Research Office


The Research Office is responsible for assisting researchers across the University in reaching their research goals, whether they are established researchers or those starting out on their research careers.

The aim of the Research Office is to respond to the research needs of researchers and to support them in developing their research profiles by:

  • Providing advice and support to those seeking to make applications to external funders
  • Coordinating the Researcher Development Programme
  • Administering the University’s internal research funds
  • Offering advice and guidance with knowledge exchange and consultancy, including contracts
  • Providing administrative oversight for matters of research governance and ethics
  • Coordinating the University’s Research Excellence Framework submission

Research Office Staff

Phil Bentley (Research Coordinator)

Phil supports the Research Support Officer in maintaining the Research internal wiki and external web page. Phil aids the Head of Research Support in providing post-award financial support and maintains the financial records for external awards (including processing expenses incurred on externally funded projects). He is the secretary to the University Research Ethics Sub-committee and is the confidential liaison for whistleblowers or anyone else who wishes to raise concerns about the integrity of research being conducted by or on behalf of Edge Hill University.

Ian Boucher (Research Impact Manager)

As Research Impact Manager, Ian supports academics in all aspects of planning, developing and monitoring research impact. In particular he supports planning of impact activities into research projects and supports departments and faculties with the preparations of REF impact case studies, a key element of the University’s REF submission.

Nikki Craske (Director of the Research Office)

Nikki Craske is Director of the Research Office and has responsibility for all aspects of the Research Office’s work. She oversees the development and implementation of the University’s research and knowledge exchange strategies. She is there to support staff, heads of department and deans in any aspect of research and knowledge exchange. Nikki is the University’s REF manager and supports the Pro-vice-chancellor for research with all aspects of University’s REF submission. She is also responsible for research governance and integrity at Edge Hill and is the first point of contact for anyone wanting more information on such matters. Finally Nikki chairs the Graduate School Board of Studies.

Leon Culbertson (Assistant Director for Postgraduate Research)

Leon Culbertson is Assistant Director for Postgraduate Research. He is responsible for the management of research degrees across the University. He oversees the Research Degree Regulations and their implementation and manages the activities of the Graduate School, thus ensuring that the University meets its obligations in relation to postgraduate research students. In addition to his Graduate School and Research Office duties, he is an active researcher in philosophy.

Paul Fox (Research Information & Data Manager)

Paul oversees the operation and development of the University’s research information systems such as Pure, as well as providing user training and working with stakeholders to design reports. He is involved in the University’s preparations for the REF as REF Technical Contact.

Gemma Halleran (Graduate School Administrator)

Gemma can assist with a wide range of enquiries about the work of the Graduate School including paperwork or examination questions. She also supports the financial administration for research degree such as the PGR Bursary and assists the research degree coordinator to oversee any research degree student administration at the University.

Chris Hughes (Head of Research Support)

Chris Hughes is the Head of Research Support within the Research Office. Chris provides support to all members of staff in developing and submitting bids for external research income, knowledge exchange activities and consultancy projects. Chris is a key source of information and support on funding programmes operated by the Research Councils and other key funders. He provides practical advice and support to all colleagues in developing proposals and bids for external funds for research and knowledge exchange work. He also provides practical advice and support to colleagues in developing competitive bids and tenders for consultancy work.

Jenny Lawson (Research Projects Manager)

As Research Projects Manager, Jenny supports academic staff in developing and submitting bids for external research funding, including costing and budgeting. She is also involved in raising awareness of external funding opportunities, and plays a key role in developing and implementing policies on open access and research data management.

Shelley McCartney (Research Administrator)

Shelley can assist with a wide range of enquiries about the work of the Research Office. She provides administrative and organisational support across the department. Shelley is secretary to the Research Investment Fund (RIF) Steering Group and processes all applications to the various internal funding streams that fall under the RIF. She maintains financial records for internal funding awards and processes all expenses incurred on RIF funded projects. Shelley also administers the Researcher Development Programme (RDP).

Joanne Morris (Researcher Development Support Manager)

Joanne supports the design, delivery and monitoring of the University’s Researcher Development Programme (RDP) programme and the University’s core PGR training programme. Joanne is secretary to the Athena SWAN Steering Group and she provides knowledge and support in the delivery of the University’s action plan, including the collation and analysis of the required data and development of electronic resources (website, internal wiki and shared folders). She is also a key contact point for several external organisations such as Vitae and Equality Challenge Unit and she represents the University at the regional Athena SWAN Network meetings. Joanne is also responsible for the production of the equalities impact assessment for the next REF and supporting the Director in all aspect of REF preparation related to individual staff circumstances.

Louise Nightingale (Research Data Administrator)

Louise provides administrative support to the Research Information & Data Manager. She is responsible for maintaining data quality in Pure, the University’s research information system, and producing business information reports for departments and committees across EHU. She also provides training and development of staff across the organisation who have administrative responsibility within Pure. Louise also provides administrative support for the University’s ethics approval system.

Lydia Richardson (Postgraduate Research Student Coordinator)

Lydia manages central research degree matters for the University, overseeing several aspects of work to support the student experience while assisting the Assistant Director for Postgraduate Research in co-ordinating the monitoring and records of PGRs at the University. She also maintains the Graduate School online resources (internal wiki, external web page, and Blackboard) that are in place to support prospective research degree applicants and current PGRs and their supervisors along with the recruitment and marketing of research degrees. Lydia also acts as secretary to the Graduate School Board of Studies.

Katelyn Williams (Research Contracts and Governance Manager)

Katelyn Williams is the Research Contracts and Governance Manager within the Research Office. The Research Contracts aspect of her role involves providing advice on issues within research contracts to academic and professional services staff whatever their level of experience. She also provides advice in relation to consultancy agreements. Katelyn works directly with external organisations such as other universities, research funders, commercial organisations and the NHS. The Governance part of her role focuses on providing governance advice to researchers (particularly health researchers) working within the University on a range of ethical and governance issues, including advice on health research regulatory requirements and processes.
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