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University of Exeter Medical School

Dr Sara Hayes

Dr Sara Hayes

Operations Manager


 +44 (0) 1392 726063

 South Cloisters 


South Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


Based with the Medical School's Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health (REACH), Sara is the Operations Manager for the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Dementia and Neurodegeneration (DeNPRU Exeter). Working with academic and professional service colleagues within the university and with external partners, she is responsible for the operational management and delivery of the PRU.

Prior to her current role, Sara was the Research Manager for two NIHR funded programmes - the School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) and the SPOtting Cancer among Comorbidities (SPOCC) programme. Before this, Sara was the Programme Manager for CanTest, a CRUK funded international collaboration looking at the early detection and diagnosis of cancer within primary care. She has also supported the work of PenARC as their Engagement, Research Information and Communications Manager and as the Research & Operations Manager for PenCHORD.

Sara joined the University of Exeter in 2013 as a Project Development Officer within the Innovation, Impact and Business (IIB) team, supporting the management of an ERDF funded innovation voucher scheme.


  • ESRC/NERC Interdisciplinary Studentship Award PhD in Volcanic Risk Management (Plymouth University) - 2011
  • NERC MRes in Sciences of the Environment (Lancaster University) - 2003
  • BSc (Hons) Environmental Sciences (University of East Anglia) - 2001


At the University of Exeter:

  • Research Manager, NIHR SPCR and SPOCC Programmes, Medical School, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences (Jun 2021 - Dec 2023)
  • Programme Manager, CanTest Collaborative, College of Medicine & Health (Jul 2017 - Jun 2021)
  • Engagement, Research Information and Communications Manager, NIHR PenARC, College of Medicine & Health (May 2016 - Jun 2017)
  • Research and Operations Manager, NIHR PenARC, College of Medicine & Health (May 2015 - May 2016)
  • Project Development Officer, Innovation, Impact and Business (Feb 2013 - May 2015)

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