Congratulations to the Participants of the Graduate School Public Engagement Competition

Congratulations to Ruth Augur, the winner of the first Graduate School Prize for Public Engagement.  After a hotly-contested public vote, Ruth was awarded the £400 prize to carry out her project, which will involve working closely with the Canterbury-based charity, Catching Lives, to create and restore a garden plot for the homeless to nurture, develop, and enjoy.

Laura Thomas-Walters was joined by Prof Paul Allain, Dean of the Graduate School, in welcoming the public to the event.

Professor Paul Allain hosted the event on Thursday evening, which gave three University of Kent PhD students the opportunity to showcase their work.  They each identified a topical social issue and gave their proposed solution to the problem.  Forty members of the public attended to discuss the potential merits and difficulties of each solution with the students over coffee, tea and cake in the beautiful La Trappiste in central Canterbury.  They then had the opportunity to vote on which proposal they thought had the greatest potential to make an impact.

Hannah Newman (an interdisciplinary PhD in the Schools of Arts and Psychology)presented on autism and discussed how drama can be a powerful and positive tool in the growth and development of autistic children.  Surej Mouli (a PhD in the School of Computing) spoke about the uses of medical robotics. Ruth Augur (a PhD in the School of Anthropology and Conservation) discussed homelessness in Canterbury.  They all spoke very well about their research, but there could be only one winner.

One of the aims of the competition was to introduce the University of Kent to local residents, by demonstrating the real world impact of academic research and to empower the public to feel that they can influence the future of research.  The entire event was the brainchild of Kent PhD student Laura Thomas-Walters, who submitted her original idea to the Postgraduate Experience Award panel, and went on to plan the whole thing  – well done Laura!

From left to right: Laura Thomas-Walters (event organiser), Hannah Newman (presenter), Ruth Auger (presenter/winner), Surej Mouli (presenter), and Prof Paul Allain (Dean of the Graduate School).

Winner of the Public Engagement Competition, Ruth Auger, pictured with Laura Thomas-Walters and Prof Paul Allain.

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Congratulations to the new Kent Students of the Year

The winners of this year’s Kent Student Awards were announced at a Gala Dinner on Friday 5 May 2017.

The event, which was held at Darwin College on the University’s Canterbury campus, was attended by more than 130 students, staff and guests and celebrated the outstanding co-curricular achievements of Kent’s students.

The overall Student of the Year Award was awarded jointly to Rowena Bicknell, a second year PhD student in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, and Tom Ritchie, a second year PhD student in the School of History.

Rowena and Tom were chosen as Students of the Year for the exceptional contribution they have made to the postgraduate student experience in their roles as President and Vice-President of the Kent Graduate Student Association (KGSA).

Many congratulations from the Graduate School to Tom and Rowena!

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International Families Network lunch – Friday 26th May

The next networking lunch for the International Families Network will be held in the Gulbenkian on Friday 26th May.  This is a social event to support the families of our international students – small children are welcome to come along.

In order to help us with catering, please confirm if you/your family wish to attend by emailing Deborah Molloy at  We look forward to seeing you!


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Universities UK Update: Government confirms funding for EU students starting courses in 2018/19

The Department for Education released a statement on 21 April 2017 announcing that EU students  will continue to remain eligible for undergraduate, master’s, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support in academic year 2018 to 2019.

What this means:

  • EU students who apply for an undergraduate or master’s course at an English university (or further education institution) scheduled to start in the 2018-19 academic year will continue to have access to student loans and grants and home fee status (meaning they are charged the same tuition fees as UK students) for the duration of their course (regardless of when the UK fully exits the EU).
  • EU nationals will remain eligible to apply for Research Council PhD studentships at UK institutions for 2018 to 2019.


For further information and to read the full government announcement, visit the DfE website.


Universities UK’s response to the announcement can be read here.

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Dean of the Graduate School accompanies Rome students in final assessments

Paul Allain, Dean of the Graduate School, took part in Kent in Rome’s final visit assessments from 5-6 April 2017. The Dean of the Graduate School visited Rome MA students as they showcased their assessed itineraries around the city.

Speaking about the itineraries he said:

‘It was a great privilege to be led through the overwhelming outdoor museum that is Rome by Kent’s Master’s students, budding classics detectives. I saw the city in a totally new light as they unpacked the rich complexities of its past and revealed hidden gems that I would otherwise no doubt have passed by. Many thanks to them for letting me participate and for teaching me so much.’

See the original news article here:

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Postgraduate Experience Awards – Second round open

Do you have a great idea for a postgraduate event? Apply for funding through the Postgraduate Experience Awards and it could turn it into reality!

Funding of up to £1,500 can be awarded for applications to run events or projects which have an interdisciplinary and/or external focus and will enhance the postgraduate experience at Kent. All events or projects must take place at Kent and be held by the end of the academic year it was awarded.

How to apply: Applications for funding are invited from postgraduates (both taught and research) and postdoctoral researchers (up to 2 years). Further details on the selection criteria are available on the application form. Applications for the 2016-17 Second Round are now welcome, please use the application form here and note the application criteria. The deadline for applications is Friday 24th March 2017.

For further information please contact the Graduate School at:

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Linguistics student wins European composition prize

PhD student Sumio Kobayashi won the first prize of nearly £20,000 at the International Composers’ Competition of the European Capital of Culture 2016 at Wroclaw in Poland.

The top prize of nearly £20,000 was the third international music prize Sumio won last year. He previously won first prize in composition at the Busan Maru International Music Festival competition in South Korea and third prize at the Weimar Spring Festival of Contemporary Music.

The International Composers Competition in Wroclaw attracted entrants from around the world, and was judged by established classical music composers from France, Italy and Poland. Sumio’s winning composition was entitled ‘Music by Krasnale’.

Music composition is related to Sumio’s PhD research in Linguistics at Kent’s School of European Culture and Languages, which examines the relationship between speech rhythm and music.

For details on the winners, jury and competition, please see the dedicated website

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Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition at Kent – Registration now open!

Be part of the Graduate School’s  Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition!


Participating in Kent’s University-wide Three Minute Thesis Competition raises your research profile and showcases Kent’s thriving doctoral research.

Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the exercise cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition supports your capacity to effectively explain your research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

You will have the chance of representing Kent at the UK’s competition and you could win one of three prizes.

Please note all those who participate in the University Final will be filmed and the winner’s video will be used to represent Kent in the UK semi-final in July, competing against doctoral researchers from other participating universities. If the winner of the University competition is successful in the semi-final stage, they will be in the final on 11th September 2017 at the Vitae Conference.

For more information and to register to participate please visit: 


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Welcome to the new Dean of the Graduate School

Professor Paul Allain took on his new role of Dean of the Graduate School on the 1st December 2016.  Paul is a Professor of Theatre and Performance, with a specialism in Polish theatre and actor training.

Paul says, “I am very excited about taking the Graduate School forward in new directions, working closely with staff and students and building on an already excellent base.  It’s a fantastic team and I feel privileged to be a part of it.  I also look forward to learning more about the great variety of students we welcome to Kent and hearing news of their progress.”

We are delighted to welcome him to the team.

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A fond farewell to Professor Diane Houston, Dean of the Graduate School

Friends and colleagues of Professor Diane Houston will be gathering at the Colyer Fergusson building this afternoon at 4pm.  Professor Houston is leaving after 28 years of service to the University of Kent, to take up her new position as Pro Vice Master at Birkbeck, University of London.  She established the Graduate School here, and has overseen its development to what we are today.  We wish her all the very best for the future.

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