Our Governing Board

Simon Coyle, Co-Founder and Executive Chair

Simon is a former classroom teacher who taught economics and history in an inner-city London school. He left teaching in 2012 to co-found The Brilliant Club, which is now the UK’s largest university access programme. In his time at the charity, Simon supported the creation of Researchers in Schools and led the set up of AccessEd as an independent non-profit.


Dr Rajbir Hazelwood, Co-Founder and Board Member

Rajbir completed her PhD on decolonization at Washington University in St. Louis and was Assistant Professor of Modern British History at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. After 10 years in academia, Rajbir joined The Brilliant Club as Regional Manager in 2015. She co-founded AccessEd with Simon and Jonny in 2016. Rajbir currently works for an educational technology start-up supporting universities with student engagement.


Dr Chris Wilson, Board Advisor

Chris is the CEO of The Brilliant Club in the UK. During his time at The Brilliant Club, Chris has been a PhD tutor, rolled out the charity’s provision across the UK, co-founded the teacher training programme Researchers in Schools, and launched the charity’s five-year strategy, The Path to Outcomes. Chris trained as a medieval historian at the universities of Cambridge and Exeter. He sits on the AccessEd Board in an advisory capacity.

Our Staff

Joanna Clark, Programme Manager

Joanna joined AccessEd in 2018 as Programme Manager. She is a qualified English teacher and has worked in secondary schools across London. She was the Deputy Head of English at Morpeth School in Bethnal Green before leaving the classroom to join Researchers in Schools, where she supported PhD graduates to become highly-effective classroom teachers.


Dr Richard Branch, Curriculum Manager

Richard joined AccessEd in 2018 as Curriculum Manager. Before joining the organisation he was a physics teacher on the Researchers in Schools programme at Lampton School in west London, where he continues teaching three days a week. Prior to training on the programme, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in biophysics at Harvard University.


Dr Chi Chi Huang, Hong Kong Scholars Founder

Chi Chi joined Hong Kong Scholars in 2018 as Programme Manager. She currently leads on the delivery and growth of a new university access programme in HK. Chi Chi completed her BA at the University of Sydney, her MPhil at the University of Cambridge and her PhD in History at the University of Hong Kong. She has led Hong Kong Scholars since 2017.


Dr Goitseone Lucy Hopkins, Botswana Scholars Founder

Lucy completed her PhD at the School of Medicine, Cardiff University, after completing her BSc, MSc and PGC-THE in the UK. She also studied at the University of Botswana where she won a scholarship to study abroad. She was an Associate tutor at Cardiff Metropolitan University. In 2016, Lucy became one of The Brilliant Club’s first PhD tutors to work in Wales. She has led Botswana Scholars since 2018.