Drs. Astrid Wissenburg

Astrid WissenburgOrganisation

University of Exeter

Job title

Director of Research 


Drs. Astrid Wissenburg is Director of Research at the University of Exeter. Astrid's responsibilities include the delivery of the University Research and Impact Strategy 2015-2020. This strategy includes major initiatives such as:

  • Establishment of new University Institutes, such as Global Systems Institute
  • The preparations for the next REF
  • Associated policy areas such as research integrity, research infrastructure and open access.

The Research Services Directorate provides support to all academics in the University in bidding and delivering research projects, and work closely with Colleges on supporting their research strategies. Astrid is also responsible for the Doctoral College, and for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact support function.

Astrid has previously held a variety of posts, all with an underlying commitment to making knowledge and research accessible and usable, as widely as possible. She currently is a trustee of the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC), the UK's leading expert in the field of career development for postgraduate researchers and is a past trustee of MentorUK - a UK-wide charity committed to promoting evidence-based prevention to protect children and young people from alcohol and drugs misuse. She was, until 2016, a member of the UUK Open Access Group.

Astrid's previous post was as Director Research, Scholarship and Quality at the Open University (OU) with responsibility for the strategic development of research, enterprise and scholarship; and the quality assurance and enhancement of the University's taught programmes. Astrid joined the OU from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), where she was Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Partnerships and Communications. She was responsible for the strategic direction of the ESRC’s knowledge exchange, evaluation and impact initiatives; relationships with partners (business, government, third sector); external communications; and information and knowledge management. Astrid also led for Research Councils UK on its economic and societal impact strategy, and on open access to research information.

Prior to her appointment at ESRC, Astrid worked at King's College London where she held posts as Assistant Director Information Resources, managed a JISC research project on models for hybrid libraries, and was part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service. Her early career included appointments at Glasgow University and Leiden University (The Netherlands) in the fields of computer-based learning and applied information management for historical research.

Astrid holds a postgraduate degree in contemporary international history from the University of Nijmegen; a postgraduate certificate in information technology from the University of Leiden; and a Master of Public Administration from Warwick Business School. She is currently, and at a leisurely pace, undertaking some postgraduate modules in systems theory at the Open University.