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Meet the Team

Research & Innovation Services (RIS) at Cardiff Metropolitan University supports research and knowledge exchange interactions with business and the wider community. At an operational level, RIS is the gateway through which external organisations can access the support and knowledge base of the University. 

We work with colleagues across each of our three campuses on a broad range of research and knowledge transfer activities maximising the commercial and social value of the University's research.

Who are RIS?

Prof. Sheldon Hanton, Pro Vice​ -Chancellor (Research & Innovation)

​Sheldon Hanton is a Professor of Psychology and became the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research in 2012.  He was formerly the University Director of Research and held School Directorships in Research, Graduate Studies and Enterprise. Originally from Lincolnshire, Sheldon graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University before pursuing an MSc and PhD at Loughborough University.

As PVC (Research) he is responsible for all research strategy at Cardiff Metropolitan University including the highly successful Research Excellence Framework submission (2014). His portfolio includes Research & Enterprise Services and the International Centre for Design and Research (PDR), a recent recipient of the Queen's Anniversary Prize for research excellence in surgical and prosthetic design.  He also has responsibility for European research and enterprise funding and all aspects of the postgraduate research student provision.

Sheldon remains research active and lists his main interests as competition and organisational stress, mental toughness, injury psychology and professional practice. He has held and continues to hold a number of high profile international editorial positions and formerly consulted with the England Swim Team at international training camps and competitions.

An abridged research profile can be found here​​.

Sheldon can be reached on +44 (0)29 2041 6612 or shanton@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Prof. Steve Gill,  Director of Research

Steve gill picture.pngSteve Gill began his current RIS role in December 2015. His other roles are as Professor of Interactive Product Design and Associate Dean (Research) in the Cardiff School of Art & Design.
He has particular responsibility for REF, HEFCW liaison, Action Learning Sets, Research & Enterprise-informed Teaching and other projects in support of the Director of Research and Graduate Studies.

Steve remains research active. His core interests lie in human-centred design, life-critical product design, physicality, rapid prototyping of computer embedded products and interaction design. A common theme in them all is a desire to place people at the heart of research aimed at creating ‘real world’ impact. Over the years his research interests have become diverse, leading him to supervise PhDs in areas as diverse as Re-configurable tooling, Thermography, Design, Experiential Vision and Ceramics.

An abridged research profile can be found he​​re.

Steve can be reached on +44 (0)29 2041 6732 or sjgill@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Matthew Taylor, Director of Innovation​

Matthew worked for a number of years in commercial roles in the private sector at BT and Welsh Water, followed by seven years at the University of Reading as Knowledge Transfer Centre Assistant Manager before joining Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2005. In his current role he is responsible for the operational management of Research & Innovation Services (RIS) and the development and delivery of Cardiff Met's Research & Innovation Strategy, covering activities including consultancy, knowledge transfer, spin-outs and entrepreneurship.

He represents research and innovation interests on Academic Board, Research & Innovation Committee, Digital Strategy Committee, and Chair's Cardiff Met's Intellectual Property Panel. He is also responsible for leading the University’s Research Wales Innovation Fund.

Matthew is the main contact for Deans of School and Heads of Unit on all matters related to the University’s innovation portfolio and can be reached on + 44 (0)29 2041 6614 or mtaylor@cardiffmet.ac.uk 

Leila Gouran, Deputy Director of Innovation

Leila Gouran, Global Academies DirectorLeila leads the Cardiff Met Global Academies, a cross-cutting institutional initiative that harnesses the diverse expertise of researchers from across Cardiff Metropolitan University and in collaboration with partners, to address real-world problems and influence institutional learning provision. Leila has line management responsibility for the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship team and the Global Academies team. She represents Global Academies interests on Management Board, Research & Innovation Board and Academic Board and Chairs the University’s Global Projects Sub-Committee and Brexit Impact Group. Prior to this role Leila was responsible for the development and monitoring of the University’s multi-million pound European research and innovation projects as European Projects Director and retains oversight of these.

