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LIDo Associates

The LIDo DTP is committed to discover and promote the hidden but enormously valuable contributions made to PhD researcher development by researchers and professional services staff who are not formally recognised as part of a supervisory team.

These highly supportive colleagues are recognised as LIDo Associates.


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LIDo Associates can be any members of the wider research and research-associated community who have made a significant contribution to the development of a LIDo PhD student.  All Associates are nominated secretly by those LIDo students approaching the final stages of study.  Proposers are under no obligation to put anyone forward – nomination is entirely in their gift.  The nominees are then announced to the entire LIDo PhD student community for open comment before being confirmed.

LIDo has searched for contributions above what might be expected from a good lab mate or team colleague and without whose assistance the nominating student believes that they could not have been successful.  LIDo asked “Who has gone the extra distance with technical input, constructive and useful feedback, intelligent training, management of difficult situations or mentoring or coaching”.  This list of qualities or examples was not exhaustive but merely indicated the types of behaviour sought.  Often these are contributions that will never appear on a research paper or be captured in an annual appraisal and therefore despite being enormously valuable would ordinarily go unrecorded and unrecognised. 

LIDo’s long-term hope is that generous and supportive colleagues recognised as LIDo Associates will be able to reference this appreciation as part of the advancement of their own careers.  We hope that this will be particularly beneficial in an era where attention is being paid increasingly to contributions to the research environment and culture.


2022 Nominations

Dr. Owein Guillemot-Legris (Post-Doctoral Researcher, UCL School of Pharmacy Affiliated with the UCL Centre for Nerve Engineering)

cartoon image of a researcher"One LIDo student who works with Owein says “Owein is my unrecognised supervisor”. He gives me specific input and practical assistance, on my project planning, skills training, and analysis, and I am becoming a better scientist for it. On starting my project, it was Owein who spotted that I was faltering and offered to support me in a way that didn’t take away my project autonomy. Since then, as well as checking in with me every day, he also volunteers an hour each week to discuss my project. He challenges me in a way my supervisors do not: asking probing questions, critiquing my plans and assessment, and acting as a sounding board for my career choices. He actively seeks ways to make my project more efficient by facilitating collaborations, petitioning for access to equipment, and connecting me with experts in the field. Owein is an invisible asset in our group and it is about time he was acknowledged."

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Dr. Gabriella T. Heller (Research Fellow, UCL Affiliated with: Flemming Hansen laboratory, SMB, UCL with dual affiliation to the University of Cambridge to 2023)

a female researcher smiling at the camera"A Lido student working with Gabi says that “Gabi conceived many of the initial project ideas for my PhD and she helps me to drive the project forward as my day-to-day supervisor.” Gabi was patient and understanding when I initially struggled with many new concepts. She provided me with resources to learn about simulations and taught me how to setup advanced simulations, as well as analyse the results. She puts aside time each week to have a catch-up, she is very responsive to emails, and provides prompt and, constructive feedback on all of my reports, posters, and presentations. When things fail and Gabi is unsure why, she knows who to put me in contact with to find out the answer.  She is also reassuring, and we celebrate together when we solve the issue! She is always friendly, approachable, and reassuring, and I know she is just as supportive to all her mentees, including the LIDo undergraduate summer Research Experience Placement students she has hosted."

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2021 Nominations

Dr. Tristan Cragnolini (Post-Doctoral Researcher, Topf lab - Birkbeck, University of London and Thalassinos lab - University College London)

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Tristan is a fantastic mentor and has provided continuous support and assistance. His guidance has been paramount to the success of research by LIDo PhD students. Tristan has always gone above and beyond to help in whatever ways he is able to, especially during this pandemic. He has offered his time and counsel to students overwhelmed and isolated while working remotely, reassuring and encouraging them throughout. He inspired confidence to change the direction of projects to incorporate computational aspects. One of Tristan’s nominees stated “I learned valuable skills and grew as a scientist and also as a person, and Tristan has played a big role in this.” 

