UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences


Contact us

ACO Team

Academic Careers Office

Academic Careers Office
UCL School of Life & Medical Sciences 1st Floor Maple House 149 Tottenham Court Road

  • Postal address: UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT
  • For general enquiries please email: aco-enquiries@ucl.ac.uk
  • For Wellcome Trust PhD Programme for Clinicians and SLMS Graduate Funding enquiries please email: j.rickett@ucl.ac.uk

ACO team

Learn more about the ACO team and how to contact us.

Professor Geraint Rees

Academic Director of the Academic Careers Office

Geraint is Director of the Academic Careers Office and is a neurologist and neuroscientist at UCL.

He is passionately committed to developing clinical academic training in the UK and contributes widely to policy and engagement in this area both in UCL and nationally.

Colby Benari

Head of the Academic Careers Office

Colby is the Head of the Academic Careers Office with responsibility for embedding education and training into the UCLH Biomedical Research Centre's strategy. Colby also develops and runs innovative programmes to support the career development of clinical academic trainees at all levels. Prior to joining the ACO, Colby held similar roles at Cancer Research UK and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Dr Nikhil Sharma

Clinical Academic Training Lead

Nikhil is the Academic Lead for the UCL's Clinical Academic Training Programme, which includes the NIHR funded Academic Clinical Fellowships and Academic Clinical Lectureships. Nikhil is also Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery & Senior Clinical Researcher Associate at the UCL Department of Neuromuscular Diseases.

Sarah Mackilligin

Operations Manager

Sarah supports a number of clinical academic trainees including the NIHR Academic Clinical Fellows and NIHR Clinical Lecturers. Through liaison with the London Deanery, Sarah is responsible for setting up cohort-specific training events and administers the NIHR bursary and MSc training fund.

Felipe Fouto 

Programme Manager

Felipe is responsible for managing the portfolio of career and skills development programmes available to early and mid-career researchers. Clinical academic trainees and scientists with a non-clinical background can access the programmes through the Career Schemes page. Prior to joining the ACO, Felipe had a similar role at the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Joanne Rickett

Grants Manager

Jo is the manager for the Wellcome Trust PhD Programme for Clinicians as well as the SLMS Graduate Funding and Isaac Schapera Trust funding. She is keen to support individuals pursuing an academic career within SLMS.

Emily Robinson

Training Facilitator

Emily is responsible for coodinating EUREKA @ UCL, a collaboration among the three Biomedical Research Centres at UCL with the aim to support early career researchers in translational medicine to address unmet medical demands.

Alex Teale 

Communications and Administrative Programme Manager

Alex provides overarching support for the ACO and supports the rest of their team in managing their projects. He is also responsible for the ACO's Communication and Marketing, website, social media and newsletter. 

Kim Gurwitz

Translational Training Manager 

Kim is responsible for developing and managing a portfolio of training modules, events and experiences that aims to upskill the biomedical research community in translational research. This work is part of a wider effort to build translational research capacity at UCL and is supported by the Wellcome Trust. In this role, Kim works across UCL's Academic Careers Office and Translational Research Office.