In today’s post we meet Mara Götz, Knowledge Exchange Administrator. Read on to find out about her expertise and what she enjoys about her role.
What does your role involve?
I am a Knowledge Exchange Administrator in the Research Support Office, Knowledge Exchange and Impact team. When I get asked what I do in my job, I often like to say “I make sure things happen and I help other people making things happen”. This for me sums it up quite nicely. I really enjoy the ability to offer my experience and advice to others on all sorts of things, from planning a workshop, to dealing with a stubborn Excel file, to hopefully make everyone’s lives a bit easier. I support the Knowledge Exchange and Impact team to deliver events and workshops for researchers, I support internal funding grants processes and transfers, organise meetings, prepare our communications and marketing materials and lots of other things in between.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I come from a background as researcher with a focus on knowledge exchange between different academic disciplines. I’ve always been interested in public engagement and making research accessible and impactful for the wider community, so being part of the Knowledge Exchange and Impact team feels like the perfect place to be for me. I also love that I have a lot of contact with colleagues and researchers from very different fields and get to find out about something new and exciting every day. I love being an extended part of the research community at the University of Edinburgh; there is so much really cool stuff happening here and it feels great to be able to support researchers from all corners of the world and at all stages of their career.
How long have you worked at the University?
I’ve worked for the University for over 9 years now and have had the chance to get insight into many different aspects of University life: as a research student, as a tutor, and in student and researcher-facing roles in the Institute for Academic Development and the Careers Service. All these different perspectives have helped me better understand the different challenges and questions that students and academics face.
Ask me about….
Organising events, reporting and data, getting hold of anything from rooms to paper lanterns, editing and proofreading texts, and growing your own salad in the kitchen. I also love sorting things and can be quite ruthless in clear outs, so if you ever want to get rid of a desk overgrown with paperwork – just let me know!
What do you like doing when you are not being a Knowledge Exchange Administrator?
I spend a lot of my time with my cat Panda, who was adopted from the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home and I still regularly go back to support them and help organise donations of items needed. I often alternate my weekends between either going to Easter Road to see Hibernian F.C play, or exploring the Pentland Hills or some of the many other beautiful nature spots in and around Edinburgh.
What’s your favourite type of cake?
A German cake called Russischer Zupfkuchen. Think German-style cheese cake with a dark chocolate bottom and bits of chocolate dough floating in it. Although in general, I prefer savoury baked goods, such as Flammkuchen, which is a super thin dough topped with sour cream and literally anything else you like. It also goes well with white wine.
Favourite thing to do in Edinburgh?
Probably just sitting somewhere in a park along the canal, watching ducks and boats float by and enjoying the feeling of living in such a nice, open, diverse and international yet very distinctive city. That or walking up Blackford Hill and taking in the views – it never gets boring here!
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