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Exceptional support MHLS

2020 Winner

Dr Amy Wong

School of Nursing and Midwifery

"In her first year of tenure, Amy has provided exceptional support to academics, PhD students and Post-Docs across the School. Amy goes above and beyond her role to provide support in teaching and learning and was pivotal in the school being able to meet professional regulatory requirements during COVID-19 by using her expertise in Learning analytics to create CANVAS reports accessible to academics.

Amy actively engages Lecturers (Education) in developing Scholarship of Teaching and Learning projects supporting the School’s application for the Gold Athena Swan award. Her leadership in the Education and Practice Research theme has been outstanding, resulting in an increase in academic engagement with educational research across the School.

Amy co-supervises two PhD students and two Masters students, providing exceptional support to ensure students achieve their goals. Amy actively provides support to international PhD students by organising mock presentations prior to milestones to boost their confidence. She supports other post docs to achieve their ambitions with mock interviews and organises and delivers Masterclasses for all PhD students across the School. Amy is known for her approachability and supportive nature and is a real asset to the School."

2020 Other shortlisted postdocs

Dr Fernanda Godoy Santos

School of Biological Sciences

"Simply put the students of the Huws lab would be lost without Fernanda. Since joining us over a year ago each of us have immensely benefitted from Fernanda’s support and guidance. She individually has played a key role in both the planning and implementation of my PhD plans. She brings excellent scientific expertise to the table and is very thorough when investigating any problems that arise. A lot of her time is devoted to helping each PhD student make the best and most informed decisions possible. In addition to scientific support Fernanda spends time every week meeting with PhD students, including myself, to not only help with scientific problems but any issue we come across. She is always upbeat, positive and cool headed, she really does possess every trait that a supportive post doc needs. During lockdown Fernanda has made herself available to myself and others almost 24/7 and is always available to help us. The return to the lab has also been orchestrated by Fernanda, a mammoth task. During this process she has been professional and ensured each of our individual concerns have been considered."

Dr Juan Dominguez-Robles

School of Pharmacy

"Juan Dominguez-Robles has been working in my team for the last 2 years. He has been an exceptional PDRA in terms of skills, work capacity and scientific production. Moreover, it is a basic support for all the PhD students and other Postdoc working in my group and Prof. Donnelly’s group. He is part of the supervisory team of two of my PhD students but in addition to this it is a key figure in M105 laboratory providing mentoring and technical support to the rest of the PhD students and other visiting researchers. He is providing training to other researchers in a wide variety of techniques such as general microbiology or FTIR spectroscopy. Moreover, he has regular meetings with the PhD students to see how are they progressing. Last year he had an opportunity to get his own office shared with other 2 postdocs. He chose to stay in the general writing area with all the PhD students to be easily available. His excellent work continued and even was expanded to support more students during the last year despite having some health issues. He decided to continue working to continue providing support to the guys in the lab."

Dr Laura Smyth

Centre for Public Health

"It is a pleasure to nominate Dr Laura Smyth for this exceptional support award. In the past year Laura’s personal research has skyrocketed, yet she always “goes the extra-mile” providing exceptional support for our research team, national and international collaborators, and delivering excellent teaching support for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Complementing Laura’s growing track record of excellent personal research, she helps many junior and senior colleagues deliver research outcomes that are published in leading journals. I particularly appreciate Laura’s selfless support guiding four PhD students, two undergraduate students, and technicians, where she often defers her own research to support our dynamic research team. In the last six months Laura has helped me draft two major grant applications, which is very much appreciated.

Earlier this year Laura helped prepare ‘our’ offices for clinical colleagues to occupy (facilitating social-distancing) during the COVID-19 pandemic. During summer 2020, circumstances force us to unexpectedly move laboratories and office space across sites. Laura’s exceptional support from preserving precious data, securing expensive laboratory tools, helping rewrite protocols, and physically shifting items has been invaluable during this particularly challenging time.

Laura’s willingness to always lend a helping hand promotes a strong culture of friendliness and productive collaboration."

All 2020 nominees

Dr Amy (Wai Yee) Wong - nominated 5 times (School of Nursing and Midwifery)

Dr Anna-Claire Devlin - nominated twice (Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine)

Dr Emma McAlister - nominated twice (School of Pharmacy)

Dr Fernanda Godoy Santos - nominated 3 times (School of Biological Sciences)

Dr Helina Marshall (School of Biological Sciences)

Dr Juan Dominguez Robles - nominated 3 times (School of Pharmacy)

Dr Julie McMullan (Centre for Public Health)

Dr Laura Smyth - nominated 3 times (Centre for Public Health)

Dr Maria Llorian Salvador - Nominated 3 times (Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine)

Dr Marisa Canadas Garre (Centre for Public Health)

Dr Nyree Crawford (Patrick G. Johnston Centre for Cancer Biology)

Dr Prabhath Piyasena (Centre for Public Health)

Dr Roisin O'Neill (Centre for Public Health)

Dr Victoria Cairnduff (Centre for Public Health)

Dr Willian da Silveira (School of Biological Sciences)


CPH Postdoc Team (out of competition)

This nomination was submitted to recognise the contribution of a group of postdocs (composed of Dr Désirée Schliemann, Dr Roisin O’Neill, Dr Sean O’Connor, Dr Dunla Gallagher and Dr Qing Wen) from the Centre for Public Health. Since it was not for an individual postdoc, it could not be considered by the review panel as part of the competition but is listed here as a way of recognition.

"I would like to nominate the postdoctoral ambassador team at CPH for the excellent support and mentorship that they have provided to their colleagues throughout the year and in particular since the start of remote working. The postdoctoral ambassador team at CPH includes Dr Désirée Schliemann, Dr Dunla Gallagher, Dr Qing Wen, Dr Roisin O’Neill, and Dr Sean O’Connor. Each team member has played an important role in enhancing the postdoctoral experience at CPH and have assisted in initiating and organising a range of events including: (1) CPH postdoc appreciation lunch during international postdoc appreciation week; (2) Q&A sessions (3) a welcoming scheme to welcome new postdocs to CPH, and (4) social events. They have also contributed to several committees/forums as CPH representatives at both faculty and university level. The team have also played an important role in keeping the CPH postdoc community connected while we continue to work remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has included leading two surveys of CPH postdocs to identify concerns regarding working from home, frequent virtual social meetings (biweekly tea club), and information sessions within the centre. In the most recent survey, fellow postdocs rated the team highly in their ongoing communication efforts."

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