Please tell us about your role at PNDC

In my current position, I hold a dual role as the Bid and Proposals Officer for both the Institute for Energy and Environment (InstEE) and PNDC. This role entails managing proposals for both areas independently as well as facilitating collaborative efforts across the two. At PNDC, my remit includes managing all bids under our theme of ‘Decarbonisation of Transport,’ which aligns greatly with transport-related projects led by InstEE, such as those in rail, marine, and aerospace sectors.
The nature of proposals varies between the two entities. On campus, proposals typically revolve around low-TRL (Technology Readiness Level) grant-funded projects. In contrast, PNDC undertakes more commercially funded projects with higher TRLs. Having oversight and involvement in proposals ranging from conceptualisation to market readiness, is highly rewarding and extremely interesting.

What was your background before joining PNDC?

Before joining PNDC, I was the Research Centres Officer at OPENspace, a research centre within the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Edinburgh’s College of Art. OPENspace researches the benefits that accessing green and blue space offers for public health and wellbeing and the barriers to such access faced by many disadvantaged groups.
Before that, I was the Research Secretary at the School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. I’ve also held a slew of non-relevant but eclectic roles in my youth such as an ear piercer, and whisky sales assistant. I have always enjoyed being involved in a bit of everything and wearing a few hats at a time so the diverse and all-encompassing nature of bid writing suits me to a tee.

What do you enjoy most about working at PNDC?

The people are undoubtedly the most rewarding aspect of working across PNDC and the InstEE. They are consistently impressive, highly skilled, and remarkably down-to-earth. The uniquely collaborative spirit and collective dedication to achieving Net Zero makes working alongside them a true privilege.

How does your career experience align with the International Women’s Day 2024 theme of #InspireInclusion?

#InspireInclusion to me is a reminder that inclusion isn’t a one-time achievement; it’s an ongoing journey in inspiring others to join in with this practice. During my tenure at Strathclyde, I’ve been fortunate to receive every training and development opportunity I’ve requested, including the APMP membership and courses.
Due to the empowerment and inclusion I have benefited from I have initiated a monthly drop-in/training session for Early-Career Researchers on campus who may need guidance on what opportunities are eligible to them alongside the processes of applying for these. I aim to support, include, and empower others as I have been supported, included, and empowered while contributing to our strategic goal of continued world-leading research.

What can we find you doing in your spare time?

If you can’t find me at my weekly run club or in the gym, I’m probably out looking for a nice café, doing some volunteering, and enjoying the outdoors – or I’m at home trying to correct another questionable interior design choice!
Connect with Rachael on LinkedIn.