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Centre for Academic, Researcher & Organisation Development

The Team

Bob Matthew

Director of CAROD

Bob Matthew

Bob studied Civil Engineering at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, obtaining a BSc, he then obtained both an MSc and PhD in Public Health Engineering from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He then went into professional practice and worked on the Edinburgh Sewage Disposal Scheme. He moved back into academic life and taught Civil Engineering for almost 20 years at University College Cork and Bradford University. In 1989, along with a colleague he won a Partnership Award (a forerunner of the National Teaching Fellowships) for innovation in teaching.

This led to growing interest in how students learn, and an eventual move to University of Glasgow to be director of the Teaching and Learning Service. At the time Glasgow merged with St Andrews College (a teacher education institution) and he was made Deputy Dean of the new faculty with responsibility for research and researcher development. He was awarded a personal chair in 2005 for his work on learning and assessment in Higher Education. He subsequently moved to the University of Stirling to be Director of Centre for Academic Practice and Learning. He has supervised over 30 students, both in Engineering and Education, to successful completion of a higher degree.

Bob is a founding editor, in 2006, of the on-line journal, Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, www.pestlhe.org.uk. Additionally he is Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has an on-going interest in student learning and the evaluation of the effectiveness of new approaches to teaching and assessment in higher education.

  • Email: robert.matthew@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 46525

Mark Crabtree

Assistant Director of CAROD

Mark Crabtree

After studying at Newcastle University Mark moved into the field of training and development and now has over 25 years’ experience in staff, leadership and management development.

He started designing and delivering a wide range of development initiatives for a major UK retail chain in the mid 1980’s and delivered these across the UK.

Between 1989 and 1996 Mark worked in Local Government in the field of leadership and management development. Working with a variety of Local Authority clients he designed and delivered programmes such as team building events and leadership programmes.

In 1996 Mark moved back into the private sector as Group HR Manager with a large motor retailer based in the North of England. This role involved training and development and also general HR advice. In 2002 Mark joined Durham University as Training and Development Manager responsible for leadership, management and interpersonal skills development.

In September 2007 he became Assistant HR Director (Training and Development) at Durham. In this role Mark works closely with colleagues at all levels, regional Universities and the Leadership Foundation for HE. As well as a trained mediator Mark is also a qualified coach and experienced in the administration and interpretation of personality questionnaires such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (both Step 1 and Step 2) and the 16PF. Between 2000 and 2012 Mark was a regional judge for the National Training Awards run by UK Skills on behalf of the Department of Business Innovation and Skills.

Outside of work he is a Director of Whickham School and Sports Academy and a singer and member of the management committee of Take Note Community Choir.

  • Email: mark.crabtree@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 41650

Sam Nolan

Assistant Director of CAROD

Sam Nolan

Sam leads our provision of high quality and evidence based professional development for researchers within CAROD supporting high quality research and helping to develop innovative research-led educators. A short biography is provided below. Sam studied Physics at Imperial College gaining an M.Sci. in 1999, going onto obtain a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Durham in 2002. After working in the States, Sam returned to the department of Physics as a PDRA. Working with his own Ph.D. students, Sam went onto develop a leadership role in a large European telescope project. At the same time Sam developed an interest in enhancing teaching and learning through his work on laboratory virtualisation.

In 2010, Sam moved to a joint role split between the Foundation Centre and the Physics department. In Physics, Sam served as Durham PI on an FP7 funded project and more recently has been working on an interdisciplinary project with Earth Sciences. At the Foundation Centre, as Head of Scholarship, Sam has used his research experience to lead staff development in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at the centre. Over this time the centre has developed a national and growing international profile securing funding from a variety of sources to develop projects that support students both within the Centre itself, across the University and at national level. Sam also helped develop a Teaching Fellow Network to support staff across the University. This network has grown to a national level where, supported by the HEA, it aims to deliver a program of yearly conferences.

Working with the careers service and LTT Sam leads the Transitions into Higher Education project that is developing a pre-arrival course focussed on study skills for all freshers. Sam sits on the HE group committee of the Institute of Physics and has served on the editorial board of the HEA journal New Directions. In 2014 Sam was awarded a University Excellence in Teaching Awards and Senior Fellowship of the HEA. Sam has an active interest in enhancing student engagement and employability.

  • Email: s.j.nolan@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 44581

Training & Admin Teams

Sarah Dodds

IT Trainer

Sarah Dodds

Sarah studied Information Technology at the University of Sunderland obtaining a BSc. Sarah then worked in a variety of roles including database development (North Tyneside Council), technical administration (Sage), and human resources (London Electricity) before taking up a post with the Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) as a Secretarial Teacher Trainer at Kogi State College of Education, Nigeria.

