Parent Buddy Network

Parent Buddy Network

In response to feedback received from staff at the University, we have set up a buddy network to facilitate peer-support and advice around managing childcare issues and workloads.

The scheme is open to men and women before, during and after maternity / paternity/ partners/ shared parental/ adoption leave. In addition to this network, you may also find the Parents and Carers Forum on Yammer helpful (University of Glasgow email address and GUID password required).

Details of buddies and their contacts are listed below.

We are continually seeking additional buddies. If you would like to be a buddy, please contact

Parent buddies will be unable to provide HR-related advice about your leave. For these kinds of queries it is best to contact your College/University Service HR Team.

Dr Jo Ferrie, Lecturer in Social Research Methods

Work: Full-time

Children: 2 boys - 9 months and 10 years old

Mat leave details:

I was completing my PhD during my first pregnancy so I had four months maternity leave funded within my ESRC CASE studentship, then back to work full time. For my second I took the 4 months full pay (as moving to half pay after 6 weeks was financially impossible for us) and returned to work after 5 1/2 months, using savings to make ends meet. I returned to work in the same role as before. 

About Me:

I am presently employed as Lecturer in Social Research Methods in the School of Social and Political Sciences. I am also Director of Glasgow Q-Step, a £1.4 million centre that aims to create a step-change in the quantitative literacy of social science graduates in the UK (funded by Nuffield and ESRC). The Glasgow Q-Step Centre runs over the School of Social and Political Sciences and the School of Education and also has a strong partnership with the School of Maths & Statistics. I am Associate Director for the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences working closely with students and developing Equality and Diversity protocols. My research interests align with the Sociology subject area here at Glasgow. I am involved in research around the lived experience of impairment and use equality and human rights frameworks to both understand exclusion and to promote inclusive practices across a range of partners. 


Dr Elaine Hunter, Daphne Jackson Fellow

Work: Part-time

Children: Three: ages 10, 11 and 14.

Mat Leave details:

For our first child, I was entitled to SMP only, and returned to work full-time after 14 weeks. With second child, I intended to take a 1 year career break. However I was absent from research for 9 years. I returned to research part-time in Nov 2014.

About me:

I am presently employed as a Daphne Jackson Research Fellow by the University of Glasgow, working in the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology where I am interested in the pathophysiology of Rett Syndrome and in particular, the relationship between neuronal excitability and mitochondrial function. My research career began investigating the interplay between membrane potential, calcium stores and contractility in vascular smooth muscle at Strathclyde University (2001-2005), and the University of Glasgow (1999-2001). My PhD is from the University of Nevada, Reno, USA (1999) focusing on the electrical activity of smooth muscle in the gastrointestinal tract.


Jennifer Robertson, Student Services Enquiry Team Manager

Work: Full-time

Children: 2 girls: 5 years old and 3 years old 

Mat leave details: For our first child I returned to work after 8 months maternity leave and for our second child I returned after 10 months maternity leave. Both times I returned to full-time work in the same role as before.

About me:

I manage the Student Services Enquiry Team in the Fraser Building within the Student Services Department.  This is a demanding and high pressure role that requires management of a team of 10 staff providing frontline guidance, support and enquiry resolution to our entire student community.  My prior work experience include similar roles; Head of Student Services at Glasgow International College and Frontline Manager at Glasgow Caledonian University.  Prior to my work within HEI I was a software developer/engineer at JPMorganChase, working within Investment Management and Equities divisions.  I have a variety of personal interests that include all things IT, in particular Social Media and Cognitive Computing (I have an inner geek), reading, gardening and social/cultural awareness.  Having children is a fantastic new chapter in life that brings joy, challenges and a lot of fun!  I would welcome supporting any new parents by offering any wisdom, tips and stories I can to help settle back into work and the wonderful adventures that parenthood brings :) 


Dr Dickon Copsey, College Employability Officer

Work: Full-time 

My kids: 

I have three children - a 23 year old, a 4 year old and a 2 year old. For both of my younger kids I took the 2 weeks paternity leave but for the past 4 years I have also taken an additional 2 weeks unpaid parental leave a year to cover holidays etc which has worked really well and given us a bit more time together as a family. Myself and my partner both work full time so I'm very familiar with the balancing act of childcare and work.  

About me

I'm currently employed as College Employability Officer in the College of Social Sciences where I work with students, staff and external organisations to increase opportunities for work-related learning and graduate attributes development. More info here.  


