In the latest edition of our Immunology & Inflammation Staff Profile series, we spoke to Annie-Rose Nicholas about working as a Section Manager in the Department.
Introduce yourself – who are you and what do you do?
My name is Annie-Rose Nicholas, and I’m a Section Manager in the Centre for Inflammatory Disease. I act as the main point of contact for all academic and research staff within the Centre, for finance and HR tasks. A large part of my role involves costing the resources required for research grant applications and managing an existing portfolio of research projects.
When did you join the College, and where were you working before this?
I started at Imperial after graduating from the University of Leeds in 2016. During my studies, I spent a year as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Valencia, which was a great experience but ultimately led to the realisation that teaching is not for me! I joined the College as an Operations Trainee and a year later applied for a Section Manager position.
What’s the most challenging part of your role?
The number of deadlines that we have to meet at any given time. We have our own internal deadlines for HR and finance requests as well as the external deadlines for research funding.
And the most rewarding?
Receiving the news that a research grant has been awarded, particularly if it’s been a stressful application process!
What’s the proudest achievement of your career so far?
The Operations Trainee scheme was an 18-month programme and I was able to progress to a permanent position after a year – which hopefully shows the benefit of the scheme.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about what you do?
That the approvals start and end with me! There is often a wider discussion with Faculty teams happening in the background.
What are your aspirations for the next five years?
I’m very grateful for the support I’ve received from my managers so far in my career and I have always been encouraged at Imperial to explore new opportunities. In the next five years, I see myself staying within the Higher Education sector but hopefully progressing to a more senior position.
When you’re not working, what are your main passions and hobbies?
I enjoy running and I managed to complete my first marathon this year. I’m considering signing up for another one next year (my feet still don’t feel fully recovered…). I also love travelling and studied Spanish, Italian and French alongside my English degree.
If you were exiled to a desert island but allowed one luxury item, what would it be?
An endless stream of podcasts. I recently discovered Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs which I have been listening to on my commute to work.
And finally: what’s one thing you’d like staff in the Department to know about you or your role that we haven’t already covered?
I have an additional role as a Data Advisor for the Faculty of Medicine. My area of focus is Clinical Trials, but I can provide advice and guidance on more general GDPR issues too.