Congratulations to Edward Rees who has recently completed his PhD degree with a thesis, ‘A Study of the Reputation of the Victorian Criminal Bar: ‘Absolutely Pure’ or ‘Pernicious to Morals, Jurisprudence and Government’.
The panel for his viva was chaired by Dr Alexandra Bohm, the external examiner was Dr Cerian Griffiths (Northumbria University) and the internal examiner was Prof Simon Gardiner.
Edward, who was supervised by Dr Caroline Derry and Dr Simon Lavis, said: “I cannot thank the OU administration and my supervisors enough. Caroline, Simon, (former OU colleague) Prof Anne Wesemann and (Head of School) Hugh McFaul provided an unending supply of patience, insight and guidance. The process has been, at times, challenging but overall it has enriched my existence more than I could ever have anticipated.”
Two PhD students, Georgia Boyd and Gabriel Omachi, are supervised by Dr Sophie Doherty and Dr Caroline Derry. Lecturer in Law Sophie attended their Upgrade Examinations and said: “It was fantastic to meet Georgia and Gabriel in person (coffee catch-up on campus in Milton Keynes is shown!) and hear the constructive feedback and insightful questions of colleagues from the Law School.”
Four new PhD students who are studying a range of interesting research topics were welcomed at the start of October.
Research Degrees Co-ordinators Lin Nilsen and Briggitta Silva were among those greeting our new students during the OU’s induction activities, organised by the Graduate School, on Monday 2 October. Dr Richard Godfrey, Dr Caroline Derry, Dr Nicoleta Tipi and Dr Dimitris Sotiropoulos were all part of the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) PhD induction on Wednesday 4 October. Two student mentors, Gavin Myers and Divyansh Sachan, provided their support and shared their research experiences.
Our new students, their topics and supervisors, are:
Congratulations to Scott Steele (pictured) who has recently completed his PhD degree with a thesis, ‘The Future of The COSPAR Planetary Protection Guidelines: Space Governance and Astrobiology’. His supervisors were current and former OU colleagues in Dr Susanne Schwenzer, Dr Thomas Cheney, Prof Christopher Newman and Prof Simon Lee.
The panel was chaired by Dr Kim Barker, the external examiner was Rossana Deplano (Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Centre for European Law and Internationalisation or CELI, University of Leicester) and the internal examiner was Prof Les Budd.
Scott has taken up a role at the University of York where he is continuing his professional development and studying for his postgraduate certificate in academic practice and his Advance HE fellowship. He is lecturing in its law school and a module leader of a number of new modules including space law, governance and planetary protection.
He said: “I would once again like to thank Kim, Les and Rossana for their guidance and fairness, the entire AstrobiologyOU team for the support and cake, my supervisory team for their interest, expertise and experience, and Law for the professional support throughout my PhD journey.”
While being an OU student, Scott presented conference papers at international and domestic conferences, and published peer-reviewed articles. In his first year, he won funding from Santander Universities and discussed this process and his project with the OU’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Tim Blackman, and directors from Santander. He later took up a role in the Graduate School, representing the interests of law students as well as other PhD colleagues.
Scott also gained his associated fellowship and helped design the W260 module running on the law degree programme, as well as being nominated for a research excellence award for his research efforts.
Fred Motson, who is also a Lecturer in Law, is one of two guest editors for a forthcoming Special Issue (No 2 of 2025) of The Law Teacher journal on ‘New Trends in Teaching Contract Law’.
The idea was conceived by Jo Wilson and Jeanette Ashton (both Sussex), founders of the Contract Ed Talk network, who answered an open call by the journal. They proposed guest editors Fred and Marton Ribary (Royal Holloway, University of London – RHUL), together with Antony Starza-Allen (Surrey), Aris Christidis (Newcastle) and Asta Zokaityte (Kent).
All are members of Contract Ed Talk, a national pedagogic network, with members from across the UK who teach contract law, and who are interested in sharing best practice and exploring different pedagogical approaches. The network was launched in 2022 to bridge the gap between substantive contract law, and legal education.
This proposed special issue aims to highlight and explore issues and topics that have arisen during network events which are felt to be of interest and importance to the wider teaching community. They are particularly keen to demonstrate that innovative approaches to teaching are possible, even in core modules with large student numbers.
