Meet the Policy@Manchester team, and get in touch if you would like to find out more about our work. You can contact individual members of the team by clicking on the link in their profile below.
Professor Cecilia Wong
Cecilia is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences and Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute. Her research expertise includes strategic planning, spatial policy monitoring and analysis, urban and regional development, and housing and infrastructure planning. She has been working on a number of collaborative grants recently, including a five-year consortium project on ‘Tackling root causes upstream of unhealthy urban development’ funded by the UK Prevention Research Partnership and a three-year project on ‘Eco-Urbanisation: Promoting Sustainable Development in Metropolitan Regions of China’ funded by the ESRC-NSFC Newton Fund Collaborative Research. She received the University’s Distinguished Achievement Award ‘Researcher of the Year (Humanities)’ in 2021.
Dr Maria Sharmina
Our Co-Director, Maria Sharmina, is Reader in Energy and Sustainability at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the School of Engineering. Her research on low-carbon energy and circular economy involves interdisciplinary approaches to complex policy problems, and aims to provide a conduit between academics and policymakers.
Professor Arpana Verma
Our Co-Director Arpana Verma is Clinical Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology in the School of Health Sciences, and Head of the Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care. Arpana is leading work on co-producing interventions with individuals and communities for reducing health inequalities and has focused on evidence based policy locally, nationally and internationally.
Tanya Graham is Head of Communications and Engagement. She has a strong background of communications in the political arena, including as a Communications Manager for an MP. She has initiated and led campaigns involving multiple stakeholders to effect positive change within communities.
Hashim Kohan is our Engagement Manager. He has extensive political and communications experience from his previous role as Head of Elections for a political party and Head of Strategic Engagement for a regional tourism body. Hashim has worked with a variety of stakeholders from across the public and private sector in England and Wales.
Terri is our Civic Engagement Manager. She has worked with academics and stakeholders on a variety of policy issues, including inequalities; mental health and wellbeing; digital literacy, access and security; and domestic abuse. Terri holds an MA in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, and she is interested in intersectional inequalities.
Maddie is our Communications and Engagement Officer (currently on maternity leave). She has a range of parliamentary and government experience including working for MPs in Westminster and also a Senior Cabinet Minister. Maddie is our primary contact for the Faculty of Science and Engineering.
Callum is our Engagement Officer, covering the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. He studied Genetics at the University, before doing a Masters in Science Communication, graduating in 2019. Before joining the Policy@Manchester team, Callum also worked with the News and Media Relations team, and has a keen interest in science outreach and communication.
Suzanne is our Engagement Officer, covering the Faculty of Science and Engineering. She has extensive experience of working with researchers and academics from all areas of The University of Manchester. Suzanne is interested in how policy around sustainability, technology and digital developments affect society and people.
Natalie is our Engagement Officer. She has spent much of the last decade supporting elected representatives at Parliamentary and Local Government level to deliver successful campaigns. She graduated with an MA in Governance and Public Policy from The University of Manchester, in 2012.
Beth is our Engagement Officer. She has experience working for an MP in Westminster, alongside a recent Public Affairs role within the charity sector. She graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Politics, with a particular focus on British political institutions and devolution.
Michael is our Engagement Coordinator. He has a BA in History and a PGCE to teach secondary history and has taught for a number of years in the UK and abroad. Michael started at UoM as a research assistant in the department of Public Health in June 2022. He worked on a number of projects in that department before moving to Policy@Manchester. Michael has a particular interest in education policy and ensuring young learners know the basics.
Sol is our Civic Engagement Coordinator. Prior to making Manchester his home, he worked as the Communications Lead for a leading regional development organisation in Kraków, Poland. He’s currently finishing up his masters thesis on the utilisation of ‘nudge’ policies in smart-cities at The University of Manchester. His particular policy interests include urban development, economic inequalities, and digital infrastructure.
Laura is our Event and Partnership Manager. After starting her career in local government working with Councillors and assisting with their casework she moved to the HE sector in 2014. Since then she has been involved in the organisation of a wide range of events from business breakfasts and training workshops to private roundtables and political party conference panels.
Anna is one of our two Communications and Engagement Assistants. She recently completed her undergraduate degree in Biology with Science & Society. Her dissertation examined how the problem of ill health and its social distribution is represented in public health policy. Anna is particularly interested in how policy around science, medicine, and health intersects with social issues.
Emily is one of our two Communications and Engagement Assistants. A recent Politics and History graduate, Emily completed her final dissertation on British welfare policy in the 2010s, with an analysis of its stigma and legacy. She also has experience with policy workshops and think tanks in Manchester, and is particularly interested in social policy and its impact on people's lives.
Camille is the Communications and Engagement Assistant working on the Capabilities in Academic Policy Engagement (CAPE) project. She has recently graduated in Politics and Modern History and is particularly interested in how social policy shapes social justice issues.