School of Business, Management and Economics


BMEc research staff handbook

Also available as a printable PDF:

Welcome from the Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange

Welcome to the School of Business, Management and Economics at the University of Sussex.

We are proud to be home to a large community of high achieving researchers. Within the school you will find many colleagues working hard to ensure that our researchers can make the most of their research opportunities. We recognise that academic research is increasingly a team effort.

Whether you are seeking to win funding, conduct research, disseminate your findings, or ensure your work has impact beyond the academic sphere, there is a team here to support you. This guide will help you to find that support – whether it is in BMEc, elsewhere on campus or accessed online, it will be signposted here.

Dr Michael HopkinsWe also recognise that new challenges for researchers are emerging and so if you identify a new area in which support is needed, do please feel free to contact me. In the meantime, good luck with your research!

Dr Michael Hopkins
Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange 


We pursue excellence through a distinctive offering that creates positive impact for partners, collaborators and stakeholders.

We are a research led Business School combining the newer Department of Business and Management with the world-renowned Science and Policy Research Unit (SPRU) and the long established and internationally regarded Department of Economics.

Although these are individually distinctive departments, they collaborate to provide leadership in the development and dissemination of sustainable business and management practice, informed by sound theory, rigorous research and a deep understanding of policy making.

The information and guidance contained in this handbook is intended to ensure that you can settle in, make contact with key people, find your way around the School and be ready to start your research as smoothly and as quickly as possible. It will also provide information and relevant links to the wider University to encourage you to take full advantage of all that Sussex has to offer you. BMEc connects with other divisions across campus and we point you in that direction.

School contact for researchers

Research and Enterprise team
Business Management and Economics School Office
G08, Jubilee Building

School website

On arrival - practicalities

Clearly, your first thoughts will be that of meeting your team and preparing to start your research. The topics in this section will provide further practical advice and support for you to help you do just that.

Our internal web pages provide loads of information that you will need regarding policy and practice within the School and the wider University. 

As a new member of the staff at the University you will be invited to attend a ‘Welcome’ event, details of which will be sent to you by the Staff Development Unit

General information

For general information on working in the School of Business, Management and Economics – including guidance on IT, health and safety, parking & transport, HR, finance, School policies & procedures and more - please refer to the BMEc staff handbook


Who is responsible for your induction in the School?

The Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator has overall responsibility for your induction and will explain the process and procedures to you.  They will also arrange the induction schedule for you on arrival with key contacts for you, your principal investigator, the Director of Research Knowledge Exchange, Head of Department etc.

Once you have arrived you are also encouraged to take full advantage of training and development and networking opportunities across the School and the University.  The Staff Development Unit offers many of these opportunities:

Your induction schedule

Your induction schedule, which you will receive before you arrive, will include:

  • Reporting to Human Resources, Sussex House with your passport as instructed in your offer letter
  • Collecting your ID card from the Print Unit, York House which also enables access to the Library, Sports Centre and other buildings on campus.  (open 9.30am-12.30pm - 2.30-4.30pm)
  • Collecting your ‘log in’ details for your Sussex email address from IT Services, Shawcross Building providing your letter of appointment as evidence of appointment.
  • Collecting your Jubilee building access card from the Jubilee Premises manager, Jubilee 205),
  • Allocation of workspace
  • Running through induction checklist
  • Career Aspiration Template
  • Scheduled meetings with key individuals, including the Principal Investigator for your project
Research in BMEc
Research staff

Research staff are critical to the success of the University and your knowledge and expertise are highly valued.  For this reason the University has an on-going commitment to the support and development of its research staff as recognised by the European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award which the University has held since 2013. 

In addition to the support we can provide in the School there are a variety of teams throughout the University that can provide practical support and opportunities for your professional development, productivity and well-being.  We encourage all researchers to be pro-active in managing their own careers and take opportunities to develop professionally.

Research Staff Career Development

It is a University expectation (and that of particular funders) that all new members of research staff meet with their Principal Investigator/supervisor within their first month to discuss and agree initial research and career development objectives. This process will help researchers to establish themselves quickly in their new role and identify training/development requirements and accommodate plans and ideas for future career aspirations.