Leila has a background in education management and teaching having managed a number of learning and employment projects in local authorities and charities and teaching further education to adults and young people. Leila served as a committee member for the BBC Children in Need Wales Charity Advisory Forum and as Chair of Torfaen Citizens Advice Bureau but has taken a break from voluntary roles to focus on her Professional Doctorate research into higher education performance culture.

Leila can be contacted on 029 2020 5972 (ext 5972) or lgouran@cardiffmet.ac.uk​​​​

Kate Jefferies, REF & Policy Manager

Kate has been part of the RIS team for a number of years and has been involved in a broad range of research related activities ranging from PGR student support to the administration of various externally funded projects and research policy development.

In her current role, Kate manages the strategic development of REF policy and practice across the University and coordinates the submissions to all Units of Assessment.  In addition, she supports the wider development and implementation of Cardiff Met's research policies and strategies.  ​

Kate can be reached at kajefferies@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Rich Neil, Deputy Director of Research & Professional Doctorate Portfolio Manager

Richneil.jpgDr. Rich Neil is the Deputy Director of Research at Cardiff Metropolitan University.  Rich also leads the University’s Professional Doctorate programme and manages the University’s partnership with the London School of Commerce.  Rich has amassed a portfolio of over 50 peer-reviewed publications including an edited text with Routledge, edited book chapters, and International peer-reviewed journal publications. Rich has also contributed to over 70 international conference papers and delivered numerous national and international keynote lectures. His current research interests are within the area of sport and health psychology (resilience, leadership, stress, emotion, wellbeing and performance). Rich serves on the editorial board for The Sport Psychologist, The Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, and Journal of Sport Science and Medicine. In addition to his research activities, Rich has extensive applied-practitioner experience across a range of professional sports and governing bodies. For example, Rich is the lead Psychologist for Scarlets Rugby. Rich is a Registered Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council, a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society, and an Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

An abridged research profile can be found here.

Rich can be reached on rneil@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Richard Mahoney, Innovation Manager

Richard started his career as an engineer. He joined the Research and Innovation Services team in 2009. Richard helps external organisations benefit from the knowledge, expertise and facilities that reside within the University. He also assists academic staff to maximise the social, cultural and economic impact of their research. There are a number of ways in which Cardiff Met staff and industry can collaborate for mutual benefit. Some of which include consultancy, licensing, commercial research, project management, CPD and work-based learning. Richard helps identify and promote opportunities for collaboration, and, where appropriate, assists in sourcing external funding to support the partnership.

Organisations or staff that wish to engage in collaborative projects can contact Richard on +44 (0)29 2041 6048 orrmahoney@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Orla Govers, Senior Research & Innovation Officer

Orla moved to Cardiff Met in 2007 and supports staff from all schools to develop, submit and administer research funding applications to Research Councils, Trusts and Charities both National and International.

Orla can be reached on +44 (0)29 2041 7042 or ogovers@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Fernando Pabst Silva, Research Grant Support Officer

Fernando joined Cardiff Met in 2019 and has since taken on a number or roles related to research at the University, from research project delivery, research integrity, to research systems maintenance. Currently Research Grant Support Officer, he supports Met’s researchers in reflecting on future funding plans, identifying opportunities, match-making with potential collaborators and developing proposals.

Fernando is originally a classical pianist by training, and hails from Brazil, but has been able to call Cardiff home for the past 10 years.​

Rae DePaul, Research & Innovation Projects Manager

After graduation, Rae completed PhD studies in molecular biology in Cardiff in 2011, and worked in the customer ​​services & training department of a multinational vehicle tracking company whilst writing up her thesis. Rae then joined a Life Science and Technology Marketing organisation where she specialised in the commercialisation of technology driven IP for two years before joining the Cardiff Metropolitan Research and Enterprise Team in 2014.

Rae works closely with the School of Sport & Health Sciences and the School of Education and Social Policy to help them to implement their knowledge and expertise in the wider community – increasing the impact of their work outside of academia. She is also involved in assisting external organisations to utilise the facilities and academic community within the university.

