May 12 2021

The Doctoral School is delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s Doctoral Supervisor of the Year Award is Professor Katie Willis, Geography, School of Life Sciences and the Environment. 

Professor Willis has supervised some 28 students to completion.  Her testimonials are excellent.  She is particularly supportive of international students and those for whom English is not their first language. The disciplinary variety of her students is very good. She takes a keen interest in wider doctoral training. She has an excellent track record of recruiting excellent candidates and winning funding for them. She typically exceeds her students’ expectations, models good practice and a strong work ethic, has a holistic approach to supporting her students and offers special assistance to support students in difficulty. She has, for example, adopted various strategies to assist students who are finding writing difficult.  Particularly impressive was mention of her travelling to Macau and Shanghai and finding time to advise on and support a student’s field work. She runs mock interviews for students applying for academic positions and has even organised an international conference to raise her students’ profiles.  Former doctoral students have gone onto a wide range of relevant career, including international development and NGOs.

 Professor Willis now has the chance to go forward as the Royal Holloway nominee for the 2021 Times Higher Education Outstanding Supervisor of the Year Award.