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Funding Development Team

RDS Funding Development Team

The team is led by Jo Garrad and is currently working from home.  A quick contact list is provided here but more details on individuals is provided below:

Research Facilitators to help you develop your research ideas: Lisa Andrews for Health and Social Sciences; Alexandra Pekalski for Media and Communication and for BUBS; Ainar Blaudums for all EU and international funding and SciTech, Ehren Milner for Industrial Collaboration and SciTech, and Nicolette Barsdorf-Liebchen for SIA-ASV. In addition, Ehren and Ainar are part of the Strategic and Major Applications for Research Team (SMART).

Funding Development Officers to assist you through the application process: Alice Brown for SMART, Beth Steiner for Health and Social Sciences; Kerri Jones  for SciTech, Sara Mundy for BUBS, and Eva Papadopoulou for Media and Communication.

Funding Development Coordinator to administer the development initiatives: Theresa McManus.

Jo Garrad

Jo Garrad

Funding Development Manager

(01202) 961209 (unavailable whilst working from home – please email)

I am responsible for overseeing all aspects of the management of pre-award support for external research and knowledge exchange funding applications across the University. My challenge is to increase the quality and quantity of proposals to support the achievement of the BU2025 strategy, and to design and implement best practice.

In addition, I oversee the R&KE Development Framework, as well as have ownership of several initiatives, such as the BU Global Visiting Fellowship scheme and the BU Academic Targeted Research Scheme.  I am also a member of BU’s Athena SWAN SAT.

I have extensive knowledge of the external funding process from both sides having previously worked at the UK research councils for over 20 years.

Outside of work I have a keen interest in birds (I’m never far away from a pair of binoculars), conservation, football (Swindon Town and Bashley in particular (sadly, my knees no longer allow me to play)), walking, music (I have a ‘record room’ with over 6,000, mainly punk, records), and holidaying in the UK (taking in bird reserves of course). 

I work Monday to Thursday.

Alexandra Pekalski

Alexandra Pekalski

Research Facilitator (Faculty of Media & Communication and BU Business School

(01202) 968249

I am Alexandra Pękalski (nee Peirce) and I am the Research Facilitator for the Faculty of Media and Communication, and the BU Business School. I am part of the Funding Development Team, which offers support and advice with all pre-award activities, such as horizon scanning, identifying funding opportunities and developing and submitting proposals. Within my previous role as Senior RKE Support officer, I have worked across all Faculties and have knowledge and understanding of a broad range of sponsors including European Commission, AHRC, EPSRC and Leverhulme (to name but a few!). Before the world of Research Administration I held various roles at the University such as, Programme Administrator, Planning & Resources Officer and Project & Finance Manager. I have also worked in the private sector as a Marketing Executive. I am particularly keen to work on developing and supporting multi/interdisciplinary collaborations within the university and externally, developing a new researchers development framework and working closely with early careers researchers.

Lisa Andrews

Lisa Andrews

Research Facilitator (HSS)


(01202) 968258

As Research Facilitator for the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, I provide support to researchers from the outset to develop their ideas, identify potential funding opportunities, build research teams and advise on bid content and structure.

Before joining RDS I was Clinical Research Co-ordinator for the Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit, and worked closely with researchers in local NHS Trusts to facilitate collaborations with academics across BU. I have a BSc in Psychology from Cardiff University, and a background in mental health research having previously worked as a Research Assistant in Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust. Whilst there, I co-ordinated NIHR grant applications and trial recruitment and assessment.

Outside of work I enjoy running (sometimes!), good food, live music, and spending time with my family.


Ainar Blaudums

Ainar Blaudums

Research Facilitator –International and FST

(01202) 965083

I work across all faculties supporting proposals to EU and international funders (my working days are Tuesday to Friday). I am also the Research Facilitator for three FST departments – Design & Engineering, Computing & Informatics and Creative Technology.

Within wider RDS Funding Development Team, aim of my work is to contribute towards the growth of EU and international research activity across the University. In addition to the above, I am a secretary for ACORN and GCRF internal funding panels and assist the strengthening and development of Assistive Technology Strategic Investment Area.

My responsibilities include scanning strategic agendas of EU and international research funders, supporting principal investigators in strengthening their applications, ensuring the proposal meets the funder’s strategic aims and supporting BU colleagues with my expertise of EU and international funding.

It is now more than fifteen years since I got involved with bidding for EU and international grants and supporting research project implementation. My skills have been strengthened by previous working for government, for high-tech industry internationally and close collaboration with the European Commission.

I enjoy travelling overseas, music, photography and gardening; I do appreciate all the nice and simple things what life offers.

Ehren Milner

Ehren Milner

Research Facilitator (Industrial Collaboration and FST).

(01202) 968267

I am the Research Facilitator for Industrial Collaboration across BU and the Research Facilitator for the Departments of AAFS, LES and Psychology.  I am part of the Funding Development Team, which offers support and advice with all pre-award activities and help to develop and support multi/interdisciplinary collaborations.  I help with horizon scanning, identifying funding opportunities and developing and submitting proposals for a wide range of funding bodies such as the AHRC, ESRC, EPSRC etc.  A focal point of my role is to also help contribute to the development of academic staff through the RKE Development Framework.

As part of my previous as Funding Development Officer, I supported EU/International strategy and am keen on seeking international collaborations. I also spent more than 14 years working as a heritage consultant and archaeologist in the academic sector on behalf of QUANGOs.  Much of this work has focused on the analysis of local authority policies and EU legislation and the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to analyse spatial data and provide socio-demographic segmentation. I’ve also given the odd lecture on IT, geochemistry and planning law. Outside of work my interests are basketball, DIY and BBQing.

