DPDoR supports Directors of Research, and those aspiring to the role, to develop their leadership and strategic capabilities to manage research performance, strategy, and funding in a rapidly changing research landscape.

DPDoR 2023/24 will take place in person in London with four interactive sessions taking place throughout the year to support you to develop your strategic approach and build a strong leadership network within the UK business school community.

Learning Outcomes
  • Build and enhance the skills and competencies required to be an effective Director of Research
  • Understand how the current external research, funding and policy environment affects your strategy for business and management research
  • Gain confidence in managing internal pressures, relationships, faculty performance and HR.
  • Explore approaches to managing the REF process from strategy, implementation and the presentation of results
  • Work towards your professional development and learning objectives in the context of your institution's research priorities strategy

Participants on DPDoR, once accepted, are encouraged to discuss with their Dean or Head of Department their learning objectives and prospective actions for research strategy from the programme. Reflections upon this and discussion about realising prospective learning and actions will form a central component of the DPDoR.

Who should apply?
  • Directors of Research
  • Those working towards the role of Director of Research

DPDoR 2023/24 will take place in person in London with four interactive sessions taking place throughout the year to support you to develop your strategic approach and build a strong leadership network within the UK business school community.

Session 1 - Diversity of experiences

Date: Thursday 30th November - Friday 1st December 2023, London

Venue: Chartered ABS Office, 40 Queen Street, EC4R 1DD


Setting the scene for research leadership in UK business schools: Diversity of experiences

Participants in the DPDoR programme are a diverse group of academics, at various career stages, and based in different types of UK business schools. This session uses participatory learning exercises to find out about the diversity of experiences, contexts, aspirations and challenges amongst participants. We will also begin the work of building the 2021/22 DPDoR cohort into a supportive group of colleagues who can learn from one another during and outside/beyond the programme sessions.

Session 2 - Developing a research strategy

Date: Thursday 18th - Friday 19th January 2024, London

Venue: MYO - Liverpool Street, 69 Old Broad Street, EC2M 1QS

Developing a research strategy

Continuing with a participatory learning approach, this session will focus on how to develop a research strategy, what its key elements might be, and the varieties of research strategy, and leadership/management approaches, depending on institutional contexts.

Session 3 - Nurturing researchers

Date: Thursday 14th - Friday 15th March 2024, London

Venue: Chartered ABS Office40 Queen Street, EC4R 1DD

Nurturing researchers and an inclusive research culture

Session 3 will focus on how to nurture a diverse community of researchers, and how to build an inclusive and supportive research culture that values varied research contributions and career pathways. Topics include: developing a mentoring programme and culture; developing and leading diverse research communities; promoting equality, diversity and inclusion; nurturing early career researchers; managing the impact of COVID19; developing postgraduate researchers; supporting and managing research performance; supporting research leadership development.

Session 4 - Building a research infrastructure

Date: Thursday 6th - Friday 7th June 2024

Venue: Hotel Du Vin, Cannizaro House, West Side Common, London, SW19 4UE (Please note: the full 2 day programme will be hosted at the hotel and we have been offered a reduced price for standard bedrooms at the hotel, please book directly with them on 020 8879 1464 or contact us at [email protected])

Building a research infrastructure

Session 4 explores how to build a research infrastructure to support excellent research. Topics include: strategies for research grant income generation; the role of research centres; capacity-building; internal allocation of time and funding for research, innovation and impact; research facilities; data capture systems; working with professional services colleagues; and responding to open access and sustainability agendas.


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Professor Natasha Mauthner, Former Director of Research, Newcastle University Business School 

I am a Professor of Social Science Philosophy and Method and lead the Newcastle University Methods Hub which I established in 2020. My research explores how feminist new materialist philosophies of science open new possibilities for the philosophical foundations, methodological approaches and ethical practices used in the social sciences. This work underpins my substantive contributions to a range of fields including gender, work and family; the intersection between technology and society; data sharing and big data; perinatal mental health; qualitative research; and research ethics. I have published over 60 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and a book by Harvard University Press. I am an Editorial Board Member of Qualitative Research. I am a Fellow of the Online Ethics Center and co-lead its Community of Practice on Data Epistemologies and Interpretive Ethics. In 2017 I was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Science in recognition of my methodological contributions to the social sciences.

