Meet our team

The Institute consists of three core teams that respectively focus upon policy, public engagement and research advocacy, to help the University of Nottingham's world-leading research reach the right audience.

Find out more about the members of our team via the short profiles below.

Not sure who to contact? Email our team inbox instead 



Stephen Meek


Stephen spent 25 years working in the UK as a civil servant, including board level posts in two government departments. 

He has led the Institute since its creation in 2018 and oversees both its public engagement and policy impact work. He has particular expertise in the policy making process and how to influence it.

Email Stephen




Bellina Square 250x250 

Bellina Adjei

Research Advocacy Project Manager

Bellina brings nine years’ experience in project management in the Arts and Cultural sector, having worked at both large and small national museums and galleries in London. As Research Advocacy Project Manager, she will be managing major university-wide projects to promote the University’s world-leading research and creatively engage external stakeholders.

Email Bellina


 Gabrielle Bunn 250x250

Gabrielle Bunn

Operations Manager

Gabrielle joined the team in August 2022 to create the SHAping Sustainable Futures Hub, an Institute resource dedicated to social sciences research around climate change, sustainability and the net zero challenge.

Gabrielle now leads the Institute's operations team, supporting project delivery and overall strategy across the Institute. She is a project manager with extensive experience in marketing communications, event management and content development. 

Email Gabrielle

John Coggin

John Coggin

Deputy Director, Head of Research Advocacy 

John joined the team in 2023 to design and deliver advocacy strategies to achieve the University’s key research funding and reputational priorities.

John brings 12 years of experience in stakeholder engagement, policy advocacy, and institutional development in the higher education, corporate, and voluntary sectors in the US and UK.

Email John

Max Gillingham 250x250

Max Gillingham

CAPE Coordinator

Max joined the team in August 2022 to take over the role of Project Coordinator for CAPE (Capabilities in Academic Policy Engagement), a multi-institutional consortium which seeks to test and evaluate different mechanisms of academic policy engagement.

Max’s interest in policy impact began when he joined the University of Nottingham as a postgraduate student in 2019, during which time he spent three months on placement coordinating the University’s COP26 campaign.

Email Max

Sally Nightingale 250x250

Sally Nightingale

Public Engagement Project Manager

Sally brings over two decades of management experience within a variety of tenant and community involvement, marketing and heritage roles primarily within the public sector.

She joined the team in June 2023 to support in the delivery of an ambitious programme of public engagement events and activities, reaching diverse audiences and responding to the needs of communities. 

Email Sally



Maria Richards

Head of Public Engagement

Following a career in museums and heritage Maria joined the team in 2020. She specialises in planning for public engagement, co-production methods and understanding diverse audience needs.

Maria oversees our public engagement programmes, manages our public engagement funding streams and works with external partners to bring new opportunities to our researchers.

 Mobile number: 07976 951571

 Email Maria


Ben Sherwood 250x250

Ben Sherwood

Project Coordinator and Executive Assistant 

Ben joined the team in 2020 as an administrative assistant, assisting with the day-to-day running of the Institute. 

Ben has an active career as an actor and supports with a variety of creative engagement projects, taking the lead on the Institute's podcast, Knowledge, Engaged.

 Email Ben


Chris - website 250 250

Chris Sims

Deputy Director and Head of Policy

Chris joined the team in 2018 as Head of Policy Impact. He previously spent nine years in the UK Diplomatic Service before working in a variety of policy roles in the voluntary sector.

Chris oversees the Institute's work to support academics to achieve policy impact, and supports Stephen on the Institute's strategy, communications and stakeholder engagement.

Mobile number: 07966 875614

Email Chris

Tiffany Trundell 250x250

Tiffany Trundell

Programme & Project Manager (Policy)

Tiffany joined the team in 2023 as Programme and Project Manager (Policy). She previously spent two years working for a local domestic abuse charity and prior to that was part of the Knowledge Exchange team at Nottingham Trent University.

Tiffany manages aspects of the training programmes including PIPP and PIAP, as well as supporting and advising academic researchers with engaging policy makers and creating policy impact particularly in the civic sphere.

Email Tiffany


Amy Watkins 250x250

Amy Watkins

Research Advocacy Programme Support Officer 

Amy joined the Institute in March 2022 after graduating from a degree in Film Production from Nottingham Trent University. 

Amy works closely with the team to support with administration for various products. She plays a key role in supporting collaborations between our researchers and policy partners as part of our wider activity to identify best practises to do so.

Email Amy