In addition to School support, the Sussex Research Staff Office takes a central role in this area and produces a guide for all researchers across the University ensuring that researchers are fully supported while researching at Sussex.

In this guide you will find a career development template intended to provide a structure for a discussion with your PI about your aspirations and career development.

The Research Staff Office also offers on-going support for you. Details of their extensive programme of training and development events (at no cost) both online are available as a downloadable handbook. 

Research Staff representative

BMEc Research Staff representative is currently Katharine Lovell, a research fellow in SPRU, who can be contacted by email

Staff Development Unit

Beyond specific researcher development, the Staff Development Unit offers creative and stimulating learning and development opportunities for all categories of staff.  These courses promote networking within and across our schools and departments and give you the chance to integrate with the wider university community.

School research

Read an overview of research in BMEc on our external website

The School is comprised of three academic departments:

Department of Business and Management

Business and Management promotes an active and inter-disciplinary research environment which fosters collaborative research within the university and externally. Faculty are organised into six subject areas:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • International Business, Strategy & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Operations & Technology Management
  • Organisational Behaviour/Human Resource Management.

Beyond these subject areas, the department also has several research groups, many of which cut across the traditional subjects and involve faculty beyond the Department. All provide dedicated research and consultancy services in relation to the area of expertise:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business and Enterprise
  • Management and Organisation
  • Business Finance Research Group
  • Pharma Supply Chains and Healthcare Technology
  • International Business
  • Intrapreneurship Hub
  • Future of Work Hub.

Department of Economics

Economics enjoys an international reputation for its predominantly applied research promoting an active research environment which fosters collaborative research within the University and externally, directly influencing and informing policy-making organisations throughout the world.

Faculty are dedicated to producing world-leading research with a particular focus on several key subject areas, each with its own sub-fields of research and specialist knowledge to benefit students, researchers and practitioners:

  • International Trade
  • Poverty and Development
  • Labour, Education and Health
  • Environment and Energy
  • Quantitative Economic History
  • Economic Theory, Behaviour and Experiments.

SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

SPRU is internationally recognised as a leading centre of research on science, technology and innovation policy, with 50 years of experience. Founded in 1966 by Christopher Freeman, a pioneer of what is now known as innovation studies, SPRU was one of the first interdisciplinary research centres in the field of science and technology policy and management.

Today, with over 50 faculty members, SPRU remains at the forefront of new ideas, problem-orientated research, inspiring teaching, and creative, high impact engagement with decision makers across government, business and civil society.

Key contacts

School level

Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange 
Dr Michael Hopkins

Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator 
Joy Blake

Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator 
Ana Pereira

Research Communications Co-ordinator 
Charlotte Humma

Research Impact Officer
Katherine Davies

Departmental level

Business and Management

Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange 
Professor Roger Strange


Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange 
Dr Sambit Bhattacharyya 


Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange 
Dr Michael Hopkins

Research Manager 
Marion Clarke

View a full list of SPRU support staff

Applying for funding/costing advice


Research Development Officer
Pascale Fanning-Tichborne 
Research and Enterprise Division

Research Development Officer 
Ryan Giddings 
Research and Enterprise Division


Research Finance 
Jess Moore 
Research and Enterprise Division

Research Staff Officer
Natalie James 
Doctoral School

School Research Centres

The School hosts a number of Research Groups across its three departments. 

Business and Management

Business and Managemen has six research groups:

  • Business Finance Research Group
  • Future of Work Research Hub
  • Pharma Supply Chains & Healthcare Tech
  • International Business
  • Quantitative Finance
  • Intrapreneurship Hub


Our Economics department is home to two principal research centres:

  • Centre for Poverty and Inequality Research
  • UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO)


SPRU is home to both major research centres and collaborative projects. The major research centres are:

  • Harvard Sussex program
  • Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand
  • STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre

The following are large collaborative projects in SPRU:

  • Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium
  • TRANSrisk
  • National Centre for Energy Systems Integration

SPRU’s research spans a range of focus areas and groups, including:

  • Sussex Energy Group
  • Infrastructure research
  • Sussex Sustainability Research Programme 
Research seminars

All three departments have an interesting schedule of research seminars ranging from PhD students work in progress seminars to externally invited experts:

Business and Management



Research students

There is an entire section on our BMEc web pages dedicated to information relating to studying here at Sussex as a PhD student together with a PhD Handbook for your information. 

