The academics who will supervise your research project

Meet our supervisors

The academics who will supervise your research project have well-established reputations for their own research and are at the cutting edge of developments in their fields worldwide. They present their research findings across a range of international forums and have links with key research colleagues across the world.

Meet our acknowledged excellent supervisors

Vice Chancellor's Awards for Supervision Excellence

The Vice Chancellor's Awards for supervision excellence recognise our outstanding supervisors and the integral role they play in supporting our talented research higher degree students.

2012 Winners

Professor Deborah Hodgson

Faculty of Science and Information Technology and overall winner of the Vice Chancellor's Award for Supervision Excellence - Associate Professor Deborah Hodgson.

Deborah Hodgson

Associate Professor Deborah Hodgson is a passionate researcher and supervisor who makes her students a top priority.  Associate Professor Hodgson's knowledge in the area of Neuroimmunology is acknowledged internationally and her students are encouraged to collaborate through her network of local and international colleagues in order to establish their own careers.

Through her mentoring, a number of students have been assisted in gaining post-doctoral appointments both in Australia and internationally.  After graduation Associate Professor Hodgson continues providing guidance and mentoring to her former students assisting them in the development of their long term research careers.

As a supervisor, her students acknowledge her hands-on training approach, high standards, encouragement in peer review and publishing, generosity and knowledge of the field as particular attributes they most appreciate.  Associate Professor Hodgson sets very high standards for herself and her students and is an excellent role model as an outstanding researcher and collegial and committed member of the academic community.


Faculty of Education and Arts - Professor Pam Nilan

Pam Nilan

Professor Pam Nilan is an accomplished researcher in the area of the sociology of youth.  Her research is undertaken at the international level - working with colleagues in Indonesia, Fiji, Spain, and France.  She spends considerable time on research projects in Indonesia.  She has an extensive record of grants and publications and is frequently invited to give keynote addresses at major international conferences.

Professor Nilan's supervision of RHD students is characterised by enthusiasm and rigour.  She ensures there are regular and frequent meetings with her students.  She provides quick and detailed feedback on their work.  She helps students to integrate theoretical insights with their empirical data and to turn raw ideas into academic parlance.

Professor Nilan's ability to communicate knowledge and expertise facilitates her students' development of their own communication skills.

She encourages students to join the academic community by attending conferences and is a strong supporter of joint publications.  Her collaborative approach to research and publication is a model for students to use in their own careers and she continues her mentoring role with students after their graduation.


Faculty of Health and Medicine - Associate Professor Christine Paul

Christine Paul

Associate Professor Christine Paul is a behavioural scientist with considerable experience in the development and evaluation of strategies for achieving behavioural change on an individual, system and population level across preventive health issues and provision of patient care. Much of her work focuses on cancer prevention, tobacco control, with a continual growing research portfolio relating to social disadvantage, chronic disease and health service delivery.

Associate Professor Paul is highly dedicated and committed supervisor who provides a supportive and structured environment for her students. This includes meeting with her students regularly and providing prompt feedback which students noted as significant to their progress.

Her students attribute their high levels of success as research students, publication output and in gaining grants and post-doctoral positions and fellowships to the support, encouragement and knowledge of Associate Professor Paul as a supervisor and mentor.

Associate Professor Paul not only supports her own students, she encourages a collegial environment between all research students with a focus on mentorship programs throughout the discipline of Health Behaviour.


2011 Winners

Faculty of Engineering and overall winner of the Vice Chancellor's Award for Supervision Excellence - Professor Mirka Miller

Mirka MillerProfessor Mirka Miller is an outstanding researcher with an international reputation for her research in Graph Theory and its applications. She has extensive international collaborations with other researchers and has co-authored research papers with academics of 23 different nationalities. Professor Miller's students have been equally diverse with students from Indonesia, India, Vietnam, China, Spain, Laos, Russia, Cuba and the Czech Republic.

Professor Miller is a nurturing and supportive supervisor, meeting regularly with students to provide them with the care and guidance required to complete their studies. 

