Tell us about your role at HSRU

As Administrative Assistant to the CHaRT Programming Team, my job centres on supporting users of CHaRT websites and the operations of the programming team. This involves a wide range of activities from testing websites, writing user guides, to handling support requests that come in from our users.

Tell us a bit about your background and what you do now

I have quite a varied background and like to think of myself as man of many hats (none of the them particularly fashionable!). After completing MA in Geography and MSc in Sustainable Rural Development at the University of Aberdeen, I worked as Project Assistant to the Epidemiology Group, supporting their different trials. In 2013 I took up a position in Edinburgh as Membership Coordinator at the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS). In 2015 I returned to the University of Aberdeen to undertake my part-time PhD in Human Geography researching food geographies. While doing my PhD I returned to the Epidemiology Group as Secretary, in addition to working as Teaching Fellow in the Geography Department. I joined HSRU in August 2019 and continue to occasionally teach in Geography.

How do you usually start your day?

I am an early riser as I find I operate best in the morning (much to the chagrin of those who live with me!). In these times of working from home, I like to start my day by going for a short walk to get some fresh air and stretch my legs. Once back, I put on a pot of coffee and catch up with news headlines over breakfast before starting work.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

A combination of the great people and the interesting nature of work. HSRU is a really friendly and welcoming environment, and I find it very satisfying to work on a variety of projects knowing I am improving things in small ways, whether it be writing user guides to makes processes easier or helping a trial with a support issue.

How do you relax outside of work?

In normal times I like to go to the opera and classical concerts, especially when they’re in Edinburgh or Glasgow as I can make a weekend break out of it. In these more home-based times, I like to read mainly historical non-fiction, settle down with a good show on Netflix or play some videogames.

What was the last book you read?

The last book I read was American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. It was a really interesting, albeit very long, book on the complicated life of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Giles' answers were provided in November 2020 and he has since moved to a new position within the Univeristy of Aberdeen's School of Biological Science.