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Our Postgrad Awards 2020 winners have been announced

We want to thank everyone who submitted a nomination and took the time to recognise someone who they believe is deserving of an award - it has been a pleasure to receive so many inspirational nominations. Congratulations to this year's winners:

Masters Student of the Year

David Whitworth

Masters in Petroleum Geoscience, Royal Holloway


David won Masters Student of the Year after being nominated for being such a great asset to Royal Holloway, dedicating much of his free time towards helping others at the university. He was elected as an Academic Representative, and helped to voice the issues of other students. He's worked as a Peer Representative, a Student Ambassador in the Students' Union and also took part in an initiative to start a student-led Mental Health Support Network.

Asked how he felt about winning, David said:

I first heard about the awards when browsing the FindAMasters website last year in preparation for choosing my next step. The awards offer a unique and important opportunity for staff and students alike to recognise and reward their colleagues’ hard work and commitment to higher education.

When I first heard about the awards, I said to myself “that’d be the day… “. I never pictured being nominated, yet alone winning this award, but it is a privilege to be recognised for the work I’ve tried to do to improve student life at Royal Holloway as a Peer Guide and Academic Rep. If you are considering nominating someone, I absolutely recommend it. Don’t forget to nominate your lecturers who put in the work to help you achieve your best at University!


Masters Teacher of the Year

Devin B.Terhune

Reader in the Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London

Devin was nominated by multiple students for his dedication to going the extra mile for students. Not only does he go out of his way to help students by providing feedback or helping them get involved with additional projects, he also regularly organises social and team building activities for them.

When asked about his award, Devin said:

I think these awards offer a valuable way to celebrate the effort and dedication of students and lecturers. Hopefully, these awards inspire students to pursue higher degrees and inform their selection of a Masters programme.

I spend a great deal of time encouraging and challenging my students so it’s really an honour to know that I’ve had a sufficiently positive impact on someone so as to motivate them to nominate me.

These awards represent a fantastic way to recognize students and lecturers and thus I urge anyone who has been impressed by a student or inspired by a lecturer to nominate them.


PhD Student of the Year

Rose Waugh

PhD student, The University of St Andrews

Rose was nominated by fellow students who say she inspires them to continue with their research and outreach activities. She also is a great advocate for women in physics and making physics accessible and easy to understand to others.

Rose had this to say about her award:

The Postgrad Awards are a fantastic concept that highlights some of the amazing work being done by research students. They highlight to prospective students that further study could lead to great things – for both their own career and society. They of course also offer a way to recognise current postgraduates for all of their hard work!

I am absolutely thrilled and surprised! There are so many others deserving of this award, so I really am very honoured. If you know someone who you think deserves some recognition, then I’d really encourage you to nominate them - I can guarantee that that nomination would mean a lot to them.


PhD Supervisor of the Year

Vitaliy Khutoryanskiy

Professor of Formulation Science, University of Reading

Vitaliy goes above and beyond to help his students giving them invaluable development opportunities to aid their PhD study and life skills. Not only this, he organises extra-curricular activities to help the group bond and have positive experiences.

On his award, Vitaliy said:

I am absolutely delighted and honoured to receive the PhD supervisor of the Year award. I think that the Postgrad Awards are an excellent way to recognise both students and supervisors for their work and achievements. These awards definitely motivate students and their supervisors to aim higher, to set ambitious targets and to be proactive in exploring various opportunities.

I am grateful to my PhD students, who nominated me for this award. During my academic career I was very fortunate to have supervised and work with many talented PhD students from different countries. I am very happy that many of my former students now work in academia, industry and other research organisations. I am still in touch with the majority of my former students and support them as much as I can. Postgrad Awards is a fantastic way to give people visibility and recognition.


Best PG Student Experience Initiative

The Graduate School

Queen's University Belfast

The Graduate School at Queen's University Belfast won this award as they successfully adapated their teaching and training styles to help deliver interactive, experiential learning remotely as a result of the pandemic. They've also developed their student-facing services into virtual interactions to ensure students can still get the support they need.

The Graduate School said:

The award has given our team recognition for our commitment to ensuring an outstanding experience for postgraduates, and the agility of our staff and students in finding ways to remain connected during a global pandemic.

We are delighted to have won the award, and feel particularly honoured to have been nominated by our Students’ Union Postgraduate Officer, Gift Sotonye-Frank. We see the award as proof that working collaboratively with our students always produces the best results. We would encourage anyone considering a nomination for next year to use partnerships to highlight excellence.

Highly Commended - PhD Student of the Year

Chad McDonald

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Bristol

Chad was awarded his PhD unconditionally, without corrections in January 2020. Not only was his thesis outstanding, he also has a passion for bringing history to the widest possible audience. His work has enabled the work of scholars in all fields of racial and religious prejudice to be given a wide public platform.

Missed out this year?

Our Postgrad Awards will be returning again in 2021, when you’ll be able to reward your students, colleagues and teachers. Sign up to our Newsletter to be the first to find out more.


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