Chief Scientific Officer

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Chief Science Officer (C.S.O. for short) is a position at the head of scientific research operations at organizations or companies performing significant scientific research projects.


The C.S.O. typically is responsible for envisioning and developing research capabilities (human, methodological, and technological), for developing evidence of the validity and utility of research products, and for communicating with the scientific and customer communities concerning capabilities and scientific product offerings.

In some organizations, the same person may hold this title along with that of Chief Technology Officer (C.T.O.). Alternatively, a company could have one or the other, or both occupied by separate people. Often, a Chief Science Officer exists in heavily research-oriented companies, while a Chief Technology Officer exists in product development focused companies. The typical category of Research and Development that exists in many science/technology companies could be led by either post, depending upon which area is the organization's primary focus.

A Chief Science Officer almost always has a basic/pure science background and advanced degree, whereas a Chief Technology Officer often has a background in engineering and/or business development.

Some academic research organizations, such as Fox Chase Cancer Center,[1] Dana-Farber Cancer Institute,[2] and the San Diego Supercomputer Center have adopted a similar title of Chief Scientific Officer.[3] Typically, their role is to evaluate and set scientific priorities and coordinate the administrative structure that supports scientists. A Chief Scientific Officer commonly has a scientific or academic background, yet they may or may not be practicing scientists or academics.


In the National Health Service, the Chief Scientific Officer is the head of profession for the 53,000 healthcare scientists working in the organization and its associated bodies. The S.C.O. is one of six NHS professional officers (including the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Nursing Officer) who are employed within NHS England. These roles lead their own professional groups as well as providing expert knowledge about their specific disciplines to the NHS and wider health and care system.[4]

The Chief Scientific Officer provides professional leadership and expert clinical advice across the health system, as well as working alongside senior clinical leaders within NHS England and the broader commissioning system.[5] The Chief Scientific Officer is also responsibility for delivering the Government's strategy for a modernised healthcare science workforce, Modernising Scientific Careers.

Professor Sue Hill OBE has been the Chief Scientific Officer since October 2002 first within the Department of Health and subsequently NHS England .[6] The role was strengthened in March 2013 with the appointment of a Deputy Chief Scientific Officer.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fox Chase Cancer Center News | Fox Chase Cancer Center - Philadelphia, PA". Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "Research - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Boston, MA". Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "Michael L. Norman Appointed Chief Scientific Officer of SDSC". Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "Appointments". NHS England. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "NHS Commissioning Board appoints its first Chief Scientific Officer". Department of Health. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Chief Scientific Officer". Department of Health. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Fiona Carragher appointed Deputy Chief Scientific Officer by NHS Commissioning Board". Department of Health. 25 March 2013. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2014.