Humbled and honoured by award

Two colleagues who challenge and inspire students to push the boundaries of research have been honoured with a prestigious award.

More than 2,800 nominations were received for this year’s Leeds Partnership Awards

Leeds Partnership Awards 2020. September 2020

In the latest of our regular feature series – profiling winners in all 14 categories of this year’s prestigious Partnership Awards – we are highlighting the outstanding accomplishments of recipients of the Supervisor accolade.

The coveted awards celebrate those people who truly put into practice the Leeds Partnership – an agreement setting out our shared commitment to work together to support all aspects of our University community.

The Supervisor Award goes to the dissertation, thesis or final year project supervisor who has guided and inspired others to push the boundaries of their research. They challenge and inspire their students, encouraging academic development. They offer exceptional guidance, often going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure students are supported through the challenges of research to excel in their endeavours.

Such was the quality of this year’s nominees, the judging panel selected joint winners – Dr Elena Jones, Associate Professor with Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine (LIRMM), and Maria Lonsdale, Professor of Information and Communication Design in the School of Design.

Leeds Partnership Awards 2020. September 2020

Dr Elena Jones, one of the joint winners of the Supervisor Award

Leading by example

Dr Elena Jones is an outstanding mentor and inspiration to all students who are lucky to undertake their PhD training with LIRMM. She has been instrumental in supervising and supporting students’ development as scientists throughout their PGR studies.

James Vun, a Clinical Research Fellow based at the Academic Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, LIRMM, was among those to nominate Elena for the award.

He said: “Elena has been instrumental in supervising and supporting my development as a scientist throughout my PGR studies.

“She always goes the extra mile, making sure she is accessible and available. I found Elena an excellent supervisor. She leads by example in ensuring her students produce good quality science. Having Elena as my supervisor has made my PGR studies so much more academically stimulating and an enjoyable experience!”

Elena said: “I am really honoured to receive this award.

“I would like to thank Leeds University Union for running the Leeds Partnership Awards 2020 – a fantastic and truly inspirational event in these challenging times. I would also like to thank our Faculty of Medicine and Health Graduate School, our Institute, EPSRC-CDT in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine and the Leeds Doctoral College for the opportunity to be involved in postgraduate research in our University.

“Last, but not least, thank you to all my postgraduates and colleagues for using your voice to express your confidence in me, and I wish you every success in the future.”

Leeds Partnership Awards 2020. September 2020

Professor Maria Lonsdale was selected as a joint winner of the Supervisor Award

Force of nature

Professor Maria Lonsdale is supportive and encouraging to help students improve their academic skills. She inspires students to be better researchers and better people, while her warm and patient advice always improves the confidence of students, who are grateful for her excellent supervision and tireless support.

Judith Simpson, Education Service Manager in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures at Leeds, was among those to nominate Maria for the award.

She said: “Maria is a force of nature – she is tireless, and when others are ready to give up she reminds them of the importance of the student experience and suggests practical actions that can improve it.

“Maria is a real advocate of, and ambassador for, the University, regularly reminding students of the benefits they enjoy and encouraging them to take full advantage. She also fosters student community and engagement with activities that range from creating opportunities for students to participate in research projects to co-ordinating secret Santa.”

Maria said: “My journey at the University of Leeds and the School of Design since 2015 has been a true pleasure and a blessing.

“A great part of that joy comes from serving my students, looking after them with care and respect, and helping them to grow and thrive in their studies. Receiving this award was very humbling and unexpected. To my wonderful students I send a warm thank you for their kind words and a big well done for their hard work and great achievements.”

Further information

More in-depth profiles of each of the winners will appear on the For Staff website during the coming weeks. These will also be promoted via the fortnightly All Staff enewsletters and the Staff Twitter account.

Posted in: