Grants Academy

Grants Academy

The Grants Academy provides support at all stages of the research cycle.  

Working in partnership with researchers and Schools we offer expertise to help develop ideas and craft competitive grant applications that enable our researchers to deliver high quality, impactful research.

Meet the Team

Professor Gary Macfarlane

Dean of Interdisciplinary Research and Research Impact

Gary trained in Statistics and Computing Science before studying Medicine at the University of Glasgow. He has a PhD in cancer epidemiology and a MD (Hons) in musculoskeletal epidemiology. He worked at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, and then University of Manchester from 1995 where he was appointed Chair in Epidemiology in 1999 before moving to the same position in Aberdeen in 2005.

He also holds an Honorary Consultant position in Public Health at NHS Grampian. He leads the Epidemiology Group within the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.

Contact me if you have any questions regarding Life Sciences & Medicine.

Prof. Graeme Nixon

Dean for Postrgraduate Research

Graeme completed his PhD from the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Glasgow. This was followed by a 4 year American Heart Association postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia. He was subsequently appointed Lecturer in Physiology at the University of Aberdeen in 1995 and now holds a Personal Chair in the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.   Graeme is the co-director (cardiovascular) of the Aberdeen Cardiovascular & Diabetes Centre.  This consists of laboratory scientists and clinicians from the University of Aberdeen and NHS Grampian working together to improve patient outcomes through research and education in cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. 

In 2018, he was appointed the Dean of Postgraduate Research, a university-wide role with strategic oversight of the PhD student journey.  Working closely with the Postgraduate School Research manager, this has involved recent in-depth institutional reviews of PhD student recruitment and training to ensure that we provide significant value and added benefit to our PGR students.

Contact me if you have any enquiries on PhD student recruitment and training.  

acadDr Liz Rattray

Director, Research & Innovation

Liz has in depth experience of supporting research from the very early stages through to commercial benefit and impact realisation. Liz manages teams of specialist advisors in R&I covering grant preparation, commercialisation, impact and graduate studies.

Contact Me if you have any general questions concerning the Grants Academy or R&I supportive structures.

acaDr Juliette Snow

Senior Research Development Executive

Following her PhD Juliette worked at Unilever Research before joining Research and Innovation as a Technology Transfer Officer. Juliette then moved into a Business Development role at Foresterhill and currently supports the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition. Juliette’s particular focus is in supporting clinical studies and joint working with the NHS.

Contact Me for support and advice on funding opportunities, bid development for clinical studies and support in contract negotiations etc.

Dr Andrew J Phillips

Research Development Executive

Andrew had post-doctoral research experience in the USA and UK before moving into University administration, he currently supports academic staff in the School of Biological Sciences and School of Psychology to apply for external funding and proactively seeks opportunities to increase the number, value and success rate of funding applications and supports contract negotiations to ensure the University’s, and its staff’s, interests and rights are protected.

Contact Me Contact me if you require bid development or contracts support related to research within the School of Biological Sciences or Psychology or for general queries on NERC Responsive Mode or Research Connect.

acaJune Middleton

Research Development Executive

June has worked in higher education for over two decades, firstly in an R&D role and then administrative posts in Faculties/Colleges before joining Research and Innovation in 2004. She currently supports the School of Geosciences, School of Engineering and the School of Natural & Computing Sciences in their quest to increase external income through research grants and consultancy.

Contact Me if you need support with your funding strategy and bid development and for support in contract negotiations etc.

Dr Anpu Varghese

Research Development Executive (EU & International)

Anpu has a life sciences research background and manages the process of European bid/network development, grant writing & submission, grant agreement preparation and post-award project management of grants, with specific expertise in the Framework Programmes, currently Horizon Europe.

Contact Me for guidance and support on identifying and applying for funds, as well as project management of successful EU grants.

Emma Morrison

Research Development Executive

Emma has multi-disciplinary experience of working within higher education institutions and the third sector, including significant experience of fostering national and international partnership links, project management, and attracting and managing grant funding.

Emma currently supports the Schools of Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History;  Language, Literature, Music & Visual Culture.  Emma is also providing support for SMMSN.

Contact me if you need support with identifying funding opportunities, bid development, the Fellowship application process, and research-related contracts.

Dr Anne McGavigan

Research Development Executive

Anne joined Research & Innovation in 2022 and provides Research Development support to the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition – predominantly The Institute of Medical Sciences and The Rowett Institute. Following her PhD and postdoc positions, Anne worked at the Medical Research Council as a Programme Manager for various MRC Research Boards and on cross-Research Council strategic calls with EPSRC and BBSRC.  

Contact Me for support and advice on funding opportunities, bid development and for support with research contracts.

acadDr Ann Lewendon

Commercialisation Manager

With a background in university research in enzymology and as a founder of a spin out company, Ann now manages the Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise team in Research & Innovation, which includes specialists to advise academics and students on a range of knowledge exchange activities, in particular working with industry, consultancy and the commercial exploitation of IP through licensing deals, joint ventures, company spin-outs and start-ups

Contact Me if you are interested in generating impact from your research through knowledge exchange or commercialisation.

Dr Chris Croly

Public Engagement with Research Manager


Chris worked as a historian for 16 years before moving into the University’s Public Engagement with Research Unit. He works across all academic disciplines and has a passion for the University, its research and bringing this to the wider public.


Contact me for support and advice in developing public engagement plans and generating impact through public engagement.


Dr Barbara Gorgoni

Public Engagement &Training Officer

Barbara joined the Public Engagement with Research Unit, following a career in biomedical research. Her role is to develop and coordinate public engagement activities across the biomedical sciences and to train and support researchers who wish to develop their public engagement portfolio. Barbara’s role, created as part of the Wellcome Trust Institutional Support Strategic Fund (ISSF), aims to promote a long-term culture change by strengthening and developing public engagement as a strategic aim within the University.

Contact me for support and advice in developing public engagement plans and generating impact through public engagement.