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Meet the Research Degrees team

Professor Jason Madan

Director of Graduate Research Studies

What does your role involve?

I’m responsible for postgraduate research at the Medical School, including our PhD, MD and MRes programmes. This involves working with the senior management team and Warwick Doctoral College on strategic issues, and also supporting individual students and supervisors if they hit a bump on the road. An important part of what I do is making sure the views and concerns of students and supervisors are heard at senior level.

What should students contact you about?

I’m always happy to hear from students, particularly if you are experiencing challenges that your immediate support networks are struggling to resolve. I would also encourage you to get in touch if you have suggestions for how we can improve our student experience. Or better still, do let me know if you have positive feedback about your experience, your supervisors, or the PGR team. It’s good to celebrate the things that go well!

How can students contact you?

The PGR email account wms.rdcoord@warwick.ac.uk is always a good first contact. The PGR team meet weekly and discuss any issues raised by students, and decide who is best placed to tackle them, and how. Or email me directly at j.j.madan@warwick.ac.uk

When I'm not at work you can find me...?

Pre-Covid, with my friends trying out the latest Spiel des Jahres contenders, at pub quizzes, or at the occasional gig or play. These days, mainly I’m a human beanbag for Leah, our 6-month old.

Professor Anne Straube

Deputy Director of Graduate Research Studies & Academic Lead for Biomedical Sciences

What does your role involve?

I deputise for Jason as needed and bring the lab-based research perspective to the PGR team.

I support the development of new research degree programmes and improved procedures for selection, monitoring and mentoring students.

I advise supervisors on opportunities for PhD student recruitment and funding and participate in international student recruitment activities.

As academic lead, I primarily support PGR students and supervisors in the Division of Biomedical Sciences who are based at Gibbet Hill.

What should students contact you about?

Any concerns with regards to academic progress, support from their supervisors, access to research and study space, specialist facilities and training, needs for additional mentoring and academic advice not provided by their supervisors.

Ideas on how to improve the research environment / research culture.

Wanting to be involved in organising events, conferences, outreach activities, teaching.

How can students contact you?

Email me a.straube@warwick.ac.uk or send me a message via teams. You might also be able to find me in my office L2.08 in the MCB building.

When I'm not at work you can find me...?

Probably somewhere in the countryside, ideally with a map in my hand on an orienteering course, or just running, hiking, skiing, cycling.

Dr Andrew Blanks

Academic Lead for Biomedical Sciences

What does your role involve?

I work alongside Anne as an academic lead for the Division of Biomedical Sciences. I work over at the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire site and provide support to students who are based at the Clinical Sciences Research Laboratory.

What should students contact you about?

Students can approach us with any concerns. Even if the concern is not directly within our remit we will be able to put you in contact with someone who can help. We are mainly here to assist with any issues regarding academic progress, but problems with supervision, or lack of provision of the resources required to undertake your research are also areas where we can help.

How can students contact you?

Email me: andrew.blanks@warwick.ac.uk or send me a message via Teams. My office is 00117 in the CSRL building.

When I'm not at work you can find me...?

Spending time with my family, in the gym, or running across the fields and trails of Warwickshire.

Dr Leda Mirbahai

Academic Lead for Biomedical Sciences

What does your role involve?

I act as the Academic Lead, alongside Andy, for the Biomedical Sciences Division. I support PGR students within the division who are based at Gibbet Hill campus.

What should students contact you about?

Students can contact with any concerns they may have. Students can reach out if they are concerned about their academic progress, resources available for their project or the level of support received from the supervisory team. I can also signpost to relevant support and resources available within the division and the university.

How can students contact you?

Students can either email me (Leda.Mirbahai@Warwick.ac.uk) or call me on Teams. I am also always happy to meet in person (Office A044, WMS) or on Teams.

When I'm not at work you can find me...?

Somewhere outdoors either taking our dog for a super long walk, cycling or gardening. If the weather is super cold then you most likely will find me in a nice coffeeshop that I came across during my outdoor adventure!

Dr Michelle Miller

Academic Lead for Health Sciences

What does your role involve?

I have joint responsibility with Domenico, for overseeing postgraduate students within the Health Sciences Division. I am responsible for reviewing and interviewing applicants and reviewing internal funding applications and policies. I giving general support to the Health Science students as well as giving more intensive support to individual students and supervisors who may have particular difficulties.

What should students contact you about?

