Katherine is an experienced and impactful chair, facilitator and trainer, delivering a professional and inclusive service whether in person and online. Her facilitation remit extends in some cases to full project management and she also delivers training to groups or individuals (including train-the-trainer sessions) for international audiences. She has a wealth of experience in setting up and running focus groups and other discussion forums.
Working with Katherine to develop the top 10 research priorities as agreed by clinicians and people affected by pulmonary fibrosis is one of my most proudest achievements looking back at 2021 and 2022. It was a daunting process to start, especially if you don’t have a research background like myself. But Katherine brings all her experience and warmth to put you at ease. She is extremely well organised, and able to deliver complex information to a lay audience, in the right way at the right time. Katherine ensured everyone in our project felt heard and had input along the way. This meant the process felt engaging, meaningful and had a sense of purpose. She gave us, the project team, extra support and clear instructions to keep us on track when we needed it and greater control when we didn’t. Katherine is a master of facilitation and I hope we will continue to work with her as APF develops and grows.
Louise Wright, Chief Executive Officer, Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis
Katherine is an excellent steering group chair and workshop facilitator. She led with skill and acumen our Type 2 diabetes Priority Setting Partnership in 2016/17. Informal and formal feedback from steering group members and workshop participants endorse this view. I would highly recommend working with Katherine and am certain our journey to selecting the top 10 type 2 diabetes priorities over the last year would have been much more difficult and a lot less enjoyable without Katherine at the helm.
Dr. Elizabeth Robertson, Director of Research, Diabetes UK
Katherine facilitated with incredible skill a priority setting partnership (led by Autistica: the UK's leading autism research charity) designed to understand the top ten questions for autism research. The autism community is one which is diverse and often divided. This had been particularly true when it came to autism research where divisions were clear and unresolved. Thanks to Katherine’s composed and astute management of our priority setting partnership, we achieved something unique: a consensus on the priorities for autism research. Katherine carefully and knowledgeably supported the planning of our consultation and final workshop event. Katherine went out of her way to empathetically understand the intricacies of communicating with autistic people, to ensure that everyone had a voice. As a result, Katherine was able to calmly manage naturally occurring differences between groups such as autistic people and parents. Katherine is the perfect facilitator or chair for an event or workshop. That is why when we had a workshop on the highly sensitive and emotive topic of suicide in autism, we turned to Katherine again.
Dr. James Cusack, Director of Science, Autistica
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) commissioned Katherine to develop a training session for women engaged with the College’s patient and public involvement activities. With a broad range of individuals involved at many levels of the College’s work, from high level committee membership to working groups and project work, it is really important that members feel empowered and confident to share their views and experiences within these different settings. Katherine worked with us to develop a session entitled Raising your voice and maximising your impact. Her understanding of the challenges and opportunities for patient and public involvement, as well her sensitivity to the context of the RCOG’s work, were invaluable and ensured that we had a really beneficial training session that suited many different levels of involvement. Katherine was great to work with, making sure the day was thoroughly planned and her facilitation skills allowed for a fully inclusive and dynamic session. One of the participants commented: “It was a very helpful training session. I certainly feel more confident and well equipped to make sure my voice is heard effectively.”
Matthew Miles, Head of Patient and Public Involvement, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
We have been fortunate to benefit from Katherine’s expertise both as a facilitator and particularly as a trainer. Katherine has worked with our Patient and Public Involvement Team as well as our researchers in building skills to generate dialogues with patients about research that have improved the focus, conduct and outcomes of our studies. Katherine’s tailored and common sense approach to training is always well received and leaves people feeling positive and enabled to hold complex and sensitive discussions. We are very grateful to have been able to benefit from her expertise.
Andi Skilton (Senior Research Associate Lead) and Karen Bonstein (Manager), NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre
Katherine’s leadership and expertise in facilitation were essential in helping us complete our priority setting partnership for neurodevelopmental disorders. Katherine was a consistent presence, helping us confidently navigate the specific challenges of our initiative. Her ability to create an open and inclusive environment ensures that every voice is heard, and each perspective matters.
Dr Tom Mikkelsen, President and Scientific Director, Ontario Brain Institute, Canada
Katherine facilitated a research priority setting workshop, that also sought to identify challenges to progressing research in certain areas. She was an excellent facilitator, deftly managing a room of very diverse stakeholders as well as ensuring that the members of our patient community had their voices were heard. This workshop was a critical event for the development of Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK (SRUK)’s research strategy. Without Katherine, I am sure that we would not have had nearly as much engagement or fantastic outputs from the day. Her skill, excellent communication in the build-up to the day, and experience were crucial. We will definitely be seeking Katherine out again for future events.