The network has also proposed an in-person workshop in autumn 2024 to provide a forum for a wide range of contributions, provide valuable feedback for authors, and to select the best ones to be published the following summer.
Current Law PhD student Georgia Boyd (pictured) has some well-known parents – the Mayor and Mayoress of Milton Keynes!
Georgia, who is being supervised by Law School colleagues Sophie Doherty and Caroline Derry, wants to raise awareness of a charity golf day organised by her stepdad Mick and mum Mandy.
Our PhD students hosted the annual FBL PhD Colloquium which showcases their range of research projects. The hybrid event, hosted simultaneously in the OU Library (pictured) and online via MS Teams, attracted more than 60 online and in-person participants. The ‘Researching in the Open for Future Disruptions’ showcase on Thursday 6 July used traditional academic presentations as well as a more audience-involved art exhibition and an extempore debate (meaning no preparation).
After guest speaker Prof Emerita Lynne McAlpine presented on the topic of ‘Owning your PhD: What should you be doing now?’, Director of our Research Degrees Programme Dr Nicoleta Tipi pointed out the importance of engagement and peer learning and support to the graduate experience.
With more than 20 unique academic presentations ranging from short lightning talks to full-length ones, there was also an array of research-inspired artwork and posters with both online and in-person participants being able to offer feedback – ranging from sticky notes to suggestions for further reading – to our researchers.
The first of two development sessions in the afternoon saw an informal chat with the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) Executive Dean Prof Dev Kodwani followed by an academic discussion panel, comprising Prof Jo Brewis, Dr Fidele Mutwarasibo, Dr Caroline Derry and Dr Anna John, which centred on the Open academic of the future. Drawing on their personal experiences and research, they gave insights on some of the future and present challenges facing academics such as changes in the political, economic and social climates concerning academic research; incorporating technology and artificial intelligence in academia; and the practice / research dichotomy.
Then an engaging Early Career Researcher Circle shared the experiences of OU academics, researchers and alumni with discussions including the importance of building partnerships and supportive networks; the space for activism, advocacy, and social movements in academia; and the different career options open to PhD students.
The event organising team was Mia Li, Alina Kislova, Chinedu Nevo and Gavin Myers and the award-winning students were:
Law PhD researchers shared their work with Law School academics who appreciated the chance to learn about and discuss this exciting work at the PhD Day on Wednesday 10 May.
Presenters included Allison Wolfreys on the Hague child abduction proceedings; Alina Kislova on clinical legal education; Gabriel Omachi on Nigeria’s people and cultures; Georgia Boyd on OnlyFans content creators and the courtroom; Tiffany Adams on emergency procurement; John Gynn on economic citizenship and governance; and Fiona Naysmith on space activities and corporate responsibility.
Nine new PhD students who are all looking to study a range of interesting research topics joined in February 2023. They first took part in the OU induction activities organised by the Graduate School before continuing with Dr Richard Godfrey, Dr Caroline Derry, Dr Nicoleta Tipi and Dr Dimitris Sotiropoulos for the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)-specific PhD induction. Three second year PhD students – Ankith Kamalakshi Ramesh, Lisa Monastyrova and Divyansh Sachan – also provided their support and shared their research experience so far.
Congratulations to Elena Tudosie (pictured) who has recently completed her PhD degree with a thesis, ‘Assisted Dying Law Reform: Overcoming the Painful Process that Leads to a Painless Death’. Her supervisors were Dr Andrew Gilbert and former Law School colleagues Dr Lisa Claydon and Prof Simon Lee. The panel was chaired by Dr Kim Barker, the external examiner was Dr Steve Foster (Associate Professor, University of Coventry) and internal examiner was Dr Caroline Derry.
Elena is currently working on developing two articles, based on her doctoral thesis, to submit for publication. She is now a Lecturer in Law at De Montfort University where she undertakes teaching on a variety of core modules such as Contract Law, Land Law and Equity and Trusts, as well as being module leader for Drafting and Negotiation of International Agreements, and was nominated for a Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award – a fantastic achievement!
