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Meet the Team

Michele Underwood

Researcher Development Manager

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.

Kate 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. Frane completed low intensity CBT training at Oxford Health NHS Trust in 2022. Currently, Frane works for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, and enjoys working in clinical and psychoeducation settings. Beside clinical work, Frane also continued with some research activities. Frane is active affiliated member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and licenced therapist with the British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).

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 researcher 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 and maintenance of your own wellbeing is the best investment that you can make.


Luana Tavano Garcia

Researcher Developer Lead

Luana was awarded a PhD from Warwick at the end of 2019 and finished an IAS Early Career Fellowship in 2020. Her research focused on postcolonial theories, national identity and performance practices from a South American perspective. 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.

Anna Fancett

Anna is passionate about writing; her PhD, which she achieved in 2015, looked at the novels of Walter Scott and Jane Austen, and she has taught literature and academic writing in the UK, Japan, China, and Oman. Outside of academia, she is a traditional storyteller, and she loves working with all age groups and levels.

Most of Anna’s published work is on Walter Scott. One of her articles, ‘Introducing Walter Scott,’ won the Jack Prize for the best article on reception or diaspora in Scottish literatures in 2020. In addition to other articles and chapters on Walter Scott, Anna has published chapters on contemporary storytelling, and pieces for non-academic audiences. She has a book coming out with McFarland Publishing in 2026.

However, it is teaching that first attracted Anna to academia. She loves helping people reach their “ah-ha” moment. She focuses on helping people develop their skills and hopes that her workshops will serve as a springboard for others’ development.

Saadia Gardezi

Saadia is a journalist and political cartoonist from Pakistan and currently a PhD student at Politics and International Studies (PAIS) Warwick. Her research is focused on visual identity in non-western security contexts after 9/11.

She has extensive experience in visual storytelling, writing for the press and social media. She is the Co-Founder of Project Dastaan, a visual media project that reconnects survivors from the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 to their ancestral homes across the India-Pakistan-Bangladesh borders using VR and other new technologies. Her work has premiered at Sundance Film Festival and British Film Institute.

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