Meet the team

Research Division provides professional services to enable academic colleagues to focus on high quality research.


We are LSE's central administrative body which assists our academic community in all areas of funded research activity

Organogram (click image to expand)


David Coombe - director


As director of Research Division, David is responsible for a team that manage all aspects of externally-funded research, the REF and HEIF. Previously he was director of Research Services at Kent, head of administration at the Kent Business School, and held various posts at the University of Kent and Swansea University.

At various times he has been an RAE2008 panel secretary, a member of the HEFCE/JISC-funded RMAS project, and a QAA institutional audit secretary.
David is motivated by a drive for great service delivery, and committed to professional development, through conference, training opportunities, and professional education.

As a long-time branch co-ordinator for the AUA at Kent, he was a member of the first cohort to complete the AUA/OU PG certificate in professional practice, and was awarded the MBA in Higher Education Management at the Institute of Education in 2012.

Under the directorship of David Coombe, the following four teams offer support to academics.

Research Development Team

  • aims to increase funding application activity to externally peer reviewed funding sources and the quality of applications against funders’ strategies
  • supports LSE staff with their grant applications and liaises with internal parties for approval of proposals and external parties for contractual negotiations and agreements
  • assists in developing grant-writing skills

Meet the Research Development Team


Jon Deer - deputy director and team leader

Jon is deputy director of the Research Division and team leader for the Research Development Team. He has over 20 years experience in higher education, working at the Institute of Education before joining LSE.

Jon has spent much of this time helping to develop research proposals to the European Commission and now leads on developing larger proposals including those for ESRC centre competitions, the European Research Council and UK government. 

Jon also works on research and research funding policy issues both domestic and in Europe. His first degree in Law has been useful when negotiating on a range of research related IPR issues with sponsors and partners.

More recently he has undertaken his own – small scale - research on higher education policy, university responses to national and EU policy and the challenges of ‘inter-disciplinarity’ in research.



Ana Alvarez-Serra - research development manager (on maternity leave)

As research development manager, Ana's role includes supporting academic colleagues in developing research funding plans and developing their skills to secure research funding. Prior to joining LSE, she worked at the University of Westminster supporting research applications in a number of fields.

Her earlier experiences include the Enterprise Europe Network London – an EC-funded initiative to increase participation of SMEs in European research projects.

Ana is originally from Brazil where she worked at IPT (Institute for Technological Research) Sao Paulo, developing research proposals and collaboration. Prior to that, Ana worked as research assistant in a research project studying the feasibility of a science park agency.

With a degree in international relations from the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC) Sao Paulo, Ana was awarded an EC scholarship to do her Master's in International Collaboration for Development at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain.


Peter Broekema

Peter Meister Broekema - grant applications manager

Peter Meister Broekema joined LSE as grant applications manager (GAM) in August  2015. He supports academic staff in acquiring (research) funding. He provides tailor-made support during different stages of the grant writing, admission and  negotiation process. Besides helping with compliance issues like budgeting, internal approvals etc. he really enjoys developing proposals from scratch. 

Peter is also one of the founding members of the Horizon2020 funded ACCOMPLISSH consortium that analyses the process of co-creation and tries to increase value from social sciences and humanities research. He is also interested in concepts like Public Engagement and Knowledge Exchange and Impact.

Peter has a MA degree in Modern History and Religious Studies and has a background in History (BSc), Religious Studies (BSc), Philosophy (BSc) and Journalism.

Before joining LSE, he worked as a funding officer at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands), as a consultant for different companies and as a project manager on (EU) funded projects such as Interreg, ERDF and EAFRD and privately funded projects.


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Julia Howse - grant applications manager

As grant applications manager, Julia's role includes supporting academic colleagues in developing and submitting research proposals.

Prior to joining LSE, she worked at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and at King’s College London, supporting research applications in a number of fields. Her earlier experience includes supporting the basic science funding committees at the Wellcome Trust.


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Aygen Kurt Dickson - research development manager

Aygen Kurt Dickson joined LSE as a research development manager (RDM) in June 2012, which was a new role for both Aygen and for the LSE.

In her role as RDM she focuses on increasing research bidding activity within the School. She provides strategic funding plans for academic units, supports academics with their research grant proposals, co-designs a grant training programme, and develops concepts into project designs. Aygen also develops extended networks with other higher education institutions, ‘policy’ bodies and other research stakeholders, which are concerned with the long-term well-being of social sciences based research.

