Connections: Getting to grips 2022 Panellists

Dr Tom Rusbridge 

Tom Rusbridge

Tom is the Research Staff Development Consultant at King’s College London. Based in a central researcher development unit, Tom has oversight of the in-house programme of courses and workshops for research staff, the mentoring and coaching offer available at King’s, and provide community-building and networking support to research staff representative networks in each of the individual faculties across the College. Prior to his role at King’s Tom was PGR Adviser at the University of East London and managed both researcher development and community-building initiatives for an amazing cohort of doctoral researchers, working in close collaboration with colleagues in the Office for Postgraduates, Research and Engagement. Tom has a PhD from the University of Birmingham focusing on eighteenth-century leathercraft. Connect with Tom via LinkedIn

Rosie Wadman 

Rosie Wadman

Rosie Wadman is an Academic Developer, Research & Knowledge Exchange at Centre for Higher Education Practice (CHEP), University of Southampton. Rosie became a researcher developer six years ago, after nearly ten years in the voluntary sector. She has been in her current role at the University of Southampton for just over a year, where shes leads the researcher CPD programme and works with colleagues across the University to respond to professional development needs across the spectrum of academic activity. Before that, Rosie was the Research Programmes Officer at a small, teaching intensive university, where she supported professional development for both staff and postgraduate researchers in addition to co-ordinating research comms and engagement. Rosie has an increasing passion for participatory methods and the importance of building strong and inclusive communities from the inside out, and very much enjoys having a job which makes such a valuable contribution to the academic community.

Megan Webb

Megan Webb

Megan is currently the Researcher Development and Training Manager at Manchester Metropolitan University. Megan is responsible for design and delivery of development and training support for researchers from early career to professor. Her particular areas of expertise are the research leadership pipeline, academic mentoring and raising the profile of early career academics. She also manages the University's compliance with the HR Excellence in Research Award. Previously Megan was the Researcher Development Coordinator at the then NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. Here she supported the development of the PhD student community. Her role included design and delivery of workshops in essential research skills, support of PhD student welfare, management of PhD student recruitment and administration of the Centre involvement with Doctoral Training Programmes. You can find Megan on twitter at @weganmebb

Dr Stephanie Zihms

Stephanie Zihms

Dr Stephanie Zihms is a Lecturer in Researcher Development at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and joined their UWS Academy in November 2018. From February to May 2021 she was also interim Team leader of the UWS Academy, before moving to Research Services in June 2021. This move allows her to focus on developing more researcher development activities linked to the Concordat to support the Career Development of researchers, PGR Supervisor development and mid-career academics at UWS. In her role at UWS, she supports researchers in their development by providing training and opportunities to develop new skills. Her research interests are academic writing support and its role in community building, and the role of public engagement (science communication) in research-engaged teaching. 

Stephanie has a background in geoscience and has a PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering from University of Strathclyde (2013). After her PhD she worked as a researcher for the British Geological Survey before deciding to go back into academia for a postdoc at Heriot-Watt University. She was at Heriot-Watt from January 2015 to November 2018 and based in the School of Engineering, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society. During her first postdoc Stephanie was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and is still adapting to academic life with a chronic illness. She her stories on her social media and via blog posts.

Click here to see Stephanie's social media and blog post links

Twitter: @StephZihms