Stephanie G Zihms, PhD

Inclusive Researcher Development

About me

Stick figure version of myself holding a laptop and wearing a headset.

I’m a Lecturer in Academic Writing and Researcher Development based in the Graduate School at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). My focus is developing writing support and communities for postgraduate research (PGR) students and staff to help with thesis writing, writing for publication or other written outputs. My key research interests are Peer-writing groups and using Creative methods to support writers.

I am also an active member of the Scottish Higher Education Researcher Developer (ScotHERD) network and from May 2023 I am chairing the Universities Scotland Researcher Development & Culture Committee (RDCC). 

From 2018 until 2023 I worked as a Lecturer in Researcher Development at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and joined their UWS Academy in November 2018. From February to May 2021 I was also interim Team leader of the UWS Academy. In June 2021 I moved to the Department of Research to focus on new researcher development activities linked to the Concordat to support the Career Development of researchers, PGR Supervisors, and mid-career academics at UWS.

I co-hosted the Power Hour of Writing – a regular writing session at UWS for staff and PGRs and we are currently writing up our findings. You can find out more about the Power of Writing and how to adapt by watching this webinar recording. Or click here to visit the Power Hour of Writing website to find our more and download our resources.

In 2016 I started the Postdoc Forum at Heriot-Watt University and I have been engaged with researcher development since. In my role at UWS, I supported researchers in their development by providing training and opportunities to develop new skills.

My background is in geoscience and I have a PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering from University of Strathclyde. After my PhD I worked as a researcher for the British Geological Survey before deciding to go back into academia for a postdoc at Heriot-Watt University. I was at Heriot-Watt from January 2015 to November 2018 based in the School of Engineering, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society.

In 2020 I founded Transfer Researcher Development Services to build on my academic writing expertise. I offer writing plans and asychronous reseource design. Find out more in the Write-along section.

In my spare time I enjoy running, in particular long-distance and trail running. Durnig lockdown this helped me with my wellbeing and allowed me to explore some hidden gems in my local area.

Me after a long run at Hogganfield loch - arms in the air smiling brightly.

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