Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Samantha Vanderslott

Samantha Vanderslott

samantha_vanderslott (at)

Samantha Vanderslott is a Visiting Fellow with the Program on Science, Technology & Society (STS) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for Spring 2015. She is completing her PhD at University College London (UCL) where her research focuses on the role of innovation in framing policy problems and the ways in which this affects proposed solutions. Her case study is on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), as a public health problem for which innovation understandings shape the policy responses.

These diseases mainly affect poor communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America, although it has been in the so-called ‘innovative developing countries’ (including Brazil and China) where responses have appeared to differ from the common donor-recipient relationships. These country responses are examined through the strategies employed to tackle NTDs, with a concern for how these are informed by the problem characterization and influenced by various innovation actors from pharma companies to government research institutes.

Samantha received a first class honors in Economics and International Development at the University of Bath, followed by an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy at the University of Oxford. She then worked for three years as a senior policy advisor at the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on venture capital (VC) policy and EU engagement. Also prior to starting her PhD she worked in a venture capital firm learning about sourcing dealflow and investment decisions. Samantha continues an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship policy as the lead researcher at the international entrepreneurship policy project ‘INTER-CEP’ ( at UCL. Through this work she has collaborated on a MIT-led entrepreneurship ecosystem project called REAP (

During her stay with the STS Program Samantha will continue to work on her dissertation, especially applying comparative analysis to Brazil and China with the qualitative material collected through fieldtrips to those countries. She is keen to apply core concepts and theories from STS to her economics training and government policy experience.

Note: The above information concerns a past fellow at the Program on Science, Technology, and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School. It does not constituent evidence of current enrollment. The information may be out of date. To update their information, past fellows should e-mail the site administrator.