Research communications

The School of Business, Management and Economics is committed to engagement and generating impact, not only in the dissemination phase, but also by involving stakeholders in the framing and conduct of research. We pride ourselves on working closely with businesses, government departments, think tanks, media, companies, and parliamentary committees, to ensure our research enriches society and influences policy and practice at international, national and regional levels.

Research communications staff within the school are responsible for internal and external communications initiatives and events to promote research. The primary objective is to maximise engagement, facilitate impact generation and develop new opportunities for collaboration whilst raising the profile of the academic, department and School more broadly.

Charlotte Humma is responsible for the School's research communications and for devising, implementing and evaluating research communications and engagement activities for projects across the School.  This includes driving communications and engagement activities for the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) and UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO).  She is supported by Katherine Davies.

Charlotte and Katherine can help you with:

  • Devising and developing relevant off and on-line materials eg brochures, videos, leaflets
  • devising and implementing impact, engagement and communications strategies including conducting stakeholder mapping and writing pathways to impact for large bids
  • planning and managing bespoke events e.g. workshops, conferences, seminars, etc
  • producing bespoke publications e.g. writing, editing and designing research briefings, policy briefings, leaflets, reports
  • identifying and coordinating joint evidence submissions / responses to consultations
  • tracking impact
  • managing and developing content for relevant web pages / websites
  • managing SPRU social media.


Both are members of the Policy@Sussex initiative, funded by the ESRC IAA fund. This project connects social science research with a wide range of stakeholders. Staff on the project assist academics by identifying policy engagement opportunities or avenues, developing tools and products to facilitate knowledge exchange with decision makers, policy makers, influencers and shapers and maximise the dissemination of policy relevant research.

For more information, please see the Policy@sussex website.

Visiting Researchers

The School encourages 'Visiting' appointments to be offered to researchers and scholars who will contribute to the intellectual life of the School. Appointments can be made for periods of one month to three years, and must be approved by the relevant Heads of Department and the Head of School.

Normally, 'Visiting' status is offered to members of faculty at another institution, either in the UK or abroad, those working in the public or private sectors, and/or self-employed research consultants. A bench fee of £350 per month is applied to cover costs of administration, office space, and access to library and sporting facilities. Find out more about 'Visiting' appointments

Publications, Sussex Research Online and Open Access

Sussex Research Online

Sussex Research Online is the University of Sussex’s repository containing details of research outputs from all staff at the University of Sussex, and full copies of each output where permitted by the publisher.

It includes over 30,000 journal articles, published conference papers, books and book chapters, and any other form of research output. 

Open Access

Open Access means providing unrestricted access to peer-reviewed research outputs (articles). This means that if an article is Open Access, it can be read by anyone in the world with an internet connection. As a result, the potential readership of an Open Access article is far, far greater than one where the full-text is restricted to subscribers. By increasing the number of readers, article citations also significantly grow. 

In short, to comply with Open Access requirements and to be eligible for the next REF, authors' final peer-reviewed manuscripts of journal articles accepted after 1 April 2016 must have been deposited into SRO within 3 months of acceptance.

There are workshops offered by the Library and training can be provided on a 1-2-1 basis to those who wish to upload their own outputs in the School.  Support is also available to upload articles for you from the Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator contactable at

Personal Research Plans (PRPs)

Personal Research Plans (PRP) are intended to aid your research related activities for the coming year.  This process is usually run in conjunction with your appraisal process and your PRP will need to be submitted prior to your personal research plan meeting.

Internal departmental processes do vary although each year’s submission will be discussed in conjunction with previous PRPs to gauge aspirations, targets etc.

