December 8, 2017, by Liz Cass

Head of Graduate School wins award for global collaboration

The head of the Graduate School at the University of Nottingham has been given an international award.

Dr Jane Wellens won the Universitas 21 award for her global collaborations and her work establishing the first national workshop in Chile to recognise and support doctoral supervision.

Dr Wellens has offered a sustained contribution to Universitas 21 since 2013 through active participation in the Group of Deans and Directors of Graduate Schools (DDoGs), exploring areas of mutual strength and establishing collaborative activities in particular related to doctoral education. This resulted in the submission of a successful proposal to the Newton-Picarte Institutional Skills Call.

Dr Wellens has also been involved in implementing a doctoral education policy at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, which was a precedent for other Chilean universities whose directors of doctoral education attended a national workshop – the first ever held in Chile on research supervision supporting and recognising doctoral supervision. This policy has been identified as the single most influential factor on PhD satisfaction and has also been linked with time to completion. The U21 Award honours Jane’s work in sharing best practice in ‘excellent’ doctoral supervision and the development of doctoral training and research supervision in the local context of Chile.

She said: “I was totally surprised by the news that I had been nominated by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile for this award.  It has been a privilege to collaborate with them and other Universities in Chile on the Newton-Picarte project and as well as to work with colleagues from Nottingham and the broader U21 DDoGS group who share a commitment and passion for enhancing international doctoral education.  We have explored similarities and common challenges in doctoral research and found many span international as well as discipline boundaries. As a result, our institutions are working to implement solutions and mechanisms which will enhance global research through facilitating long term collaborations involving both doctoral researchers and their supervisors.”

The U21 Awards were created in 2012 to recognise the innovative work being delivered at Universitas 21 member universities towards the internationalisation of higher education. This is the seventh year that the awards have been given, and our winners this year truly reflect the global values that U21 represents and have been recognised for their invaluable contribution to the network.

Professor Bairbre Redmond, Professor of Universitas 21, said:“The U21 Awards were designed to recognise and celebrate the work of individuals in the network who have made a significant contribution to cross-network internationalisation in higher education. Our 2018 winners exemplify such contributions. The work of Dr Jane Wellens as part of the DDoGs group represents a sustained contribution in the field of international doctoral education, including a successful proposal to the Newton-Picarte Institutional Skills Call, part of which allowed the University of Nottingham to host a group of colleagues of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. My warmest congratulations.”


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