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Digital Research team

Helping researchers make the most of digital technologies.

About the team

The Digital Research Specialist team was established to help researchers make use of advanced digital technologies and collect insights into the needs of researchers across the University.

Alison Clarke, Director of Digital Research, engages with research leaders to create a digital research vision and identify opportunities that will help make the University a centre of excellence for digital research. Alison is supported by a Digital Research Specialist team, led by Stuart Moran (Head of Digital Research Methods), with a contact person for each of the five faculties. The Team Leader is Chris Gell.

Alison Clarke is the Director of Digital Research and leads the team of Digital Research Specialists.

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Read more about Alison

Alison graduated with a BSc in Physics with Medical Physics from the University of Exeter, and a Master's degree in Management (HE) from Loughborough University Business School. Alison has over 20 years’ experience in HE IT, and is currently working with researchers to create a world class digital research environment in her role as Digital Research Director at the University of Nottingham.

Alison’s previous leadership roles at the University of Nottingham were based within Information Services. As Global Director of IT Partnering and Service Design she led the strategic planning process and the development of a new IT Portfolio Management Process. Alison was also responsible for the University's IT services and infrastructure, developing the strategic direction for IT and ensuring maximum value and benefit for the University from IT investments, including the University's China and Malaysia campuses.

Alison has held a number of external engagement and partnership roles including vice-Chair of the Russell Universities Group of IT Directors (RUGIT) which promotes understanding and awareness of the application of IT in UK research-led universities. Alison is currently a member of the JISC UK Research Data Metrics for Usage Expert Reference Group. Alison has previously worked at Loughborough University, the University of Birmingham, Brunel University, and within the NHS.


"On behalf of the University, I’m delighted to be leading this innovative new team and am very excited to introduce the Digital Research Team who look forward to working alongside researchers helping them to make the most of digital research opportunities."

Alison Clarke, Director of Digital Research

Dr Stuart Moran is the Head of Digital Research Methods.

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Read more about Stuart

Stuart started his career with a BSc in Computer Engineering and a PhD in Pervasive Informatics. Following his studies, he went on to work as a Research Fellow at three institutions, including: University of Reading (Social Informatics), University of Kyoto (Social Robotics) and the University of Nottingham (Human Computer Interaction). Looking for a new challenge, he then dived head first into the financial services industry, joining TDX Group as a Business Analyst.

Stuart's current role as Head of Digital Research Methods brings together the best parts of his industry and academic experience.


Dr Chris Gell is the primary contact for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Team Leader for the Digital Research Specialist Team.

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Read more about Chris

Chris has a MPhys (Physics with Electronics and Instrumentation) and a PhD in biophysics, both from the University of Leeds. His PhD was concerned with developing instrumentation and control/analysis code for the study of proteins via fluctuation analysis. He went on to lead a core facility leveraging these technologies across the physics/biology interface. Chris moved to a research fellowship at the Max Planck for Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, where he studied microtubules and microtubule-associated proteins.

After moving to Nottingham and before joining the Digital Research Team, Chris was a senior imaging technician in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham. He supported live- and fixed- cell and tissue fluorescence microscopy and image-analysis across Life Sciences, Health Sciences and Medicine.

Chris’s research (see his page) has always been focused on applying innovative technologies to generate research outcomes and he continues this work, focused mainly on the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, at Nottingham.


Dr Jasper Donelan is the primary contact for the Faculty of Social Sciences.

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Dr Sanna Pampel is the primary contact for the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Arts.

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Read more about Sanna

Sanna completed her first degree in Business and Economics at the University of Hanover, then worked for four years as an IT consultant in Germany and England. As she became interested in Human Machine Interaction, she was drawn to the Institute of Transport Studies at the University of Leeds and did her PhD there on Mental Models of Eco-driving, exploring what drivers know about driving fuel-efficiently.

Before joining the Digital Research Specialist team, she worked for four years as a Research Fellow for Automotive Human Factors at the University of Nottingham, testing novel systems such as digital mirrors and augmented reality satellite navigation systems in driving simulators, considering their visual and cognitive distraction potential as well as driving performance.


Dr Ben Bedwell is the primary contact for the Faculty of Science.

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Read more about Ben

Ben has a PhD in Computer Science from University of Nottingham. He began his academic career at the Mixed Reality Laboratory, exploring new forms of interactive technologies in museums and galleries. He then carried out applied research in the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, developing technologies to encourage sustainable behaviour. Most recently, Ben has led impact-focused projects working with local, national and international cultural organisations to deliver tools and resources for digital engagement in that sector.

Ben has development expertise, particularly in web and mobile applications. He also has experience of studying and evaluating these technologies, and in involving end-users and non-technical stakeholders in the development process.


What we do

We keep track of technology developments, and inform researchers of new opportunities. We can offer guidance in relation to research bids integrating digital technologies, and carry out strategic work across the University to ensure we have the digital capabilities needed to produce innovative research.

We co-ordinate with The University of Nottingham Professional Service departments, including Information Services (IS), Libraries and Research and Graduate Services (RGS).

The following video has been produced to provide an insight into the work of the team. 

Related links

Visit our Digital Research blog


Inspirational and informative digital research blogs.

Need help?

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University of Nottingham

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