Elena said: ‘My current achievements could not have been possible without the support and encouragement received from my supervisors, the Law School and my OU family. From advice on orchid upkeep from senior members (!), inspiring writing circles, organising and delivering papers for PhD colloquiums and conferences, as well as cheerful coffee and cake afternoons with students and staff, made the sometimes arduous journey to achieving my PhD that much more memorable.
“To those considering an OU research degree, I say ‘Go for it!’ – yes, it was hard, and yes, it broke many of my societal and self-imposed boundaries. But, oh my goodness, it really was worth it. Not only for me but also for those I aspire to inspire now… and tomorrow. Thank you, my OU family, for all the opportunities and doors you have OPENed!”
Congratulations to Adedamola Adeosun (pictured) who has recently completed her PhD degree with a thesis, ‘Measuring the Quality of the International Judiciary: The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice’. Her supervisors were Dr Marjan Ajevski, Dr Olga Jurasz and former Law School colleague Prof Simon Lee. The viva panel was chaired by Dr Alexandra Bohm, the external examiner was Ruth Mackenzie (Reader in Law, Westminster Law School) and internal examiner was Prof Simon Gardiner.
During her time at the OU, Adedamola contributed to the production of a new module (W260: International, Environmental and Space Law). She is currently a Visiting Lecturer at the Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, and is getting ready to relocate to Canada with her family.
Adedamola said: “My experience as a PhD student at the OU, particularly in the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL), was a life-changing one. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities and support I got which enabled me to complete my degree. The OU and FBL provided the necessary support through the pandemic and my maternity. My gratitude will not be complete without a special thank you to my lead supervisor, Dr (Marjan) Ajevski, and other members of the Law School.”
Congratulations to Alex Murray who recently completed her PhD degree with a thesis, ‘Amplifying Disabled Identities: Invisible Disabilities in Personal Independence Payment Assessments and Appeals’. Her supervisors were Dr Caroline Derry, former Law School colleague Dr Matthew Howard and Dr Neil Graffin. The panel was chaired by Dr Olga Jurasz and the external examiners were Prof Devyani Prabhat (Professor of Law, University of Bristol) and Dr Gráinne McKeever (Professor of Law and Social Justice, Ulster University).
Alex is now a Research Fellow on an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded project looking at inquests in the UK at the Institute for Crime and Policy Research at Birkbeck and intends to continue her own research on disability in legal spaces.
She said: “I’d like to thank everyone that I came across at the OU; it was a wonderfully inclusive place to undertake a PhD and to grow as a researcher. I cannot imagine being able to complete my PhD anywhere else and I will be eternally thankful to everyone who made it such a fun and rewarding experience.”
A recent PhD graduate from the Law School, Laura Noakes (pictured), is also a children’s book author who signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins Children’s Books earlier in 2022. Her debut, Cosima Unfortunate Steals a Star, will be published in May 2023 and was recently showcased on the front cover of The Bookseller magazine. This follows 11-year-old Cosima who is living in a home for disabled children in Victorian London who embarks on an audacious jewel heist to rid herself and her friends of the evil Matron, Miss Stain – cue chaos and high jinks!
Cos has Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder, the same disability as Laura who completed her PhD in Legal History in 2021. Her thesis looked at the relationship between the political activism and professional identity of two early women lawyers, Elsie Bowerman and Chrystal MacMillan.
Laura said: “Although many of Cos’ experiences are informed by my own, I would not have been able to do much of the historical research that I needed to write the book without the thorough grounding in research I gained during my PhD.”
Two first year Law PhD students, Lisa Monastyrova and Lewis Sibanda, presented their research at the EDELNet+ (European Distance Education in Law Network) online PhD conference on Thursday 13 October.
Lisa gave a paper on ‘Domestic Human Trafficking: A Conceptual Challenge of a Model Offence?’ during Climate Change, Public Control and Human Rights: Legal Scholarship in the Face of Current Global Challenges. Lewis’ presentation was on ‘The root causes of human trafficking: developing a Marxist analysis of modern-day exploitation’.
This one-day virtual event presented an opportunity for 12 PhD researchers from Europe, Africa, America and Asia to present their work and discuss the implications of their substantive and methodological approaches with an international audience including senior academics from the EDELNet+ Programme.
