About Us

We consistently get feedback that it is our trainers that make our courses stand out.

Adair Richards


Adair is the founder and Director of ARA, and lead trainer for the majority of projects.

The trainer has a saint-like patience. He also showed sensitivity to individual questions. The seminar although highly academic was taught with a good sense of humour, which made it even more enjoyable.


Adair Richards is a globally recognised researcher and higher education specialist. He has spoken at many of the world's top Universities (e.g. UCL, Harvard, Yale), and is now an Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Warwick. His PhD was for research into potential cures for  antibiotic-resistant bacterial diseases. Across his career, Adair has gained a broad base of academic experience also including postdoctoral research positions in both the sciences - biophysical chemistry, and the humanities - museum studies. His academic publications have received hundreds of citations, including by a Nobel laureate, and he has a particular interest in interdisciplinary studies.


Adair was foundational to the development of the first University accredited transferable skills programme for PhD researchers, and then later a similar programme for postdoctoral research staff.  With this experience and a passion for seeing fellow academics empowered, in 2010 he established and became director of ARA Ltd.  Dedicated to remaining at the cutting edge of training, he has recently gained a Postgraduate Award in Technology Enhanced Learning.  His 2015 TED talk sets out his vision for a revolutionary change of approach to higher education.


Adair began broadcasting at the age of 12, presenting on BAFTA winning and RTS nominated documentaries for Channel 4. Following his studies, he worked as Science Communication Fellow at the University of Warwick and had a weekly slot as Resident Scientist for BBC Coventry & Warwickshire. He has occasionally been broadcast on Radio 4, BBC World Service and other national and international channels.


Adair has a strong sense of justice and a desire to help his community. He serves as a Chair in the Magistrates' Court and as a Chair Lay Judge in the Family Court. He is also a Chair of the Fitness-to-practise Committees of the UK General Dental Council, and a member of the Advertising Advisory Committee for the UK Advertising Standards Authority.


Adair is married to the wonderful Juliette, loves creating music, cooking Indian cuisine, hiking, excellent coffee, and meeting interesting people. His Christian faith is central to his identity and he is an active member of his local Church.

Intrigued? Adair is available to

Emma Dore

Emma Dore

Emma brings a wealth of experience and expertise in research, business management and programme development. She has developed and delivered training in the public and voluntary sectors, specialising in participant engagement. Described by a senior civil servant as 'insightful and highly capable', she is particularly motivated by seeing positive change. Some of her recent successes include researching and publishing a seminal social sciences report leading to key governmental policy change, developing an active national special interest network of professionals and academics, and cycling the south coast of Sweden on a vintage ladies bike with a basket.


Alessa Goller

Alessa is a consultant based in Australia with a strong track record in education, international development and capacity building. She has delivered exceptional results across 3 continents for numerous governments and NGOs in the areas of research, project management and strategic advice. She was described recently by a senior official as 'experienced and very competent, whose genuine warmth will be missed by all'. She also has 4 University qualifications and speaks 4 languages fluently.

Andrew Halfacre

Andrew is an executive coach, working with managers who wish they were more effective. He has designed and delivered training for researchers at Kent, Cambridge, Swansea, Warwick and UCL among others. He has also delivered experiential learning courses and events for researchers in Spain and Beijing. Before this he worked for 18 years as a manager in the UK energy industry with responsibility for delivering major change projects. His book on knowing your own mind is available via firstknowwhatyouwant.com

Geraint Wyn Story

Geraint is a training consultant focusing on personal and professional development in university researchers. He studied his PhD in life sciences at the University of Cambridge before taking a team management role at a biotechnology company. He then returned to the University of Cambridge where he spent six years developing and delivering researcher training. He now provides training and consultancy to a wide range of universities, specialising in academic writing and oral communication.

Jen Allanson

Jen Allanson is a skills trainer, facilitator and coach. For the last 17 years she has been developing and delivering transferable skills and employability training within a variety of professional contexts. She has delivered more than 300 experiential training events at institutions across the UK, Europe and Asia. Her PhD is in Computer Science and her broad career has also included work in outdoor pursuits, fine art, licensing and systems development, as well as a senior lectureship in Human-Computer Interaction.

Jeremy Mead

Jeremy has over 20 years’ experience of worldwide leadership development and in coaching teams and individuals. As Vice President for Leadership Development he developed and implemented transformational leadership programmes at Unilever. In his independent consultancy, he has worked in multiple sectors including banking, manufacturing, higher education and the public sector. Prior to this, Jeremy was on the board of Unilever’s Ice Cream business during a time when it expanded operations from 23 countries to 100 over a period of just 5 years, with a trebling in turnover to $3.5bln.

Rosie Eaton

Rosie is a broadcast journalist with more than 12 years’ experience in BBC Radio. In her ‘day’ job she works as a producer, newsreader, reporter and researcher. She co-leads our media training work and particularly values the opportunity to work one-to-one with participants to improve their narrative and interview skills.

Vaneeta D'Andrea

Vaneeta is a consultant, based in the UK and USA, who has held senior academic and management posts in higher education for over 40 years. She is currently Professor Emerita at the University of Arts London, a Carnegie Scholar and a Fellow of several academic bodies. Vaneeta is an eminent sociologist and educator who applies her insightful analysis with both warmth and rigor. She has conducted over 200 consultancy projects across 17 countries in 5 continents.