I have a BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge (awarded 1989), in which I studied biology, history and philosophy of science, and experimental psychology. My PhD in Social and Political Sciences is also from the University of Cambridge (awarded 1994) and was funded by a Medical Research Council studentship. It explored women's experiences of motherhood and was published as The Darkest Days of my Life: Stories of Postpartum Depression (Harvard University Press, 2002). In 1994 I took up a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education to work with Professor Carol Gilligan funded by scholarships from the Fulbright Commission, the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, and the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. 

My research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the European Union, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Society for Research Into Higher Education, the Carnegie Trust, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Scottish Universities Insight Institute. Throughout my career I have engaged in knowledge exchange activities through contributions to the media, public events, blogs, practitioner conferences, collaborative projects with artists, and the development of academic-policy-practitioner networks.

I have held several research leadership roles. From 2018-2022 I was Director of Research at the Newcastle University Business School, where I led the REF2021 Business and Management submission. I sit on the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS) Research Committee and am currently leading the Development Programme for Directors of Research jointly run by CABS and the British Academy of Management. I have worked with several business schools in the UK supporting the development of research strategy and leadership capacity, and acting as an external reviewer for Research Excellence Framework preparations. Prior to Newcastle, I worked at the University of Aberdeen’s Business School (2003-2018) where I hold an Honorary Chair. I was Director of Research (2012-2018), co-led the REF2014 Business and Management submission, and was Research Lead on the Business School’s Athena SWAN Bronze Award (2016-17). I have also held appointments at the University of Aberdeen’s Arkleton Centre for Rural Development Research (1998-2003) and Health Services Research Unit (1995-1996), and the University of Edinburgh’s Research Unit in Health and Behavioural Change (1996-1998) and Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (2013-2018).

I have undertaken extensive undergraduate and postgraduate teaching over the past 30 years. I teach courses on research philosophies, methods and ethics; and gender, work and organisation.

My approach to teaching, research and leadership are influenced by feminism. I draw on feminist thinking in my teaching philosophy and content. In my research, I use feminist theories and methodologies. This means listening to the voices of women and marginalised perspectives. It also involves conceptualising research problems in relational terms and challenging taken-for-granted binaries and hierarchies in my fields of study. My approach to research leadership roles is based on listening, being inclusive, collaboration, and a feminist ethic of care.


Programme fee: £4,150

Note: Due to the nature of the programme which focuses on personal development and encourages frank and open discussion, it may not always be suitable for two participants to attend from the same institution. If we receive more than one registration from individuals at the same institution we will notify the institution and the participants, taking account of when the registrations were received, and ask for guidance on whether one or both can attend in the same cohort. The cohort is limited to a maximum of 25. Once all places are taken, applicants will be placed on a waiting list.

For enquiries or questions, please contact: Martha Mellors on [email protected]


“I really valued the community of Research Directors that this programme enabled me to connect with. Sharing experiences in candid conversations made this totally worthwhile.”

Professor Katy Mason, Research Enhancement Director, Lancaster University Management School

“This has been an excellent experience. A good balance of interesting guest speakers and discussion within the group. I am going away with a more strategic focus and lots of good ideas I can implement within my institution.”

Dr Marian Iszatt-White, Lecturer in Department of Leadership and Management and LUMS Doctoral Director, Lancaster University Management School

“The programme has been excellent and the input and discussion thought provoking”

Professor Helen Shipton, Professor of International Human Resource Management and Co-Director of the Centre of People, Work and Organisational Practice, Nottingham Business School

“This was an excellent programme”

Will Harvey, Associate Dean (Research & Impact), University of Exeter

“This was an extraordinary experience, better than my best expectations!”

Alcino Azevedo, Senior Lecturer in Finance, Aston Business School


Session 1:

Professor Mark NK Saunders - University of Birmingham Professor Mark NK Saunders - University of Birmingham

Mark NK Saunders is Professor of Business Research Methods and Director of Global Engagement at Birmingham Business School.

His research interests include:

  • Research methods, in particular participants selection, methods for understanding organizational relationships;
  • Trust and human resource aspects of the management of change, in particular trust within and between organizations and organizational learning;
  • Small and medium sized enterprise (SME) success.