On her return to the UK Sarah completed her Postgraduate Certificate of Education at Oxford Brookes University and continued her teaching career at Queen Mary’s Sixth Form in Basingstoke. This was followed by an MSc in Computing for Commerce and Industry from the Open University. Sarah moved back to the North East to take up posts first at Hartlepool College and then Darlington College where she became Programme Leader for Teesside University’s franchise programme managing the courses and delivering a number of modules on both the Foundation Degree in Networking and the Foundation Degree in Web Design.

Sarah joined the university in January 2015 to take responsibility for IT training. This covers a wide range of courses which cover the Microsoft Office suite. Sarah also delivers tailored IT training to individual departments. Sarah’s main interests is the promotion of transferable IT skills for all to enable the university community to use the IT resources available efficiently to enhance work and study skills.

  • Email: sarah.dodds@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 44371

Paul Finley

IT Trainer (Research Systems)

Paul Finley

Paul graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in Accounting and Financial Analysis and he then worked for a multinational firm as a Financial Analyst before deciding to train as Mathematics Teacher. He completed a Postgraduate Certificate of Education and a MEd in Research Practice at the University of Cambridge and then worked in a variety of schools as a Classroom Teacher and Head of Department.

Paul joined the University in January 2016 as an IT Trainer for the Research Activity Support Systems project. He is currently providing training support in a number of areas including REF, Research Integrity, and Statistical Software (R and Python). He has a special interest in online learning resources.

  • Email: paul.finley@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 49180

David Heading

IT Specialist, PG Training

David Heading

Born at an early age, I have a degree and a PhD in physics from Imperial College. After postdoctoral work in Oxford and Birmingham, I worked at the JET Joint Undertaking for a few years before we moved north. I have been in Durham for a while now, starting on high performance computing and them moving into IT training.

  • Email: david.heading@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 42698

Teresa Henley

IT Specialist, PG Training

Teresa Henley

Teresa is a Chartered Librarian with a BA (Hons) in Librarianship and an MSc in Information Technology. As a librarian at Teesside University Library Teresa delivered training on literature searching and reference management software. Teresa also has 10 years of experience as a Management Information Officer, using reporting tools such as Business Objects and Visual Studio to interrogate local government databases.

Teresa specialises in bibliographic reference management software, Endnote and Zotero and delivers a basic introduction to ArcGIS. Her special interests include the development of digital literacy skills and the creation of online teaching resources.

  • Email: teresa.henley@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 44091

Catherine Laidlaw

Administrator, Academic Development

Catherine Laidlaw

Catherine has worked at Durham University since 1994 and joined the Academic Staff Development Office in 2004 as the Academic Development Administrator to support academic staff in developing and enhancing their practice. Her role is multi-faceted. Primarily supporting the Director, she has overall responsibility for the day-to-day administrative organisation and management of the academic staff development programme, its external relations, finance, publicity and dissemination, events management, as well as administrative liaison across the university and beyond.

She is also responsible for administering a number of University Award schemes including the ‘Enhancing the Student Learning Experience’ and for ‘Excellence in Learning and Teaching and Doctoral Supervision’ respectively. Catherine plans and administers the induction programme for postgraduate teachers and DULTA: the Durham University Learning and Teaching Award. In addition Catherine works with colleagues who wish to achieve professional recognition (Fellowship) of Higher Education Academy. She is the first point of contact for Durham’s accreditation model ‘DREAM’.

  • Email: c.a.laidlaw@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 46109

Carolyn McAlhone

Programme Administrator, Researcher Development

Carolyn McAlhone

Carolyn joined the University in 2003 as PA to the Principal of Ustinov College and the Graduate Dean. She later became Programme Administrator for the Postgraduate Training Team. Carolyn is the first point of contact for the researcher development programme and undertakes a wide range of duties including managing the day-to-day running of the doctoral training programme for postgraduates and early career researchers.

Arranging both internal and external facilitators, venues, hospitality, producing workshop materials and recording attendances. She also administers the conference and event grant awards and deals with the department bookings for the induction programme for postgraduate teachers and DULTA. Carolyn also provides administrative support to the Assistant Director and the Researcher Development Officer and is responsible for managing the researcher budget. Carolyn organises events including the Postgraduate Researcher Induction held in October and January, the Researcher Poster Competition, 3 Minute Thesis Competition, Part- time and Distance 3 day event and a 4 day residential Enterprise School.

  • Email: carolyn.mcalhone@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 44576

Niall Oddy

Niall Oddy

Niall's background is in French Studies. He graduated from Durham in 2012 with a BA in Modern Languages and stayed at the university to undertake an MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. He is currently completing a PhD on the uses of the word 'Europe' in sixteenth-century France.

Niall holds the CELTA qualification in teaching English as foreign language and has taught English in Russia, France, and Liverpool. At Durham, he has taught French political thought to second-year undergraduates in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures.

Niall takes a keen interest in personal development guidance and serves as an undergraduate mentor at St Mary's College.

