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The University of Southampton
Public Policy|Southampton

Meet the team

We come from a variety of different backgrounds bringing a range of skills, expertise and experiences in policy engagement. Together we help facilitate policy impact by linking policymakers with researchers at the University.

Whether you are an academic or have involvement at any level of policy, any of our dedicated team members would be happy to have a conversation about supporting you in the best way. So if you are interested in upcoming opportunities, events or enhancing your policy impact, please get in touch via the contact details below.

Gareth Giles
Gareth Giles

Gareth Giles, Head of Public Policy|Southampton

Giles (as he is known to all) brings more than a decade’s worth of experience working between central and local government and the higher education sector. In his current role is responsible for the strategic direction of PPS, financial sustainability of the team and internal and external stakeholder management. Giles is currently working on policy engagement culture change within the University specifically focusing on developing mechanisms that support and celebrate the successes of our diverse range of world leading Early Career Researchers.

Most likely to say: ‘and all that good stuff’.

Biggest fan of: the (home) office plants.

+44 (0)23 8059 8981

+44 (0)7557663644

Contact Giles


Yaryna Basystyuk
Yaryna Basystyuk

Yaryna Basystyuk, Policy Engagement Manager

Yaryna brings extensive experience of knowledge exchange between HEIs and the private sector, State government and the United Nations from her time in the United States.  In her current role within PPS, she oversees our Policy|Placement programme with national and local government, manages Cambridge Science and Policy (CSaP) fellowship scheme, and leads on engagement with Universities COP26 Network. Yaryna is currently developing and implementing our Policy|Associate Pool programme to offer enhanced insight to principle investigators and exposure to policy for PhD and post-doctoral researchers at the University.

Most likely to say: ‘so we shall see…’.

Biggest fan of: the coast, and everything in and around the water.

+44 (0)23 8059 5466

Contact Yaryna


Wassim Dbouk
Wassim Dbouk

Wassim Dbouk, Marine and Maritime Policy and Research Fellow

Following his PhD in Marine Environmental Law, and in combination with his diverse past work experience in the private, public, legal and research sectors, most notably with the Lebanese Parliament, Wassim brings a broad, flexible skillset and an astute understanding of the interaction between research, law and policy. Thanks to his academic background, Wassim has been involved in several wide-ranging research projects, during which he collected and analysed data, and presented his research outcomes to the relevant stakeholders. In addition, he is responsible for the scanning, drafting and submission of academic responses to government consultations and Parliamentary Inquires. In his current role as Marine and Maritime Policy and Research Fellow he specialises in creating and delivering policy engagement opportunities for researchers within the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI) and in translating their research outcomes into policy-informing evidence. He is currently involved in a multi-disciplinary research project as part of the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC), where he is researching the legal and regulatory aspects of the transport of CO2 to support the implementation of the Government’s Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) plans.

Most likely to say: ‘wouldn’t raise an eyebrow in Lebanon’.

Biggest fan of: conscious living and cats.

Contact Wassim


Chandni Maria Jacob
Chandni Maria Jacob

Chandni Maria Jacob, Specialist Policy Officer (Environment and Life Sciences)

With a background in clinical medicine and public health, Chandni has worked with multiple international organisations to support the development of health policy and clinical guidelines. Her PhD and research have focused on the implementation of a life-course approach in policy and adopting a person-centred approach in clinical care. She has vast experience in the science-policy interface and evidence-informed policymaking having led multiple projects to develop recommendations for international organisations that support policymakers. These include writing policy analyses, reviews and white papers for the World Health Organisation, International Federation of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians, UNICEF and Royal Colleges. She has also supported policy engagement activities for advocacy networks such as the Preconception Partnership and delivered workshops on knowledge translation for researchers. In her current role, she has a keen interest in connecting researchers with policy audiences and providing support for identifying and developing policy-relevant outputs (policy briefs, written and oral evidence etc.) for principal investigators.

Most likely to say: Sure, why not

Biggest fan of: Dogs, travel and baking

Contact Chandni


Fatima Ozcan

Fatima Ozcan, Senior Policy Associate

Fatima is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Southampton, specialising in maritime law and currently continuing her PhD on Cyber Coverage of Autonomous Ships in the Context of Marine Insurance Law. Beyond her academic pursuits, Fatima is also passionate about policy and evidence informed decision-making process.

She entered the policy world as a Policy Associate in 2021 at Public Policy|Southampton with a project on Solid Bulk Cargo Liquefaction: Strategies for Effective Control. She supported the project team with a stakeholder analysis by engaging the project partners and external stakeholders and producing a policy synthesis report that brings together relevant grey literature and other project findings. A few months into the role, she has been offered to manage the consultation activity, supporting university academics in responding to calls for evidence by the UK Parliament and Government. Recently Fatima has been selected for the PPS Local Evidence Catapult Programme where she focuses on investigating health inequalities in Southampton. 

Most likely to say: Wanna grab a coffee?

Biggest fan of: Blogging and cycling

Contact Fatima


Hannah Dalgleish
Hannah Dalgleish

Hannah Dalgleish, Knowledge Exchange Fellow

After completing a PhD in Astrophysics at Liverpool John Moores University in 2020, Hannah found herself drifting towards the humanities and social sciences. This journey began at the University of Namibia where she explored the role of astronomy as a means for sustainable development – through education, (indigenous) tourism, and cultural relations. Upon returning to the UK in 2021, she became an Oxford Policy Engagement Fellow, focusing on light pollution. During this time Hannah built up an international dark skies and society community, organised the UK’s first Dark Sky Meeting, and exchanged knowledge with council officers in Northern Ireland as well as the House of Lords. Hannah then spent time at the Sustainable AI Lab in Bonn, working as a Green Talents Fellow on ‘rewilding the night’, before joining the University of Southampton as a Knowledge Exchange Fellow. Here, she is looking forward to bridging the academic-policy gap in order to solve local challenges and support the University’s civic agenda.

Most likely to say: cool beans

Biggest fan of: travelling and trying new things

Contact Hannah


Helen Ballem
Helen Ballem

Helen Ballem, Departmental Administrator

Helen’s extensive experience of being a Departmental Administrator at the University of Southampton for more than 15 years, has given her a great insight on how the mechanisms work and how she can best provide assistance to colleagues. In addition to her other responsibilities within RIS, Helen is currently assisting PPS in keeping the Policy Projects Database up to date and producing monthly analytics which allows PPS to plan ahead and manage their work more efficiently. Her remit includes to get in contact with the principal investigators of each policy project and get the latest update, to liaise with the other members of the PPS team in finding suitable times for meetings with academics and to alert the team whenever a research project ‘s proposal becomes successful.

Most likely to say: ‘OK, cool’

Biggest fan of: F.R.I.E.N.D.S (TV series)

Contact Helen


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