Our panellists - Get your voice heard #vitaehangout

Dr Adrian Champion

I am the current chair of the Research Staff Committee at the University of Reading, which has around 300 research staff across the university. By being a member of the RSC I have gained experience of academic organisational committees, and helped develop the university’s strategies towards research staff. My research can be found here or you can follow me on Twitter: @ajchampionuk

Dr Emma Compton-Daw

Emma is a Co-Chair of the UK Research Staff Association (UKRSA). She was a Life Sciences postdoctoral researcher for 11 years, working in both the UK and USA, before changing career to Researcher Development in 2014. She now works as the Academic Development Lead for Research in the Organisational and Staff Development Unit at the University of Strathclyde. Her involvement with Research Staff Associations, and the experiences she gained, played a critical role both informing her new career pathway as well as providing her with the skills and opportunities to make the leap away from the bench.

Emma was a member of the University of Dundee, College of Life Sciences Postdoc Association (CLSPA) from 2011 - 2014 and a Co-Chair from 2011-2012. She has been a member of UKRSA since 2012 and has been Co-Chair since 2014. She stepped down as CLSPA Co-Chair in 2012 to manage the CLSPA project ‘Stories in Science: Postdoctoral Career Pathways’, a careers resource for postdoctoral researchers.



Dr Rob Hardwick

Senior Innovation and Skills Manager at BBSRC and has been a committee member and co-chair of UKRSA.

I completed my PhD in Genetics at the University of Leicester in 2007 and then spent five years working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leicester and the Sanger Institute in Cambridge. During that time I was an active member of the UK Research Staff Association (2010-12), including a year as Co-chair. In 2012 I joined BBSRC’s Innovation and Skills Group, and currently I am responsible for managing our Doctoral Training Partnership programme and developing strategies for the training and support of postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers.  In my spare time I volunteer with a local youth group.

@Rob_Hardwick_ @UKRSAvitae

Dr Alison Leggett

Head of Academic Staff Development, Human Resources Division, University of Bristol, UK

Alison started her career in research in medical sciences, obtaining a PhD in Neuropharmacology from Nottingham University and working at Leicester University before joining the University of Bristol as a post-doc in 2005. During her time as a member of research staff at Bristol she acted as a representative for her department, contributing to Bristol’s Research staff representatives committee. In 2008 she took up the role of Research Staff Development manager and has grown her career within HR and academic development from there.

As Head of Academic Staff Development, Alison leads on the strategic design and delivery of an integrated development programme which aims to enhance academic practice across the University (including support for research staff, a suite of leadership and management development programmes and innovative teaching and learning development provision). This includes providing leadership and direction for a team of 10 members of staff at a range of levels, working on a range of different development areas. Alison's particular passions within this portfolio are improving the working environment, productivity and success of research teams through leadership development and supporting postdoctoral career transitions by optimising their transferable skills.