Grants Academy

Grants Academy

Grants academy logoThe Grants Academy supports our researchers in all stages of the research grant cycle, from conception of ideas, through development of high quality funding applications to research delivery and realising the impact of our research.

A structured framework of support to:

  • significantly enhance our research environment, which will directly impact our REF submission.
  • offer a comprehensive programme of development that is directly linked to our strategic objectives.
  • enhance career prospects of all researchers, but particularly those at earlier career stages who may need significant assistance to build their external research grant portfolio.
  • through improved horizon scanning, offer the ability to be better prepared for opportunities and enhance our ability to respond to calls.
Meet the Team

acadProfessor Marion Campbell

Vice-Principal for Research & Knowledge Exchange

Marion has extensive experience of the development and assessment of grant applications having sat on numerous RCUK and other funding boards. Marion was appointed to Director (then Dean) for Research in 2015, following 8 years as Director of the University’s Health Services Research Unit.

Contact Me for advice on the shaping of grant applications especially in life sciences and medicine.

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.

Dr Mirela Delibegovic

Dean for Industrial Engagement in Research and Knowledge Transfer

Mirela has over 20 years of experience in metabolic research with emphasis on nutrition, diabetes and heart disease. She sits on the Diabetes UK main grants committee (2015-2021) and British Heart Foundation project grants committee (2019-2022; vice-chair from 2021) and has reviewed and helped develop and mentor many fellowships, small grants, project and programme grants. She is the Director (Diabetes) of Aberdeen Cardiovascular and Diabetes Centre and the Dean for Industrial Engagement in Research.

Contact me if you have any questions regarding how to develop your grants and fellowships as well as involvement of industrial partnerships.

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.

Susie Hastings

European Research Development Executive

Having studied History and starting her career in the Museums sector, Susie held positions in Higher Education and Local Authorities, supporting academics and practitioners to secure funding from the variety of public sources.  She joined the University in 2012 and specialises in supporting applications to the European Commission’s investment mechanism for research, Horizon 2020.  

Contact me for Guidance and support on identifying and applying for funds from the European Commission and related schemes, 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.

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 Unit


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.

What we do

Idea Preparation

Attend the Conversations on...series and other events designed to stimulate discussion and generate ideas for future research.

Sandpits/Grant Writing Workshops

Led by experienced grant holders to develop the content of high quality grant applications.

Identification of Funding

RESEARCHconnect - gives access to a comprehensive database of funding calls.

Library of Successful Applications

This is a valuable resource that can be shared with prospective applicants.

Grants Submission Support

To enable robust peer review and support from experienced academic colleagues at an early stage of bid development.


Access to courses in grant writing, project management, financial planning, social media and realising impact.

Interview Preparation

Skills training and mentoring from experienced colleagues who host interviews for funders.

Rebuttal Preparation

Assist with the review of responses to external reviewers' comments particularly from Research Councils.

Mock Panels

Constructive feedback from experienced colleagues who sit on panels for funders.

Impact and Knowledge Exchange

Assist with maximising the impact of the research to benefit a wide range of stakeholders.