Graduate and Researcher College Prizes 2022

We are delighted to announce that the 2022 Graduate and Researcher College Prizes are now open for nominations.

These prizes recognise the excellence of Kent’s researchers and the outstanding work carried out by academic and professional service staff members in support of postgraduate research and education.

Staff and students are invited to nominate someone (or themselves) for one of the following prizes:

Director of Graduate Studies/Programme Academic Lead (Division/School/Centre)

Postgraduate Professional Service Champion

Postgraduate Researcher

Postgraduate Teacher

Research Degree Supervisor

Each prize is worth £500 which will be transferred to the winner’s school, centre or department for the use of:

  • Travel and subsistence in relation to research including conference fees, books, consumables, survey costs or any other cost that can be shown in relation to their research and/or
  • staff development courses and related travel and subsistence costs.

Deadline for nominations: Tuesday 3 May 2022  

Visit our GRC Prizes website for more information and details about how to make a nomination. 

Mixed Roots – Grace Ingram’s Postgraduate Community Experience Award Project

The Graduate and Researcher College have the privilege of funding exciting student-led projects through the Postgraduate Community Experience Awards.  One such project was ‘Mixed Roots’ – an informal conversation with individuals coming from multiple and undefined cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

On the 22nd of March 2022, Master’s student Grace Ingram hosted this ‘fishbowl’ event in partnership with the Postgraduate Network, the BAME Network, and Student Success. Dr Barbara Adewumi acted as moderator, asking a panel of students a series of thought-provoking questions. The audience were invited to watch as the conversation unfolded, and the panel were encouraged to speak freely about their personal experiences.

Mixed Roots Panel

Grace Ingram shared that through the planning process for Mixed Roots, she learned about leadership and community.

“Leadership is challenging but rewarding— This experience allowed me to challenge myself as a leader. I was tasked with recruiting a moderator and 5 other panelists, giving them instructions both verbal and written on what the event would be like. None of them familiar with a fishbowl style event, I was also responsible for not only the technical side of things, but nurturing and easing them into things, making sure they were comforted. At times, this was really fun as we got to have dinner together and I got to create a safe space for them to share their stories. At other times, as panelists failed to answer my emails and text messages regarding payment forms and bios, it was less fun, and I found myself having to get strict. The ways in which I saw myself grow as a leader extended beyond just recruiting and taking care of the moderator and panelist team. Recruiting a graphic designer and explaining my vision to them, reaching out to catering, booking a room, reaching out to departments to advertise our event, and working alongside the wonderful Abigail and Odell throughout this very long process are all other ways in which I saw my skills being strengthened. Through this experience, I have not only been given the opportunity to defend a budget, but I have worked alongside a team (a very diverse one as well!), networked, and had to meet personal and external deadlines, while coordinating with other individuals and department. For that, I am very thankful, and these are skills much more valuable than a couple hundred pounds.”

“Community— This experience allowed me to both form and immerse myself in a community. The recruiting of panelists was mostly done through word of mouth and close inner circles, but through those meets and greets even while I may have already had a connection to each person, the other panelists and moderators did not and seeing those bonds and friendships form over dinner and cups of tea was very rewarding. Tuesday night it really was just a conversation among friends! Even more, throughout the process of advertising the event and explaining the vision for the event, I found that the mixed roots community was growing beyond the 5 panelists  and moderator that had been recruited. And we continue to see this community grow as people share their feedback in the survey, we created to receive honest, but respectful audience feedback. In these prep months, planning for this event, I got to hear the numerous stories of other individuals who have grappled with how to define their identity to the world. It has been so great seeing this unique community extend beyond this 2-hour event.”

Poster, programme, and all graphics created by Alba Jato @Klashnikv

Thank you to Grace for her hard work and dedication to such a fantastic event. You can also see this event programme here.

The whole Mixed Roots event is available to view on YouTube, and we encourage you to take the time to listen and learn from this extraordinary panel.

If you would like to apply for the Postgraduate Community Experience Awards, keep your eye on our blogsite for the next application deadline.

