Dr Pauline Essah

Independent Director of the University of Suffolk Board

Vice-Chancellor's Office
Pauline Essah staff profile photo

Dr Pauline Essah is the Director of Research and Insight at Education sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA). This organisation connects students, educators and decision-makers and provides them with the data and evidence needed to improve tertiary education in sub-Saharan Africa, in order to equip the youth with the knowledge and skills needed for fulfilling work.

Most recently, Pauline was a Senior Manager for Global Health at the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). She oversaw the strategic use of UK Official Development Assistance funding to support sustainable partnerships between health researchers in UK institutions and those in low- and middle-income countries, to help strengthen scientific capacity, advance health, promote economic growth and transform people’s lives.

Prior to NIHR (2009 to 2018), Pauline was instrumental in establishing and managing the flagship, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary Cambridge-Africa Programme at the University of Cambridge. The programme fosters mutually beneficial collaborations between Cambridge and African researchers and strengthens the capacity of African PhD and postdoctoral researchers by providing them with scholarships, training and mentorship.

Pauline is also a strategic advisor to the ‘TReND (Teaching and Research in Natural Sciences for Development) in Africa’ charity that is supporting scientific capacity building across Africa. Furthermore, she is an Ambassador of Goodwill for the World Bank-funded West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement at the University of Ghana.

She holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Agriculture from the University of Ghana and earned MPhil and PhD degrees in Biological Science from the University of Cambridge, UK.