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Dr. Lara Meade (Research Associate, Pomiankowski lab - University College London)

headshot of a dark haired woman wearing a brimmed hatLara began as a PhD student with her research group and supervised countless summer students, Masters students and PhD students during her time. She is incredibly calm during a crisis and is always willing to help resolve any lab issues - her patience is a marvel. Seeing her create organised experimental plans, identify the most interesting research questions, and apply statistical knowledge inspires colleagues to become a better researcher. Better still, she is very good at helping new researchers develop these skills and is always ready to share ideas for improving experimental approaches. She manages to do all of this whilst being good company. 

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Dr. Altin Sula (Senior Postdoctoral Assistant, Wallace Lab - Birkbeck, University of London and University College London)

a headshot of a blonde man in a blue shirt smiling at the cameraDr. Altin Sula is a senior postdoc in the Wallace Group at Birkbeck College.  Altin goes above and beyond to help students with his wealth of knowledge in structural and molecular biology. Altin’s incredible experience, perseverance, and positive attitude has been crucial to the successes of many aspects of PhD projects.  Altin always has new ideas and is great at explaining the complexities of protein crystallography clearly. Despite being incredibly busy with his own commitments to his group and the demanding, inconvenient hours of beamtime, Altin always makes time to help, even those not in his research group for whom involvement is as a side project. LIDo PhD students nominating Altin can’t thank him enough for his support and teaching.

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2020 Nominations

Dr. Andrew Hibbert (Imaging Suite Manager, Royal Veterinary College)

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"Dr. Andrew Hibbert, lead Imaging Suite technician at the RVC, is enthused by technical tasks, irrespective of difficulty or skill required and is always willing to help. He always goes the extra mile."

“I sought to develop an image analysis approach reducing user variability and time. A conversation with Andrew acted as the springboard for the development and validation of a machine learning (ML) software-based quantification method.”

“Andrew continually provided insightful suggestions and constructive conversations for progression.”

“Andrew is an inspiring, patient and meticulous scientist that I can only wish to emulate.” 

Dr. Henry Taunt (Senior Postdoc - Purton lab, University College London)

a person posing for a photoHenry Taunt has had a profound influence on my research – and it extends far beyond just helping me. A quick glance at the acknowledgement sections on the many PhD thesis’ in my lab over the last ten years shows the remarkable amount of support he has provided.”

“Henry very quickly got me out of the habit of asking stupid questions – insisting that NO QUESTIONS ARE ‘STUPID’, will regularly check-up with me on my project - sitting down and taking an hour helping me brainstorm / troubleshoot the next steps, and helps me laugh if my results have gone terribly wrong.”

“He has made the laboratory an immensely fun environment by bringing an infectious energy to even the most repetitive and monotonous experiments.”


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Natalie Chancellor (Associate Animal Welfare Scientist, Royal Veterinary College)

a person posing for a photo with some birds"Natalie has gone above and beyond her role as Animal Welfare Scientist on numerous occasions. She has put in extra working hours to assist through data collection and helped develop solutions as challenges have appeared."

“When I thought I might never find a successful method for my research Natalie remained positive and helped me persevere.”

“With Natalie’s encouragement and friendship, she has made me feel part of a wonderful team.”

“She is a person of many talents who always makes time to support her colleagues in any way she can and has supported me through many difficult situations offering advice and constructive feedback.”

“Most importantly, Natalie has helped me grow as a person and has given her full support, helping me through the roller-coaster of emotions faced during my PhD.”

Dr. Lucy van Dorp (Senior Research Fellow - Genetics Institute, University College London)

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“Postgraduate studies can often be an emotional rollercoaster filled with insecurities, bad days (even months), failed experiments, and doubts in oneself. Lucy is solely responsible for keeping my rollercoaster relatively calm and smooth. She has always been there for me in times of trouble when my scripts were not working, when I did not understand a word of Biology I was reading for the whole week, and when I was doubting my skills and capabilities. She was listening, teaching and cheering me up, and providing advice and stories from her own experience.”

“She has amazing communication skills which makes working in my research group so much more enjoyable.”

“Throughout my PhD, Lucy has been an invaluable source of knowledge, good advice, and positive energy, and thus, in my opinion, deserves to become a LIDo Associate.”


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Dr Romain F. Laine (MRC Skills Development Research Fellow, University College London and Francis Crick Institute

“He has helped me enormously since he joined the lab." 

