Andrew Derrington


Andrew works on research funding and leadership. He has in-depth experience of the research funding process. His first research grant was a Beit Memorial Fellowship for Medical Research, which he obtained in the year he finished his PhD. His research was continuously funded by fellowships, project and programme grants, awarded for applications that he wrote himself, for the next 30 years.

Andrew developed his understanding of what makes a good grant application during the years in which he served on research grant committees for UK research councils and the Wellcome Trust. He has participated in committee decisions on several thousand grant applications. The approach to grant writing that he teaches is based on his analysis of those decisions.

Andrew’s management experience extended from leading half a dozen research associates in his research group to managing a faculty of over 400 academics. He held management positions in the sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. He was head of the Department of Psychology and the School of Biology at Newcastle University. He then spent three years as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Kent and three more as Pro Vice Chancellor of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Liverpool.

Andrew’s approach to writing is informed by his experience as a journalist. He won a Science Media Fellowship, which enabled him to work full-time at the Financial Times for 3 months.  Then, for several years he wrote fortnightly columns in the Financial Times. The Nature of Things was about science – from astrophysics to zoology. Psych Yourself Up was a guide to the different kinds of psychotherapy available in the UK.

Alison Metcalfe

Alison works on impact, research culture and leadership. Her disciplinary background is eclectic, drawing across social science, science and the clinical environment. In her leadership roles Alison is very experienced in delivering new initiatives and difficult change agendas through the co-design of new structures and processes to maximise innovation, buy-in and transform performance. Alison has entrepreneurial and enterprise experience in founding a digital tech company and previously she ran a medical devices company as a university spinout. 

Alison has a collaborative leadership style, along with significant clinical and research experience. She uses her systemic training to assess problems or challenges and to subsequently devise or co-design solutions with multi-disciplinary colleagues and evaluate the impact. 

In the past Alison has worked in executive and senior leadership positions within Higher Education Institutions; King’s College London and Sheffield Hallam University, and in the National Health Service (NHS). She has been a member of several national research awards committees including chairing an NIHR doctoral fellowships panel. Alison also oversaw the development of a regional research and innovation centre for health and wellbeing, which brought together the local population, business, and academics to co-design interventions to encourage people to get healthier through increased activity.  

In the past 15 years Alison has coached or mentored a large number of individuals in leadership, career development, research and enterprise, at a wide range of research-intensive universities nationally and internationally. Alison is an experienced workshop facilitator with experience of managing groups of participants from diverse disciplinary backgrounds across the arts, sciences, social science and healthcare. 

Louise Delicato

Louise is a collaborative leader who supports the development of others through face-to-face grant writing workshops.  She has conducted research and taught in Higher Education for over 20 years at research intensive (Columbia University, Newcastle University, Heriot-Watt University) and teaching focused (University of Sunderland) institutions.  She is a reviewer for UKRI funders (e.g., MRC, ESRC, BBSRC) and her research has been funded by NIHR.

Louise is currently Global Director of Academic Quality (School of Social Sciences), Associate Professor in Psychology at Heriot-Watt University and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  She is an experienced academic line manager with extensive leadership and management experience at all levels of a university including Chair and Vice-Chair roles (University Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team, University Research Ethics Committee, Department Ethics Sub-Committees, School Equality, Diversity and Social Responsibility Committee, Department Module and Programme Boards of Studies, Team Leaders Forum) as well as membership of committees.  


Amanda Parker


Amanda Parker was a founding director of the company when it was established in 2013. She had also had a successful career as an academic researcher, specialising in the neuroscience of memory and emotion. She had been a research fellow in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford and at the National Institutes of Mental Health in Bethesda before taking a teaching and research position at Nottingham University where she was promoted to Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience, and at Newcastle University. Amanda was also experienced in grants’ committee work, having served four years on the BBSRC Animal Sciences Committee.

Amanda was managing director of Parker Derrington Ltd until her untimely death from cancer in July 2020.

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