To accompany this process you can access your own Research Profile Summary via Sussex Direct > Personal Tab > Research Link

Research impact and the Research Excellence Framework

Impact is the difference that research makes to one or more areas of society,  outside the academic sphere. It is the change that research activity brings to society, and it presents the case of why the research is important and to whom.

Research Councils UK (RCUK) describe economic and societal impact as the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy; they provide an indicative list of the potential range of impacts research can generate.

Why is impact important?

  • It is an assessment criterion of the quality of research in the awarding processes of both the Research Excellence Framework (REF) that replaced the previous Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and the Research Councils grant applications.
  • The UK government is keen to emphasise the returns from the use of public money in research, and so requires the UK’s higher education funding councils Research Councils to demonstrate the impact of their research portfolio investments.
  • We are experiencing an increase in the weighing of impact as an evaluation criterion across most major funders, not just national and European funders.

What impact means for researchers

  • Better chances for funding: Although it is true that research excellence remains the primary funding criterion, where there are two scientifically excellent proposals and funding for one, the impact section will play a key role in the funding decision.
  • Opportunities for early feedback: Research users are able to provide fresh angles and unique insights to the research questions that are being explored.
  • New skills: The evolving researcher's profile requires a skill set that includes networking, use of new media and communication skills. Researchers who possess such skills are able to maximise access to their work.

Find out more via the University Research Impact Toolkit, or contact the Research and Enterprise unit

School impact contacts

Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange 
Dr Michael Hopkins

Research Impact Officer
Katherine Davies

For support to achieve research impact with non-academic audiences, including dedicated support for engaging with policy audiences, see Policy@Sussex.

University of Sussex impact contact

Research Impact Officer 
Christina Miariti 

Research funding
Research funding for projects and conferences

Research Incentive Accounts

There are financial incentives available across the School to encourage staff to engage with research activities. All faculty have a research incentive account created on arrival with an amount available to spend on research related activities. There are departmental variations with the fund so please contact Head of Department in the first instance. Spending from these accounts is expected to be for conference attendance, journal submission fees, copy editing, meetings with co-authors, IT equipment, etc.

Research Development Fund (School)

The School Research Development Fund is offered each year to potential researchers intended to promote and encourage activity that will eventually lead to bids for funding in the future. Calls for submissions are usually invited by the Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange twice a year in the Autumn and Winter.

Conference Attendance

Each department has a budget to support the professional development of its staff, including conference attendance. This budget is at discretion of the Head of Department (or their deputy).

Agresso (finance system)

Agresso provides easy to use reporting and enquiry tools. Principal investigators, managers and other users are able to run a variety of pre-designed financial reports and enquiries to meet their specific reporting needs, ranging from individual project budget reports and transaction enquiries, to project portfolio summaries for principal investigators and senior management.

If you would like to contact a member of the Research finance team, please visit their contact page

If you would like more information on how to run Research reports in Agresso, please see the Research reporting training guide. Alternatively, book on to one of our training courses.

Research Development Office

The Research Development team is responsible for advising on the preparation of all applications for research funding (including those funded or led by commercial organisations). They ensure that applications they meet the funders’ criteria and are properly costed and priced for approval, and for checking, re-negotiating, and accepting awards. The team is also responsible for supporting the University’s consultancy engagement, including pricing, offers of service, and internal approvals.

BMEc’s Research Development Officers (RDOs) are:

Research Development Officer
Pascale Fanning-Tichborne  
Research and Enterprise Division

Research Development Officer  
Ryan Giddings  
Research and Enterprise Division

The RDOs also circulate calls and opportunities relevant to our research, including attendance of research funding coffee mornings, workshops on schemes and funders. Find out more on the central University research pages

Research Finance

If successful in your bid for funding, the Research Finance Team based in the Research and Enterprise Division in Falmer House co-ordinates, manages and provides support in all aspects of research grant management. The team ensures compliance with internal financial regulations and the regulations of external research funders.

