On Thursday 25 January, the Doctoral College was officially launched, celebrating a new home for our community to collaborate, enhance our research activities and build strong connections both within the University and with external partners. We had a jam-packed schedule, including internal and external keynote speakers, student presentations and an alumni panel, as well as a research poster competition highlighting the work of our doctoral students.  

The event was led by Professor Anya Ahmed, Academic Director of the Doctoral College. Anya shared that the Doctoral College was established to develop and embed a strong doctoral identity at Manchester Met. At its heart is a vision to create a vibrant community which encompasses belonging to place, networks, and importantly, a strong shared identity through its three pillars: Academic Leadership, Student Development, and Doctoral Services.  

Attendees had the opportunity to hear from Professor Steve Rothberg, Professor Nick Brook and Professor Jenny Watling about the University’s research strategy and the positive impact of our Doctoral College in this area. We also had the opportunity to hear from faculty representatives about their visions for doctoral students. Professor Martyn Evans, Professor Dominic Medway, Professor Andy Gibson and Dr Kirstie Andrews all spoke about the direction their respective faculties are taking to support the research of their colleagues and students, to allow more opportunities in the future. The Doctoral College recognises the importance of students and their centrality to the University’s research ambitions and want to ensure they have the best possible experience and are embedded in our research culture. The Doctoral College is in the process of overhauling the training and development offer for both students and supervisors and will be introducing some new opportunities in the coming months. 

With students as the focus of the Doctoral College, it was great to host a doctoral student experience panel discussion in the afternoon, featuring previous winners and participants from Images of Research and Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competitions, showcasing their entries and their research. We also heard from this year’s Doctoral Student Conference committee about their plans for the upcoming Doctoral Student Conference on Wednesday 24 April 2024. We were delighted to announce Maria Alamgir as the winner of both the People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice awards in our research poster competition. It was fantastic to see the talent and commitment to doctoral research within our community from our students.  

Another highlight of the event was our alumni panel, where we invited Dr Cliff Lansley and Dr Denise Andrea Harris to share their experience of studying at Manchester Met as a doctoral student, and what they have achieved since. Cliff’s PhD was in Emotional Intelligence, he is the founder of the EIA Group, and works as a special adviser for Warner Brothers on true crime programmes. Denise’s PhD allowed her to publish her research on Motor Neurone Disease, and she is now a Consultant Occupational Therapist with twenty-five years’ experience. Both Cliff and Denise shared how Manchester Met has supported their research careers, and they gave a wonderful insight into student and post-student life.  

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who joined us for this launch event, and we hope you enjoyed the day as much as we enjoyed the preparations. Also, thank you to all our speakers, the catering staff who provided our refreshments and the facilities teams who supported us on the day. 

Keep an eye on our Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with the Doctoral College. We will also be in touch soon with upcoming workshops and events – watch this space! 

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