Academic Perspective: Dr Natalie Gardiner

Director of Social Responsibility, School of Medical Science
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

I started work at the University back in 2002 as a postdoctoral research associate with David Tomlinson, Charles Streuli and Paul Fernyhough and have been here ever since. My research and academic life has made much easier due to the support and input from many of the technical staff across the faculty and university.

The expertise of dedicated staff in the University’s BSF facility, advice on health and safety, help with lab inductions, training me how to use new lab techniques and the experimental support from talented research technicians has been invaluable. Teaching undergraduate lab classes or running school engagement activities is much less daunting knowing you have the support of the great team in the teaching labs. Their careful preparation and efficiency ensures these busy days run smoothly.

In my role as Director for Social Responsibility in the School of Medical Sciences I am keen to increase our connections with our neighbouring schools and communities and to highlight the critical role that our technical staff play in all aspects of the University – teaching, research and operations.

Recently, I arranged a visit of a team of technical staff to talk to a group of Yr12/13 students at Trinity High School, which was very well-received by the teachers and students. The students greatly enjoyed the opportunity to hear directly from University staff about the variety of roles at the university, hearing directly about their jobs and personal career pathways was inspirational. Student comments included “I liked having the apprenticeship program explained to me, because I didn’t know about it”, “It was good to hear your journeys and what you have done to get to where you are now in your careers” and “it was reassuring to hear the range of options that BTEC qualifications can give you to get into uni“.  I think the University staff enjoyed the experience too! – if anyone would like to volunteer to take part in similar future events please do let me know.


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