Being part of a new initiative and facing new challenges is always exciting and having accepted the opportunity to join the core team of the new Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing, as Executive Officer and Institute Administrator, I know it’s going to be incredibly interesting and a great chance to grow with the University.
I am really excited to be part of this flagship investment; to be at the start of an amazing new journey, both for myself and for the new Institute.
As Executive Officer and Institute Administrator, I coordinate the outward-facing activities of the Institute, including communications and managing events. I also coordinate contact across the University, with external partners, stakeholders, business and the wider community.
There is also considerable work to do 'behind the scenes', ensuring the efficient and effective management of the Institute from an administrative perspective making sure that it is a well-run, well-organised and properly showcases our excellence.
The Institute will produce important interdisciplinary research, leading to community and policy impact, and practical applications. That’s very exciting to me. I believe the provision of high-quality support and 'behind the scenes' administration can make a difference to the external, visible outputs of the Institute. This is where I hope to contribute my skills in management, communications and stakeholder engagement.
On a personal level, I find the remit of the Institute very interesting, and I recognise the importance of the wide range of research areas that it covers. I have, in recent years, had experience of matters relating to children’s health and wellbeing, dealing with a cancer diagnosis in the family, the complexities of dementia care, and the implications of the pressures that our health services are under on a daily basis and the impact this has on trying to get the best care for everyone.
The coordinated extension of research in public health and wellbeing with a strategic focus, provided by the Institute, couldn’t come at a more important time.
I have worked at Essex for over 12 years, as Project Manager for Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study. Working at the Institute for Social and Economic Research has given me an important insight into the complexities of and connections between different fields of research, and the links between health and wellbeing and a range of other biological, social, economic and environmental factors; plus a view of the opportunities for wide-ranging impact based on sound data, strong methods and collaborative research.
I bring with me over 20 years of project management and senior administrative experience, in a broad sense – I have worked on event management, committee administration, stakeholder engagement and financial management, and I have project management skills in planning, tracking and reporting on large-scale programmes of work. Many years ago I completed a PhD and I have found that this academic background also helps me understand the research community.
On a personal level, my goals are to fully utilise the range of skills I have developed over my career so far - one of my main motivators is when every day is different, and I’m sure it will be at the Institute!
For the Institute, my goals are to establish and embed an effective administrative and management structure, underpinned by good communications and teamwork, while promoting the work of the Institute effectively to a wide range of stakeholders and partners.
My ambition is for the administrative outputs of the Institute to be a reflection of the Institute’s overall excellence.
Executive Officer and Institute Administrator, Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing, University of Essex
Dr Victoria Nolan is Executive Officer and Institute Administrator in the University's Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing. She was previously Longitudinal Studies Project Manager in the Institute for Social and Economic Research.