Supervisor & Student Awards

Supervisor & Student Awards

Supervisor & Student Awards

Supervisor & Student Award


Please contact Constantine Tsounis & Mariam Soomro  (2021 PGC Research Student Officers) via email to for any inquiries. 

Supervisor Award Background

Supervisors must adhere to minimum standards when they interact with their Higher Degree Research students, such as the UNSW Code of Conduct and other policies set out by the Graduate Research School. However, there exist supervisors who display exemplary behaviour beyond the minimum requirements who deserve recognition for their hard work in supervising research students. The PGC Supervisor Awards were established to acknowledge these dedicated supervisors.


  • 'Supervisor Award' - to be given to successfully student-nominated supervisors.
  • 'Outstanding Supervisor Award' - to be given to the top few student-nominated supervisors based on their nomination form.

Together with the Research Student Awards, and outstanding supervisors will additionally be featured in the GRS Newsletter.


  • Any person who was the supervisor or co-supervisor of a UNSW HDR student in 2019 or 2020 may be nominated.
  • Past winners of the 'Outstanding Supervisor Award' are ineligible for the 'Outstanding' class of award, but may be nominated again for the general class.
  • Nominations are for individual supervisors only - groups of supervisors/supervisory panels are not allowed.
  • Each supervisor must be nominated by a student, and the nomination seconded by at least one other student.
  • Each student may only nominate one supervisor.

Nominations for 2020 closes on September 9th. Please email with any submission inquiries or difficulties, or to attach any supplementary material that you feel is relevant to the nomination.


Nominations will be judged by this year's PGC before proceeding to the Graduate Research School.

Previous Recipients

You can view previous PGC Supervisor Award recipients from the following years:

2019 Outstanding Supervisor Awards 2019 Supervisor Awards
Jan SeidelArcot SowmyaLoren Brener 
Richard DayBinh Tran-namMaria Markoulli
Kate QuinlanChun WanPadmaja Sankaridurg
Pankaj SharmaDennis Alonzo Riza Yosia Sunindijo
Michelle Elaine LangfordIrina VoineaguRuiting Lan
Sarah Brough
Jane CarlandVipul Agarwal
Luke Craven
Karen Fisher

Student Awards Background

The PGC Research Student Awards aim to recognise HDR candidates who help to create a lively research environment and supportive social atmosphere among the student cohort of their School or Centre. Awards will be presented to successfully nominated students at a virtual reception to be held on 10th November 2020, together with the presentation of our Supervisor Awards.


  • 'Research Student Award' - to be given to successfully nominated students.
  • 'Outstanding Research Student Award' - to be given to the top few students based on their nomination form


  • Any current HDR candidate at UNSW, including those who have submitted their thesis but not yet been awarded their degree may be nominated
  • Each student must be nominated by a UNSW student or staff member and seconded by at least one other student or staff member
  • Self-nominations are allowed; however, self-nominees must obtain a letter of support from a relevant staff member, such as their Postgraduate Coordinator or Head of School, and email this letter to before the closing date of nominations (9th September). Such letters of support are strongly encouraged for all nominations, but are only required in the case of self-nomination

Nominations for 2020 closes on 9th September. Please email with any submission inquiries or difficulties, or to attach any supplementary material that you feel is relevant to the nomination.

Congratulations to the following 2019 Research Students

2019 Outstanding Student Awards

Keiko Bostwick

Keiko Bostwick recently completed her PhD in Educational Psychology in the School of Education. Her PhD research focused on the relations between students’ growth-focused motivation and their academic outcomes in mathematics. In addition, she examined the extent to which the interaction between teachers’ and students’ motivation influenced students’ mathematics outcomes. Alongside her PhD research, Keiko co-founded and currently co-chairs the Educational Psychology Research Group Roundtable at UNSW, which is a monthly professional development seminar for postgraduate students and early career researchers. She has published several peer-reviewed journal articles, been awarded both internal and external research grants, and maintains multiple international collaborative research partnerships. Her general research interests include motivation, STEM education, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and quantitative research methods.

Rabia Mobeen

Rabia Mobeen received her M.Phil. in Optometry degree in 2016 and BS Optometry in 2010 both with distinctions from College of Ophthalmology and Allied Vision Sciences, King Edward Medical University (KEMU) Lahore, one of the renowned institutes of Optometry in Pakistan. After completion of her bachelor’s degree, she was appointed as an optometrist at Mayo Hospital, Lahore and as a lecturer in KEMU for 7 years. She has also been involved in research projects which resulted in numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals. Rabia is currently immersed in her Ph.D. project at UNSW under the supervision of Prof Fiona Stapleton, Drs. Blanka Golebiowski and Cecilia Chao with two scholarships from UNSW and Government of Pakistan. Rabia has received multiple awards before commencing her Ph.D. and she is also the recipient of seven major awards during her candidature, and she is also Women in Maths and Science Champion for 2020.

