Dr Elisa Lawson

The accidental higher education professional’


I completed my undergraduate degree in Modern History, Politics and Philosophy at the University of Southampton and then forewent a place on a law conversion course to remain at Southampton and indulge my interest in Jewish history and culture at masters level. Still not ready to give up university life, I stayed on for doctoral study - my AHRC-funded PhD thesis looked at British Jewish historian, Cecil Roth, and the impact of the turbulent realities of the mid-20th century on British Jewish historiography and identity politics. I taught undergraduate courses on immigration and ethnicity in Britain. I then gave up a place on a PGCE course (is there a pattern emerging?) to complete a charity academic fellowship and then fell into a part time position as Graduate School Project Manager for the Faculty of Law, Arts and Social Sciences at Southampton. The experience I gained in that job put me in a good position for a move to the International Relations department, where I was International Networks and Collaborations Manager for 8 years. I arrived in the north east 3 years ago and am now based in the EU and International Research Funding Team at Newcastle University. I provide central professional support for academics  in building international research collaborations and seeking research funding from internationally focused sources, particularly in the context of Official Development Assistance or ‘Global Challenges’ research, and act as the University’s Global Challenges operational lead. I am an alumna of the Leadership Foundation’s Aurora Women Only programme and am currently a Newcastle University Policy Academy Fellow.