Brain Sciences


Anouchka Sterling

Anouchka Sterling is Division Manager within the Division of Psychiatry.

Anouchka Sterling

How long have you been involved with the Faculty of Brain Sciences and what is your current role? 

My career at UCL began 21 years ago this year, and 18 of those have been in the Faculty of Brain Sciences, namely, PALS, ICN and more recently Psychiatry. My current role is that of Division Manager for the Division of Psychiatry. It’s a new role for me, only 4 and a bit months in, and I’m enjoying discovering a different part of the faculty.

What aspect of your work most excites you and why? 

There are lots of things that I enjoy about what I do. Working at UCL with all its historical richness and legacy; the fact that I get to work alongside amazing colleagues be they in Professional Services or in teaching and research and hopefully helping to make that a smoother and more productive journey for them; working alongside colleagues in the faculty who are committed to advancing EDI in our community and contributing in my own way to the cause.

What working achievements are you most proud of? 

My role is varied and challenges me to think creatively about how I can best serve my community whether that’s in nurturing the talent in my team or working across staff and student bodies to develop public engagement and EDI. I’ve loved seeing staff in my team progress, be promoted, and move on in their career. I was humbled to receive the Provost’s Professional Services staff award for Public Engagement in 2019, for the “Mind the Brain” day conference, which I conceived as an opportunity to showcase a diverse range of research in the cognitive neuroscience and related fields and to help embed public engagement at the Institute. This became a biennial occurrence at the ICN. More recently, with my EDI hat on, I co-created and developed a workshop for faculty staff on developing psychosocial safety and intercultural competence and was then invited to collaborate with the Arena Centre and other colleagues to incorporate elements of this in a pan-UCL toolkit soon to be launched.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that people might not know 

I challenged my fear of heights and micro-lighted over Victoria Falls in Zambia which was an absolute blast and I’d do it again in a heartbeat! And in case you’re wondering, think motorised hand glider, open to the elements, with a pilot, seat belt and helmet for safety.

What’s the best advice you would give your younger self? 

  1. Be kind to yourself.
  2. If you can, do it. If you think you can’t, try again!
  3. Failure and suffering are as much part of life as the successes and joys that come your way – there is wisdom in all of it, seize with both hands and a huge dollop of courage!