Dr Allan studied Physical Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge from 2004 - 2008. Her final year project focused on the synthesis and characterisation of metal-organic frameworks using phosphine-based ligands, under the supervision of Dr Simon Humphrey.
She completed a PhD with Professor Russell Morris FRS at the University of St Andrews in 2012, where she worked on the storage of medical gases using metal-organic frameworks. She was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the group of Professor Clare Grey FRS from 2012 – 2013, then held a Junior Research Fellow at Gonville and Caius College, and an Oppenheimer Fellowship from the School of Physical Sciences, University of Cambridge from 2013 – 2018. Here, her research focused on developing synchrotron-based studies to understand and develop new electrodes for lithium and sodium-ion batteries.
From 2015 – 2017, she has also worked as a beamline support scientist at Diamond Light Source - the UK’s synchrotron source, developing sample environments for diffraction and imaging beamlines, and later working on the design of the new Dual Imaging and Diffraction (DIAD) beamline which became operational in 2020.