Country of origin: United Kingdom
Faculty Impact Manager, Lancaster University
I came to Lancaster in 2006 and completed the MRes in IT, Management and Organisational Change. At that time, whilst I had an interest in research, I hadn't particularly thought of doing a PhD. That changed later in the year after I spoke with the two researchers who later, I’m grateful to say, became my doctoral supervisors. I was awarded +3 ESRC funding to research on the classification of documents in ‘public bodies’ under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. My research was also aided significantly by an opportunity to spend three months on an ESRC internship at The National Archives (TNA).
Following my PhD graduation I was employed by LUMS to develop their Impact Case Studies for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. In December 2013, building on my experience of research and engagement in Government at TNA, I then became the Programme Manager on the Lancaster University led Wave 2 Growth Hub Programme. The £32m programme, funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, built on Lancaster’s long experience of university and business collaborations to deliver 15 new ‘Growth Hubs’ around the UK to support businesses. It was a real privilege to work on this programme, with such an exceptional team and just some of the outcomes we achieved included the creation of 2,000 new jobs and being awarded the Academy of Management Practice Theme Committee Research Centre Runner Up Impact Award.
These experiences of engagement and articulating the impact of research were fundamental in securing my current post as Faculty Impact Manager for Science and Technology. This new post is an opportunity to strategise as to how we can better embed the promotion, tracking and evidencing of impact into our research activity.
I chose to pursue a research-based Masters and a doctorate, despite not necessarily wanting a career in academia, but nonetheless enjoying the environment of a research-based institution. The training, skills and experience I gained from my doctorate have led to a role that I didn’t foresee and one that has allowed me to not only continue to learn about the diverse range of research being conducted at Lancaster but also help external stakeholders to realise the impact of this research. Further, writing and presenting for a range of audiences, from strategic reports to impact cases, has also allowed me to continue to develop my own research skills and articles.