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Meet the Team

The Researcher Development & Research Culture team is currently working from home, but is usually located in the Old Library. Until further notice 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 is Chair of the regional GW4 Talent and Skills Steering Group, a member of the national Vitae CEDARS Steering Group and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Cate Bennett

Researcher Development Manager (Research Staff)

Leads on the provision of professional development for research staff at the University, across all subject disciplines and campuses. ECR development & liaison forums, Researcher-led Initiatives, images of Research, GW4, mentoring and specific funding opportunities. Cate has over 25 years’ experience in training and development and career development consulting gained through her work in higher education, the NHS and across a range of businesses and not-for-profit organisations. Cate is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, an Associate of the CIPD and a qualified Career Consultant.

Kelly Preece

Researcher Development Manager (PGRs)

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. Kelly has worked in Higher Education for over a decade in both academic and professional services roles. In 2019 she was awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in recognition of her expertise in PGR training and development, and regularly publishes her educational practice and research.

Kate Foster

Researcher Development Careers Coach

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. Kate is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a qualified Careers Coach with over 20 years’ experience working as a careers professional. Kate has worked with clients from both academic and non-academic sectors helping them to move forward and manage their careers. Her passion is working with individuals through one to one support and group workshops, to enable clients to identify their goals, reach their full potential and achieve their chosen career and lifestyle.‌

Charlotte Juggins

PGR and ECR Experience Officer

Leads on developing the PGR and ECR experience, including communications for the Doctoral College, PGR Induction, research culture and managing feedback into the Doctoral College. Also has responsibility for running both the PRES and CEDARS surveys at an institutional level. Charlotte has worked at the university for 6 years, starting as a Graduate Business Partner (GBP) before securing further roles within the Doctoral College. In 2019, she was successful in applying and being awarded a QUEX professional services fellowship, and represented the University at the QUEX conference in Queensland, Australia.‌

Becky Euesden

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. 

Juliet White

Researcher Development and Research Culture Administrator

Supports all aspects of 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.‌

Esme Barker

Researcher Development and Research Culture Assistant‌

A Graduate Business Partner (GBP) supporting all aspects of the Researcher Development team, with a particular focus on communications, PGR showcase and PGR training and development. Esme is the first point of contact for general enquiries for our team.