Dr Penny Dowdney


Bangor UniversityPenny Dowdney

Job title

Doctoral School Manager


Penny has worked at Bangor University for the past 15+ years. Originally graduating from Aberystwyth University, she went on to gain postgraduate qualifications in Education;  specialising in Higher Education and later pursued interests  in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), EAP (English for Academic Purposes) and ESP (English for Specific Purposes). 

She has worked overseas as a lecturer, teacher-trainer and consultant, doing work in Universities, Colleges and Schools in Japan, Korea, China, South Africa and Central America. Her work at Bangor University initially involved tutoring and consultation work with overseas postgraduate students; writing, developing and directing courses (with specialist areas including Legal and Scientific writing); materials development; developing and expanding consultancy work overseas and some overseas testing and recruitment (e.g. setting up 2+2 programmes in China).

She then moved to a new role in the Research and Enterprise Office (REO) as Research Skills Development Manager, working on the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) Project, from the Academic Development Unit (ADU) where she established the Graduate Skills Programme (transferable skills training for Researchers). This new role involved establishing a Postgraduate Skills Development Award for all KESS participants, at all of the Universities in Wales.  

In 2013 Penny was appointed as Project Manager for the KESS Project. During her time as KESS Project Manager Penny has established a strong trans-national thread to the project, building a database of expertise (both research and company) across a network of European Universities. KESS is a well established ESF funded programme, hence plans to move forward as ‘KESS II’ for a 7-year, pan-Wales project providing 700+ Doctoral and Research Masters scholarships linking academia and industry through collaborations. 

As a Teaching Fellow, and Head of the Academy of Teaching Fellows, Penny is still closely involved in the PGCertHE, a programme run by CELT. Her own doctoral research is in the area of Acculturation. Penny delivers staff training workshops in the area of Internationalisation across the institution. Penny is Welsh Crucible champion at Bangor and has a management and development role with Welsh Crucible (a pan-Wales initiative to develop future research leaders for Wales). 

Since January 2013 Penny has been Manager of Bangor University’s newly established Doctoral School.