Dr Emma Watson is Department Manager for the Department of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London; a position recently started in August 2022.
Prior to this role, Emma was Department Operations Manager for Earth Sciences and Engineering (ESE), Faculty of Engineering (2015-2022).
Emma studied Chemistry at the University of Hull where she obtained a first class honours degree in 1998. She then moved to Imperial College London to study a biological chemistry postgraduate degree under the supervision of Professor Robin Leatherbarrow, funded by the EPSRC. She was awarded her PhD in 2004 for her thesis entitled ‘Positional Scanning Soluble Libraries of Protease Inhibitors’.
Following her PhD, she worked as a fundraiser and event co-ordinator in the charity sector. This role gave her extensive experience in event management and marketing and importantly, communicating science to the lay public and engaging the public in a medical cause.
Emma returned to Imperial in May 2006 to the Research Management Office at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), working with Dr Alun Owen and was promoted to Research Manager (Students & Fellows) in May 2008. In July 2014, she took on the role of Education Manager for the Institute.
Working with Professor Omar Usmani, Emma was the administrative lead for NHLI’s Clinical Research Training Initiative (CRFI), which aimed to attract, encourage and support clinical trainees interested in undertaking postgraduate research. The CRFI aimed to match potential fellows and their research interests to appropriate supervisors, support the process of writing fellowship applications, advise on regulatory, intellectual, statistical and financial considerations, and guide interview technique.
In 2011, she was awarded the Rector's Award and Rector's Medal for Excellence in Supporting the Student Experience. These awards recognise the importance placed by the College on the contribution of support staff in underpinning the College’s learning environment for students.
She was administrative lead, working with Professor Clare Lloyd, the Self Assessment team and Head of Institute on NHLI’s successful Athena SWAN submissions (2009, 2012 and 2014) which resulted in a Silver SWAN Award granted to the Institute in September 2009 and 2014, in recognition of the Institute’s commitment to the advancement of the careers of Women in Science, Engineering and Technology. This work led to the National Health and Lung Institute receiving one of the inaugural Julia Higgins Awards (2013) for the department's work in supporting their female academics.
In 2015 and in 2021, she was awarded a Julia Higgins Award. These awards recognise individuals and departments that have made a significant contribution to the support of academic women at the College.