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Female research supervisor (right) advising an early-career researcher (left) in a lab, with machinery in the foreground and a large computer screen displaying research data in the background. © Shutterstock

The University and MPLS Division already run award schemes to recognise a range of activity, spanning Teaching, Research Impact, Diversity and Inclusion, Innovation and Engagement, Professional Services, and Environmental Sustainability. Until now, there has not been a specific opportunity to celebrate the supervisors and research group leaders who do so much to ensure that our doctoral students and early-career researchers are supported effectively as they set out on their academic careers.

We are committed to ensuring that our DPhil supervisors and research group leaders foster an environment in which students and researchers can thrive, in line with our responsibilities under The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and our academic mission to advance learning through teaching and research. 

Inaugural awards

To reflect this commitment, we have launched the MPLS Awards for Outstanding Research Supervision, a new annual awards scheme to celebrate colleagues who demonstrate leadership and best practice by nurturing and supporting research colleagues in their role as DPhil supervisors or research group leaders. These awards are less about research excellence and the standing of an individual research group leader, and more about recognising the members of our research community who excel in their everyday supervision of colleagues and professional commitment to people development.

Line managers and supervisors at any career stage can be nominated for an award, and nominations are welcome from all research groups in MPLS. Full details of how to make a nomination can be found in the information and nomination template below.

The deadline for all nominations for the 2022/23 round of awards is 5pm on Friday 18 November 2022.


  1. Nominations are sought from a minimum of two people per entry, at least one of whom should be a current researcher or research student in the group led by the nominee. We expect that most second nominations would also come from an existing group member; however, nominations from past group members are encouraged for areas where smaller research groups are more common.
  2. Testimonials (max 400 words) from each nominator form the basis of the nomination.
  3. On receipt of the nominations, HODs or their nominated representative will be asked to comment on whether they support the nomination (yes/no tick box approval) to ensure nominations will only be considered for supervisors with good standing in this area.
  4. Nominees are asked to declare that they have no conflicts of interest for the nomination.


  1. The testimonials will be submitted as pdfs to the award manager.
  2. The judging panel will be made up of 5 early-career researchers, recruited primarily from our MPLS departmental researcher representatives, and who have not provided a testimonial for that round of nominations and are not associated with any nominated supervisor (i.e. group member).
  3. The panel will be chaired by one of the Associate Heads (Research, Education or People), whose role is purely to chair the meetings, to clarify rules and to provide technical oversight of fair procedure.


  1. We expect to give 5-10 awards each year.
  2. Awards will be publicised through divisional and departmental communication channels and announced online, with winners recognised at a divisional reception later in the year.
  3. Nominations can only be received for supervisors who have not received this award in the previous 4 years (i.e., a typical DPhil or postdoctoral appointment cycle), previous awardees will be listed on the MPLS website


  1. Nominees can be anyone in an MPLS department who supervises DPhil students and/or postdoctoral researchers and fellows.
  2. An awardee cannot be nominated again within four years of a previous award.
  3. The nominee will have been in post for at least 2 years


Download the Nomination Form for MPLS Award for Outstanding Supervision 2022 (Word doc)

You can also view the content of the Nomination Form as a webpage.