Two Sunderland academics have successfully applied to become members of an innovative UK organisation that benefits society through exchange of knowledge, talent and ideas.
UK Research and Innovation is a new body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish.
Panel College members must have significant experience or understanding of assessing the quality and validity of major research and innovation projects across a range of areas, beyond their own specialist area, and experience of assessing interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research will also be valuable.
Both Kalliopi and Donna are experts in their field. Kalliopi is Associate Professor in Pharmaceutics and Programme Leader for BSc Cosmetic Science, while Donna is Professor of Tourism.
Donna said: “I was very excited to see the call last year for applications to become a member of the Peer Review College for the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF). I was attracted to this programme as it seeks to support early career researchers within universities and talented people outside of universities to develop innovative research projects.
“I firmly believe that being a Professor, one of my key roles is that of providing support and leadership to colleagues who are seeking to advance in their academic careers not only within the University of Sunderland but locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The role of peer reviewer for such a prestigious programme therefore offered me an excellent opportunity to do just that. In addition. The role will expose me to novel and creative research ideas in my own field of study and related areas; and it will allow me to learn more about excellence in writing funding applications all of which will be invaluable in my role as a research Professor. According to the invitation from UKRI, peer reviewers would need to commit to undertaking about four reviews per year and while this was a bit daunting to me in terms of the significant time commitment that this entailed, I felt that I could not pass up this fantastic opportunity to support others and to have a view of cutting edge research in my own and related fields.”
She added: “I am committed to using this role to provide detailed, critical and constructive reviews of the funding proposals that I receive and I would be ecstatic if even one of the proposals that I review results in world-leading research which has a significant impact on our society. Being a member of the UKRI FLF Peer Review College will enhance my knowledge and expertise about the crafting of research funding proposals which will then enable me to further support research active staff in my own department, Faculty and across the University.”
Kalliopi said: “I have been reviewing grant applications for the EPSRC, BBSRC and MRC for several years, as an anonymous reviewer, being approached directly by these funding research councils.
“When membership for the UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships was advertised I decided to apply as this would be a formal recognition of my knowledge and ability to make informed critical evaluations on multidisciplinary research. Via my recognition, the University's name is listed on the membership register, making the University visible for its Research expertise."
The objectives of the FLF scheme are:
- to develop, retain, attract and sustain research and innovation talent in the UK
- to foster new research and innovation career paths including those at the academic/business and interdisciplinary boundaries, and facilitate movement of people between sectors
- to provide sustained funding and resources for the best early career researchers and innovators
- to provide long-term, flexible funding to tackle difficult and novel challenges, and support adventurous, ambitious programmes.
It is expected that Peer Review College members will be asked to take part in the panels that sift applications, making recommendations on which applicants should be invited forward to the interview stage of the application process, and to sit on the subsequent interview panels.
About Dr Kalliopi Dodou
Kalliopi has been an academic at the University of Sunderland since 2004 and teaches on the MPharm and undergraduate and postgraduate pharmaceutical sciences courses.
She recently designed and currently leads BSc (Hons) Cosmetic Science.
Alongside her teaching, she leads research on the design and quality control of transdermal dosage forms including hydrogels, the stabilisation of drugs via amorphous solid dispersions, and the design of cosmetic formulations.
Professor Donna Chambers
Donna is interested in how people and places are represented primarily through cultural and heritage tourism, the link between heritage and national identities, postcolonial and decolonial epistemologies in research and teaching, visual methods, sexuality and in critical and innovative approaches to tourism research. More recently she has been engaged in gender research generally and specifically within the context of tourism with a particular focus on the intersections between gender and race. Prof Chambers joined the University of Sunderland in 2013 and I'm currently the Head of the newly established Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism Research Institute.