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University of York Research Staff Liaison Officers (RSLOs)

The Research Staff Liaison Officer role was created in 2017 to provide a link between research staff (postdocs, researchers, fellows) and the central support teams. Role holders liaise with research staff, represent the research staff community and champion issues affecting research staff. They enable the ‘lived experience’ of researchers to cascade into institutional planning and implementation of the Concordat. We also have a Thrive and Survive coordinator, who works with the Building Research and Innovation Capacity (BRIC) Team to ensure the postgraduate researcher perspective is fully represented in our professional development and support for researchers.  

Research Staff Liaison Officers 2022/23

We are delighted to welcome our new Research Staff Liaison Officers. 

Jenn and Heather will be working with researchers across Faculties and with early career/postdoc associations, to ensure that their needs are represented at the Concordat Implementation Group and within the University's Concordat Action Plan.

They will also support the annual York Researcher Conference.

Dr Jenn Chubb

Jenn is a Research Fellow with XR Stories at the University of York. Her research agenda is broadly focused on the impact of science, emerging technologies and AI futures. Jenn has published on research culture and identities and has a keen interest in research policy as well as a professional background in research development and training. As such, she is passionate about building a healthy research culture and hopes to use her research and policy experience to affect positive change for research staff. Her current work focuses on responsible storytelling in relation to AI.

Dr Heather Leggett

Heather is an applied health services researcher in York Trials Unit at the University of York. She is a qualitative researcher working on stand-alone qualitative projects, process evaluations and running qualitative studies alongside trials. She has experience in oral health, orthopaedics, medical education and primary education. Alongside this, she is passionate about supporting researchers and ensuring researchers' voices are heard.

2020/21 RSLOs

Dr Louise Newbould

Dr Louise Newbould

Louise is a Research Associate in the Social Policy Research Unit (SPRU). Her PhD, at the University of Sheffield, evaluated the use of videoconferencing for remote healthcare provision for older adults in care homes. Louise now works on several projects, exploring the development and evaluation of complex interventions for older adults in and across health and social care. 

As a Research Staff Liaison Officer, Louise is excited to work with the Building Research and Innovation Capacity (BRIC) Team to support and give voice to research staff across the University in order to support their career development.


Dr Gae Spedalieri

Dr Gae Spedalieri

Gae is a Research Associate in the Department of Computer Science, she is a biophysicist (PhD in Biology and PhD in Computer Science). She is actively working in the field of quantum technology. In 2017 her project received funding from the European Union (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellowship). During her fellowship she has worked as a researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Her overall aspiration is to apply quantum physics to improve the techniques and instrumentation currently used in biology and medicine. As a Research Staff Liaison Officer, Gae will actively support all the fellow researchers to pursue excellence in research and to develop their professional profile.


Dr Fan Yang

Dr Fan Yang

Fan is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Health Economics whose research focuses on economic evaluations of public health interventions, and health preferences and health-related quality of life of people in low- and middle-income countries. She joined the University of York in 2017 from the University of Manchester. Fan has studying and working experiences in China, Singapore and Australia.

As a Research Staff Liaison Officer, Fan aims to support fellow researchers to pursue excellence in research, help in creating a supportive environment, and work together with the Concordat Implementation Group to support the career development of researchers at the University of York.


Dr Rachel Carr

Dr Rachel Carr

Rachel is a Trial Coordinator at the York Trials Unit. Rachel’s research interests focus on Health and Well-being. Previously she coordinated the Enhancing Social and Emotional health and Wellbeing in the Early Years trial. Rachel studied a PhD in Australia for 3-years in Psychology. Her PhD investigated the influence of dyadic (partner-based) interventions for physical activity. This involved a trial where postpartum women and a significant other, created plans and received motivation training to increase physical activity. In December 2018, she moved back to York. She is grateful for the opportunity to be a Research Staff Liaison Officer.


2019/20 RSLOs

Dr Noortje Uphoff

Dr Noortje Uphoff

Noortje is a research fellow at the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. Her PhD in epidemiology at the University of York focused on social determinants of health for children and mothers in the Born in Bradford cohort study. Noortje now works for the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders group. She conducts Cochrane systematic reviews of the literature, collaborating with authors from all over the world to synthesise evidence on treatment and prevention of common mental disorders, with a particular interest in global mental health and inequalities in mental health.

As a Research Staff Liaison Officer, she hopes to works with many researchers and support staff across the university to make sure that the voices of researchers, especially early career researchers, are heard. She will work to promote a healthy, supportive academic environment in which researchers can thrive.                                                                                                      

Dr Vijay Gc

Dr Vijay Gc

Vijay is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Health Economics whose research involves economic analysis of public health interventions, and medical technologies for precision, personalised and person-centred healthcare. Before joining the University of York, he held positions within the Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, WHO Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen, and JSI Research and Training Institute Inc in Nepal.

As a Research Staff Liaison Officer, Vijay aims to support fellow researchers to pursue excellence in research, help in creating a supportive research environment, and work together with the Building Research and Innovation Capacity (BRIC) Team to implement the new Concordat and support the career development of researchers at the University of York.


Dr Mia Shandell

Dr Mia Shandell

Mia is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Biology investigating ion channels as diagnostic markers for cancer. Mia began her research career as an undergraduate in Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2006-2011) in Cambridge, MA, USA where she synthesized biosensors exploiting the fluorescence properties of carbon nanotubes. She completed her PhD in Pharmacology at Columbia University in New York, NY, USA in 2017 having developed a new fluorescence-based tool for studying cardiac sodium channel function. Mia is passionate about community building among researchers and improving researcher wellbeing. As a Research Staff Liaison Officer, Mia is excited to engage with and represent research staff in the Sciences and work together with the Building Research and Innovation Capacity (BRIC) Team to support all University of York researchers in their career development. 

2018/19 RSLOs

Dr Francina Clayton

Dr Francina Clayton‌‌

Francina is a Research Associate in the Department of Psychology exploring the development of spoken and written language, with a particular focus on the skills that underlie children’s reading and numeracy. Francina began her career in research at the University of York when she received a Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarship during her undergraduate degree in Psychology (2009-2012). This project used electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate potential neural markers of developmental dyslexia. While completing her PhD, Francina also received funding from the Experimental Psychology Society to spend a month as a Visiting Research Student in the Laboratory for Educational Neuroscience at the University of California San Francisco. During this visit Francina worked on a project identifying neurobiological patterns predicted by children’s reading behaviour. In addition to research, Francina is passionate about the provision of excellent teaching and supervision and in 2016 became an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Dr Namrata Ravichandra Ganneri

Dr Namrata Ganneri‌‌

Namrata is a Commonwealth-Rutherford Fellow at the Centre for Global Health Histories (CGHH) and the Department of History for twenty-three months (22 March 2018 to 21 February 2020). Her project entitled ‘India’s Smallpox Eradication Programme as a Global Roadmap’ closely examines the pilot programmes in the Indian state of Goa to offer a fuller picture of the global history and narrative of smallpox eradication. Namrata is on study leave from her position as Assistant Professor in History at SNDT College of Arts and SCB College of Commerce and Science for Women, Mumbai where she has been employed since 2007. Her profile page, gives details about her research and other engagements.

The role's main responsibilities are to:

  • Facilitate communication and networking between research staff both within the Departments, across Faculties and the wider University community
  • Represent researchers from all Faculties and Departments on the Research Excellence training committee
  • Facilitate face to face shared practice opportunities for researchers to come together to discuss the issues facing them including the Research Staff conference
  • Contribute to the national review of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers
  • Provide input to the implementation of the University’s Concordat Action Plan

Find out more about the University of York's Research Staff Associations