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PGR Excellence Awards

The PGR Excellence Awards celebrate the contributions and achievements of staff and students in the Faculty's postgraduate research community.

The deadline for nominations for the PGR Excellence Awards is 5pm on 7 March 2022. All nominations should be sent by email to doctoralacademy@manchester.ac.uk, along with the relevant nomination form.

Please note that the Student of the Year category has an earlier deadline in 2021 and an earlier call for nominations than the other Excellence Awards. This award deadline has now passed. 

All nominations will be considered for the Doctoral Academy PGR Excellence Awards (Faculty-wide) in the first instance. The shortlisted nominations will also be considered for recommendation at the annual MDC Excellence Awards (University-wide). All nominations to go through the general PGR Excellence Award route should be submitted by email to doctoralacademy@manchester.ac.uk.

Award categories

PGR Student of the Year

The nominee should be an outstanding research student who has excelled in some significant manner, for example, after the presentation of a thesis, based on the recommendation and judgment of the external examiner.

They may have had a major research achievement during their PGR programme – for example, high-quality journal publications or a research spin-off.

The shortlisted nominations for this category will also be considered for the President's Distinguished Achievements Award (University-wide).

Who can nominate?

Current University staff member. The deadline for this Award has now passed.

Best Outstanding Output

The Best Outstanding Output award recognises research outputs of the highest quality and acknowledges the continuing importance of high-quality research to the University.

Who can nominate?

Current University staff member.

Best Contribution to PGR Environment

The Best Contribution to PGR Environment award recognises outstanding achievement/contribution of an individual towards the enhancement of the postgraduate environment.

An award will be made to a student who has made a positive impact, demonstrated innovation and creativity in their actions, and been an inspirational role model to other students.

Examples of this include organising events which bring together the postgraduate community; identifying an area of development within the postgraduate community and providing a solution to this.

Who can nominate?

Current University staff member.

Best Contribution to Society

The Best Contribution to Society award recognises outstanding achievement/contribution of an individual who has offered their time and energy to make a difference to the social and economic wellbeing of our communities.

Examples of this could include community volunteering, working with local schools or charities, organising public engagement events/activities.

Who can nominate?

Current University staff member.

Best Contribution to Internationalisation

The Best Contribution to Internationalisation award will be made to a student who, in the opinion of the Panel, encapsulates the spirit of internationalisation at Manchester.

Examples of this include a student that has demonstrated their ability to work internationally and be an exemplar global citizen; a student that had driven forward an initiative to enhance the international student experience at Manchester.

Who can nominate?

Current University staff member.

Outstanding PGR Rep

The nominee should be an individual who has a clear commitment to the role through proactivity and leadership. The qualities the panel will look for in candidates include:

  • Innovative approaches to the role
  • Impact in the wider PGR community
  • Inclusivity – recognising the cultural (both social and research) diversity of our PGR students and the geographical spread of our research sites
  • Supportive and approachable

Who can nominate?

University staff and PGRs, including self-nominations.

Outstanding Supervisor of the Year

The nominee should be an individual who has created the most supportive, stimulating and inspirational research environment for doctoral students.

The qualities the panel will look for in candidates include the following.

  • A pioneering approach to supervision: what has the individual done above and beyond that which is expected of any good supervision?
  • A demonstrable commitment to supporting the personal, professional and career development of PGRs supervised.
  • Demonstrable enthusiasm for the role and going the extra mile to help students navigate through difficulties, academic or otherwise.
  • Challenging students intellectually and helping them to make substantial contributions to their academic field.
  • Providing additional support and facilities to give greater scope to their research.
  • Evidence of outstanding results of their supervision over a number of years: have students from a range of backgrounds been encouraged to pursue a doctorate? What have they gone on to achieve?
  • Providing supervision to an exceptional number of candidates over time.

Who can nominate?

University staff and students.

Outstanding Professional Doctorate Supervisor of the Year

The nominee should be an individual who has created the most supportive, stimulating and inspirational research environment for PGR/trainees on one of the Faculty’s Professional Doctorate programmes.

The qualities the panel will look for in candidates include the following.