Dr Fatima Ann Sulaiman, Head of Research and Services, Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK
Katherine developed and delivered two Introduction to Patient and Public Involvement training sessions that aimed to provide a clear and motivating introduction to practice for researchers across two UCL Wellcome centres. She quickly demonstrated a strong awareness of what we were looking for and provided a clear plan based on excellent communication and understanding of our requirements. During the sessions Katherine was clear and flexible with content, ensuring this suited the particular people in the room and left them with the tools to develop their own projects. Thanks Katherine!
Dan Taylor, Public Engagement and Patient Involvement Coordinator, Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences (WEISS) & Cassandra Hugill, Public Engagement Manager, Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging
I first worked with Katherine as a member of the Steering Group for the safe care of adults with complex health needs priority setting partnership. I was so impressed by her skills that I actively sought her out as the Chair of the James Lind Alliance / Royal College of Occupational Therapists occupational therapy priority setting partnership. Katherine is a highly skilled facilitator, setting very clear expectations and boundaries and therefore creating an open and inclusive environment within which all voices are treated with respect and given equal value. She plans meticulously, but retains a dynamic and flexible approach that adapts readily to the context and needs that emerge at the time. Katherine is diplomatic, empathetic, calm and composed, which enables her to facilitate complex and sometimes sensitive discussions in a way that affords the opportunity for all those involved to learn from the views and perspectives of others. The occupational therapy PSP benefited greatly from Katherine’s even-handed, equitable and transparent approach to facilitation. I have watched her closely in an effort to learn from her, and was not the only one. Katherine received resoundingly positive feedback from members of the Steering Group, with one commenting ‘Personally I have learned an enormous about all aspects of leadership, communication, collaboration and diplomacy’.
Dr Jo Watson, Assistant Director – Education and Research, Royal College of Occupational Therapists
Katherine facilitated a high-profile Virtual Symposium for the Cystic Fibrosis Syndicate in Antimicrobial Resistance. Katherine provided expert and thorough input and advice throughout the planning stage of the project, and worked in collaboration with a technical facilitator we had recruited to run the Zoom meeting. Katherine’s input shaped the agenda for the Virtual Symposium and enabled us to develop detailed plans to ensure it would be delivered to a high standard, including developing briefing documents for session Chairs and working with the technical facilitator to direct the event’s delivery. It was a joy to work with Katherine. Her attention to detail and experience in running similar events really helped to shape the Virtual Symposium and enabled us to deliver a successful meeting with excellent outputs.
Jessica Lee, Senior Programme Manager (Syndicates), Medicines Discovery Catapult
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Recent assignments include:
- Chairing the UK Cystic Fibrosis Conference (UKCFC) in 2021 (virtual) and 2022 (hybrid) (Cystic Fibrosis Trust)
- Design and facilitation of a series of multi-stakeholder online food hypersensitivity discussion workshops to: develop research priorities; horizon scan for future scientific drivers of change; and rate the likelihood and impact of future risks and opportunities for consumers and food business operators (Food Standards Agency)
- Facilitation of an online research discussion workshop for unpaid carers (Social Care Wales)
- Facilitation of an online roundtable discussion on research into gambling-related suicide (Gambling With Lives)
- Chairing an online workshop to discuss rehabilitation pathways for UK armed forces veterans with complex needs (Help for Heroes)
- Design and facilitation of online research strategy discussion workshops involving researchers, senior academics and clinicians (Blood Cancer UK)
- Design and delivery of ‘introduction to patient involvement in research’ training for researchers (Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging and the Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences)
- Facilitation of workshops for health & social care providers, practitioners and service users, to discuss opportunities for future prevention research (The Health Foundation)
- Design and facilitation of online patient consultation workshops to inform the development of a new software platform for patient engagement in research (Sano Genetics)
- Facilitation of patient/researcher focus groups to gather feedback on a systematic review of diabetic retinopathy screening research (City University).
- Facilitation of the first international Suicide in Autism Research Summit (Newcastle University).
- Facilitation of a consultation event to understand patient views on the use of health data for research (Health Data Research UK)
- Chairing a workshop to bring key stakeholders in reproductive health research together to discuss how to better support research training, research infrastructure, clinical trials, basic science research and global health research (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists)
- Chairing a UK conference for patients, clinicians and researchers, on setting a new agenda for incontinence research (Parkinson’s UK and other health research charities)
- Chairing and facilitating an academic taskforce to develop goals for dementia treatment and care research (Alzheimer’s Society)
- Design and delivery of training on impact and confidence for a Women’s Network and lay members of clinical committees (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists).
- Facilitation skills training for clinical researchers and students (Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre).
- International ‘train the trainer’ workshops on critically appraising qualitative research (Critical Appraisal Skills Programme – CASP).