Aygen has a PhD in Innovation Studies (a multidisciplinary field of sociology, politics and STS) which she studied as a Jean Monnet scholar, partially funded by the European Commission. She has a background in Political Science and Public Administration (BSc) and Science and Technology Policy Studies (MSc).

Before joining LSE, she worked part-time as a research support officer, and as research fellow in an EU FP7 project researching on ethical/social implications and governance of technological development process.

Her research interests on the EU’s research and innovation policy, innovation governance, the formation of the European Research Area, and how socio-political integration can be enhanced via innovation activity at sectoral and national levels, led her to engage more with research funding in a wider context of policy landscape.

Connect with Aygen on LinkedIn.




Alessandra Marino - grant applications manager (on maternity leave)

Alessandra is grant applications manager at LSE. She is enthusiastic about supporting bids and has a keen interest in UK and European research policy. Alessandra joined the Research Division after working at The Open University as Development Officer, in charge of pre- and post-award of European projects, and as a post-doctoral researcher.   

Alessandra has a PhD in ‘Postcolonial and Cultural Studies’ from The University of Naples, L’Orientale and is author of 'Acts of Angry Writing: on Citizenship and Orientalism in Postcolonial India' (2015).

With a background in gender studies, literature and political theory, she is particularly passionate about interdisciplinary research. Alessandra combines her academic background and her expertise in funding opportunities to provide the highest standards of research support to academic colleagues.


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Anouska Nithyanandan - grant applications manager

Anouska joined the Research Division as grant applications manager in May 2017. She offers LSE academics strategic advice and support to develop successful research proposals that secure grant funding from a range of UK and international funders.

Anouska’s first-hand experience of academia gives her a valuable insight into what it takes to translate great research ideas into highly successful grant applications.

Anouska has a first class MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering and Business Management from the University of Warwick, and a PhD in Biomaterials Engineering from University College London.

Prior to joining LSE, Anouska worked as an academic at UCL where she sourced and secured significant grant funding for her own research and that of her team, and worked alongside academic partners and industry to build collaborative research projects. She is therefore particularly interested in high impact interdisciplinary research that draws together social science with STEM subjects, as well as supporting early career researchers with their first grant applications. 


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Michael Oliver - grant applications manager

Michael is grant applications manager within the Research Development Team of the Research Division. His previous employment was with Sun Life Assurance Society and the Civil Service Home Office. Michael joined LSE in 1986 as a first appointee to the newly created Research Office.  

Michael’s responsibilities include assisting and advising academic and research colleagues in seeking, applying for and obtaining research grants. He ensures that all LSE internal requirements and external sponsor requirements are complied with. Michael is also responsible for the contractual negotiation of the award and drafting contractual agreements between LSE and collaborators.


Research Awards Team

  • coordinates, manages and provides support in all aspects of research grant management (once an application is awarded)
  • ensures compliance with internal financial regulations and the regulations of research funding bodies
  • manages the contractual relationship with external research funding bodies
  • manages certain elements of the Research Infrastructure and Investment Fund

Meet the Research Awards Team

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Kerry Hocken - research accountant and head of Research Awards Team 

Kerry joined the LSE in 1990 and after an 18 month stint in the Finance Division she moved to what was the Research and Consultancy Office. Kerry has seen the Research Division grow from a small team of 6 looking after research awards with annual income in the region of £4m to a division with 30 members of staff and research income in excess of £30m.

Since 1996 Kerry has been the LSE’s research accountant and later took full line management responsibility for the Research Awards Team. Kerry is responsible for the School’s research and accounting procedures and processes, providing guidance for the Research Division and the School on research related finance, resource and accounting matters.

She is also responsible for managing and producing the HEFCE 10 year forecasts, year-end returns and HESA Financial Statistical returns in relation to research grant income and the financial data for the REF.  

Kerry is committed to ensuring that that the Research Awards Team strives towards providing exceptional service delivery and support to the LSE research community, helping to contribute towards the success of the School’s research. 



Emily Dewhurst - research awards manager

Emily joined the Research Division in 2017. Prior to this, she worked in support for the Corporate Sales department at the Financial Times, working across a number of sectors including finance and legal compliance.

Emily’s initial background is in the arts, having worked in course management at a leading London film school and with postgraduate qualifications in history and law.



Jane Ellison - research awards manager

Jane supports a broad portfolio of research awards for the School’s academic research community. She has various background experience which includes scientific training, industrial research leadership, management within small business and self-employment.

