Research supervision

#supervisionaries is a project giving postgraduate research students the opportunity to recognise the work of their excellent supervisors.

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The project was created to support and celebrate good supervision and share examples of supervision that have had a positive impact on doctoral researchers, as well as publicly thanking those who make a positive difference to their students.

#supervisionaries identifies the School of Education as an outstanding department from the high number of positive messages from students and reflects the passion and dedication that our team of academics bring to their supervision.


Supervision all-rounder

David Hyatt

David was my master's supervisor and now my EDd tutor. He is knowledgeable in the domain of my research interest and even if what I was researching is not his interest, he would always provide critical feedback on my work that prompts me to move in the right direction of my research.

David gives candid feedback but puts it most professionally. He was patient and supportive when I expressed my insecurities regarding the completion of my studies but will always remain firm to correct me whenever he needs to. To me that makes him a great supervisor!

Sabine Little

Sabine is an inspirational supervisor and mentor. She takes a personal interest in her students and is always ready to share her skills, knowledge and expertise. We share a passion for education, language and communication, and our discussions are always thoroughly enriching.

She believes in me and is always encouraging me to pursue various opportunities throughout the course of my PhD journey, thus enabling me to grow on both a professional and personal level.

Her guidance and constructive feedback are invaluable as she has a knack for “pushing just the right buttons,” empowering me to refine my ideas and to develop my own strengths and personal attributes.

Becky Parry

From the moment Becky became my supervisor I felt supported, challenged and valued. She answered my queries, acknowledged my stresses and actively listened. Becky is inspirational and an asset to the University of Sheffield.

Vassiliki Papatsiba

My supervisor is great because she supervises according to her students' needs and objectives rather than having a rigid approach.

She has helped me think strategically about my career - something that did not come naturally to me. With her encouragement and support, I had the confidence to apply for and get an ideal first research post, despite still writing up my thesis. Even though I have now moved 150 miles south of Sheffield, she has continued to be supportive, flexible and responsive in terms of feedback and supervisions.

Oh – and she always asks about my (and my wife’s) wellbeing!

Andrey Rosowsky

Andrey was brought in to supervise my PhD project in Autumn 2017, when my former supervisor left the University.

Stepping in to supervise a project that was not his own was no small feat, and yet, Andrey grasped the challenge with both hands, ensuring the continuity of my PhD, whilst also adding his own expertise to it.

Rather than trying to mould the project into something more familiar to his own experience, he has found no difficulty in stepping out of his comfort zone in order to guide me as best he can. I am a better academic for his support, and a better person too.

Pat Sikes

Prof Sikes is an excellent leader, supervisor and friend.

Her approach, although straight to the point, and sometimes can be seen as 'strict' is excellent in leading and guiding the student through the whole process.

She is always ready to help at any circumstances, and her help is one where she lets you reflect and open for suggestions and discussion. She is great!


Pat is a great supervisor for many reasons. She is interested in you as a person as well as a researcher, and is very supportive in matters of well being.

Her response time for answering queries, sending information and marking drafts is brilliant, so you never feel that you lose the flow of your work.

Her comments and suggestions are always helpful and beneficial, giving you the opportunity to enhance and improve your work.

She is there when you need her, supports in every possible way, but gives you the confidence to work independently in your own time. Needless to say, she is an expert in her field, and I feel fortunate to be able to tap into her knowledge and expertise. 

Darren Webb

Darren continuously encourages me to find my own voice and my own specific frame within the field I´m working in.

His comments and feedback are always useful and points me towards additional sources.

He suggests events and further reading that help grow my understanding and also replies to emails at super speed which allows me to get on with my work if I happen to be stuck.

Liz Wood and Liz Chesworth

I would like to nominate both of my supervisors, Liz Wood and Liz Chesworth.

They are incredibly supportive of my thinking and have encouraged me to pursue theories and methodologies outside of the norm. They have trusted me to be creative and to explore my thinking and this means so much.

My supervisions are full of lively conversation and their critiques are done in such a way to fine- tune my thinking.

It has been a privilege to have them and I feel lucky and proud to say I am supervised by them and they treat me as an equal, this is particularly moving for me. I'm a first generation university attender and they make me feel like I belong to this gang.

Having co-supervision has worked really well for me. I have shifted my identity from academic to scholar through their wise counsel.

My supervisions are a highlight for me, the support they give through e-mail on my draft writing is always thoughtful and questioning and supports me in developing my thinking and writing. I'm proud to be a Sheffield EdD student and don't want it to end.

Dan Goodley

Dan encourages me to delve more deeply into certain issues, to explain them, and in this explaining I discover nuanced perspectives that I may previously have glossed over. He is incredibly supportive, and makes me feel as if we are a team. Although my commitment to the PhD has never faltered, many times I've felt overwhelmed by this work but Dan's continued faith in me has bolstered my wavering faith in myself. Thank you!


Dan became my supervisor in 2014. His sensitive, motivational and professional disposition allayed my anxiety of a professorial supervision. Overwhelmed with my first Ed.D assignment, I communicated my desire to discontinue the programme. He responded immediately and we Skyped. His reassuring words: "Stop thinking of the big words; just tell a story. You can do it." He encouraged me to email/Skype/call any-time, returns my drafts within 24 hours, with constructive feedbacks. I’m now in the final stages of my story telling - my Ed.D Thesis.

Tim Herrick

Tim’s supervision and critical insights have enabled me to critically reflect on my research and have given me the confidence to take risks in my research.

He has supported me through difficult times, and kept my work on track. As a result of working with him, my whole perspective has changed and I have re-focused my work to an area that will be really valuable to me and others in my field.

I reconsidered my use of theory in my research and now centred my research away from the process of writing and towards the interactions of tutors and students. 

Chris Winter

I could not ask for a better supervisor than Chris. She has fully supported me from day one; encouraging and commending me, and pointing me in the right direction when I go awry. She has always treated me as an equal and I have a great respect for her - as she does for me and my work. Chris cares for me as an individual and has understood and been there, as necessary, even through personal crisis. Her steadfast nature has built my confidence and allowed me to grow both as an individual and researcher. Chris is priceless. 


Her continuous support is a 24/7 thing! She know when I need encouragement, support or a break. She takes care of my mental well being too, something which is so important nowadays. I would have stopped my course if it weren't for her believing in me!


Chris Winter is remarkable. She is kind, generous, welcoming and friendly. As the course programme leader she welcomed me onto my doctoral study with open arms. She is caring, nurturing, serious-minded but with a lovely sense of humour and her enthusiasm for her role is obvious. Without her painstaking encouragement there is no way I would have got past the first weekend. I'm six years in now and don't want to leave the course (much to her annoyance!!). 

Tony Williams

Tony has a tremendous subject knowledge to which he brings authenticity, integrity and more patience than any one person should have! He is generous with his suggestions and crucially allows me the time to 'find my way'. He won't tell me the answer but gives me the space to think it through. Our sessions are dynamic, creative and considered.


One of the most important aspects of my supervision has been Tony's clear insight into my goals and aspirations for my PhD. His support helps me to remain focused and grounded in my intentions, constantly encouraging me to understand the wider picture. His expertise in the field of my research interest has been invaluable in extending my learning both in breadth and depth. I am very appreciative of his support and his willingness to challenge my assumptions about the field of my research interest.

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