Organisations or staff that wish to engage in collaborative projects can contact Rae on +44 (0)29 2041 6254 or rdepaul@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Karl Couch, Business Liaison Officer

Karl Couch.jpgKarl previously worked in the Commercial Services Office of the University of South Wales, then most recently in the Faculty of Business and Society as Marketing and Communications Coordinator for a European Social Funded collaborative programme.  He joined the Research and Enterprise Services team in 2015 and primarily works closely with external organisations to develop collaborative enterprise and supports academic schools in the delivery of enterprise and knowledge transfer activities. 

Karl can assist in identifying opportunities for collaborative working and provide guidance on available funding opportunities.  He regularly attends networks and events providing guidance and support to a wide range of organisations. 

​Organisations that wish to learn more please contact Karl on +44 (0)29 2020 1159 or kcouch@cardiffmet.ac.uk 

Beth Galashan, Research & Innovation Engagement Officer

Following Graduation from her undergraduate degree, Beth went travelling for two and a half years returning t​o the UK in 2007. She worked as an Administrator at Aberystwyth University's Centre for Widening Participation and Social Inclusion for six years before joining Research and Enterprise Services at Cardiff Met in May 2013. Beth Graduated from her postgraduate degree in Advanced Marketing in July 2014.

Beth can be reached on 02920 205862 or bmgalashan@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Nia Lloyd, RIS Senior Administrator

Having previously worked in Business Schools at Reading and Cardiff University, and nearly 5 years in the Enterprise team at the Cardiff School of Management, Nia returned to Cardiff Met to join the Research and Innovation Services team in December 2018.

Nia is secretary to the Research and Innovation Committee alongside supporting Global Academies, the Centre for Entrepreneurship and the wider Research and Innovation Team.​

Nia can be reached on 029 2041 6037 or nlloyd@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Richard Smith, Research and Innovation Finance Officer

Richard is an experienced Finance Officer having worked in project-based finance roles across the public and higher education sectors for over 10 years. Richard Joined Cardiff Met in 2020 and supports colleagues with pre- and post-award finances, effective costing and monitoring of funded projects and the submission of financial claims.

Chloe Hexter, Research and Innovation Officer - Policy

CH.jpgChloe graduated from Cardiff University in 2017 with a degree in International Relations and Politics. Since graduating she has worked in higher education, with a particular emphasis on post-award R&I funding. She joined the Global Academies team part-time in May 2021.

 As part of her role, Chloe helps organise Global Academies events such as our annual interdisciplinary workshop, editing our website, assisting with communications and day to day project administration. She also works part time on the Pan-Wales ESF-funded programme KESS 2.

Joanne Hill, Knowledge Transfer Programme Manager

JH.jpgJoanne joined Cardiff Met in June 2021 with a broad range of experience in Higher Education, knowledge transfer, business development and marketing. She began her career in marketing within the hotel sector before transitioning into HE where she was initially KTP Manager at the University of Glamorgan before taking on a Marketing Manager role and becoming CIM qualified for the Research & Business Development area of the University of South Wales. She has further breadth to her experience with the last 4 years having been invested successfully in a Mental Health Advocacy charity in a networking, business development and marketing capacity.

Jo supports the development of funding proposals across the University that strengthen the University’s links with local, regional and national employers. Jo is focussed on the development of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP), Innovate UK and Welsh Government SMART funded projects but is keen to support colleagues in all aspects of partnership and bid development.​

Karly Selway, Graduate Studies Officer


Karly joined Cardiff Met in 2021 for her first Higher Education role. Karly supports the team’s administrative processes and is a point of contact for research degree students and academic staff.​

Karly can be reached on kjselway@cardiffmet.ac.uk 

Centre for Entrepreneurship

The Centre for Entrepreneurship is Cardiff Metropolitan University's dedicated department for all things entrepreneurial. They can help you:

  • Develop entrepreneurial skills​
  • Enhance your employability​​
  • Get your business idea off the ground

They achieve this by running a wide range of activities throughout the academic year from networking evenings and competitions to intensive programmes which help develop a range of skills.

To meet the Centre for ​Entrepreneurship team click here​.