Joining the PhD research students group in October 2022 are:
John Gynn with a thesis on ‘Economic citizenship and governance in uncertain times’, supervised by Dr Chiara Berneri, Prof Simon Gardiner and former Law School colleague Dr Anne Wesemann.
Sonia Bassey with a thesis on ‘Empowering Black leadership: A study of power and agency in developing Black community leadership in Liverpool’, supervised by Dr Owain Smolovic Jones and Dr Fidele Mutwarasibo.
Bridget Tusiime with a thesis on ‘The role of private-public partnerships in bridging the health inequalities in Rwanda: A case of mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and financing community based health insurance (CBHI) in Rwanda’ (provisional title), supervised by Dr Michael Ngoasong and OU colleague Dr Dinar Kale.
Theresa Parker with a thesis on ‘How does the convergence of age and gender stereotypes play out for women at work in the fashion industry during menopause transition?’, supervised by Prof Jo Brewis and Dr Saoirse O’Shea.
The students (pictured) had a busy first week with a number of activities, including the FBL induction on Wednesday 5 October. This was supported by Dr Nicoleta Tipi, Dr Richard Godfrey, Dr Michael Ngoasong and PhD researchers Ankith Kamalakshi Ramesh, Alina Kislova and Divyansh Sachan.
The ‘FBL Writing Sessions’ are back after a short summer 2022 break and proving just as popular as earlier in the year. The goal is to form a community of researchers who want to support each other in their writing, to learn about good writing habits, and celebrate writing success.
During these sessions, most of the time is spent simply writing but there are breaks and the opportunity to also chat about writing. These monthly sessions are organised for PhD students and facilitated by Dr Nicoleta Tipi – however, all researchers in the Faculty are welcome to attend.
Scott Steele (pictured) was a runner-up in the PGR Student Award (for postgraduate researchers) in the OU’s annual Research Excellence Awards 2022.
He said: “Being shortlisted alongside some fantastic colleagues is an honour and incredibly humbling. It’s clear that the OU is on course to become one of the most forward-thinking research hubs in the UK, providing a future view of research. My time with AstrobiologyOU and in FBL has allowed me to develop as a researcher, an academic and a lawyer.
“The importance and progressive nature of the interdisciplinary approach to space law, governance, astrobiology, and planetary protection cannot be understated as a driver for research and leading the way for legal practice in the UK and internationally. As the space industry continues to grow, more legal specialism is needed.
“This nomination confirmed the importance of my research and the many research projects being carried out by colleagues within AstrobiologyOU and the broader University. Congratulations to all nominees and to all that endeavour in outer space!”
The awards ceremony, ‘The Future of OU Research and Societal Impact’, recognised outstanding research and celebrated achievement within the OU research environment across 12 categories. The OU’s new Research Plan and Open Societal Challenges were also launched in London on Thursday 22 September.
Seventeen researchers joined the PhD programme, in both Business and Law, in the last academic year. Dr Nicoleta Tipi, Director of our Research Degrees Programme, said: “We’re very proud and send massive congratulations to 10 of our researchers who were awarded their PhD degrees in 2021-22, and another 12 who had their viva during the last year and are due to submit their corrections very soon.”
The FBL PhD Colloquium 2022 returned to a face-to-face event in May 2022 with researchers presenting their work both in-person as well as virtually, while some presented their work at the OU’s Graduate School Poster Competition 2022 this summer.
Research has also been presented at national (for example, Academy of Marketing at Huddersfield University; British Academy of Management – Alliance Manchester Business School; and ISBE ECA/ECR Symposium 2022, Nottingham Business School) and international (the Global Reggae Conference: ‘Reggae Films, Reggae Icons, Reggae Music’ in Jamaica – Gavin Myers pictured) conferences. Others have attended European seminars such as the Geopolitics and Changing States Summer School in Italy; and the International PhD Conference at Lund University in Sweden.
The University’s annual Research Excellence Awards recognise outstanding research and celebrate achievement within the OU research environment. In its third year, there were 138 submissions across the 12 categories.
