Susan Guthrie

Photo of Susan Guthrie
Research Leader
Cambridge Office


Ph.D. in physics, Cambridge University; M.Sci. in natural sciences, Cambridge University

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This researcher is available for interviews.

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Susan Guthrie is a research leader at RAND Europe. Her primary research interests are in the area of science and innovation policy, with a particular interest in evaluation, performance monitoring, and research strategy. Recent and ongoing work includes a literature review and survey looking at the international mobility of researchers; a study into the contribution of UK public health resarch to NICE guidelines; a review of the evidence around the mental health needs of researchers and the services available to them; and a project assessing the economic returns from investment in musculoskeletal research.  

Guthrie has conducted research for a range of clients including the European Commission, the UK Department of Health, the Wellcome Trust, the UK Medical Research Council, the Royal Society, a number of HEIs, and a range of charities and foundations. Prior to joining RAND Europe, Guthrie was a fellow at the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, and she has previously worked at Innovia Technology, a science and innovation consultancy. She has a Ph.D. in physics and an M.Sci. (Hons) in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge. 

Recent Projects

  • Mental health of researchers in the UK: A review of the evidence
  • International mobility of researchers: A literature review and survey of researchers in the UK
  • Estimating the economic returns of UK musculoskeletal research
  • Effectiveness and efficiency of peer review for grant funding: A review of the literature and case studies
  • Assessing and communicating the value of biomeidcal research: A review of international approaches and developing tools for academic medical colleges

Selected Publications

Guthrie, S., Krapels, J., Garrod, B., Cochrane, G., Alberti, P., Adams, A., Bonham, A. and Wooding S., "Assessing and Communicating the Value of Biomedical Research: Results from a Pilot," Academic Medicine, 2017 (forthcoming)

Hernandez-Villafuerte, K., Sussex, J., Robin, E., Guthrie, S., Pollitt, A., Wooding S, "Economies of Scale and Scope in Publicly Funded Biomedical and Health Research: Evidence from the Literature," Health and Research Policy Systems, 15(3), 2017

Pollitt, A., Potoglou, D., Patil, S., Burge, P., Guthrie, S., King, S., Wooding, S., Grant, J, "Understanding the relative valuation of research impact: a best–worst scaling experiment of the general public and biomedical and health researchers," BMJ Open, 6, 2016

Hanney, S. R., Castle-Clarke, S., Grant, J., Guthrie, S., Henshall, C., Mestre-Ferrandiz, J., Pistollato, M., Pollitt, A., Sussex, J., & Wooding, S, "How long does biomedical research take? Studying the time taken between biomedical and health research and its translation into products, policy, and practice," Health Research Policy and Systems, 13(1), 2015

Guthrie S, Bienkowska-Gibbs T, Manville C, Pollitt A, Kirtley A, Wooding S., "The impact of the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme, 2003-13: a multimethod evaluation," Health Technology Assessment, 19(67), 2015

Glover, M., Buxton, M., Guthrie, S., Hanney, S., Pollitt, A., & Grant, J., "Estimating the returns to UK publicly funded cancer-related research in terms of the net value of improved health outcomes," BMC Medicine, 12(1), 2014

Guthrie, S., Garrod, B., Kirtley, A., Pollitt, A., Grant, J. and Wooding, S, A ‘DECISIVE’ strategy for research funding: Lessons from three studies, RAND Corporation (RR-1132-DH), 2015

Manville, C., Guthrie, S., Henham, M-L., Garrod, B., Sousa, S., Kirtley, A., Castle-Clarke, S., Ling, T., Assessing impact submissions for REF2014: An evaluation, RAND Corporation (RR-1032-HEFCE), 2015


  • Color blocks in a a square with four separated out

    Evidence Synthesis—Behind the Scenes

    The Royal Society and RAND Europe recently published an evidence synthesis on the impacts of ammonia emissions from agriculture on biodiversity. As well as aiming to provide a useful summary of the evidence to inform ongoing policy discussions, the study was intended to test the Royal Society's recently developed principles for good evidence synthesis for policy.

    Nov 30, 2018 The Royal Society

  • Cows line up for feeding on Salisbury Plain in Southern England, May 20, 2012

    Ammonia – Why the Big Stink?

    Ammonia pollution harms human health and reduces the richness and diversity of the environment. As new policy frameworks are implemented in the UK, there is an opportunity to support farmers to make the changes necessary to reduce ammonia pollution.

    Sep 18, 2018 The Royal Society

  • Man pointing to a document

    Funders Using Bibliometrics Should Keep It Simple

    Avoiding information overload is crucial for research grant decisions. The right guidance and training to panel members can help them make the most of bibliometrics as an evaluation tool to assist their decisions on research funding.

    Sep 15, 2017 Research Fortnight

  • Stressed researcher with head on blackboard filled with formulas and equations

    Why the Mental Ill Health of Academic Researchers Remains a Hidden Problem

    The mental health and well-being of higher education staff is a significant challenge, probably even more so than the evidence indicates.

    Aug 28, 2017 Times Higher Education

  • Sign with arrows pointing direction to the United Kingdom

    Professional Expectations, Families and Brexit Shape Future for UK International Researchers

    Mobility has become an even higher priority for researchers since the results of the UK’s EU referendum, Brexit. To continue to attract and keep top talent, the UK needs to understand how and why researchers move between countries.

    May 5, 2017 Times Higher Education

  • People working on a document together

    Why We Need to Experiment with Grant Peer Review

    More than 95 per cent of academic biomedical research funding is controlled by peer review of grant applications. It is generally cited as the gold standard for awarding funding, but it appears most effective when used conservatively.

    Apr 4, 2017 Research Fortnight

  • Old books and reading glasses

    What Does the Stern Review Mean for the Research Excellence Framework?

    The Stern Review's release at the end of July raised two pertinent questions about the Research Education Framework. What purposes does the REF serve? And does it offer good value for money for the UK's higher education institutions?

    Sep 6, 2016 The RAND Blog