Dr Ruth Dukes, Senior Lecturer

Work: Full-time

Children: 1 girl, 1 boy - 5 years and 1 year old

Partner: my husband is a Professor of Chemistry who also works full-time 

Mat leave details: For our first child, I took 9 months mat leave and for our second, 6 months. Both times I returned to full-time work in the same role as before. 

About me:

I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law. My research focuses on trade union law and the history and theory of labour law and industrial relations. I am currently interested in the question of appropriate methodologies for the study of labour law and labour markets. I have degrees from the London School of Economics, the Humboldt University in Berlin, and the University of Edinburgh. In 2010-11, I was an AHRC Early Career Research Fellow and a MacCormick Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.   


Dr Catherine M. Lido, Education Researcher

Work: Full-time

Children: 2 boys- 10 months and 41/2 years old

Mat leave details: For the first child my husband and I split our leave, 6 months for me and 6 months for him. For the second I was entitled to SMP only, so I took 12 weeks, 6 paid, 4 holiday, 2SMP only.  Both times I returned to full-time work in the same role as before.

About me:
I am presently employed as a Research Fellow by the University of Glasgow, working for their new Urban Big Data Centre, and housed within the School of Education.  I currently work with Prof Mike Osborne on assessing the city's learning access and metrics, as well as working with large data and multi-media data sources.  I was previously a Senior lecturer and former BSc Programme leader for Psychology at the University of West London (2004-2014). My teaching and research interests are mainly within the social psychology of education and quantitative methods in the social sciences. My PhD is from the University of Sussex (2004) in the area of social psychology, and concerned gender stereotypes in job interviews. 

Professor Lubna Nasir, Professor of Comparative Oncoclogy

Work: Part time

Children: 2 girls – 5 and 7 years old

Mat leave details: 7 months maternity leave with first child returning full time and 10 months maternity leave with second child returning part time. I would be happy to discuss my experiences of part-time working.

About me:

I completed my PhD here at the University of Glasgow and I am a Professor of Comparative Oncology in the School of Veterinary Medicine where I chair the Athena Swan Group (Gender Equality Group) and act as Head of a Division. My main roles and responsibilities within the School are in teaching and teaching leadership however I also try to find time to pursue my research interests which are focussed on the pathobiology of common skin tumours in horses, termed sarcoids. 

Rachael McLauchlan, Research and Teaching Support Secretary

Work: Part-time compressed hours (Wed-Fri, 8.00-18.00)

Children: one girl (5 years old), one boy (2 years old)

Mat leave details:

For our first child I took 9 months maternity as we couldn’t afford to take the months off with zero pay. I changed from full-time to part-time straight after that which meant that for our second child I could only take 6 months maternity leave (as we couldn’t afford to take the SMP only months off).

About me:

I am presently employed as a Secretary by the University of Glasgow, providing teaching, research and outreach support to the Astronomy and Astrophysics and Quantum Theory groups in the School of Physics and Astronomy. My School was very supportive throughout the period I had children – they allowed me to reduce my hours and then also asked me if I wanted to increase them slightly without it impacting on the days I am unable to work. This has allowed my husband and I to have compatible working patterns (he works alternate Sat-Tue and Sun-Tue compressed shifts) that maximise our income and mean no childcare costs to pay. We worked it out that, if we were not fortunate enough to have this arrangement, one of us would be as well giving up our job (with the other working full-time and overtime to compensate), as we would simply not benefit financially from having our children in childcare.

Dr Victoria Paterson, Lecturer

Work: Full time

Children: One boy: 21months

Mat leave details: I took 8.5 months maternity leave under leave option A, with 8 weeks full pay, 16 weeks half pay (plus SMP) and had 9 weeks with SMP. I then took 4 weeks of annual leave to cover the time off until my son was 10 months old and returned to work full time in the same role as before in October 2015. Both my husband and I work full time and our son is in full time nursery.

About me: I am a Lecturer within the School of Life Sciences teaching undergraduate Animal Biology, Zoology and Marine and Freshwater students. I specialise in teaching areas of Invertebrates and Parasite Biology and have a strong focus on student welfare as an advisor of study. I completed my PhD in wildlife epidemiology in 2012 at the University of Glasgow and have been working full time as a University teacher since then. I am actively involved in the School of Life Sciences Athena Swan bronze bid and have a vested interest. This has made me more aware of the issues facing working parents and trying to find a good work life balance. More than happy to chat about the challenges we face as parents and how we could try and find that critical balance.