Scott Steele (pictured) is one of 10 shortlisted in the PGR Student Award for postgraduate researchers. He said: “I’m truly humbled and honoured to have been shortlisted for my research. It’s a credit to the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL), AstrobiologyOU and my supervision team who have helped me to develop and sought to encourage me to become a forward-thinking researcher. I look forward to challenging legal principles and contributing original ideas within the academic community.”
All those shortlisted are being invited to the awards ceremony, ‘The Future of OU Research and Societal Impact’, at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London on Thursday 22 September. As well as the winners being announced, the OU Research Plan and OU Societal Challenges will be launched the same night.
There were half a dozen entries from the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) at the University’s annual Postgraduate Research Poster Competition on Wednesday 15 June, organised by the Graduate School this year.
Gavin Myers (pictured) received a Judges’ Choice highly commended award for his poster on ‘Finding Common Ground in a Strange Land – Collaboration in Caribbean Diaspora Voluntary and Community Organisation’.
Other poster submissions came from Sahil Mathur (‘Digital Vulnerability in the Financial Sector’); Simona Radu (‘The Lived Experiences of Wearable Diabetes Technology for Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes and Caregivers’); Divyansh Sachan (‘Business Strategy in Free-to-Play (F2P) Mobile Gaming Segment’) and Olga Solovyeva (‘The tragedy of Yandex’). Kornelia Korzac’s online submission was ‘How much thinking is sufficient for green demarketing to work?’
The summer party, featuring a barbecue, karaoke and outdoor games, followed the poster competition. One of the summer party organisers was Sahil Mathur, a first year student from the Law School. He said: “As PGR Community Organiser, I want to develop an inclusive and friendly community of postgraduate researchers by organising online and face-to-face events where students have opportunities to socialise and network which is very important for their well-being. I look forward to organising many more such events and building a strong cohort of researchers.”
This year’s FBL PhD Colloquium was supported by two alumni, Drs Marco Distinto and Lidia Mischenko, during the afternoon session on Thursday 5 May. The day started with an engaging presentation from John Nicholson, Professor of Strategy at the University of Huddersfield, who received positive feedback from our researchers for ‘Clarifying contributions in business research: increments and revelations’.
The colloquium comprised seven parallel sessions, supported by six academics – Dr Francesca Calo, Dr Olga Jurasz, Dr Michael Ngoasong, Dr Cinzia Priola, Dr Anja Schaefer and Dr Niicoleta Tipi – as panel chairs. There were 22 researchers presenting their work, while three others captured their research in a poster.
Nicoleta Tipi, our Research Degrees Director, presented four awards:
The event was supported by the 2022 FBL PhD Colloquium Organising Committee of Nishant Beniwal, Iyanuloluwa Kolawole, Lin Nilsen, Simona Radu, Stephen Reid, Olga Solovyeva and Michelle Stevens.
Nicoleta said: “A big thank you to all our researchers who presented their work, to our wonderful panel chairs, to our alumni and keynote speaker who visited us in Milton Keynes and to all who took part in this event, in person and online. Well done to our amazing 2022 FBL PhD Colloquium Organising Committee who did a superb job to ensure a successful event. It was fantastic and we look forward to repeating this in 2023!”
Congratulations to Adam Tanner who has been awarded his PhD for his thesis, ‘Best interests’ decision-making and the role of the courts in protecting patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness’. His supervisors were Professors Stephanie Pywell, Paul Catley and Simon Lee. The panel was chaired by Dr Caroline Derry, the external examiner was Dr Marie Fox (Liverpool Law School) and the internal examiner was Dr Andrew Gilbert.
Adam is currently working for the Ministry of Justice, within the Courts, and is continuing his work on the Court of Protection.
Eleven new students – six in the Law School and five in the Business School – have started in February 2022 with 10 (five online) attending the induction.
Law Lecturer and PhD student Fred Motson was awarded the Routledge Prize for Best Paper – Postgraduate Student at the Questions of Accountability international conference. He won £50 in books for submitting and delivering the successful paper, ‘The “accountability deficit” in sortition: is it a problem and what is the solution?’, at the University of Worcester in early November 2021.
Six new students – two in the Law School and four in the Business School – started this week (Monday 4 October 2021). They are enjoying the first induction to take place on campus since the pandemic started. All six attended the induction (including two online) and took part in a poster presentation. A warm welcome to our new PhD researchers and all the best with your studies.