You can also hear more from Grace about ‘Mixed Roots’ in the latest GRC Insights publication.

PDRA Network Catch-up and Updates: ‘10 days and more …’

Are you a PDRA, RA or Research Associate looking to find out about all that is going on in researcher development at Kent? Then join us for our first face-to-face networking and update event for two years, which will be held in Cornwallis East Seminar Room 1 on Wednesday, 06 April from 10.30-11.45am.

Catch-up with coffee and cake with your peers from across the University and meet professional services colleagues working to support your professional and career development.

Learn about important developments affecting staff who research and get involved with the discussion about how to make 10 days’ professional development pro rata per year a reality at Kent.

Dr Alison Charles, Researcher Developer (Academic), said:

“This is a great opportunity to get up-to-speed with the wide-ranging work that is going on to support you, as well as to network with colleagues from beyond your Division in a relaxed environment. All PDRAs, RAs and Research Associates are very welcome, and coffee and cake etc. will be provided to enhance the conversation.”

There is no need to book but please email to indicate your intention to join us. Thank you.

Summer Vacation Research Competition 2022 postdoc winners announced

The Graduate and Researcher College is pleased to announce the postdoc winners of the Summer Vacation Research Competition 2022:

  • Dr Amira Abood, School of Biosciences
  • Dr Patrick Doheny, School of Physical Sciences
  • Dr Jessica Fisher, School of Anthropology and Conservation
  • Nathan Keates, Tizard Centre
  • Dr Mohammad Yasir Malik, School of Biosciences
  • Dr Manuel Marques, School of Physical Sciences
  • Dr Giuseppe Silvestri, School of Biosciences
  • Dr Brianne Wenning, Kent and Medway Medical School.

This event, now in its fifth year, attracts PDRAs, RAs and Research Associates looking to gain additional project and line management experience through an established scheme in which they are supported by central and Divisional University colleagues.

Applications addressed a range of topical issues including ‘the nature-wellbeing relationship in the face of climate change’, ‘implications of functioning labels for autistic people’ and ‘students’ perceptions on the behavioural and social sciences in the medical curriculum’. The projects selected reflect the University’s role as a leading ‘dual intensity’ institution which equally values research and education, believing that one enhances the other, and strives to find answers to diverse challenges by exploring relevant questions for the benefit of the local, national and international communities it serves.

Dr Jennifer Leigh, the competition’s co-founder, said:

“The Summer Vacation Research Competition goes from strength to strength and this year is no exception. Our competition winners all submitted strong and compelling applications, which demonstrated how their projects will benefit all participants, as well as the wider world. The research to be undertaken aligns with all three of the University’s Signature Research Themes, with five of the projects contributing to Kent’s essential work on ‘Environment, Food Systems and Natural Resources’. I look forward to working with all involved to encourage the best possible research outcomes and project experiences.”

Now that the projects have been identified, we will soon start recruiting the second- and third-year undergraduates to carry out the research. This process is being managed by the Careers and Employability Service, and will begin on 21 March 2022. We look forward to receiving applications from enthusiastic and motivated students who are interested in learning more about the world of research through active participation in a real-life project.

Please note that a new Summer Vacation Early Career Research Competition has just launched for eligible ECRs and Black second-year undergraduates – the closing date for ECR applications is 20 March 2022.

Introducing GRC Insights

The Graduate and Researcher College is delighted to announce the launch of ‘GRC Insights’. The focus of this first edition is the international postgraduate student experience here at Kent. Learn about Huda Elsherif’s fieldwork in Sudan and read the articles ‘Mixed Roots’ written by Grace Ingram and ‘Virtual Reality to Support People with Mild to Moderate Dementia in Care Homes,’ by Hiba Jawharieh. Students please check your inboxes to view the new GRC Insights publication!

In this edition, you can also learn more about upcoming events and PhD scholarships that are open to applications. Next term’s edition will focus on ‘wellbeing’. If you are a Postgraduate student that would like to share your experience of wellbeing at Kent, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us regarding anything in this edition by emailing us at We hope you enjoy reading about the fascinating work of our postgraduate students, and about the international student experience.