Dr Nicola Veitch, Lecturer

Work: Part-time

Children: 2 girls: 7 and 1 years old

Mat leave details:  For my first child I returned to work after 6 months doing 4 days a week and then after 2 years went back to full time.  For my second child, I returned after 10 months, going back full time and then going to 4 days a week after 10 months.

About me: I am a Lecturer in the School of Life Sciences teaching undergraduate students Infection Biology and Molecular Methods.  I have worked in this role for 5 years and prior to that I did Parasitology research in the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine. I understand some of the challenges returning to work with 1 or 2 children can bring, so I am happy to support parents returning to work, offering a listening ear and any help or advice if required.

Karen Trofimova, Project Officer

Work: Part-Time

Children: 1 girl, aged 17 months

Maternity leave: I took the full 52 weeks maternity leave under Scheme A with the University and it was wonderful to have this time with my little girl. I was (and still am) breastfeeding so being off for the full year certainly made this a lot easier. Before going off on maternity leave I worked full time but decided I would like to come back part-time in order to have more time with my daughter. Conveniently for me, 50% of my job moved to Edinburgh University at the time, so I had exactly 50% to come back to which suited me perfectly!

About me:  I currently alternate between 2 day and 3 day working weeks as Project Officer for the BHF Centre for Research Excellence at the Institute of Cardiovascular & Medical Sciences. Prior to taking up this post 3 and half years ago, I lived and worked in Tampere, Finland as a Project Manager at Tampere University of Technology. My husband is a Software Engineer in the banking sector and works full time. Our daughter currently goes to a childminder for 2 days a week and on the weeks that I work 3 days, she spends the third day with my parents – we are lucky that they live close by. I am happy to chat about any issues related to combining work and family, extended breastfeeding and anything at all to do with parenthood, especially for first-time parents. In the little spare time that I have now, I love working out at the gym, dancing, going to gigs, getting out and about in the fresh air exploring nature, travelling and reading! On the side I am a qualified remedial & sports massage therapist and I also run my own baby massage classes. 

Dr Katherine Price, Lecturer in School of Life Sciences

Work: Part-Time

Children: 2 boys and 2 girls, ages 6, 10, 13 and 14.

Maternity leave: I have taken between 4 and 6 months maternity leave with each child - based on the allowances available and need to return earlier for financial reasons.  I was already pregnant with my second child when I returned after my first lot of maternity leave!

About me:  I currently work 4 days a week as a Lecturer (Teaching and Scolarship track) in the School of Life Sciences, teaching on courses in Human Biology amd Medicine. Prior to taking up this post 7 years ago, I worked as consultant in emergency medicine. I changed career in order to work more social hours that would give me more time to spend with my children. My husband works full-time, and we live in a village with very limited childcare; with no family close by, I have a lot of experience in juggling work and family with limited support. I am happy to chat about any issues related to combining work and family. In particular, I can discuss the positives and negatives of downsizing a career for family reasons. I am also very keen to support mums who want to continue to breastfeed on return to work, either those who wish to breastfeed beyond 1 year, or those who need to return to work after a shorter period of maternity leave - I have spent many hours expressing milk at work myself! 

Yulia Anopa, Research Assistant

Work: I am a Research Assistant and a part-time PhD student.

Children: I’ve got a 14 months old daughter

Maternity Leave: I returned to work on the day she turned 10 months.

About Me: Currently I am working 4 days a week, taking one day a week from my accumulated annual leave (carried over from last year, when I was on mat. leave). Once these days ran out, I plan to work full time.  I am happy to 'buddy' PGR students and staff.

Maria Fletcher, Senior Lecturer in School of Law

Work: Full-time

Children:  A girl and boy, 4 and 2 years old.

Mat leave details:  Both times I took the full year and both times I returned to full-time work in the same role as before.

About me:

I am Senior Lecturer in European Law in the School of Law. I have worked in the School of Law for over 15 years. My research interests lie broadly in the field EU constitutional law, with a particular focus on criminal justice and immigration and asylum law and policy. My administrative role in the School is that of Employability Officer; a role that I enjoy and that has deepened my interest in access to justice issues and in the pedagogy of teaching and learning law. Upon my return to work after my second child I was one of the first recipients of the College of Social Sciences Parental Leave Returners Fund: I secured monies to enable me to employ a part time Research Assistant and to pay for a research workshop in the University.