He helped me set up the analysis pipeline for my PhD project, which involved hours and hours of sitting side by side, going through data and modifying codes.”

“He will put tons of comments on my writings(the nicest way possible ;)), which helped me to learn how to communicate my project.”

“When experiments give me a hard time(as they always do), he is also the one who reminds me the excitement of science with sparkles in his eye full of passion for science.” 

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Dr. Ryan Felice (Lecturer in Human Anatomy, University College London)

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"When I started my PhD, Ryan was a postdoc within my research group, he was shortly offered a permanent lecturer position at UCL but has very much remained a part of our research group. He has always offered incredible support and advice on a whole range of topics throughout my PhD. He has helped me with data collection and data analysis, whilst also offering support when I received my first paper back from review, despite not being a co-author on the paper."

“He has always helped introduce me to colleagues at conferences and discuss future career paths for postdoc grants.”

“Not only has Ryan been a huge help to me throughout my PhD, but he is kind enough to help a large number of others with data analysis and much more.” 

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Dr. Michelle Ma (Senior Lecturer and CRUK Career Establishment Fellow, King's College London)

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“I would like to nominate Dr Michelle Ma as I believe she embodies the “excellence with kindness” ethos, by not only being a fantastic researcher but by supporting and nurturing the wider community of PhDs/postdocs within the Department.”

"I cannot thank her enough for taking me under her wing in the last year of my PhD and ensuring that I got to the finish line, whilst also helping to manage ongoing difficult situations.  Despite not being my supervisor, she always made time to plan and ‘sense-check’ experiments with me, ensure I had the resources to complete them and dedicated her time and members of her team to ensure they was a success.”

"I did my rotation in her department and even though she wasn't my supervisor she included me in her team meetings and Christmas outing which was much appreciated as my supervisor's team was very small at that stage and my supervisor was part time so it enabled me to become more embedded in the department and make friends and contacts that I am still in touch with."  

"She provided really good advice and encouragement and guidance. She is wise, dedicated, kind and talented."

Dr. Shilpita Sarca (Senior Scientist, MeiraGTx)

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“Shilpita provided useful inputs in some experimental designs thus helping me to pose the correct scientific questions and choose the right way to answer to them.”

“Shilpita has supported me in the most difficult times of my doctoral studies providing me with valuable advice.” 

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Dr. Elisa Negroni (Researcher Scientist, Myology Centre for Research Paris)

“As a visiting researcher we had the chance to work on a number of experiments together. Her insightful inputs enabled me to further develop a my critical thinking.”

“From a technical perspective, Elisa’s research experience has proven extremely useful in my troubleshooting experiments.”

“Furthermore, Elisa has always been a very good friend, always available to help, support and provide extremely beneficial feedback on my project and working future.”

Dr. Jody Phelan (Assistant Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

a person posing for a photo“I'd like to nominate Jody because he's been fundamental to my progression in the PhD so far. Jody is now actually part of my official supervisory team, but for the majority of the time I've been at the LSHTM he wasn't. In translating the basic requirements from senior supervisors, he has explained to me every aspect of our projects in conceptual terms, biological context, and in a practical and technical sense. Furthermore, he has always done so with patience, clarity, and above all, a good-natured and humorous spirit that makes difficult work much more bearable.” 

“He is able to not only work on his own projects, producing outstanding scientific work, but is also able to find the time to help me at all hours of the day, take on another student in an official capacity, and help nearly anyone else who asks, I find frankly baffling!”

“Whilst making significant scientific contributions he has always found the time to help myself and other PhD students during our times of need. His attitude and openness not only motivates me, but inspires me to become a better scientist and collaborator.  With this nomination I hope to return something of value to help him succeed in his career as that is the least I could for all he has done for me during my time as a PhD student.”

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Dr. Grace Blackwell (ESPOD fellow, EMBL-EBI and Wellcome Sanger Institute)

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“Throughout the last three years Grace has been very generous with her time, including teaching me in silico methods, discussing interpretation of results, sharing her wealth of specialist knowledge and proof-reading.

“Grace’s constant support and enthusiasm have been integral to my learning about the complexities of mobile genetic elements and have made my PhD much more enjoyable.” 

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