Our new students are:
Dr Nicoleta Tipi officially took over as Director of the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) Research Degrees Programme in August 2021. The Senior Lecturer in Operations and Supply Chain, who joined the OU in October 2020, said: “I’m really enjoying my new role and we’ve been very busy with applicants and their interviews for our advertised PhD studentships which start in February 2022. We’re also preparing to welcome our new PhD students with an induction session on Wednesday 6 October, followed by a session from the ‘Foundations and Practice of Management and Business Research’ module on Thursday 7 October".
Congratulations to Laura Noakes who passed her PhD viva on Thursday 17 June 2021 with her thesis, ‘Chrystal Macmillan and Elsie Bowerman: first women barristers’ negotiation of professional and political identities’. Her supervisors are Professor Simon Lee, Dr Caroline Derry and former Law School academic Dr Matthew Howard. The panel was chaired by Dr Clare Jones, the external examiner was Professor Rosemary Auchmuty (School of Law, University of Reading) and the internal examiner was Dr Andrew Gilbert. Laura will be working as a Research Assistant at The Devil's Porridge Museum in Eastriggs, Scotland. She was extensively quoted when their new research project investigating the 30,000 people who worked in munitions at HM Factory Gretna during World War One was profiled by BBC Scotland in April 2021.
The Faculty of Business and Law’s virtual PhD Colloquium was attended by around 60 doctoral students and academics on Thursday 10 June 2021. It began with a montage of videos and photographs illustrating the myriad ways PhD students have been trying to stay well and happy throughout the pandemic – ranging from spending time with family and in nature, to activities including skipping and wood chopping. This was followed by a thought-provoking keynote from Jamie Callahan (Professor of Leadership and Human Resource Development, Northumbria University) on rankings and publishing in the journal she co-edits, International Journal of Management Reviews.
Then 35 PhD students presented their research using a variety of formats including paper presentations, lightning talks, and posters. Later in the day, there was also a chance to hear from two recent graduates, Dr Daniel Haslam and Dr Akash Puranik.
New to their posts Professor Hakeem Yusuf (Head of the Law School) and Dr Dimitris Sotiropoulos (Associate Dean for Research, Enterprise and Scholarship) judged the Best Presentation competition with Stephen Reid winning for ‘How to cook a thousand research articles in one pot’. Leona Samuda and Sally Vivyan were also highly commended.
The organising committee were Laura Reeves, Alex Murray, Nishant Beniwal, Olga Solovyeva, Nargis McCarthy, Professor Emma Bell and Dr Alex Bristow, with fantastic support from Research and Enterprise Coordinators Lin Nilsen and Michelle Stevens.
The new Director of the FBL Research Degrees Programme is Dr Nicoleta Tipi who will work with incumbent Prof Emma Bell over the next few months before taking up her role on 1 August 2021. The Senior Lecturer in Operations and Supply Chain in the OU Business School was appointed following interviews at the end of February. Prior to joining the OU in October 2020, Nicoleta gained extensive experience with all aspects relevant to the role, working with students and colleagues across different discipline areas including management, leadership, law, accounting and marketing. She was Deputy Director of Graduate Education for the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Huddersfield for five years.
Nine new PhD students started in the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) on Monday 1 February 2021. This is the second group of students to have received their induction online and started their studies remotely while the Milton Keynes campus remains closed due to Covid-19.
Current PhD student Olga Solovyeva captured efforts to welcome them into the online PhD community during the induction! Many of the students recruited in this round had responded to the highly successful Faculty-themed call, ‘Responding to COVID-19 and the Climate Emergency’. This call featured PhD research projects that consider the organisational and legal challenges posed by the pandemic and/or the climate emergency – urgent, complex societal problems that management, business and legal researchers can help to address.
Congratulations to Julian Sidoli who passed his PhD viva on 19 January 2021 with his thesis, ‘Disputing in the Urban Environment’. Supervised by Prof Simon Lee and Prof Paul Catley, the exam panel was chaired by Dr Andrew Gilbert, the external examiners were Prof Bryan Clark (Newcastle Law School) and Dr Paul Chynoweth (University of Salford), and the internal examiner was Dr Clare Jones. Julian began his PhD by Published Work as an Associate Lecturer before joining the Law School’s central academic team in July 2020, combining a fractional lectureship with his practice at the Bar.