Nicolette Barsdorf-Liebchen

Nicolette Barsdorf-Liebchen

Research Facilitator (SIA for Animation, Simulation and Visualisation)


(01202) 961325

I am Research Facilitator for the Strategic Investment Area (SIA) of Animation, Simulation and Visualisation (ASV). I work closely with the ASV Network across all faculties of the university to advance multidisciplinary, collaborative research within the broad scope of the SIA. I provide support to researchers from project conception and the identification of appropriate funding entities, through the development of the research proposal and drafting of the bid, to its submission. I assist in the development of the ASV network as a whole, in the dedicated support of its individual members, and more widely, those academics at BU whose research is embedded within, encompasses or deploys ASV.

Prior to joining BU, I worked as a contentious construction and professional indemnity lawyer for some 10 years, followed by 5 years of consultancy work with a law firm in Jakarta whilst completing my PhD (on the strategic visualisation of war and power). Since 2013, I have been the managing editor of an international, peer-reviewed journal, Media, War & Conflict, an area of personal scholarly interest and publishing endeavour.

Alice Brown

Alice Brown

Senior Funding Development Officer (SMART)

(01202) 968247

I am a Senior Funding Development Officer supporting the Strategic & Major Applications for Research Team (SMART) funding applications. My work days are Tuesdays to Fridays. I look forward to working with academic and professional services colleagues to achieve the goal of being awarded research funding.

As a brief background to myself, just before commencing in this role, I was the Senior Research & Knowledge Exchange Officer at the Arts University Bournemouth as secondment cover. During that time, I managed research degree students and academic research, under which there was funding development work. Before that, I have relocated with my family from Australia, having worked for 7 years in the Western Australian State Government in legal, policy and research roles.

My interests are travelling, hiking, painting and fine dining.

Kerri Jones

Kerri Jones

Funding Development Officer (SciTech)

(01202) 961254

I am a Funding development Officer within the Research Development and Support. I support academic colleagues in the Faculty of Science and Technology with the pre-award process. I was previously part of the Administration Team in the School of Applied Sciences/Faculty of Science and Technology as the Academic Quality Administrator, where I was responsible for supporting colleagues on quality and regulatory matters.

Outside of work I enjoy travelling and spending time with friends and family and I am also a huge Formula 1 fan.

Eva Papadopoulou

Eva Papadopoulou

Funding Development Officer (Media and Communication)


(01202) 968252

I am a Funding development Officer within Research Development and Support. I support academic colleagues in the Faculty of Media and Communication with the pre-award process. I have worked at BU for over thirteen years, originally within HSS as part of the PDU team and then as the Research Administrator of the School. I have been a member of RDS since 2012 with various posts in pre and post award, and have worked across Faculties, Business School, ApSci, EU, and a year secondment as the ethics adviser.  I work across all days of the week,  Mondays, Thursdays & Fridays: Talbot Campus, W131, Weynouth House and Tuesdays& Wednesdays: Lansdowne Campus, M402, Melbury House.

Outside of work I enjoy reading and watching good films and box sets as well as travelling with my family.

Sara Mundy

Sara Mundy

Funding Development Officer (BUBS)


(01202) 968253

I am a Funding development Officer within Research Development and Support. I support academic colleagues in the BU Business School with the pre-award process.

I joined Research Development and Support in October 2013 as a Project Administrator, providing support for all awarded R&KE projects in HSS and SciTech. In my time with RDS I have obtained a vast amount of knowledge about the research environment.

My previous work experience has all been in the Private sector mainly in banking and insurance.

I am the BU Netball Team Patron as I played competitively myself for more than 30 years. I enjoy going on foreign holidays with my partner, we have 2 dogs called Ziggy and Romi and we enjoy long walks along the beach and the surrounding countryside with them.

Beth Steiner

Beth Steiner

Funding Development Officer (FHSS)

(01202) 96TBC

I have recently joined the RDS team as Funding Development Officer for the HSS Faculty.

My previous experience with funding and grants comes primarily from working within charitable organisations, particularly in the arts and heritage sector, and I was fortunate to have spent the last 4 years at Bournemouth’s Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum.

I have some experience with academia too, as I hold a doctorate from Oxford University in Old Testament Theology and Near Eastern Mythology, an area which still fascinates me.

I love science fiction tv, live music, and my garden, and I go to the gym as much as I can except on pub night. I also like to ‘try to make a difference’ at a fairly low busybody level. I have worked at all local and national elections for the past 17 years, assisted with the campaign to encourage voting, and have contributed to various feminist and rape-prevention blogs and groups.

Theresa McManus

Theresa McManus

Funding Development Coordinator

(01202) 961300

I provide support to the University-wide Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Framework, (RKEDF), which incorporates a suite of pathways providing developmental support to academics at every stage of their careers.

I specifically provide support to the Research Facilitators, the Funding Development Manager, and I am clerk for several internal funding panels.

I enjoy being efficient, proactive and having a variety of different activities to work on.

I am a sustainability champion. I cycle to work and am a keen environmentalist and gardener.


Holly Henderson

Holly Henderson

Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework Advisor


I am the Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework Advisor and responsible for the development and operational delivery of the University’s RKEDF Framework. This includes the overview of the thematic pathways and the design and delivery of career-level development schemes, research seminar series and online content. 

Before joining RDS, I was a Senior Lecturer and Education Incubator Fellow at the University of Exeter.  I worked for BU from 2008 to 2011 as a Lecturer in the School of Tourism. My PhD was awarded from the University of Birmingham, I am a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Certified Advanced and Online Facilitator in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®.  I have over fifteen years of experience successfully delivering National and International projects and was the Operations Manager for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Weymouth & Portland. I have also been a Project Manager for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Royal National Lifeboat Institution.  

I am an avid sportswoman and alongside my work, I have represented England and Great Britain at the International Surf Association SUP and Paddleboard World Championships. 

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