From education to employment

Researcher who supervised PhD of incarcerated student ‘humbled’ following Higher Education ‘Oscars’ nomination

A University of Exeter Business School (@UofEBusiness) professor is in the running for a prestigious THE Award after being shortlisted for Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year.

Professor Will Harvey, Associate Dean of Global and Professor of Management, said he was “humbled and surprised” to have been named among the eight finalists.

The Times Higher Education (THE) Awards, dubbed the “Oscars of Higher Education”, this year saw 600 entrants compete across 19 categories.

Professor Harvey, who joined the Exeter’s Business School in 2013, is the winner of its Student Guilds’ Best Supervisor for three consecutive years and won the same award across the University of Exeter in 2020.

His PhD students come from a range of countries, and testimonials in support of Professor Harvey’s nomination detail the exceptional academic and pastoral support he has provided over many years.

They describe Professor Harvey as someone who “brings out the best” in students and “encourages and supports his students to do their best in their PhD and in life”.

The feedback shows how he has supported students facing challenging circumstances including prison, family deaths, divorces, clinical depression, redundancy and domestic violence.

A recent THE article gave a fascinating insight into Professor Harvey’s experience as the PhD supervisor of a student indicted for wire fraud and serving time in a US prison. 

Professor Harvey, according to the testimonial, “played a pivotal role” in the student’s rehabilitation and education, taking him on at a time when his professional, social and family life was collapsing and even using the situation to collaborate on a research paper on white-collar crime.

Professor Harvey said:

“I am surprised and humbled to have been shortlisted for the THE Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year award.

“Supervising PhD students is an incredibly rewarding part of my job, one where I am constantly confronted with new ideas, and to be put in the position to help shape and direct an individual’s intellectual journey in such a profound way really is a huge privilege. 

“Fortunately, being part of the University of Exeter Business School means I belong to a community that understands the demands of research and PhD supervision and allows both to thrive.”

The University of Exeter is also a finalist for the THE DataPoints Merit Award, which this year, in the run up to COP26, will go to a UK or Irish university judged to be leading the way on energy efficiency, sustainability, environmental education and net-zero carbon commitments.

Related Articles