BMEc's Research Grant Administrator acts as a single point of contract for all projects for the School. Her details are:

Research Finance 
Jess Moore  
Research and Enterprise Division

BMEc Top 5 funders

Top 5 funders for current open awards (as of March 2017):

  • EPSRC - Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council
  • ESRC - Economic and Social Research Council
  • EU - European Union
  • IDRC - International Development Research Centre
  • DFID - Department for International Development
Research Professional

Research Professional is an online funding and news service from ResearchResearch to search for funding in your area.

UK Research Office – UKRO

The UK Research Office (UKRO) is the European office of the UK Research Councils. It delivers a subscription-based advisory service for research organisations (in the main UK Higher Education Institutions) and provides National Contact Point services on behalf of the UK Government. UKRO's mission is to maximise UK engagement in EU-funded research, innovation and higher education activities.

Consultancy (as distinct from Research)

Please contact your Research Development Officer (as detailed above) for support at the earliest opportunity regarding any intention to undertake consultancy (whether privately or through the University). Your RDO is able to provide guidance regarding required governance, insurance, contractual and financial arrangements when looking to work with organisations outside the University. 

External funding deadlines calendar

The Sussex Research Development team keeps a calendar of forthcoming deadlines from major external funders.

University of Sussex research initiatives

Sussex Research Hive

The Sussex Research Hive is the Library's designated area for researchers, open to all doctoral researchers and research staff. It provides private study areas, bookable meeting rooms and space for discussion and collaborative work.

SAGE Publications have given funding to support both the Research Hive and the Library's innovative work in engaging with the research community at Sussex. Further information is available from the University's press release.

Researcher Led Initiative (RLI) Fund

The Researcher Led Initiative is a fund offered by the Doctoral School. The fund is available to support our doctoral researchers and early careers research staff to organise activities that will enhance their professional and research skills. Initiatives must be for the benefit of groups of researchers across Schools (although applications for initiatives benefitting a broad group of researchers at School level will also now be considered).

Sussex Research Development Fund

The Sussex Research Development Fund (as distinct from BMEc RDF) is designed to develop activities enabling substantive external research proposals.

Afterword and comments

I hope that you find all of the above information useful.  If you have any further questions please contact your Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator at

Acknowledgements and thanks to (alphabetically) Marion Clarke, Katherine Davies, Russell Eke, Michael Hopkins, Charlotte Humma, Jess Kistnasamy, Ana Pereira, Sarah Schepers, Helen Ticktin-Smith.

Joy Blake
Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator

Version 1


Dr Michael HopkinsDirector of Research and Knowledge Exchange

Dr Michael Hopkins

Research and Enterprise

For student research matters:

For staff research matters:

Richard TaylorResearch Manager

Richard Taylor

Joy BlakeResearch and Enterprise Co-ordinator 

Joy Blake

Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator 

Ana Pereira

Research Support Assistant

Yvonne Barnes

Clerical Assistant

Tahir Beydola

Clerical Assistant (Temporary)

Kirsty Bryant

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Research Communications

Research Communications Co-ordinator

Charlotte Humma

Research Communications and Events Assistant/Research Impact Officer

Katherine Davies

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Sussex Research Development

Research Development Officer

Pascale Fanning-Tichborne

Research Development Officer

Ryan Giddings

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SPRU Professional Services staff

Marion ClarkeResearch Unit Manager

Marion Clarke

Key contact for:

Policy and process advice
Budget and HR matters
Leadership group liaison
Research project management

Research Projects Administrator

Caroline Cooper

Key contact for:

Research project finance, HR and administration
Liaison with Research Finance Officer

Becky AyreCommunications and Engagement Officer

Becky Ayre

Key contact for:

Nexus Network
Local and public engagement for SPRU
SPRU executive training programme

Rebecca KerrResearch Support and Communications Assistant

Rebecca Kerr

Key contact for:

Sussex Energy Group
SPRU alumni
SPRU events and internal communications

Ellie LeftleyResearch Support and Communications Assistant

Ellie Leftley

Key contact for:

Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand
Transitions Pathways and Risk Analysis for Climate Change

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