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Dr Lara Small

Levelling Up: Aspire Higher Programme Manager

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Levelling Up: Aspire Higher Programme Manager in the Department of Chemistry137A 
Research Associate in the Department of Physics137+44 (0) 191 33 43549
Impact Manager (Faculty of Business) in the Research and Innovation Services  
Member of the Centre for Materials Physics117a+44 (0) 191 33 43655


Lara has been the Project Manager for the Levelling Up: Aspire Higher Durham Programme since February 2021. 

At present, Lara is also Project Manager of just IMAGINE if... 2022, an international innovation competition. 

She has been an Event Manager, and more recently, City Co-ordinator, of Durham's Pint of Science, since Durham joined the international science festival line-up in 2017. If you are a researcher at Durham and are interested in presenting in future years, do get in touch!

From 2018 to 2021, as Impact Manager (Business School) (formerly Impact and Engagement Officer) Lara was responsible for supporting academics in developing their REF impact case studies for REF2021 (and beyond). Assisting in the whole range of activities associated with impact and engagement at Durham University Business School, Lara also worked closely with colleagues in Research and Innovation Services, and those in related roles across the University. 

Staff Profile

From July 2017-2018, Lara was a Research Associate in the Soft Matter & Biological Physics group of the Centre for Materials Physics, working with Dr Margarita Staykova and Prof. Colin Bain (Chemistry), primarily carrying out fluorescence microscopy studies of lipid bilayers interacting with surfactants.

Dr Small previously held an EPSRC Doctoral Prize for postdoctoral research, from 2015-2016 in Durham's Physics Department. Lara's PhD thesis, 'Peptide-based Molecular Motor Design', carried out under the supervision of Dr. Beth Bromley, was successfully defended by viva in September 2015 (graduation 2016). Prior to PhD studies in Durham, Lara completed undergraduate studies at the University of Leeds, graduating in July 2010 with a BSc/MPhys in Physics with Astrophysics. 

Research groups

  • Experimental biomolecular design approach to molecular biology
  • Experimental Soft Matter