Research Professional Services Team

The Research Professional Services Team provides a range of support to Researchers (including Early Careers Researchers) and Doctoral Researchers working closely with the Associate Dean for Research, the Directors of Knowledge Exchange and Associate Dean for Doctoral Studies to deliver the Research Strategy for the School. 

Working within the School and with key units across the University, our team supports the key areas of research funding (internal and external), knowledge exchange, impact, doctoral research administration, school-level research event coordination and research communication.

Please get in touch to find out how we can help – or if you need research-related advice.

Research-related support  

  • Michelle Gibson coordinates the School’s wide range of research and professional development events. 
  • Eleanor Cains and Tiffany Murphy job share the Information Coordinator (Research) role; working with the School Communications team to manage research communications and coordinate research-related information requests
  • Claudia George in the Research Support Coordinator role provides administrative support across the research portfolio.

Doctoral Research and ECR support


  • Alison Burrell and Claudia George coordinate the School’s Doctoral Research Admissions, Research Exams, Engagement Monitoring and changes to registration processes.  
  • Paige Thompson oversees Doctoral Researcher-related matters including doctoral events, progression reviews, funding support, scholarships and co-ordination of the doctoral tutor pool. She also oversees support for ECRs (Early Career Researchers) in Media, Arts and Humanities. 

Team management

  • Medeni Fordham ( is the School’s Senior Research Manager and oversees the Research Support Team, as well as working closely with the academic leads for Research in the School to shape research strategy and lead on research and doctoral planning.
  • Elena Dennison ( is the School’s Research Programme Manager, as well as being the manager of the Sussex Humanities Lab. Elena has a wide range of experience in the area of external research grants and managing large research projects.
  • Katherine Blackadder ( is the School’s Assistant Research Manager (Impact) and leads on support for academics’ Knowledge Exchange and Impact activities. Katherine has a background in research communications, engagement and impact support (including developing the University's REF2021 Impact Case Studies), and can help with planning, funding, tracking and narrating outcomes from knowledge exchange activity with non-academic stakeholders.
  • Laura Vellacott ( is the School’s Assistant Research Manager (Operations) and is responsible for ensuring that internal systems and processes are in place to encourage and facilitate research, knowledge exchange and impact across the School.

Please use the Resources and Opportunities page for all you need to know about managing your research in the School and where to go to find out more.