SN-184 (1)-min-min

Katrina Lawson

Grants & Communications Manager

Katrina manages OUCRU’s grants portfolio, internal and external communications and policy engagement for the entire programme.

The OUCRU grants management team supports, on average, 60 new grant applications per year, with a 52% success rate under Katrina’s leadership as Grants Manager. In her work with the OUCRU grants team, she focuses on building local grants management capacity and supporting researchers across the OUCRU programme. Bridging with her work in communications and policy engagement, Katrina has a special interest in research impact. She also contributes to global research management and communication projects such as the Indian Research Management Initiative and the Journal for Research Management and Governance.  

In her role as Communications Manager, Katrina leads the corporate communications programme for OUCRU, which encompasses external or public-facing communications, internal communications and policy engagement.  

The strategic objective of OUCRU’s public-facing communications activities is to increase our impact by sharing timely, relevant, and evidence-based information about our research with our key stakeholders – including policymakers, the press, and the wider public. Katrina leads a dynamic team of communications officers in Vietnam, Indonesia and Nepal to support this goal, and together, they produce a comprehensive portfolio of communications products, including the OUCRU website and social media accounts, press engagement, photography and video projects and other creative communications products.   

The strategic objective of OUCRU’s internal communications activities is to build a healthy, supportive, and inclusive working environment and foster a strong research culture. Under Katrina’s leadership, the internal communications team worked to bring OUCRU’s diverse researchers, staff and students together. Internal communications for a programme that is spread across multiple countries is challenging but incredibly important for building a research culture that supports equity and inclusion.  

In order to strengthen OUCRU’s capacity to communicate and engage with the policy community, Katrina has built a team of skilled policy engagement and communications staff at OUCRU. This work was partially funded by her Wellcome grant: Establishing Systemic Policy Engagement at OUCRU: a pilot project.  

Under Katrina’s leadership, the communications and policy team also contributed to a number of strategic projects at OUCRU, including the LEAF study (PI: Bridget Wills, to investigate the legal and ethical frameworks that would need to be in place to support controlled human infection studies in Vietnam), a major initiative towards developing and implementing affordable technology solutions for intensive care unit in LMICs (, and the OUCRU core 10-year project to have a local, regional and global impact on health by leading a locally driven research programme on infectious diseases in Southeast Asia. 

Katrina has strong relationships with Wellcome as a key funder, including being a member of the Wellcome Policy Network and Wellcome Communications Forum. Katrina is committed to developing the capacity for research management and research uptake in Viet Nam and regionally in Southeast Asia. 



2016 – now

Became Grants and Communications Manager at OUCRU

2014 – 2016

Senior Pre-Award Grants Administrator at KAUST in Saudi Arabia

2011 – 2014

Grants Manager at OUCRU Ho Chi Minh in 2011 where she established OUCRU’s grants service 


Auckland UniServices Ltd – which manages all contract research and commercialisation for the University of Auckland.

Li Hongying, Nguyen Trang Nghiem, Lawson, Katrina, Machalaba Catherine, Ngo Phan Bao Tran, Kim Siyeun, van Doorn Rogier, Daszak, Peter.
November 2, 2023
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10019350
Abhishek Giri, Abhilasha Karkey, Sabina Dongol, Amit Arjyal, Archana Maharjan, Balaji Veeraraghavan, Buddhi Paudyal, Christiane Dolecek, Damodar Gajurel, Dung Nguyen Thi Phuong, Duy Pham Thanh, Farah Qamar, Gagandeep Kang, Ho Van Hien, Jacob John, Katrina Lawson, Marcel Wolbers, Md. Shabab Hossain, M Sharifuzzaman, Nantasit Luangasanatip, Nhukesh Maharjan, Piero Olliaro, Priscilla Rupali, Ronas Shakya, Sadia Shakoor, Samita Rijal, Sonia Qureshi, Stephen Baker, Subi Joshi, Tahmeed Ahmed, Thomas Darton, Tran Nguyen Bao, Yoel Lubell, Evelyne Kestelyn, Guy Thwaites, Christopher M. Parry, Buddha Basnyat
Wellcome Open Res
November 12, 2021
DOI: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.16801.2
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