Dr Rachel Cowen BSc, MSc, PhD

Senior Lecturer

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I am a Senior Lecturer and co-founder of the Centre for Academic and Researcher Development (CARD), Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. I provide education and training to research staff and academic staff in their research, teaching and learning, and career development in line with their own career aspirations and the Faculty/University strategic direction.

  • I lead the Faculty research staff training programme developing essential communication skills, key research skills and career planning skills.The workshops are tailored to the specific research areas of each of the Schools in the Faculty and aim to enhance performance and satisfaction.
  • Within the Faculty we have an active Research Staff Representatives Network providing researcher’s with an enhanced sense of community and opportunity to share ideas, concerns and propose actions. I chair the this Fora keeping the interests of research staff at the forefront of the Faculty research agenda.
  • I lead the Faculty New Academics and Fellows Programme. The programme supports research excellence, inspirational teaching and personal and professional development.
  • I also have a pastoral role providing one to one CV, interview and fellowship advice and career coaching to research staff and academic staff.

The Centre for Academic and Researcher Development engage with researchers and academics through their website at http://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/bmh/pss-activities/training/



I gained my undergraduate Honours degree in Biochemistry in 1992 from the University of Leeds followed by a Masters degree in Information Technolgy in 1993 from the University of Nottingham. I then embarked on a research career in the field of oncology beginning as a Research Assistant for CRUK, Christie Hospital, Manchester and then in private R&D at Pfizer Central Research, UK (1993-1997). I decided to further my academic qualifications and embark on a BBSRC/AstraZeneca sponsored PhD studentship in 1997 and was awarded my doctorate in Cancer Gene Therapy in 2000 from the University of Manchester. I amassed 7 years postdoctoral cancer research experience as a Research Fellow in the School of Pharmacy, University of Manchester. I secured my current position as a an academic and researcher developer in June 2007.


  • 2015 - Executive Coaching and Mentoring Level 7 Award, Institute of Leadership and Management
  • 2015 - Senior Fellowship of The Higher Education Academy
  • 2012 - Coaching and Mentoring Level 5 Award, Institute of Leadership and Management
  • 2009 - Certificate in Training Practice, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
  • 2000 - Ph.D in Medicine, University of Manchester.
  • 1993 - M.Sc in Information Technology, Nottingham University, Nottingham UK
  • 1992 - B.Sc Hons in Biochemistry, Leeds University, UK

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Researchers14 National Network
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
  • Staff Development Forum (Supported by the Leadership Foundation)

External positions

External Examiner, Lancaster University

Jul 2016 → …

Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) Domains

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