Personal profile

Personal Statement

I am a senior public engagement professional (PEP) with a background in academic STEM research & a strong track record for knowledge exchange working across 3 research-intensive universities in Scotland. I transitioned to a full-time PEP role in 2015. Since then, I have supported implementational, operational & strategic goals in knowledge exchange (KE) to bring in £172,500 in KE income.

The breadth & diversity of my experience enable me to see the lifecycle of KE; from initial upstream conversations between partners, establishing outcomes & outputs for evaluation, through productive delivery partnerships, to the closure of projects. 

By investing in my relationships with partners, I've built considerable trust that has allowed me to deepen & strengthen our partnerships. This is critical to my role enabling postgraduate researchers to undertake KE internships in sectors as diverse as venture capital, clinical trial management, policy engagement, & industrial research in locations round the globe. 

Strong partnerships can grow from a single conversation. The plethora of relationships I have enable those I work with to explore and extend their own PER/KE practice. I've developed multiple innovative engagement platforms and training opportunities for researchers including:

  • Science Sketch-a-nory (supported by the Institute for Physics) co-creates artworks in collaboration with freelance artists.
  • Co-development of a KE project with Canon Medical at the request of researchers to compensate for COVID-19 lab closures.
  • Collaborating with Fife and Highland & Islands primary school teachers to develop research-inspired resources & CPD (STEAM Pebbles)
  • Quilts for Cancer (supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry) co-creates science-inspired quilts with members of the public for the benefit of patients receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer.
    • This latter project also involved researchers from five other HEIs across the UK & Ireland in its successful delivery. 

I am the evaluation lead for an Erasmus+ grant and marketing lead for European Researchers’ Night, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action project. I also lead academic research investigating the impact of PER practice on individual researchers’ personal and professional development. Evaluation is key to ensuring that the lessons of experience are learned, changes implemented, and previous mistakes are not repeated. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of pneumococcal disease, University of Glasgow

1 Oct 200530 Sept 2008

Award Date: 25 Jun 2010

Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences: Microbiology & Infection (Honours), University of Edinburgh

1 Oct 200124 Jun 2008

Award Date: 24 Jun 2005

External positions

Public Engagement Officer, University of St Andrews

1 Sept 2019 → …

Keywords

  • Immunology
  • Public Engagement
  • Knowledge Exchange
  • Outreach
  • Widening Participation

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