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Robert Terry, Manager,
Research Policy,
TDR - World Health Organization

Dr Robert Terry is the Manager of Research Policy at the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), where he is responsible for knowledge management, open access, data sharing and ensuring evidence is translated into policy and practice.

Robert is a senior strategic and project manager with more than 25 years experience in strategy development and implementation. He has specialized knowledge in natural resources development and health research policy in low- and high-income countries for governmental, nongovernmental, philanthropic and United Nations organizations.


His early career in research and development was in agriculture and he went on to positions at the Royal Society (the UK academy of science) where he ran the international research exchange programme and the Wellcome Trust where he was senior policy advisor. He led the development of the Wellcome Trust’s first open access policy and the subsequent establishment of Europe PubMed Central.


Robert joined the World Health Organization in 2007 and led on the development and implementation of the WHO strategy on Research for Health. He is one of the lead authors of the 2013 WHO World Health Report– Research for Universal Health Coverage and developed the concept which led to the creation of the WHO Global Health R&D Observatory.

He has lived and worked in the Middle East and undertaken development consultancies in several African and Asian countries for Oxfam, Voluntary Service Overseas, United Nations Association International Service and UK Department For International Development. He has a PhD in Global Health Research Policy from the University of Cambridge, as well as an MPhil. in Plant Breeding (crop genetics) and a BSc from the University of Sheffield.

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Keynote: Open science is the future

The digitization of scientific content is a revolution that still has yet to reach its full potential. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the failures in the current health publishing system while the expansion of data sharing shows how greater openness in science has reaped benefits with the creation of new knowledge, health products and greater transparency in science in a much faster and efficient manner. In this presentation Rob Terry will make the case for open science and the need for systems thinking which may require a complete re-set for how science is undertaken in order to tackle the global challenges of climate change, food security and future pandemics.

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