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Funding Development Team

RDS Funding Development Team

The team is led by Alexandra Pekalski.  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 Life Sciences; For  Humanities and Social Sciences (vacant post); Ainar Blaudums for EU and international funding, and Ehren Milner for Innovation & Infrastructure and the funding most heavily linked to the Industrial Strategy. Please note: that the RFs moved to a Funder-Focus from 1 August 2022. More details are here.

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

Alexandra Pekalski

Alexandra Pekalski

Funding Development Manager


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 BU Academic Targeted Research Scheme and the Digital tools working group.

Vacant Post

Vacant Post

Research Facilitator in Humanities and Social Sciences

This post is currently vacant.

This post will focus on the Humanities and Social Sciences – this post is currently vacant, recruitment will start shortly. When recruited this role will focus on:

Lisa Andrews

Lisa Andrews

Research Facilitator, Life Sciences


(01202) 968258

As Research Facilitator for Life 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. Specifically, I support applications to Wellcome Trust, NIHR, MRC, and NERC. 

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

(01202) 965083

I am high-profile expert of EU and international  research funding programmes. My major focus is on supporting proposals to Horizon Europe, including European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and National Institute of Health (US).

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 GVC internal funding panels, LEAR, EURAXESS contact point and assist strengthening development of AT SIA.

My responsibilities include scanning strategic agendas of EU and international research funders, supporting principal investigators in reinforcing their applications, ensuring the proposals meet the strategic agendas of the funders and supporting colleagues with my expertise of EU and international funding.

It is almost 20 years since I started supporting development of EU and international grant applications and implementation of R&D projects. My skills have been developed working for government institutions, high-tech industry and in close collaboration with the European Commission and other international and national research support organisations.

Ehren Milner

Ehren Milner

Research Facilitator (Innovation & Infrastructure)

(01202) 968267

As the Research Facilitator for Innovation and Infrastructure – my activities will focus on strategical level bids for:

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 remit, I focused upon Industrial Collaboration and am always keen to help foster innovation through industrial collaboration. Prior to this, as a 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.

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.

Jacqui Timms

Jacqui Timms

Funding Development Officer (FHSS)


I am the Funding Development Officer within Research Development & Support and I support academic colleagues in the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences with the pre-award process.  I have worked at BU for almost 11 years.  I began my journey in the HR Department and then moved into my Executive Officer role supporting the Deans and Executive Teams in the Faculty of Management and then the Faculty of Media & Communication.  My latest role was Project Delivery Coordinator at the Dorset LEP signposting local businesses to government funding and support.

I love to travel, I enjoy cycling and yoga and like spending time with friends and family.

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