With her skills and attributes, Jane underpins LSE by ensuring an optimum use of project resource which enables the academic research community to achieve the best results from grant awards.



Jennifer Ho - research awards manager (secondment)

Jennifer joined the Research Division in September 2015 as administrative assistant, working with and supporting the Research Awards team.

She graduated with BA (Hons) in History of Modern Art, Design and Film from Northumbria University in 2009 and has previously worked within the hospitality and retail sectors. Prior to joining LSE, Jennifer worked for the Natural History Museum.

Alongside this, she was temping, working on various short-term assignments including INPS, Wandsworth Borough Council, the Royal Bank of Canada and volunteering at the Southbank Centre.


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Martha Langan - administrative assistant and PA to Research Division Director

Martha joined the Research Division in January 2016, as administrative assistant - supporting the Research Awards Team and providing P.A. support for the director of Research Division.

For ten years, Martha worked at City Lit, in the Deaf & Disabled Support team, ensuring deaf students received communication support in their FE and HE courses, across a range of colleges and universities in London. Martha has also worked for Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, providing logistic and administrative assistance on UK wide leadership programmes and executive coaching for the Higher Education sector.


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Yvonne Mifsud - research awards manager (on maternity leave)

Yvonne first joined LSE in 2009 as a student. After graduation she worked in the Department of Management as research assistant to Dr Hyun-Jung Lee looking at various facets of global, bicultural and multicultural identities. Alongside this, she worked for an independent chain of boutiques called Author Shoes as their buyer for two years. 

Yvonne returned to LSE in 2012 to continue research and later joined the Research Division team as an administrative assistant and later research awards manager.


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Davina Nauth - research awards manager

Davina has worked as research awards manager within the Research Awards Team since 2008. She has managed an extensive portfolio of complex and challenging projects sponsored by a range of UK, European and international funders.

She has comprehensive knowledge, experience and skill in organising research grants, and takes pride in providing a high level of service and support. 

With the evolving nature of research and sponsor requirements, Davina is dedicated to enhancing her knowledge and competence through participating in new training programmes. 


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Benjamin Nevius - senior research awards manager

Benjamin is one of two senior research awards managers on the Research Division’s Research Awards Team and has over ten years' research administration experience. He has worked at LSE since 2008.

He helps departments and centres manage their research grant portfolios, provides training and support to his colleagues on the team, and assists the research accountant with her duties. He has experience working with all types of funders including the European Commission and Research Councils. 

Prior to joining LSE, he worked for over four years on the Pre-Award team of the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of Sponsored Projects, helping staff from the National Museum of Natural History locate funding opportunities and prepare and submit grant proposals, with emphasis on proposals to the National Science Foundation.

Before that, Benjamin worked at the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory services where he managed contracts for a government-funded juvenile delinquency prevention programme. 

He has a master's degree in social work from the University of Texas at Austin with a specialisation in non-profit administration and planning.


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Dorota Rejman - senior research awards manager

Dorota joined the Research Division in 2007. She has good experience of both researching funding opportunities that might be suitable for the departments' and centres', costings, negotiations, and helping to draft relevant applications as well as managing awards. 

Dorota provides the interface between applicants and the funding body throughout the contractual development and attends particularly to the twin concerns that all awards comply fully with School policy and regulations, and that the School complies with the policies of the funding bodies.


Emily Wood

Emily Wood - research awards manager

Emily joined the Research Division in July 2016 as a Research Awards Manager. 

Emily’s background is in the not for profit sector, most recently as Manager of the Partnership Brokers Association – a social business focussed on building skills and knowledge in the process management of cross sector collaboration.


Research Policy Team

  • offers advice on LSE’s Research Ethics Policy
  • supports the development and governance of research policy and strategy
  • manages the Research Excellence Framework (REF) preparation and submission process, including publications and impact case studies
  • creates greater awareness of knowledge exchange and impact (KEI) activities both within the LSE and at an individual level through KEI projects funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) and the ESRC Impact Accelerator Account
  • encompasses the business partnerships manager, who identifies appropriate corporate research partners and funding opportunities, develops and sets up long-term sustainable research partnerships with the corporate sectors whilst ensuring compliance with LSE regulations 

Meet the Research Policy Team

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Jo Hemmings - research policy manager and team leader

Jo manages the School's submission to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) on behalf of the REF Strategy Committee and is secretary to the School's Research Committee.

