Dr Caroline Gillett

Caroline Gillett

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Assistant Professor in Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement
IMSR Lead for Public Engagement

Contact details

Centre for Systems Modelling and Quantitative Biomedicine
IBR Building - Room 326
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Caroline Gillett is the Assistant Professor in Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement in the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research (IMSR). She manages IMSR’s Public and Patient Engagement and Involvement Strategy, including devising and delivering activities, training and events to engage diverse communities with IMSR’s highly societally relevant research portfolio.

She works directly with the IMSR research community to support their public engagement ambitions, through capacity building, mentoring and regularly collaborating on research grant bids and fellowship applications. She also works with the IMSR management team to support wider strategic initiatives, including IMSR’s strong commitment to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and Global Engagement.

Caroline is the public engagement lead for the Wellcome Trust funded DAISy-PCOS research project, in addition to the Centre for Systems Modelling & Quantitative Medicine (SMQB), where she manages an Artist-in-Residence programme which provides an exciting platform for creative cross-disciplinary collaboration between scientists and artists. As part of sharing best practice with others, she also curates the ‘We Are IMSR’ blog.

In her previous role, Caroline delivered the University of Birmingham’s RCUK Catalyst Seed Fund (2015-17) and played an instrumental role in the University’s acquisition of the NCCPE Engage Silver Watermark Award, conferred in 2018. Caroline’s work was specifically commended within the Award report.

In 2020, Caroline joined the IMSR to pursue her goal of collaborating ever more closely with researchers and communities (including young people, lived experience groups and patients) to co-craft meaningful projects that bring greater awareness, advocacy and involvement to the world-leading biomedical research underway at Birmingham.

Social Media Accounts


Public and Patient Engagement & Involvement Blog



Website: daisypcos.com

Twitter | Instagram: @daisypcos

SMQB Public & Patient Engagement:



  • PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, 2012
  • MRes in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Birmingham, 2007
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Birmingham, 2006


Caroline completed a BSc in Psychology, before undertaking postgraduate degrees in Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience. Whilst completing her PhD, she worked within the arts and cultural sector as Programme Coordinator for Capsule (Supersonic Festival; Home of Metal) and Cultural Intern at Town Hall & Symphony Hall, gaining valuable transferable skills and experience which have informed her own creative engagement practice and interdisciplinary mindset.

She has over seven years’ experience as an engagement practitioner, working at the University of Birmingham to project manage its first city-centre research pop-up shop (2014) and the Research Council UK Catalyst Seed Fund (2015-17) – a two-year initiative involving another nine universities (see Pathways to Culture Change). This culminated in the University of Birmingham becoming one of the first institutions to be awarded a Silver Engage Watermark Award from the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) – with Caroline’s culture change work specifically commended.

Caroline has run public engagement training for hundreds of researchers, from postgraduates through to professors. She previously served as module lead on the Graduate School’s Public Engagement Module (2015-2019) and she established the University’s successful Public Engagement with Research (2014-2019), Lapworth Lates (2018) and Thinktank Lates (2019) events programmes. She has delivered well-received workshops at many national conferences, including the NCCPE Engage Conference (2018), Royal Society of Biology Outreach & Engagement Symposium (2018) and Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Interact Symposium (2017; 2019) – including co-writing an evaluation report with the STFC. Caroline has helped secure £500K+ of public engagement and patient involvement funding from NIHR, NERC (ENCOMPASS), Wellcome Trust (DAISy-PCOS; CREDiBLE) and other funders.

She is passionate about borderless science, lived experience perspectives and the impactful potential of interdisciplinarity. She was drawn to IMSR because of its exciting research portfolio, dynamic and diverse research community, and progressive and supportive research culture.


Other activities

Caroline is a STEM Ambassador and a founding member of the Midlands Public Engagement Network.

Previous roles at University of Birmingham:

  • Research Engagement Officer (2018-2019)
  • Public Engagement with Research Officer (2015-2017)
  • Public Engagement Coordinator (2014-2015)