Written by Lorraine Slater, Research Student Officer (Recruitment and Researcher Development), The Doctoral College, University of Brighton
Lorraine has been with the University of Brighton’s Doctoral College since its inception in 2011, starting with a part-time role in Arts and Humanities admissions. Ten years later, she now works full time across 13 schools in a highly varied role. She leads on Doctoral College communications and events; supports recruitment and marketing activities; and coordinates supervisor training and the postgraduate researcher development programme.
One of Lorraine’s key responsibilities is organising the university’s annual Festival of Postgraduate Research, a highlight of the Doctoral College calendar. This campus-based event has regularly brought together research students and supervisors from across the institution in celebration of doctoral research. In 2020, after months of planning and preparation, the festival scheduled for 1st April had to be cancelled as the UK headed towards lockdown.
Lorraine made a swift about-turn and, along with colleagues, began rapidly tackling the multiple PGR-related issues created by the coronavirus outbreak. Lorraine led on PGR coronavirus communications across multiple digital channels, set up a dedicated blog, and ensured a smooth transition to the provision of online workshops.
Lorraine received the University Alliance Integrity Award in recognition of her commitment to supporting the doctoral community. Colleagues praised Lorraine for providing not just information for doctoral students but also reassurance and warmth. She was instrumental in engendering trust and confidence in the Doctoral College and her work during the pandemic has generated messages of praise from students and staff alike.
Lorraine said, “I was thrilled and honoured to win the Integrity Award for my work. As the person responsible for communications and training programmes within the Doctoral College, I found myself at the forefront of our response to the crisis when lockdown occurred. The impact of coronavirus on PGRs was, and continues to be, considerable. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing staff and students to help support our doctoral community. To receive recognition for my contribution to our efforts means such a lot.”
For more information on the Alliance Awards 2021, and on how to nominate, head over to our Awards page.