Excellence in doctoral research supervision is characterised by the:
Availability and openness of the supervisor
Presence of appropriate support when it is needed
Proactive identification of training and development needs in collaboration with the doctoral researcher.
The Student Academic Choice Award for Best Supervision can only be won by supervisors of doctoral research postgraduates.
2017: The winner is...
Professor Jenny Nelson, Department of Physics
When writing this nomination I found it difficult to even know where to start, there being so many areas in which Jenny goes above and beyond. I came to Jenny at a time when my faith in myself and the scientific process was at all time low. She believed in me when I didn't. I am under no illusions that were it not for finding Jenny I would not have got as far as I have.
Most PhD students only ever experience one supervisor and thus it's easy to fail to gather perspective about what constitutes a bare minimum and what constitutes excellence in supervision. Being a member of the TSM-CDT and seeing others' experiences, and having my own experience with other supervisors, I feel I am well placed to judge this. She easily ticks the minimum requirements of being available, open and able to proactively manage the development needs of all of her students. More than this she exceeds these requirements, fighting and caring for her students using her time and energy for pastoral and practical support beyond the norm. This is evidenced by the sheer number of students who come to back to her to do a PhD and the number of relationships she has maintained well beyond the PhD.
She redefines what it means to be a supervisor; I find it difficult to imagine how another person more deserving of title Best Supervisor is even possible.
2016: Dr Jose Carillo de la Plata, Mathematics
2015: Dr John Pinney, Earth Science & Engineering
2014: Professor Mark Sephton, Earth Science & Engineering