Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

These awards recognise individuals who make a major contribution to the wellbeing and academic progress of students whom they are supervising on research projects. For example, an excellent supervisor may provide exceptional training support or play an inspirational role to students they are working with, may provide particular support where learning difficulties or other personal circumstances are proving challenging, or may have shown exceptional pastoral concern for their students’ welfare.

Colleagues may be nominated for one of four sub-types of Excellent Supervisor Award:

  • Excellent DPhil Supervisor
  • Excellent Early Career Supervisor (for early career staff with no more than 5 years’ experience of supervising research projects)
  • Excellent Undergraduate Research Project Supervisor
  • Excellent Research Project Supervisor on a Taught Masters Programme

In considering nominations for Excellent Supervisor Awards, the Selection Panel will look in particular for evidence of some or all of the following:

  • a willingness to spend significant time and effort on the support of students
  • regular contact with students and quick responses to questions and problems raised
  • expertise and knowledge and a commitment and capacity to transfer them to students
  • honest and supportive engagement with students’ data and ideas
  • mentoring and willingness to advise on careers following study, including recognition of a range of possible successful next steps
  • a supportive and encouraging attitude to students’ personal and professional development, including the development of transferable skills and participation in sport, clubs and societies, charitable work and teaching
  • prioritisation of students’ needs and welfare above all other concerns

Please also read the section on ‘Evidence taken into account in considering nominations for Personal awards’ on the Further Details page

Read an interview with a 2019 Excellent Supervisor awardee


  1. Collegiate University and NHS staff involved in supervision of Oxford students within the Division are eligible for this category of award.
  2. Excellent Early Career Supervisor Awards are only available to staff with 5 years or less of experience in supervising research projects (at Oxford or elsewhere)
  3. Previous recipients of Excellent Supervisor awards can be considered for a Major Educator Award.
  4. Previous recipients of Excellent Supervisor awards can be re-nominated for the Excellent Supervisor Award in subsequent rounds, provided that the nomination is for a new contribution to the wellbeing and academic progress of students whom they are supervising on research projects, made by the individual since the previous award.
  5. Staff are advised to contact Nick Field if they have queries about the assessment process for Excellent Supervisor awards.


Download the nomination form

Uniquely for Excellent Supervisor awards (excluding Excellent Undergraduate Research Project Supervisor awards), students may make nominations. These nominations, for excellent graduate supervision only, should be solicited via the GJCC and departmental student committees. A nomination originating with students must be accompanied by an endorsement from the DGS or Head of Department/Unit and include feedback from two or more individuals. Please note: it is the responsibility of the member of staff endorsing the nomination to ensure that the required evidence, as set out in the Excellent Supervisor nomination form, is provided. Nominations not accompanied by the required evidence are unlikely to receive an award.

Where departments make their own awards for excellent supervision, departments are encouraged to automatically put these award winners forward to the MSD Award scheme.

Please note:

  • the nominee(s) must consent to being put forward for an award
  • self-nominations will not be accepted for Excellent Supervisor Awards