, and various EU institutions and bodies. His projects cut across multiple sectors, often sitting at the intersection of technology, R&I systems, policy, and the future. He has widely published policy research on topics including science and technology oversight, technology foresight, digital skills, public engagement, a range of emerging technologies (such as artificial intelligence, quantum technology, biotechnology, online platforms, blockchain, IoT, big data and extended reality), and research and innovation policy (including funding strategies, research impact, and open science).

His recent and current projects examine topics such as governance frameworks for emerging technologies, tools for trustworthy AI, quantum technologies and the life sciences, the future of digital skills, and the social impact of UK higher education research.

With a technical background in wireless communications, Gunashekar previously worked as a research associate at the University of Leicester within the Departments of Engineering and Computer Science. He completed his Ph.D. from the University of Leicester where he also obtained an M.Sc. in information and communications engineering.