Professional Services Award for PGR Support and Supervisor of the Year

Each year, we recognise members of staff who create the most inspirational, supportive, encouraging and stimulating research environment for our postgraduate research students.

Perhaps they have a pioneering approach to their support or supervision, facilitate your research or your development, or provide effective and timely support, helping students successfully achieve their goals.

If you’re a research student, and you think a member of staff is a worthy winner, we’d love to hear from you.

This year we have two categories:

  • Professional Services Award for PGR Support (Open to professional service staff who support students. This is inclusive, but not limited to the following roles: PGR Administrators, PGRE team, Librarians, Technicians, SWIS colleagues and Coaches).
  • Supervisor of the Year (open to supervisors who directly supervise a PGR student).

You may also nominate one team in each category, for example if you are co-supervised and wish to nominate both supervisors.

The nomination process

Nominations are now closed for 2023.

Nominations are anonymous

We will not share your name with your nominee without your prior consent. Within the nomination form you are given the option to opt out of your name being shared and used (alongside your nomination) in any celebration events and university marketing materials and promotional channels. Therefore, please be mindful of this when completing the nomination form.

Eligibility to nominate

Current PGR students or recent PGR graduates (who have been a registered student since the closure of the previous award round) are eligible to nominate a member of staff for these awards. If you would like to make a nomination and you are a recent graduate who no longer has access to your Essex email, please get in touch:

The number of nominations you can make

You can nominate maximum one member of staff (or a team if co-supervised) who supervises you and maximum one professional services member of staff (or team) for the two separate awards.

Making a nomination if you are co-supervised

In the case in which you are co-supervised (by more than 1 supervisor), you are welcome to nominate the supervisory team (max 3 members of staff) as a collective. Equally, you may wish to nominate only one of your supervisors within a co-supervision.

Making a joint nomination

If another student is supervised by the same supervisor as you, we would recommend completing the form separately. However, if you feel you and your colleague have had a very similar experience, you may work together to complete the form. Please make this clear in your nomination.

Informing a member of staff that you are nominating them

You do not need to tell a member of staff that you are nominating them. However, your name will be shared unless you express your objection on the nomination form. Please be mindful of this when completing the form.

Completing the application form

You only need to complete a minimum of one nomination question. In order to maximise your chances of a successful nomination, we encourage you to answer the questions you choose to answer, as fully as possible. Please note, the success of your nomination is not judged on the number of questions answered.

Questions you will be expected to answer

When completing the application form, students will be asked to provide examples to the questions below. Students do not need to complete every box, and bullet points might be right for some sections. The most effective nominations are those that are specific and provide detail. 

Professional Services Award for PGR Support
  • How has your nominee gone the extra mile to help you to navigate through difficulties, academic or otherwise?
  • Provide examples of the positive impact the nominee’s actions have had on your student experience?  E.g., supporting you to develop yourself personally, academically, or creatively. 
  • How has the nominee supported you with your professional development?  E.g., your self-confidence, motivation, self-management/time management, or career?
  • How has the nominee supported you to understand/adhere to research policies/governance?  (This could relate to aspects such as extensions, ethics, finances, health and safety, research management).
  • How has your nominee supported your research impact and experience?  E.g., by providing information, access to additional facilities, resources/software/equipment or networks? 
Supervisor of the Year
  • How has your supervisor exceeded (gone beyond) what is expected of any good supervisor?
  • How has your supervisor challenged you intellectually, helping you to make meaningful contributions to the academic field?
  • How has your supervisor encouraged you to give greater scope and support to your research? Perhaps by providing information about dissemination, access to additional facilities, resources or networks?
  • How has your supervisor demonstrated enthusiasm, going the extra mile to help you to navigate through difficulties, academic or otherwise?
  • How has your supervisor supported you over time offering constructive employment and career advice post-graduation? 

Making changes after you have submitted your application

Unfortunately, you cannot go back and edit what you have written. If you would like anything changed, please contact our team by emailing

Making a nomination if you are an Undergraduate or Masters student

These awards are for postgraduate research students only. This includes Masters by Dissertation students and doctoral students.

Finding out if your nomination has been successful

All students who complete a nomination form will be invited to the PGR celebration event in June 2023. Please look out for the invitation email. We will announce the winners at this event.

How we choose a winner

Nominations are collated, organised and then sent to the panel members to be reviewed independently. Following this, the panel members meet to discuss and decide on overall winners. You may be interested to know that students are represented on the panel. If you would like to know more about this process and panel membership, please email and we can share more information on the guidance we give to reviewers

Get in touch