  • Email: niall.oddy@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 42234

Dorothy Smith

Training Assistant

Dorothy Smith

Dorothy works on the University Apprenticeship Scheme, assisting in the recruitment of Apprentices, supporting them throughout their time as an Apprentice and their training in a variety of qualifications, including the NVQ Diploma in Business and Administration, Functional Skills in ICT, Maths and English and Text and Word Processing.

Dorothy also co-ordinates the Staff Well-being events which are held as part of the Staff Inductions. She joined the Training Team in 1999 having previously worked as a PA and as a lecturer in a local Further Education college, delivering courses in Business Studies and Word processing. Dorothy has the Certificate in Education, is an experienced NVQ assessor and Internal Verifier and is a member of the University’s in-house Coaching and Mentoring Network.

  • Email: d.j.smith@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 41651

Sophie Sowerby

Training Manager

Sophie Sowerby

Sophie has worked at the University since 2008 within the staff development team. She has had over 30 years' experience working within HR, OD and staff development roles within a variety of blue chip private and public sector organisations within the UK, Australia and North America.

Since joining the University she has developed a portfolio of management and leadership development programmes; established various cross institution coaching and mentoring schemes; and led on the development, roll out and embedding of the Realising Your Potential approach.

Sophie chaired, and is an active member of the HE Staff Development Network, working collaboratively with institutions across the sector, developing the Women in Academia Mentoring programme with Newcastle University whilst also introducing the Inspiring Women's network at Durham. Sophie provides supervision for 'in-house' coaches and 1:1 support through the 'in-house' 'Coaching and Mentoring Network' which she set up in 2010. She was asked to speak about this approach at the Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellows event 2015, and the Women in Academia Conference 2014. In addition she designs and delivers bespoke team development days for teams across the institution. Sophie is one of the University's 'Aurora' Champions' supporting leadership development for academic women.

Sophie manages the day to day operations of the staff development team, responding to training requests and ensuring that the open course programme supports the needs of the institution. She holds a Masters' degree in Leading Innovation and Change, CIPD membership, ILM 5 in Leadership and Coaching and Mentoring, PGCE post 16 and is an MBTI practitioner.

  • Email: sophie.sowerby@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 41640

Michelle Taylor

Michelle Taylor

Michelle studied Business Management at Newcastle University and obtained a BA (hons) in 1997. She then worked for a large retailer in the private sector for over 8 years in a range of management roles including as HR Manager and Divisional Training Manager. The latter role involved delivering management and leadership training and undertaking management and graduate recruitment and selection.

Following completion of a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, Michelle took up the position of Lecturer in Management in the HE faculty of a local mixed economy college. Her main responsibilities included delivering bespoke management and leadership training for external organisations, and delivery on professional programmes and the undergraduate degree programme.

Michelle then completed her MSc in Human Resource Management in 2009 and became course leader for Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) professional qualifications. Her final position with the college was as Curriculum Manager for professional programmes. Michelle is also a Chartered Member of the CIPD.

Michelle joined Durham University in October 2013 and is currently the Equality and Diversity Trainer. This role includes identifying equality and diversity training requirements, and designing and implementing a range of training and development events with an equality and diversity focus. Both core and bespoke training is available to all staff.

  • Email: michelle.taylor@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 46494

Claire Tindale

Training Officer

Claire Tindale

Claire is a Training Officer and is responsible for delivering a range of training initiatives within the University. This includes the ILM Endorsed programmes, Realising Your Potential Approach Applied in Team Leadership, Management and in Leadership.

Claire is also a qualified coach and a member of the University’s in-house Coaching and Mentoring Network.

Claire joined the University in January 2000, having previously worked for Durham County Council. Claire is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel Development and holds a Masters in Human Resource Management, BA (Hons) in Business and Administration and Post Graduate Certificate in Education.

  • Email: claire.tindale@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 41649

Claire Warren

Training Administrator

Claire Warren

Claire joined the HR Training and Development team at the university in August 2012 after working with Business and Enterprise North East and the North East Chamber of Commerce supporting small businesses.

Claire has a largely marketing and administrational background and is responsible for all aspects of administration in the Training and Development team. She organises the annual ‘Open Course Training Programme’ from booking rooms, organising internal and external Trainers, liaison with Event Durham to producing materials and conducting and reviewing evaluation responses.

Claire also manages the Training Course Booking System for each individual course ensuring appropriate information is available for Trainers plus updates the system so that individuals’ training records are up to date. All enquiries regarding Training Courses are directed to, and for the most part responded to, by Claire. She also administrates the formal qualification courses such as ILM and OCR. A large proportion of Claire’s time is devoted to arranging the New Staff Induction Days of which there are approximately 6 annually. All staff are encouraged to attend this and Claire works closely with HR Business Support staff to ensure attendance plus organises the necessary Speakers’ involvement and contribution to the event. She also supports the team wherever needed and conducts the financial administration tasks.

  • Email: hr.trainingteam@durham.ac.uk
  • Phone: extension 41647