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Personal profile


Heather Doran is the Public Engagement Manager at the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science, University of Dundee. She is responsible for creating and leading the public engagement strategy for LRCFS. In 2019, the approach to public engagement at LRCFS was recognised with a Gold Watermark Award from the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

LRCFS involves the public and stakeholders in creating research ideas and maintains engagement throughout the research process. Heather brings creative approaches for engagement to life through virtual games, social media, citizen science, podcasts, comics and live events. She has over 10 years of experience in creating research engagement initiatives and leading projects. 

She is an elected member of the International Public Communication of Science and Technology Network (PCST) Scientific Committee and Chair of the Programme Committee for PCST 2025. She sits on the Public Engagement Advisory Board for  CÚRAM, a Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre Designing The Next Generation of ‘Smart’ Medical Devices.

She is a jury member for the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communications, given by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in partnership with Schmidt Futures and a judge for The Biochemical Society Science Communication competition. 

She was elected as the Science Editor for The Biochemist publication from 2020 - 2023, was Secretary of PCST from 2021 - 2023 and was Co-Chair of the virtual PCST Conference 2020 + 1.  In 2015/2016 she was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Fellowship on the communication of science travelling to the USA, Japan and China to explore how major research institutes and individual researchers help foster online engagement through social media. Heather began her involvement in public engagement during her PhD in Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Aberdeen when she was Editor and co-founder of Au Science Magazine.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, GPR30 and ERα36 and their potential role in breast and endometrial cancers, University of Aberdeen

1 Sept 200930 Sept 2012

Award Date: 1 Jun 2013

Bachelor of Science, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry with Industrial Placement, Durham University

Award Date: 30 Jun 2008

External positions

Chair, Programme Committee, Public Communication of Science and Technology Network

1 Jul 202331 May 2025

Elected Member - Councillor

5 May 20225 May 2026

Secretary, Public Communication of Science and Technology Network (PCST), Public Communication of Science and Technology Network

9 Jun 20211 May 2023

Science Editor, The Biochemist

6 Jan 20211 Jan 2024

Advisory Board Member, Public Engagement

1 Jun 2018 → …


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