Any concerns with regards to their academic progress, or the level of support from their supervisors or challenges that they might have conducting their studies in a Covid environment. We are here to try and support you and direct you to the help and support that you may need.

How can students contact you?

Contact email michelle.miller@warwick.ac.uk

When I'm not at work you can find me...?

Probably walking in the countryside or if not, in the kitchen, as I love cooking and trying out new techniques and recipes.

Dr Domenico Giacco

Academic Lead for Health Sciences

What does your role involve?

I oversee, together with Michelle, postgraduate students within the Division of Health Sciences. I review PGR applicants’ proposals and meet them for their initial interviews. After you will have started your postgraduate research, I will be available to provide general support to all students and more specific support in case there are any difficulties with progressing your work. I usually (although not in all cases) tend to help with PhD projects which are carried out in clinical environments.

What should students contact you about?

You can contact me for questions about PGR and any challenges which you and the supervisory team may be struggling to overcome.

How can students contact you?

Please contact me via email Domenico.giacco@warwick.ac.uk

When I'm not at work you can find me...?

Watching football, trying to play it too, walking or jogging in the countryside, cooking Italian food, listening to alternative rock music.

Professor Julie Bruce

Academic Lead for Clinical Trials Unit

What does your role involve?

I have responsibility for coordination of postgraduate students within the Clinical Trials Unit. This involves reviewing and interviewing applicants, support with vivas, regular engagement and general support of CTU students.

What should students contact you about?

Open to any queries from our students. We are aware of the difficulties and challenges of studying alone during Covid times & are here to support you.

How can students contact you?

Email Julie.bruce@warwick.ac.uk or via Teams

When I'm not at work you can find me...?

On a bike or hiking up a hill – although sadly no hills around Kenilworth. Vegetable growing skills have improved during lockdown.

Francesca Meneghetti

Research Degrees Coordinator

What does your role involve?

I am the first point of contact for enquiries related to WMS Research Degrees courses. In tandem with the Research Degrees Officer, I provide administrative support to PGR staff and students from application to award stage, to make sure that practical aspects of the research programme journey are organised timely and well looked after, in line with departmental and University rules and regulations.

What should students contact you about?

Any question related to Research Degrees at WMS is very welcome, as I am always happy to listen, help and signpost to the relevant resources.

How can students contact you?

Please get in touch via email on wms.rdcoord@warwick.ac.uk in the first instance or feel free to message/call me on MS Teams

When I'm not at work you can find me...?

Playing cardiotennis at the Warwick University Tennis Centre or visiting places like National Trust estates around the UK.

Andrew Taylor

Senior Personal Tutor

What does your role involve?

  • to be a sympathetic, listening ear;
  • to suggest help and advice about pastoral/non-academic matters insofar as he is competent to do so and to refer on to professional student services for further assistance as may be required;
  • to assist students with the process of induction and orientation into University life and retain an interest in their development throughout their academic careers;
  • to seek to ensure that no student withdraws from the University prematurely for want of support and guidance.

What should students contact you about?

  • Accommodation
  • Anxiety about academic ability/progress
  • Bereavement

  • Course changes

  • Employment changes

  • Equal opportunities issues

  • Finance
  • General Anxiety and mental ill health
  • Relationships (partners / family)
  • Sexual and racial harassment
  • Students with disabilities
  • Study problems and study skills

How can students contact you?

Email: andrew.m.taylor@warwick.ac.uk

Work Telephone:(024 765) 23746

When I'm not at work you can find me...?

in Wales doing some birdwatching!

Sean Barrett

Research Degrees Officer

What does your role involve?

I oversee administration of WMS Research Degrees courses working alongside the coordinator to make sure all aspects of the courses are looked after. My role varies throughout the year and can be anything from website updates to organising supervisor training and the annual PGR symposium to ensuring WMS guidance is in line with that of the Doctoral College and the wider University. I am also the chair for the PGR subgroup of the Athena Swan working group looking at all aspects of equality, diversion and inclusion.

What should students contact you about?

  • Anything that you think could be improved about the courses/provisions available.
  • Any concerns around supervision, guidelines, processes, process etc.
  • Anything that works well or just to tell me some good news!

How can students contact you?

It's always best to email the wms.rdcoord@warwick.ac.uk resource to make sure it's not lost in a backlog of personal emails! or you can call/message me on MS Teams if you need something from me quickly!

When I'm not at work you can find me...?

Walking my dog Finn, playing guitar or at some kind of live music event.