Ten new PhD students started their studies in FBL on 1 October 2020 with their induction to The Open University Graduate School and the Faculty delivered online.
Three new students have joined the Law School:
Nishant Beniwal – ‘Enforcing climate change domestically in South Asia, relying internationally’. Supervisors are Dr Robert Palmer, Dr Marjan Ajevski and Prof Dev Kodwani.
Iyan Kolawole – ‘A Critical Analysis of Italy’s Responsibility under International Human Rights Law: A case study of pull-back measures and the arbitrary detention of refugees in Libya’. Supervisors are Dr Neil Graffin and Dr Andrew Gilbert and OU colleague Dr Avi Boukli (FASS).
Cheryl Warden – ‘Digital rights management and regime-shifting: the implication of backdoor propertization of creative works in digital copyright law for digital distance learning’. Supervisors are Dr Kim Barker and Dr Olga Jurasz.
Seven new students joined the Business School:
George Briley – ‘Community and Urban Resistance Leadership’. Supervisors are Dr Jamie Woodcock and Dr Owain Smolovic Jones. This project is enabled by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership on the ‘leadership and governance’ pathway.
Richard Crompton – ‘An exploration into the implications of changing models of governance within health and social care insofar as they relate to public trust’. Supervisors are Dr Jacqueline Baxter and Dr Matthew Hinton.
Kora Korzec – ‘Social marketing in combating climate change’. Supervisors are Prof Gordon Liu and Dr Carmen Mal.
Nargis McCarthy – ‘The impact of social norms, values and beliefs of pension trustees in relation to SRI decision-making’. Supervisors are Dr Anwar Halari and Dr Matthew Haigh.
Tim Pitts – ‘The older worker’. Supervisors are Dr Leah Tomkins and Dr Richard Godfrey.
Cameron Vanloo – ‘The sustainable growth of esports clubs and leagues’. Supervisors are Dr Yue Meng-Lewis and Prof Gordon Liu.
Christopher Houghton – ‘Defining a capitals approach to evaluating the socio-economic benefits of space exploration’. Supervisors are Prof Les Budd, together with OU colleagues Dr Victoria Pearson and Dr Manish Patel (both STEM). Christopher is a student on the Astrobiology Research Group project ‘Are we alone in the Universe?’ as part of the OU’s £6.7 million grant from Research England which aims to help address fundamental questions about life beyond the Earth.
Alexandra Murray was a joint winner in the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Virtual Poster Competition. The judges could not separate two exceptional posters – Alex’s ‘What Does Disability Look Like? Personal Independence Payments, Invisible Disability and Performing Disabled Identities’, and the experience of Ugandan child soldiers by Jassi Sandhar from the University of Bristol. They each received a £50 book voucher from Wiley in sharing the top prize.
This poster competition has been a key feature of SLSA’s annual conference since 2012. There was an online exhibition of the posters that would have been presented at this year’s conference at the University of Portsmouth which was unfortunately cancelled due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. All posters can be viewed here.
The Business and Law Schools invite applications for a number of full-time funded PhD studentships on urgent, complex societal problems that management, business and legal researchers can help to address. A themed call of ‘Responding to COVID-19 and the Climate Emergency’ has a start date of 1 February 2021 – more here. Twelve PhD research proposals consider the organisational and legal challenges posed by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and/or the climate emergency. The closing date for applications is Monday 7 September – and should be based on one of the advertised projects.
Scott Steele, who is working across AstrobiologyOU and the Law School, has made quite an impression since joining the OU at the start of February. His research project is taking a multi-disciplinary view on the future of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) and planetary protection. This is from a space governance and legal perspective while also considering the scientific and technological aspects.
Scott’s work has already been accepted by the British International Studies Association (BISA), as well as the ‘International Rule of Law Forum on Emerging Issues in Outer Space’ organised by the Chinese Society of Astronautics.
He has also been successful in applying for the Santander Fund, allowing him to develop stronger relationships with colleagues at Northumbria University. Santander Funding, which supports researcher mobility and collaborative research between Santander Network partner institutions across the world, is available to OU postgraduate research students.
