Meet the Team
The Researcher Development & Research Culture team is working a hybrid format, from home and in the office, usually located in the Old Library. Our team day on Streatham campus is on typically on Tuesdays. Please feel free to contact us via the 'Contact Us' tab.
Dr Chris Wood
Head of Researcher Development and Research Culture
Strategic lead for the Researcher Development and Research Culture team in the Doctoral College responsible for planning, budgeting and day-to-day management, part of the Senior Management Team. Research culture, PGR and ECR wellbeing, Training Needs, VITAE, GW4, Communications and feedback on our work. Chris has over 25 years of experience in delivering high impact agendas across strategic research sectors and has developed an expert understanding of research agendas, both within HE and beyond. Chris has chaired the regional GW4 Talent and Skills Steering Group, is a member of the national Vitae CEDARS Steering Group and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Dr Peter O'Rourke
Researcher Development Manager (Research Staff)
Peter leads on the provision of professional development for research staff at the university, across all subject disciplines and campuses. He also leads on Early Career Researcher development & liaison forums, Researcher-led Initiatives, Images of Research, GW4 collaboration with partner institutions, mentoring and specific funding opportunities.
Peter holds a doctorate in Theatre Studies from Leeds, for which he investigated the interrelations of performance and spectatorship at the Venice Carnival, a Master’s in Irish Theatre and Culture from Belfast, where he was the inaugural Brian Friel scholar, and a Bachelor’s degree in Drama from Hull. He has previously taught in theatre studies/drama departments at Exeter, Leeds and Hull and has also taught both academic and general English as well as study skills to international university students for many years, previously assistant managing Exeter’s Insessional programme. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Playful Champion.
Dr Gabby Davies
Researcher Development Manager (PGRs) Job-share with Kathryn Coombes
Leads on the provision of professional development for PGRs at the University, across all subject disciplines and campuses. This includes the Researcher Development Programme for PGRs, the Researcher Development webinar programme online resource development, Research Showcase, writing support, GW4, decolonising research and equality, diversity and inclusivity.
Researcher Development Manager (PGRs) Job-share with Gabby Davies
Kathryn leads on the provision of professional development for PGRs at the University, across all subject disciplines and campuses. This includes the Researcher Development Programme for PGRs, the Researcher Development webinar programme online resource development, Research Showcase, writing support, GW4, decolonising research and equality, diversity and inclusivity. Kathryn has 20 years' experience at the University including several years working within the People Development Team and is a Member of the CIPD.
PGR and ECR Experience Support Officer
This post leads on developing the PGR and ECR experience, including liaison activities, communications for the Doctoral College, PGR Induction, research culture and managing feedback into the Doctoral College. The post also has responsibility for running both the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) and Culture, Employment and Development in Academic Research Survey (CEDARS) at an institutional level.
Researcher Development and Research Culture Administrator
Kelyn supports all aspects of the Researcher Development team, with a particular focus on communications (newsletter, website and Doctoral College Twitter), events support (such as PGR showcase, induction and PGR social events), and PGR training and development. On Mondays she supports ECR administration.
Kelyn is the first point of contact for general enquiries for our team.
Researcher Development and Research Culture Administrator
Supports all aspects of the administration of the ECR training and development programme (including RS/IIB Essentials Series), Researcher-led Initiatives, 1-2-1 career appointments as well as supporting ECR Liaison Forums and Network Meetings. Juliet is a qualified PA/Secretary with experience at Director/Chairman level within the private-sector, along with 17 years of experience working as Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer within 3 separate Councils and on a self-employed basis as a book-keeper and amanuensis. Juliet is 0.5 FTE and, when not working at the University, manages two separate charities working with children and young people across Devon.
Engaged Research and Communications Officer (Responsible Metrics)
Supports the Head of Researcher Development and Research Culture to foster an understanding of ‘responsible metrics’ to the research community. Seeks to promote a greater understanding and awareness of this agenda, which encourages expert judgement and a more pluralistic approach to research assessment, through communications activities, thus supporting the University’s commitment to DORA. Becky works on a 0.5FTE (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) and has two active young boys. She has worked at the University since 2007 in marketing recruitment roles, with a particular focus on postgraduate marketing including prospectus production, postgraduate open events and campaigns to support postgraduate research recruitment.
Employability and Careers Consultant (PGRs) and Researcher Development Careers Coach
Kenneth is a qualified and experienced career coach, lecturer and learning and development professional with over 20 years’ experience within the corporate sector, universities, further and adult education. He has held management roles in the public, corporate and not for profit sectors, leading professional development, coaching programmes, and recruiting graduates. Kenneth is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and holds a business degree, a master's in music and a professional career coaching qualification. Works one day a week in the team, leading on careers support for Early Career Researchers, including career planning and development webinars and workshops and 1-to-1 careers appointments for ECRs.