Skip to main content
Our people

Anjana Nair, Senior Communications Officer (Research)

Meet Anjana Nair, Senior Communications Officer (Research) in the Doctoral College. In her profile she tells us about her work supporting postgraduate researchers (PGRs), including the Summer Training Research Initiative to Support Diversity and Equality (STRIDE) programme, which is committed to advancing diversity and equality within the academic fabric of Queen Mary.


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve worked at Queen Mary? 

I am a science communications specialist with an engineering background in Biotechnology and a strong passion for science writing. After completing my master's in science communication at Imperial College London, I transitioned from a long-standing career in journalism and marketing to focus on communicating research-related information. I've been with Queen Mary for a year now, working as a Senior Communications Officer for Research within the Doctoral College. In this role, I am responsible for managing internal and strategic communications for postgraduate researchers, supervisors, and staff. Additionally, I assist with marketing communications related to the University's external engagements and international initiatives.

Describe your average day/week 

On an average week, my days focus on collaborative efforts, filled with diverse tasks to support postgraduate researchers (PGRs) and enhance the communication of research at Queen Mary.

Mondays and Wednesdays kick off with a burst of creativity as I dive into drafting communication materials. Whether it's crafting engaging emails or designing eye-catching newsletters, these days are all about setting the tone for the week ahead.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are where the action really heats up. From bustling meetings to brainstorming sessions, these days are a hive of activity as we plan and strategise. It's all hands-on deck as we lay the groundwork for upcoming events, like Cohort Days, where we meet and interact with our researchers. 

By Friday, the pace slows down just a tad, giving me the chance to focus on external communications tasks. This is when I roll up my sleeves and get strategic, designing campaigns or managing our social media channels. With fewer meetings on the agenda, I have the freedom to really delve into stakeholder management and brainstorming sessions for future engagement ideas.

Throughout the week, I juggle various projects and initiatives, from supporting PGRs on how to effectively communicate their research to even getting involved in fun events like Bake Your PhD! It's a dynamic role that keeps me on my toes and allows me to make a meaningful impact in the world of science communication.

Can you tell us a bit more about the Doctoral College? 

At Queen Mary, our Doctoral College is at the heart of our innovative and vibrant research community, where every doctoral student plays a crucial role. The Doctoral College enhances the postgraduate research student experience by fostering a dynamic cross-disciplinary community. In collaboration with academic Schools, Institutes, and Research Council-funded Doctoral Training Centres, we create a nurturing environment for groundbreaking research. Our tailored events, including a comprehensive induction, cohort training days, and an annual Graduate Festival, aim to develop research skills, encourage meaningful conversations, and foster collaborations among students and staff. The Doctoral College is dedicated to creating a supportive community for our postgraduate researchers.

Are there any key projects you are currently working on that you’d like to highlight?  

Currently, I am actively collaborating with the Head of the Doctoral College on the Summer Training Research Initiative to Support Diversity and Equality (STRIDE) programme. Launched in Summer 2021, STRIDE is important as it passionately commits to advancing diversity and equality within the academic fabric of Queen Mary. This initiative focuses on providing eight-week paid internships exclusively to Queen Mary undergraduates who identify as Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic.

In the context of this impactful initiative, my role involves strategic planning, communications, and marketing of the programme. I am dedicated to championing the efforts of the Doctoral College to enhance awareness and encourage more undergraduate students to enrol in the programme. I aim to amplify its reach, emphasising the commitment of the Doctoral College to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic community within Queen Mary. Importantly, this aligns seamlessly with the overarching mission of Queen Mary's 2030 strategy, which places equality and inclusivity at its core.

What do you see as your role in helping the University achieve its Strategy 2030? 

In my role as a Communications Officer in Research, I view my contribution as a small but meaningful part of helping Queen Mary achieve its Strategy 2030. I focus on making research accessible within the academic community. By promoting research initiatives, my goal is to build a positive narrative about research at Queen Mary, fostering collaboration among students, staff, and others. In essence, my role aligns with Strategy 2030 by disseminating knowledge, enhancing the University's reputation, and nurturing a collaborative and inclusive environment in line with Queen Mary's core values.

What advice would you give anyone who is thinking about applying for a postgraduate course?

For anyone contemplating a postgraduate course, I'd offer the advice that I wish I had received when I was in their shoes. Take a moment to reflect on your motivation – is it merely about adding a master's degree to your achievements, or do you genuinely aspire to achieve something profound in the academic realm? While university life has so much to offer, I'd emphasise the importance of venturing beyond campus, connecting with diverse individuals, and immersing yourself in real-world experiences. The true wealth of knowledge often lies beyond the classroom, waiting to be discovered through meaningful interactions and genuine connections.

What’s your favourite place on any of our campuses?    

The top floor of the Graduate Centre provides a peaceful escape, opening onto a wooden deck terrace with stunning views of Canary Wharf and the city. It's the ultimate spot for catchups and camaraderie but be warned – when the sun decides to show off, this place transforms into an unintentional sauna. It's the hottest social spot, literally!

Do you have any hobbies or pastimes outside of work?  

When I'm not working, you might catch me perfecting the low-key skill of couch potato-ing – it's my favourite! I enjoy revisiting classic movies and TV series, and I've been known to share my humble thoughts on Goodreads. Organising and doing chores bring me the best kind of joy, as there's just something oddly satisfying about a nicely folded sock drawer. I guess it's the little things!

Are there any Queen Mary activities you’d recommend staff getting involved with? 

Absolutely! Queen Mary provides a diverse array of activities for staff, ranging from financial management courses and mental health training to career counselling and mentorship coaching. Additionally, there's a fantastic book reading club among various other opportunities. Beyond professional roles, there are numerous chances to network and engage with a community outside your usual workspace. I highly recommend joining these activities or even sharing your expertise within the group. There's an abundance of learning and growth waiting for you!



Back to top