Melanie Roberts has shaped policy and programs for national and university-based initiatives that promote interdisciplinary research and translation. She is the founding director of Emerging Leaders in Science & Society (ELISS), a program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). ELISS develops a collaborative network of future leaders by recruiting graduate students from multiple campuses and disciplines to work on real-world challenges, such as epidemic preparedness.
Melanie also offers strategic consulting services for cross-disciplinary or cross-sector programs. Previously, she held positions in the federal government and academia. At the Biofrontiers Institute of the University of Colorado Boulder, she established cross-sector research collaborations interdisciplinary research facilities. In the United States Senate, she supported bills in innovation and health policy and led an effort to improve science advice for Congress. At the National Science Foundation, she led a data working group to improve peer review for interdisciplinary and high-risk research. She began her career as a researcher at Pfizer, Inc. She completed a Ph.D. in neuroscience and postdoctoral research in science and innovation policy.
Melanie is co-author of “Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research and Education: A Practical Guide” and serves on several advisory boards and committees, including the National Alliance for Broader Impacts of Funded Research; Journals of Science Policy & Governance; Journal of Philosophy, Science & Law; and the Online Ethics Resource for the National Academy of Engineering; and numerous student organizations. She lives in Seattle, WA.