  • A pioneering approach to supervision: what has the individual done above and beyond that which is expected of any good supervision?
  • A demonstrable commitment to supporting the personal, professional and career development of PGRs supervised.
  • Demonstrable enthusiasm for the role and going the extra mile to help students navigate through difficulties, academic or otherwise.
  • Challenging students intellectually and helping them to make substantial contributions to their academic or clinical field or professional area.
  • Providing additional support and facilities to give greater scope to their research or professional training.

Who can nominate?

University staff and PGRs

Outstanding Postdoc Award

The nominee should be an individual who provides support and guidance, either in a formal co-supervisory role or as a member of the broader research group.

The qualities the panel will look for in candidates include clear and effective mentorship, supervision and guidance, as well as providing one-to-one support/training when needed.

Who can nominate?

University staff and PGRs.

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant

The nominee should be an individual who is supportive and available.

The qualities the panel will look for in candidates include the following.

  • Clear and effective demonstration, supervision, teaching methods.
  • Offering detailed and personalised feedback.
  • Giving one-to-one support when needed.
  • Use of original and accessible teaching methods.
  • Clear communication of learning objectives.
  • Working towards external recognition for teaching excellence.

Who can nominate?

University staff and PGRs, including self-nominations.

Outstanding Professional Services (PS)

The qualities the panel will look for in candidates (who are expected to be current University members of Professional Services) include:

  • approachability and responsiveness;
  • willing to go the extra mile to solve problems and identify support mechanisms;
  • enthusiasm for PGR activities.

Who can nominate?

University staff and PGRs.

Criteria for nominations

At the time of being nominated for an award, students must be registered for a postgraduate research degree at The University of Manchester, be under examination for a postgraduate research degree at Manchester, or have completed their doctoral degree within the past six months.

Making a nomination

Only current University staff members can nominate in certain categories. However, both staff and students, including self-nominations, can nominate in others. Please see the relevant category above for information on who can make nominations.

All nominations must be made by submitting the PGR Excellence Awards Form by email to doctoralacademy@manchester.ac.uk by the deadline. 

If you have any issues downloading the form, please email Erin Barrett (erin.barrett@manchester.ac.uk).

All nominations must be sent with the following:

  • a summary of the nominee's achievements for the prize-giving ceremony (max 100 words);
  • the main supporting statement (max 350 words);
  • additional supporting statements (minimum two additional statements, maximum four).

If you are a student who would like to be put forward for a category where only staff members can nominate, please ask your supervisory team to submit a nomination for you. This is completely allowed and we encourage you to do so.

If you have any questions, please contact the Doctoral Academy by emailing doctoralacademy@manchester.ac.uk.

Previous winners

2022 award winners

  • Halima Ali Shuwa – Winner of Postgraduate Student of the Year for School of Biological Sciences
  • Edward Hayter – Winner of Postgraduate Student of the Year for School of Medical Sciences
  • Maha Alsubhi – Winner of Postgraduate Student of the Year for School of Health Sciences
  • Xue Bai - Winner of Best Contribution to Internationalisation (School of Health Sciences)
  • Tarnjit Sidhu – Winner of Best Contribution to PGR Environment (School of Health Sciences)
  • Priya Srivastava – Highly Commended for Best Contribution to PGR Environment (School of Biological Sciences)
  • Max Gattie – Winner of Best Contribution to Society (School of Health Sciences)
  • Nadin Hawwah – Highly Commended for Best Contribution to Society (School of Medical Sciences)
  • Group Award: Eleanor Jones, Chloe Barr, Helen Clarke, Helena O'Flynn – Highly Commended for Best Contribution to Society (School of Medical Sciences)
  • Group Award: Katie Downes, Caitlin Waddell, Jana Sremanakova – Winner of Outstanding Student Rep (School of Biological Sciences, School of Medical Sciences and School of Health Sciences)
  • Faye Johnson - Winner of Best Outstanding Output (School of Health Sciences)
  • Chloe French - Highly Commended for Best Outstanding Output (School of Health Sciences)
  • Daniel Ripley - Winner of Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant (School of Medical Sciences)
  • Professor Iain Bruce – Winner of Outstanding Supervisor of the Year (School of Biological Sciences)
  • Jeremy Herrera – Winner of Outstanding Post Doc (School of Biological Sciences)
  • Tasleem Hanif - Winner of Outstanding Professional Services

The PGR Excellence Awards celebrate the achievements and contributions of postgraduate researchers and staff in the Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health, and it is highly rewarding to see the level of enthusiasm and dedication within this community.