She also oversees the work of the Research Policy Team - which looks after the Research Ethics Committee and the research ethics policy - and the School's research impact strategy, with particular emphasis on the impact elements of the REF. 

Jo joined the division in 2000, so REF 2014 was her third RAE/ REF to date, and she is currently preparing for the next REF in 2021.


Tina Basi

Tina Basi - knowledge exchange and impact manager

Tina is knowledge exchange and impact manager at LSE. In addition to knowledge exchange and impact (KEI) activity, Tina works on the School’s REF activity, in particular she worked extensively on the REF2014 impact case studies.

She oversees the School’s Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) and works with academic colleagues in developing the School’s Impact Accelerator Account, programmes of KEI activities, and pathways to impact strategies.

Tina also lectures in the Department of Sociology and draws upon her time in the private sector, including three years at Intel Corporation as an industrial ethnographer, in teaching students how to use qualitative methods in undertaking research for cultural sociology.

She has a PhD from the University of Leeds and her doctoral research, published by Routledge and titled Women, Identity, and India’s Call Centre Industry, was nominated for the Phillip Abrahams Memorial Prize by the British Sociological Association.

More on Tina's academic work and publications


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Marie Copperwaite - knowledge exchange and impact (KEI) awards manager

Marie is responsible for the financial management of the School's Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF5) allocation and Impact Accelerator Account (IAA), assisting academics with the HEIF5 Bid Fund and IAA Impact Fund application process and award management.


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Lyn Grove - research governance manager

Lyn assists the Research Policy Team in matters regarding research governance with particular reference to research ethics and (mis)conduct.

She provides advice and support on the School’s research ethics procedures and supports the work of the Research Ethics Committee. She plays a key role in ensuring that the School’s research ethics policy reflects sector-wide good practice. She also supports the School’s research ethics training and development activities.

Lyn has been at LSE since 2001. For many years she has been the centre manager of the Centre for the Analysis of Time Series, a role she continues part-time alongside her role as research governance manager in the Division.

For the last few years Lyn has been undertaking a PhD at the Institute of Education, examining the effects of funding constraints on academics’ research aspirations.


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Rozia Hussain - research and knowledge exchange manager

Rozia Hussain joined Research Division as research and knowledge exchange manager. Rozia’s role is to provide support and assistance in implementing ‘knowledge exchange and impact’ within research projects, funding applications and generally to provide guidance and training to staff, in undertaking knowledge exchange.  

She previously worked at the Law department here at LSE, providing knowledge exchange support. Prior to that, Rozia worked in other higher education institutions in the areas of public engagement and research funding, and within local government and the charity sector, in the areas of evaluation and impact measurement.


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Rachel Middlemass - research impact manager

Rachel joined LSE from UCL, where she managed a team supporting the development of impact case studies and templates for REF2014, and then providing post-REF impact support.

As LSE’s research impact manager she supports the continued realisation, enhancement and recording of examples of excellent research impact from across the School.



Horatio Mortimer - business partnerships manager

Horatio develops LSE’s research partnerships with business, helping academics gain access to data as well as funding for their research, while maintaining their academic independence.
He first joined LSE in 2000 working for LSE Enterprise, but now works part-time (three days per week) in the Research Division.

For the remainder of his time he is a public affairs consultant, and has served as a non-executive director of several companies and as a charity trustee. He has managed a venture capital fund, worked for the UN in New York and in the film industry.


Business Systems and Communications Team

  • develops and maintains the Division's IT systems
  • provides management information and benchmarking data, monitors and streamlines business processes
  • leads the Division's communications strategy

Meet the Business Systems and Communications Team

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Amanda Burgess - business systems and communications manager

Amanda is responsible for developing and maintaining the division's IT systems used in the support of research award management, the provision of management information from internal systems and external benchmarking data, monitoring and streamlining business processes, and business continuity.

She is also project manager for the implementation of a new research award management system, Converis.

Amanda develops and manages the division's communications and social media activities including the website, Twitter and the monthly newsletter 'Research Briefing'.

She has worked in the division since 1993, undertaking various roles including team leader of the Research Awards Team and a four-year secondment to LSE Enterprise. She has a strong commitment to customer service and service delivery.


Further guidance


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Funding opp: @britac_news Newton Advanced Fellowships. Deadline: 20/12/17. Details:

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Research Division LSE_RD

@LSEMiddleEast LSE Kuwait Programme invites applications for its academic collaborations programme. Apply by 15 Dec.

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Contact us

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LSE Research Division, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom