EASTBIO farewell to Dr Caroline Pope

Dr Caroline Pope has sadly left the EASTBIO Doctoral Training Partnership and the University of Edinburgh Graduate School of Biological Sciences, to take up a new role at Eli Lilly in Cork -- her last working day with us was the 24th of June 2021. She has been a driving force for EASTBIO since it began in 2012 and, as the EASTBIO Doctoral Training and Industry Engagement Manager, was a major factor in successfully moving onto its current third stage.

In line with the UKRI BBSRC vision, Caroline set up from the ground up the DTP PIPS mechanism and associated processes for nine cohorts of EASTBIO-funded students by pulling together her understanding of the academic and industrial contexts, her research policy acumen and broad skills and contacts on the ground. She has managed the EASTBIO placements (both PIPS and placements as part of Collaborative Studentships) with robustness and conviction of their role in researcher development, and has monitored and assessed them closely in terms of impact. For instance, she presented research evidence about the PIPS at the 2016 Researcher Education and Development Conference  hosted by the University of Sheffield. Her talk “Doctoral internships - fun times but was it a good learning experience?" can be viewed here. On December 2017, she published the full version entitled "'Work wisdom' and the PhD: Exploring the benefits of doctoral internships" on the Vitae website's Occasional Papers series. The article draws on research data from sixty five postgraduate researchers from the EASTBIO DTP programme who carried out a doctoral internship as part of their doctoral training between 2013 and 2016. The research provides their views of emerging benefits of doctoral internships to universities, employers and society at large. The paper can be accessed via the Vitae website (for those who have individual or institutional Vitae membership) or found here.

Caroline has also harnessed the thinking, resources and processes necessary to implement and further develop the EASTBIO Collaborative Studentships strategy, spanning from recruitment to shareholder expectaions to student placement.

Caroline's contributions to the EASTBIO DTP strategy, review and development of placements were also informed by her in-depth understanding of student wellbeing, resilience and self-reflection as part of researcher development. These are areas she has also been an active contributor and passionate advocate. She piloted a very successful Build your PhD Resilience workshop to first- and second-year EASTBIO students in March 2021 alongside her other contributions to Q & A sessions at the EASTBIO Induction and Symposia events, as well as to BBSRC cross-DTP workshops. The revised EASTBIO DTP Training programme owes a great deal to her vision and her capacity to encompass multiple interconnected goals whilst also paying attention to individual needs.

She has offered EASTBIO students and colleagues her attention, time and professional wisdom, and has helped all make a better job at being part or, rather, partner of the EASTBIO DTP programme. We offer her our best wishes for her new role!