Charlie Garner

Meet...Charlie Garner

We work among extraordinary people doing extraordinary things; get to know some of them by reading these quick-fire interviews.

Name: Charlie Garner
Job title: Research Facilitator

What are you currently working on?
I am a member of the Research Facilitation team who support our academics to apply for grant funding and work with internal and external applicants to apply to fellowships. I currently manage the internal processes for fellowship applicants and am the first point of contact for queries to our email (see also our fellowship webpages if you’re interested in fellowship schemes). I am always happy to hear from early career researchers who would like advice on what fellowship options might be available to them. Our team are also planning to run a training session in April for funding for early career researchers so if you are interested in attending, feel free to drop us a line on the above email address.

March is looking particularly busy for upcoming funding deadlines so my current priority is spinning a lot of different application plates to make sure they all get submitted on time with their relevant approvals, costings and other paperwork in place. I also get involved in various initiatives across the division and university that relate to research funding; at the moment I am working with colleagues on a project to produce guidance and training for researchers on the new narrative CV format which is increasingly being used by funders.

Describe a typical day
My work day starts with checking four email addresses (my personal and 3 shared) and checking in on Teams with the rest of the RF team (I am very lucky to work with a wonderful group of people). From there, my days vary depending on what the priorities are on but it is usually a mixture of independent work and various meetings with colleagues.

If you had an entire day at your disposal (not at work), what would be your ideal way to spend it?
If it was a day at home, probably a relaxed day of hosting brunch for friends or family, catching up on my reading, playing my ukulele and then heading out to a dancing social in the evening – I usually dance west-coast swing or modern jive, but occasionally salsa too. If I was out and about on holiday, I love walking the waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons in Wales.

What is your favourite place in Oxford?
The lily house at the Botanic Gardens. It houses my favourite plant in the world, a type of mimosa (not because it sounds like a popular brunch drink but because the leaves fold up when stroked!). I recently added a similar mimosa pudica to my ever-growing houseplant collection. The lily pads in the greenhouse are also strong enough to hold a human child, I know because I was told they once put the director’s toddler on one of them! If you haven’t been to the Botanic Gardens, you should definitely visit one lunchtime – Oxford staff and students get in for free.

Plan B: what would you be if you weren’t doing the job you are currently doing?
Prior to joining university administration, I used to be a professional wedding photographer. I had to stop because it didn’t work well with my numerous long-term health conditions but I like to think in another life I would still be doing that. I am still a keen portrait photographer now in my spare time.