Mark’s work has been recognised by a number awards including a Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences in recognition of contribution to methods and human resource management research and social science researcher development; the British Academy of Management Medal for Leadership in recognition of his contribution to capacity building and a Fellowship of the British academy of Management. In 2021 his textbook Research Methods for Business Students was ranked the World’s most influential business and economics textbook by the “FT (Financial Times) Teaching Power” league table. He is a founding panel member and fellow of the British Academy of management’s Peer Review College. He holds visiting professorships at Birkbeck, University of London and the Universities of Surrey and Worcester.

Session 2:

Professor Jemina Napier - Heriott Watt University Professor Jemina Napier - Heriott Watt University

Professor Jemina Napier is Chair of Intercultural Communication and is currently the Associate Principal for Research Culture & People for Heriot-Watt University. She previously served as the Director of Research for the School of Social Sciences (2019-2022), the Director of the Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS)(2018-2021) and Head of the Department of Languages & Intercultural Studies (2014-2018).

After completing an MA in BSL/ English Interpreting at Durham University in the UK in 1998, Jemina moved to Australia to undertake her PhD in Linguistics at Macquarie University, which she completed in 2001. She then established the Postgraduate Diploma/Masters programme in Auslan/ English Interpreting in the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University in Sydney in 2002, and subsequently became Head of Translation & Interpreting programmes and Director of the Centre for Translation & Interpreting Research from 2007-2012, where she is now an Adjunct Professor. Jemina took up her Chair position at Heriot-Watt Univeristy in February 2013. She is also a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Deaf Studies at Trinity College Dublin and a Corresponding Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In 2022 she completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Gender, Sexuality & Society from Birkbeck University London.

Professor Annie Wei - University of Leeds Professor Annie Wei - University of Leeds

Before joining the Business School in December 2013, Yingqi (Annie) Wei had held a chair position at the University of York since July 2008. Her main research areas of interest are foreign direct investment (FDI), international trade and economic development, with a focus on the determinants and impact of inward FDI in China and the internationalization of Chinese multinationals. She has published in various journals including Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, Research Policy, Regional Studies, Cambridge Journal of Economics and World Development. She is also the recipient of best paper award in Academy of International Business (UK&Ireland) and Academy of Marketing Conference and International Journal of the Economics of Business, Highly Commended paper in European Journal of Marketing in the 2017 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence and the 2020 CEIBS Best Paper Award Finalist for the IM Division, Academy of Management.

Yingqi has taught a range of subjects at various levels, including International Business, Foreign Direct Investment, Economics, Economies of China and India, Emerging Economies, Mathematical Economics, Statistics, and Econometrics. She previously worked at Rutgers, Bradford, Sheffield, Lancaster and Aston University. She also taught at Helsinki School of Economics, Sun Yat-sun University, Hunan University and Southwest University of Finance and Economics. Yingqi is currently Book Series Editor, Palgrave and Macmillan Asian Business Series and serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies and Management and Organization Review.

Professor Stuart Roper - Huddersfield Business School Professor Stuart Roper - Huddersfield Business School

Stuart Roper currently works at the Huddersfield Business School, University of Huddersfield where he is Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean (Research).. Stuart conducts research in Marketing, specifically in Branding and Brand Management Current projects include 'Branded Litter' and 'Temporal Aspects of Branding'.

Session 3:

Professor Anne-Wil Harzing - Middlesex University, London Professor Anne-Wil Harzing - Middlesex University, London

Anne-Wil Harzings' role at Middlesex University focuses on developing MDX research culture and capabilities through a wide range of individual, departmental, School and Faculty-wide initiatives as well as University-wide advice on international research rankings and MDX reputation management. Originally from the Netherlands, Anne-Wil has more than 30 years of experience in academia, and before joining Middlesex has worked at six different universities in three countries. Most recently, Anne-Wil was Associate Dean Research at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

In the last 30+ years Anne-Wil has worked in the area of international management, with a focus on HQ-subsidiary relationships, international HRM and expatriate management. Anne-Wil has also studied topics in what is called the "Science of Science", i.e. the mechanisms underlying the "doing of Science", including gender bias in Science, evaluation of research performance, and disciplinary differences in publication and citation practices. At present Anne-Wils' main academic passions are twofold.

Dr Nigel L. Williams - University of Portsmouth Dr Nigel L. Williams - University of Portsmouth

Dr Nigel L. Williams, PMP is the Reader in Project Management and Associate Head for Research and Innovation in the School of Organizations, Systems and People at the University of Portsmouth.

