Dr Kathryn Watson


Kathryn is the Research Impact Manager for Leeds University Business School and supports members of faculty with achieving impact from their research in management practice and policy. More broadly, she co-ordinates the impact agenda and research engagement for the faculty. 

For the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF2021) she is working with impact case authors from across the faculty. She is a member of the Leeds University Impact Network and a member of the Leeds University Business School Impact Panel. She set up two seminar series: Research with Impact aimed at disseminating best practice and embedding impact in research; and Ideas in Practice, aimed at engagement with corporate practitioners and policymakers. Since joining Leeds University Business School in 2011 she has worked extensively on funding development and although this is not the primary focus of her work now, she continued to undertake peer reviews of grant applications and advice academics on many aspects of grant applications. Kathryn is also the Principal Investigator on the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded project Raising the Ceiling on Diversity and Inclusion: A Corporate Retail Case Study working with a major UK retailer.  She has a PhD from University of Bradford and previously worked as a Lecturer in Marketing.

Key professional roles: Research Impact, Research External Engagement, REF Impact Case Studies, Corporate Events, Research Grant Funding Applications


  • Research Impact and Engagement
  • Research Excellence Framework (REF) Impact
  • ESRC diversity & inclusion project lead

Research interests

From 2017 I have held a fractional academic post (0.20 FTE) as the principal investigator on an ESRC-funded grant “Raising the Ceiling on Diversity & Inclusion: A corporate retail case study” (grant ES/N006097/1). 

She has previously conducted research on the retail sector as a member of a Knowledge Transfer project team examining international franchising in retailing.  Her academic background originally was as a lecturer in marketing, then following a period outside higher education she has undertaken a research professional role in 2011. 

Her research interests focus on strategy and organisational change with particular emphasis on improving diversity and inclusion within large organisations.


  • PhD in Marketing, University of Bradford (2001)
  • Diploma in Research Methods, University of Bradford (1997)
  • Diploma of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (1993)
  • BSc Hons. Business and Management Studies, University of Bradford (1993)
  • Open University:  Decision Making in Britain, Living with Technology (1987/88)

Professional memberships

  • British Academy of Management
  • Academy of Management