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The committee aims to have at least one research staff representative from each department in the division.

One of the co-chairs of MPLS RSF sits on the Divisional Board, the governing body of the division. The other co-chair sits on the MPLS Training and Development Steering Group. Both co-chairs sit on the Research Staff Consultative Group of the University. Issues discussed at meetings of MPLS RSF can then be raised at divisional and institutional levels. Two representatives from MPLS RSF (usually the co-chairs) sit on the MPLS ECR Forum.

Current Co-chairs: Adina Pusok and Ed Darnbrough

Adina Pusok

Adina Pusok

Adina Pusok is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Earth Sciences, investigating the role of magma in the dynamics and deformation of Earth’s tectonic plate boundaries. She became a postdoc representative because she believes in active personal development and community involvement. Her primary objective is to create a dynamic postdoc community in the department. Since every researcher contributes to the academic and lab culture, she wants to enable postdocs to make more active choices to improve the postdoc experience in the department and university.

Ed Darnbrough

Ed Darnbrough

"The importance of research staff and culture is not only of paramount importance for future funding but also important for making a place everyone wants to work."

Ed Darnbrough is a postdoc in the Materials Department working on micromechanics and atomic resolution microscopy of materials for solid state batteries. His work with OxRSS and Prof David Gavaghan helped formalise staff representation in the university leading to the formation of the researcher hub and he sat on the inaugural Research Staff Consultancy Group. This work and his time on the Research and Innovation Committee gave him a strong understanding of the way the university works as well as connections to structures that allowed him to truly representing all staff as the Research Staff representative on the 2022 Oxford Vice-Chancellor Selection Committee


Current MPLS Research Staff Forum committee members

Contact

Department

email

Chris Terry

Biology

christopher.terry@biology.ox.ac.uk

Emily Warne

Chemistry

emily.warne@chem.ox.ac.uk

Stephen Marshall

Chemistry

stephen.marshall@chem.ox.ac.uk

Silvia Butti

Computer Science

silvia.butti@cs.ox.ac.uk

Alexander Lipp

Earth Science

alexander.lipp@merton.ox.ac.uk

Tom Smith

Earth Science

thomas.smith@earth.ox.ac.uk

Patrick Salter

Engineering

patrick.salter@eng.ox.ac.uk

Basia Maciejewska

Materials/Begbroke

barbara.maciejewska@materials.ox.ac.uk

Yige Sun

Materials/Begbroke

yige.sun@materials.ox.ac.uk

Lasse Grimmelt

Maths

lasse.grimmelt@maths.ox.ac.uk

Wenkai Xu

Statistics

xwk4813@gmail.com

Matthew Raybould

Statistics

matthew.raybould@dtc.ox.ac.uk

Juan Ruiz Ruiz

Physics

juan.ruiz@physics.ox.ac.uk

Kunhui Ye

Physics

kunhui.ye@physics.ox.ac.uk

Updated Feb 2024

Profiles

Yige Sun

Yige Sun

Yige Sun is an early career researcher in materials science. Her expertise includes 2D material, energy storage devices, 3D printing, and microscopy. She is currently a Faraday Institution research fellow in the Nextrode project, an enterprise and innovation fellow in the MPLS division, and a David Cockayne Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College. She also serves as a departmental Mental Health First Aider, a robotic project leader in Oxford Robotics and Additive Manufacturing Society (OxRAM), a career mentor under the People and Organisational Development (POD) unit, and a supervisor of a 3D printing lab in Oxford Materials Characterisation service (OMCS), University of Oxford. She was an archer in the Oxford Archers Club. Now She goes to the gym and sings soprano in the college choir every week. 

 Wenkai Xu

Wenkai Xu

Wenkai is a postdoctoral research associate in statistics affiliated with the Department of Statistics. He did his PhD in Gatsby Unit of Computational Neuroscience, where part of his work is on analysing neuroimaging and functional MRI data. Beyond research, he is very keen to maintain a healthy ecosystem for the research community, especially caring for disabled researchers and the researcher's mental wellbeings. As a representative, he hopes to make a stand and voice out to facilitate ED&I committee, specifically for disabled researchers, and to improve the for researchers' mental wellbeing in Statistics, as well as project the actions to the MPLS community.

Patrick Salter

Patrick Salter

Patrick is an Early Career EPSRC Fellow working in the Department of Engineering Science, with research interests in laser manufacturing and optical microscopy. He has been active in research at Oxford for over 10 years and believes strongly in creating a positive environment for research staff in academia. He was previously chairman and one of the founding members of the Engineering Science Research Committee.