Before joining academia, Nigel worked for 15 years as a Manager and Business Consultant for enterprises in the Caribbean Region. While holding a PhD in Engineering from the University of Cambridge, Nigel also hold a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and an MSc in Marketing from the University of the West Indies. Since joining academia, Nigel has linked education, research and professional practice. His research has utilised systems approaches to examine the evolution of organisational and inter-organisational capabilities in a variety of contexts, including projects and networks. This work has underpinned knowledge exchange, innovation and impact activities in the area of operational efficiency, organisational capability development and organisational adaptation to changing contexts.

Session 4:

Professor Tim Vorley - Oxford Brookes Business School Professor Tim Vorley - Oxford Brookes Business School

Professor Tim Vorley is Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Oxford Brookes Business School, and is the lead for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise within the Vice-Chancellor’s Group.

Prior to his role at Oxford Brookes, Tim held positions at the Universities of Sheffield and Cambridge, and at the Saïd Business School (University of Oxford). He currently leads the Innovation Caucus, co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Innovate UK, and has previously led several projects funded under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Horizon Europe and ESRC.

Tim is an economic geographer by training and his research focuses on entrepreneurship, enterprise and regional economic development. He works extensively with a number of central government departments and agencies, as well as with Local Enterprise Partnerships and local government bodies. He is a member of the ESRC Strategic Advisory Network, the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Skills and Talent Advisory Group, and chairs the ESRC's Transforming Business through Social Science advisory group.

Tim is also the Vice-Chair of the Small Business Charter, created by Lord Young, which is leading the delivery of the Help to Grow Management programme through business schools across the UK.

Dr Nikolay Mehandjiev - The University of Manchester Dr Nikolay Mehandjiev - The University of Manchester

Dr Mehandjiev is the Academic Director for the Data Visualisation Observatory at Alliance Manchester Business School.

Dr Mehandjiev is a Professor of Enterprise Information Systems at the Alliance Manchester Business School. He has initiated and managed projects worth €8m of which € 5.3m to the University of Manchester. The most recent project in which he participates is DIGICOR, a €10m  project involving Airbus and Comau.

Nikolay's visiting appointments include:

  • Visiting Academic to SAP Research Labs, Karlsruhe, Germany in 2007.
  • Visiting Senior Lecturer with Dept Informatics, University of Sussex, UK in 2007.
  • Visiting Academic to Atos Origin SAE, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Short-Term Fellowship with BT Research Labs, Ipswich in 1998.
  • Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Australia, in 2001 and 2019.

Before joining The University of Manchester, he was a lecturer in Information Systems in the School of Management at the University of Hull, from 1995 to 1998.

Professor Crispin Coombs - Loughborough Business School Professor Crispin Coombs - Loughborough Business School

Professor Crispin Coombs is an experienced and successful leader within the Business School environment, undertaking various senior management roles. His research expertise is located in the information systems domain and concerns the effective management of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics to deliver business benefits. He is a member of the Business and Management Studies sub-panel for the assessment phase of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

Crispin has published over 85 outputs including 36 refereed journal papers (including three at ABS 4*), 39 conference papers and 10 official reports and book chapters. He is a Senior Editor for the European Journal of Information Systems, one of the AIS Basket of Eight top Information Systems journals. He is also a Senior Editor at the journal Information Technology and People. Crispin an Editorial Board member of the International Journal of Information Management and the International Journal of Project Management.

Professor Coombs was elected to the Board of the UK Academy of Information Systems (UKAIS) in 2015 and served as Vice-President of UKAIS between 2018-2020. Professor Coombs has served on 31 international conference committees. In 2017 Professor Coombs was appointed as a Visiting Professor at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

He is committed to generating research income and has secured over £0.5million from funding bodies including STFC, CIPD, British Academy, EPSRC, ESRC, NIHR SDO Programme, Department of Health and Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

Crispin is an experienced teacher and facilitator, teaching on undergraduate, postgraduate and MBA programmes. He has been a Fellow of the HEA since 2007 and is a member of the Association of Information Systems, and UK Academy of Information Systems. Professor Coombs holds external examining positions at the University of Leeds and University of Sheffield and is a regular external PhD examiner.