Researcher Development Programme team

Our programme is unique in that all our trainers have PhDs and research experience in a broad variety of fields. The team thus has first-hand experience of the challenges and opportunities postgraduate students face, matched by expertise in researcher skills development.

Dr Dawn Duke

Head of the Researcher Development Programme

Dawn received her PhD from Imperial College in the field of Neuroscience.  In 2008, she moved from researching and teaching neuroscience to concentrate fully on researcher development.  She has worked to embed and normalise skills training in order to better prepare researchers for the variety of opportunities available to them.

Through her work at Surrey and a partial secondment as Director of Graduate Training for the Southeast Physics Network (SEPnet), she has focused on bringing researchers together with employers from a range of sectors, integrating this wider range of expertise into training, creating spaces for discussion and experience sharing.

Dawn believes that the world would be a better place if the amazing research that is done within our Universities had an even greater impact on policy, society and the economy and is dedicated to enabling the next generation of researchers to take on this challenge.

Dr Alex Pavey

Researcher Development Training Officer

Alex joined the Researcher Development Programme in November 2018 from the University of Portsmouth, where he was a Research Assistant in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and taught on the History undergraduate programme. His PhD, undertaken part-time in the Department of English at UCL, focused on policing, race and mobility in the history and culture of Los Angeles.

After completing an MA in Philosophy and Literature at the University of Warwick in 2004, Alex worked for ten years in the creative and media industries. This included jobs at Sony PlayStation, the Independent, and the Green Man music festival, where he supported and promoted new science engagement activities as part of a Wellcome-funded project. It was this experience that sparked his enthusiasm for working with researchers across different disciplines. He is a Mental Health First Aider and has a particular interest in improving mental health and wellbeing support for PhD students and early-career researchers.

Dr Michael Rose

Researcher Development Training Officer

Michael joined the RDP team in 2018, having completed his PhD on Wittgenstein, poetry, and the inexpressible at the University of Exeter. This followed MAs in Creative Writing and Continental Philosophy, and a BA in Philosophy, from the University of Warwick. He has variously worked in academic publishing, gifted and talented education, and university administration, with teaching at all levels from secondary school to postgraduate. A monograph, The Creative Wittgenstein, is in the works.

Michael is a member of the Training, Employability and Development group for SeNSS, and devotes a lot of time to collaborative and interdisciplinary support. This includes co-ordinating the Surrey Arts and Humanities Research Group, supporting the Surrey Undergraduate Research Journal, improving digital and online learning, and promoting public engagement for doctoral researchers. Outside Surrey, Michael runs Spindlebox, a small poetry press, teaches a summer school on Tolkien, and is learning Dutch.

Dr Nadya Yakovchuk

Teaching Fellow in Academic Writing

Nadya joined the Researcher Development Programme team in 2019, having worked at the University of Surrey since 2009 in a number of roles, primarily as a Learning Development Adviser and a Teaching Fellow in Higher Education. She holds a BEd and an MEd from the Belarusian State Pedagogical University, and an MA and a PhD in Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching from the University of Warwick, UK.

From 2002, Nadya has worked at a number of UK universities (Warwick, Leicester, QMUL, the Open University and Surrey), teaching mainly in the areas of writing and academic skills development, linguistics and English for Academic Purposes, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She has also worked on various research projects, with the most recent ones exploring academics’ conceptions of what constitutes excellence in writing, the development of student writers’ authorial voice, and academic developers’ writing identities.

Nadya set up the Surrey Undergraduate Research Journal and has been its Editor-in-Chief since 2015. Along with helping undergraduate students develop their skills of written communication, the journal supports PGRs in acting as peer reviewers and copy-editors. She is currently a participant of the multi-institutional ‘Writing Beyond the University’ collaborative research project coordinated by the Centre for Engaged Learning at Elon University, USA. Nadya is also a co-editor of the forthcoming book ‘Enhancing Student-Centred Teaching in Higher Education - The Landscape of Student-Staff Research Partnerships’ to be published with Palgrave Macmillan, and a reviewer for the Journal of English for Academic Purposes. She has done book and book proposal reviews for Pearson, Garnet and Emerald. Nadya’s particular interests lie in the areas of writing and knowledge construction in the disciplines, genre-based writing pedagogy, writing transfer, academic writers’ identity and authorial voice, and corpus linguistics and Systemic Functional Linguistics applications in the teaching of academic writing.