With her international background, Professor Miller is able to assist international students with both understanding and empathy. She encourages her students to interact with each other through the formation of small research teams and by encouraging her more senior PhD students to assist new PhD candidates.

Professor Miller also mentors her students to prepare them for a career in academia and encourages the involvement of her students in teaching activities, refereeing of papers, conference organisation, and in the development of their own collaborative research ties through interaction with visiting academics from both Australia and abroad.

Mirka has recently moved to the University's Faculty of Science and Information Technology.


Faculty of Business and Law - Associate Professor Jim Jose

Jim JoseAssociate Professor Jose, an accomplished scholar in the field of political science, has a special interest in feminist politics.  His publication record in this area, together with his tireless promotion of feminist studies, has created a highly supportive environment for his female students.

Associate Professor Jose's calm reassurance and the clarity with which he assists students consider their research problems allows students to maintain a balanced perspective.  Jim encourages output without imposing pressure. He is collaborative and generous in his interactions, always accessible and responsive.Associate Professor Jose's active exposure of his students to diverse aspects of the scholarly and pedagogical process gives great impetus to their development as researchers and teachers. His generosity in treating his students as valued colleagues enhances their confidence as doctoral candidates and early career researchers.


Faculty of Education and Arts - Dr Keri Glastonbury

Keri GlastonburyA nationally recognised poet, essayist and publisher, Dr Glastonbury provides a unique connection for Newcastle students between their studies and the contemporary Australian literary scene.  She is regularly invited to judge prestigious awards such as the NSW Premier's Awards and to speak at national symposia such as the Sydney Writers Festival.

Dr Glastonbury is a dedicated and successful RHD supervisor as her track record of completions, the impressive publications and awards secured by her students and her popularity as a supervisor attest.  As a poet and editor Keri is exemplary in her own achievements which inspires and motivates her students.

Dr Glastonbury is an active mentor for her students, using her professional contacts to secure publication and other opportunities on their behalf.  Her sound knowledge of diverse fields of writing allows her to offer insights and directions in a skilful and subtle manner. 

She engenders a spirit of cooperation between staff and RHD students including running workshops at the Hunter Writers Centre which in turn ensures that students are connected with the local literary community.  She is also actively involved in local events such as This Is Not Art and the Newcastle Poetry Prize.


Faculty of Health and Medicine - Associate Professor Helen Warren-Forward

Helen Warren-ForwardThe health professions represented in the School of Health Sciences do not have a tradition of research, and allied health professionals with research training are very rare.  Against this backdrop Associate Professor Helen Warren-Forward has been instrumental in creating an environment within the School that encourages research and supports research training.

Associate Professor Warren-Forward advises her students to select and design projects that can succeed when pursued on a part-time basis. This is a particular challenge for health care professionals who often undertake research part-time while being fully employed. Through her proactive and structured interactions with students Associate Professor Warren-Forward demonstrates the importance and benefits of advanced planning. She also instils skills in task and time management to ensure success.

Associate Professor Warren-Forward encourages and supports students to present their results at major conferences and to publish in top international journals. She also organises a program of workshops and seminars for all research students in the School to develop their skills in data analysis, literature review, study design and writing for publication.   In this way she extends the benefits of her supervision excellence to enhance the training of all research students in the School.


Faculty of Science and IT - Dr Geoff MacFarlane

Dr Geoff MacFarlane is a highly enthusiastic and committed supervisor who provides a supportive and structured environment for his students.  He encourages independent research while providing an overarching framework that guarantees successful project outcomes.

Dr MacFarlane actively arranges external laboratory experience for his students and often provides funding to support these opportunities.  Students advise that these experiences have provided them with on-going contact with a variety of research collaborators as well as allowing them to become competent in a range of research methodologies.

Dr MacFarlane approaches his own research enthusiastically and his passion and commitment for research inspires students and colleagues within his research group. He has received some 40 grants and has published widely in the area of Estuarine and Marine Ecotoxicology and is internationally recognised for his research in this area.

Read more about the Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Supervision Excellence in the 'For Supervisors' area of the website.