Initially appointed as a lecturer in Politics in 2001, Nicola became Senior Lecturer in 2006. She is Associate Director of the ESRC Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change, a key investment under the Future of the UK and Scotland programme. She is also Associate Director of Research for the School of Social and Political Science, with a leading role in promoting knowledge exchange and research mpact). Prior to this, she was Director of Public Policy for the Academy of Government and Co-Director of the University's Institute of Governance. Nicola co-convenes the PSA specialist group on Territorial Politics and is Managing Editor of Regional and Federal Studies, the leading European journal in the field of territorial politics.
Nicola has published widely in the field of territorial politics, multi-level government and nationalism, and is actively involved in informing debate within the wider policy and political community, through media work, consultancy and public engagement. She was awarded an ESRC Senior Scotland Fellowship to examine the implications of Scottish independence for cross-border co-operation and intergovernmental relations, and her work within the Scottish Centre on Constitutional change focuses on Scotland's external relations under different constitutional scenarios. Other recent research projects include work on intergovernmental relations under devolution, multi-level environmental and energy policy, and elections and political behaviour. Along with colleague Elizabeth Bomberg, she undertook a project supported by the UK Energy Research Centre on grassroots mobilization and energy governance in Scotland (EnGAGE Scotland).
Nicola supervises a wide range of Research Masters and PhD students exploring nationalism, devolution, multi-level government and policy, electoral politics and party politics. She is currently on research leave, and will resume teaching in 2014-15.