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Meet the tutors

Michele Underwood: SFHEA & WIHEA Fellow

My work allows me to create empowering environments where people can challenge, discuss, support, try new viewpoints and methods, mentor and encourage each other, creating new ideas and possibilities.

My goals are for them to be efficient researchers, making best use of their time and resources; to become comfortable and effective when working in single and across multi disciplines; able to confidently present their research to a broad audience, and express concepts and ideas succinctly and clearly. I hope that they can choose, prepare for and deliver the career of their choice working within and meeting their potential.

Being passionate about research and recognising the potential of undergraduate research to the lives of our UG students led me to setting up the wrap project, a two year Students as Research Partners with a team of five student researchers. The wrap project has investigated into, that by bridging undergraduate research (UR) and widening participation (WP), UR can function as a tool for breaking barriers and creating opportunities for the academic engagement of underrepresented students.

I have been a trainer and facilitator for nearly 25 years, in academia, industry and sport.

Katy Mahoney

Katy’s Higher Education career began in 2003 whilst completing her PhD at Coventry University. Since then, she has managed a regional career development programme supporting academics; developed Times Higher Award-nominated professional development for part-time researchers; collaborated with the government departments to roll out nationwide training initiatives for academics and even worked with an Antarctic explorer creating online training for high achieving teenagers. Her career activities follow the common theme of personal and professional development, whether developing the teams she manages; the colleagues she mentors; or the clients she coaches. Katy now blends the various skills she honed over almost two decades in Higher Education to empower others to take action and move forward on their goals.

Frane Vusio

Psychologist by profession, Frane Vusio completed his PhD project at the University of Warwick Medical school in July 2021. His work focused specifically on urgent and emergency mental health service provision for children and young people and reform models for children and young people’s mental health services. Besides this, Frane is interested in relapse, recovery, post-crisis self-management, early intervention, prevention and psychological/psychiatric models, and interventions for mental health crises. Currently, Frane is completing low intensity CBT training at Oxford Health NHS Trust, and enjoys working in clinical and psychoeducation settings. Beside clinical work, Frane also continued with some research activities at WMS, and establishing the foundation for further postdoctoral research.

Since 2018, Frane has been involved with RD teaching and its delivery of workshops for post-graduate students. Frane’s decision to become involved with ‘Getting it done’, and post-graduate research development primarily stemmed from understanding the importance of investing in one’s knowledge and skills. These, in return, can help you not just throughout your PhD, but also later in your career to achieve your goals. Investment into your professional development is the best investment that you can make.

Tina Janssen

Tina is in the final stages of her PhD in the department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. Her research is on eighteenth-century translated literature. Before she started her PhD journey, she worked as a secondary school teacher, and she uses this experience outside academia in her sessions.

Acknowledging the importance of community and sharing experiences during what can sometimes feel like a lonely process, Tina's sessions revolve around using the knowledge of all attendees in helping each other forward. Based on her own experience, she has a particular interest in themes like recognising your own strengths and skills, and beating procrastination and perfectionism. But if you're just joining for a chat and some moral support, you're also very welcome. If there's one thing she would like you to take away from her sessions, it's this: You don't have to do it alone!

Luana Tavano Garcia

Luana was awarded a Ph.D. in Theatre Studies at the end of 2019 and finished an IAS Early Career Fellowship in 2020. She has worked as a tutor and guest lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Performance for three years, a teaching experience that has greatly enriched her ability to communicate and connect. Her practical background in theatre supports her workshops on public speaking and presenting research in front of an audience. Within RDO, she brings her experience of working as a creative researcher, proof reader, writer, and translator (Portuguese-English), and centres her attention on running the PhD in a Second Language sessions.

On a personal note, Luana is used to multicultural diversity, as her upbringing was based on multiple cultural influences. This positionality allowed her to develop a transnational, open, and engaged mindset not only with regards to intercultural practices and knowledge production, but also interpersonal connections within different contexts. All this has extended to her research and teaching practices and methodologies. She brings those experiences to the PhD in a Second Language sessions, which can be seen as a space for doctoral candidates to share the challenges of doing research in a foreign language and develop skills and strategies to move beyond their perceived limitations.

Further training & support

A diverse range of training, research seminars and conferences are offered by academic departments, faculties and doctoral training centres. Check with your department for details of discipline-specific opportunities.

Many further events and training for researchers are available from external organisations. Some useful links are included below, but you are also encouraged to investigate relevant opportunities within your field:

Where to find us

For queries or appointments email us:

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Michele Underwood
Researcher Development Manager
0247 6151749
Headshot of Katy Mahoney
Katy Mahoney

RD Facilitator & Coach

Twitter @researchercoach


Photo of Frane Vusio - tutor
Frane Vusio

Tina Janssen

photograph of tutor Luana
Luana Tavano Garcia