Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Doctoral College

Championing doctoral research: Chris Howls appointed Director of the Doctoral College

Published: 12 May 2017

Following an internal recruitment process, Professor Chris Howls has been appointed the next Director of the Doctoral College. He will take up this post, on a three year contract, on 1 September 2017.

Reacting to the appointment Mark Spearing, Vice-President (Research and Enterprise) said:

I am confident that under Chris’ leadership our doctoral students will continue to be major contributors to the University’s research success.

Alex Neill, Vice-President (Education) said:

I’m delighted that Chris Howls has accepted this appointment.  He brings a great deal of experience to the role, as well as a clear vision for, and commitment to, the enhancement of Southampton’s doctoral research opportunities.

Professor Howls commented on his new role, stating:

I would like to pay tribute to the inaugural Director, Professor James Vickers, for his visionary efforts in bringing together Faculties and Professional services to embed the College as a key part of Southampton’s research and education strategies.

I aim to build on James’s success by enhancing the reputation of the College so that its strategic role within all aspects of doctoral research and education is clearly recognised, at University level, across all Faculties, from Deaneries to individual supervisors and doctoral researchers.

A beacon amongst the Russell Group

Externally, the College will be an integral part of Southampton’s continuing open global research and educational outlook. It must be a beacon amongst the Russell Group, showcasing the world-class quality of our research and doctoral training so as to attract to Southampton the best applicants, funders and employers, from the UK, EU and internationally.

Internally, the College will be regarded as the guardian of quality and sustainability. The College team will work with all levels of the University to ensure that our doctoral researchers are equipped with the highest standards of training and collegial support, before sending them out worldwide as ambassadors for our research.

Championing doctoral research

My own doctoral background is diverse. Over the past two decades I have supervised Doctoral students in Mathematics, Physics and Engineering. In 2010, I was the founding director of one of Southampton’s largest and most complicated Faculty Graduate Schools, awarding five different types of academic and professional doctorates across as many academic disciplines. During that time, I also ran an Economic and Social Research Council Doctoral Training Centre.

While overseeing the Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences Graduate School I was incredibly excited, impressed and humbled by the quality, diversity and impact of the doctoral research across the Faculty. I look forward to championing the doctoral research of all our Faculties and disciplines over the coming years.

Privacy Settings