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​Emmanuel Ajoma

Emmanuel Ajoma is a sponsored PhD Candidate at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney Australia by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Nigeria. His research interest is around the Co-optimization of both CO2 Storage and Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and multiphase flow in porous media. He was one of four recipients of the 2019 Outstanding Research Student Award organized by the ARC-PGC Council of UNSW. Prior to this, he received his master’s degree from Heriot Watt university, United Kingdom and a bachelor’s degree from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Nigeria; all degrees are in Petroleum Engineering.

Lana Ly

Lana Ly is currently completing her PhD in the Crossley Lab at UNSW. Her research focuses on how genes which comprise the oxygen carrying protein, haemoglobin, in your red blood cells are switched on and off. Mutations within these genes cause genetically inherited diseases, including sickle cell anaemia. By understanding how the haemoglobin genes are regulated, we can develop new therapeutic strategies to help treat individuals with sickle cell anaemia. During her PhD, Lana has also discovered a passion for teaching and enjoys helping undergraduate students learn about science. When not in the lab, Lana enjoys reading, doing ballet and catching up on some much-needed sleep.

2019 Student Awards

Sujith Kumar

Sujith is a PhD student at the Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Sydney. His research interests include social identity, health and qualitative research methods, with a focus on ethnicity and sexuality. His PhD thesis explores sexuality, citizenship and belonging among Lebanese, Indian and Anglo LGBTQA+ young adults in Sydney. In his time at UNSW, he has been a member on several communities (Faculty Board, Culture and Language Working Group), collaborated on SEXtember 2019 with UNSW's Health Promotions Unit, worked as a casual tutor, and has volunteered and built connections with several LGBTQA+ organisations in Sydney, where he most recently served on an advisory working group at ACON and the CALD Gay Men's Action Group to better engage overseas students with community and health services. Sujith's work, on sexual citizenship, sexuality, media and inclusion, has been published in academic journals, news media and magazine publications (e.g., HIV Australia, Social Space).

Karen Lahav-Yacouel

A mum, a researcher, a science ambassador, an educator; might be some of the words that describe me. After completing my Bachelor of Optometry at UNSW, I worked as a staff optometrist in the UNSW Optometry clinic and completed Masters of Optometry. Following this, I ventured overseas for a few years and worked in private practice and in start-up companies, contributing to the development of contact lenses and new applications, publishing related articles, patents and participating in conferences. I pursued my passion for research and returned to UNSW where my past exposure to new contact lens technologies led me to my current area of PhD study. My love of science and passion for education extend to working with younger children to expose them to the joys of science and to help them in their exploratory journey. To that end I carry out science workshops and have enjoyed being part of the Women in Maths and Science Champions program. I would love to constantly give back to science, my continuously acquired knowledge and everlasting passion for science through both research and education.

MuhammEd Ourang

I am MuhammEd Ourang, PhD candidate of Linguistics. I am researching on an endangered language of Iran, the Lari language which is my mother tongue. The language is spoken by nearly 100, 000 people in south of Iran and some other Persian Gulf countries. It has no writing system; children cannot learn Lari at schools and there is no media to promote the status quo of the language. Therefore, there is a dire need to preserve it from dying out. My thesis is aimed at writing the first reference grammar of the Lari language (with a focus on Aheli dialect). It includes a description of phonology, morphology and syntax of the language. Doing so, I can take the first small step in saving the dialect. Having recorded the data through interviews (50 of them) in Iran in 2018, I am analysing them for different chapters of thesis. I can also use the data in theatres, movies and documentaries in Aheli later on. Teaching Aheli to children at the city is another practical way to preserve the dialect which is my future plan. My supervisors are experts in this area and their constructive feedback always brightens the path ahead to me.

Cherry Zin Oo

Cherry Zin Oo recently completed her PhD from the School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Social Science (FASS), UNSW. Her research interests include teacher education, assessment literacy, assessment for learning, and mixed-method research. During her PhD, she has presented at nine conferences locally and internationally. She has been awarded a student bursary to present at 2019 British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, and also the exceptional achievement grant from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW in 2018.  

Cherry was the chair of the Higher Degree Research (HDR) Student Committee, FASS, UNSW in 2019. Also, she was a student representative on UNSW Arts and Social Sciences Research Committee, and Educational Language and Literacy Research Group in the School of Education. She has been actively involved in organising many FASS HDR events, most notably the 2019 HDR Student Conference.

Matthew J. Gibson

Matthew J. Gibson is a researcher in machine learning with interests in computer vision, remote sensing and computational sustainability. He is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW. He received a B.Sc.(H1) in Mathematics from the University of Auckland and an M.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Sydney.

Divya Jagadeesh

Masoud Fetanat

Koumbo Ornella Mekountchou

Parisa Moazzam

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PGC General Enquiries

PGC Research Officer (Shared Position)

Constantine TSOUNIS and Mariam SOOMRO