 Basia Maciejewska

Basia Maciejewska

Basia is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Nanomaterials by Design group within the Materials Department. Her research focuses on the development of new manufacturing and "green" processing methods for functional fibrous materials used in thermal management applications. 

She has recently won the 2022 MPLS Outstanding Supervisor Awards, recognising individuals promoting and implementing an inclusive and welcoming environment in their research group. 

This year, she has been elected as the Chair of the Materials Postdoc Association Committee (MPAC), and she has been an active member of the MPA since its founding in 2020. Additionally, Basia represents materials postdocs at the divisional level within the MPLS division.  

 

Matt Raybould

Matt Raybould

Matt Raybould is a postdoctoral researcher in the Oxford Protein Informatics Group, based in the Department of Statistics. He works in immunoinformatics, applying a combination of structural biology and statistics to understand better the inner workings of the immune system and to apply this knowledge to the development of novel medicines. He became a representative to continue the excellent work of previous committee members in raising awareness of the challenges faced by postdoctoral students.

 Emily Warne

Emily Warne

Emily Warne is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Physical Chemistry, where she researches molecular dynamics. She investigates what happens to molecules when they absorb light, using ultrashort laser pulses to watch these processes on femtosecond timescales. As well as working in the lab in Oxford, these experiments take her to collaborative beamtimes at a number of international facilities. Emily became a researcher representative because she believes that the postdoc voice can be highly valuable to both the department and to researchers themselves. There are experiences that many research staff have in common, and she wants to help provide a platform for these, to enable effective and practical change to happen where needed.

Tom Smith

Tom Smith

Tom Smith is a postdoctoral research assistant in the Department of Earth Sciences. His work centres on developing new methods for analysing the evolution of biodiversity and applying them to fundamental problems in palaeobiology. Tom became a postdoc representative because he believes that active community involvement is essential for the development and maintenance of a healthy working environment. 

Silvia Butti

Silvia Butti

Silvia is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Computer Science and a non-stipendiary Junior Research Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall. Her research focuses on applying algebraic techniques to problems in computational complexity and approximation. Silvia also serves as the Research Community Coordinator for her department, and she is actively involved in outreach initiatives with the aim to increase diversity and inclusion in mathematics and computer science.

Dr Stephen Marshall

Stephen Marshall

Stephen is a postdoctoral research associate in Chemistry. He joined the University of Oxford in 2021 after eight years in Manchester completing his PhD and further postdoctoral study. His main research interest is in understanding how enzymes are able to perform complex chemistry using structural biology and biophysical techniques, and how the knowledge can be utilised to the benefit of society.

 Stephen became a research representative to improve research culture in academia to allow a healthier work-life balance for all, and to improve the wellbeing and inclusiveness of academia.

picture of Dr. Juan Ruiz Ruiz

Juan Ruiz Ruiz

Dr. Juan Ruiz Ruiz is an EPSRC postdoctoral fellow in the Oxford Plasma Theory group. He completed undergraduate and Masters studies at Ecole Polytechnique (Paris, 2013), and received a Masters in Aeronautics & Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, 2015). He completed a PhD in Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT in 2019, where he worked on turbulence and transport in the spherical tokamak NSTX. Dr. Ruiz Ruiz is interested in the confinement of hot, strongly magnetized plasmas for fusion energy applications. His expertise is on the interpretation of turbulence fluctuation measurements in tokamaks (high-k scattering, Doppler backscattering) using reduced scattering models and nonlinear gyrokinetic turbulence simulation. He is currently interested in understanding the interaction between highly energetic particles and plasma turbulence in tokamaks (JET, NSTX, MAST-U, JT60-SA), using experiments, numerical simulation and theory.

The Researcher Training and Development Manager

Supports MPLS RSF by acting as a secretary to the committee, providing continuity, induction for new members and giving briefings on specific subjects.

Justin Hutchence

Dr Justin Hutchence

Researcher Training and Development Manager, MPLS Division, University of Oxford

Justin is an experienced coach, facilitator and trainer who once was an academic teaching and researching international relations. He leads a team that delivers a training and development programme for 3600 DPhil and Post-Doc researchers within the MPLS Division. The provision covers a number of different themes including: research skills, personal and professional development, enterprise, public engagement and research leadership. The mean average feedback for all the courses the team delivers annually has ranged between 8.4 and 8.6 out of 10 since 2016. Justin chaired the panel that judges the UK Three Minute Thesis competition for DPhil students 2017-19. He is now Chair of the Vitae Researcher Careers Working Group.