You can follow Scott’s progress on Twitter @_SMSteele_.
Six new PhD students (shown with some of our current students) have been welcomed into the Faculty, having started their studies on 1 February 2020.
Scott Steele is a Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) student on the AstrobiologyOU research group project, Are we alone in the Universe? This is part of the recent £6.7 million grant from Research England which aims to help address fundamental questions about life beyond the Earth. Based in STEM’s School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Scott’s project is ‘The future of the COSPAR Planetary Protection Guidelines: Space Governance and Astrobiology’. His supervisors are Suzanne Schwenzer (STEM) and Prof Simon Lee.
The new intake also includes three students who have joined as part of the ‘Organizational and legal responses to climate change’ research initiative:
Fulvio Scognamiglio – ‘Sustainable cities through the New Public Governance. Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in a wicked world’. Supervisors are Dr Alessandro Sancino and Dr Les Budd.
Princess Anifowose – ‘The Agency of Social Intrapreneurs within emergent sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems: A study of firms in Lagos, Nigeria’. Supervisors are Dr Wenjin Dai and Prof Richard Blundel.
Zaineb Bouharda – ‘Investigating how governments use social marketing to reduce carbon footprint’. Supervisors are Dr Fiona Harris and Prof Gordon Liu.
These projects will bring a fresh perspective on the challenge of addressing the climate change and related environmental crises by exploring innovative organisational and socio-legal responses. They will also support interdisciplinary collaboration with other faculties and provide a focus for research, teaching and engagement activities in this area.
Other PhD research projects are:
Simona Radu – ‘E-health services: the intervention of digital technology on consumers’ health experience and wellbeing’. Supervisors are Dr Xia Zhu and Prof Liz Daniel.
Olga Solovyeva – ‘Populist leadership in organisational context; the case of Crimea annexation and its influence on Russian business culture’. Supervisors are Dr Alex Bristow, Dr Owain Smolovic Jones and Prof Emma Bell.
Nine new doctoral students – seven in the Business School and two in the Law School – joined in October 2019. This includes two students who are being funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), respectively.
In the Law School, our student funded by the AHRC, Edward Rees, will be studying ‘The 1836 Prisoners’ Counsel Act’, supervised by Dr Caroline Derry and Hugh McFaul. Student Experience Manager Allison Wolfreys is investigating ‘The Child’s Voice in Mediated Child Abduction (Private Family Law)’, supervised by Professors Simon Lee and Eddie Abbott-Halpin, together with Professor Helen Stalford (Liverpool) as external supervisor.
In DPO, Chaka Bachman is investigating global LGBT equality in multinational companies, supervised by Professor Jo Brewis and Dr Cinzia Priola. Serena Cavalera’s PhD project is on ‘Gender Performativity within Underground Heavy Metal’, supervised by Dr Caroline Clarke, Professor Jo Brewis and Dr Nela Smolovic Jones. Audrey Joseph’s PhD will be based on a qualitative analysis of black female entrepreneurs in the British childcare sector, supervised by Dr Cinzia Priola and Dr Charles Barthold.
Katy Woodger, funded by the ESRC, will be supervised by Dr Charles Barthold and OU colleague Dr David Jones in FASS, together with Professor Steve Brown (Nottingham Trent) as external supervisor, on a project to explore the ‘Experiences of mental health service users’.
Based in PuLSE, Stephen Reid will be studying ‘Strategic Management in Government Agencies’, supervised by Professor George Frynas, Professor Edoardo Ongaro and Dr Alessandro Sancino.
In DAF, Demetrios Pachnis is studying ‘The rise of ‘platform’ companies and their role in value creation, business concentration and investment’, supervised by Dr Dimitris Sotiropoulos and Dr Daniele Tori. And Pradeep Debata will be studying the financing of infrastructure projects in the UK, supervised by Professor Ali Ataullah and Professor Dev Kodwani.
Dr Alexandra Bristow is leading on a new teaching scheme which will allow the Faculty’s PhD students to develop their teaching skills and experience and so improve their future employability. This exciting initiative starting in October 2019 aims to provide a structured approach to training PhD students in distance learning provision, giving them a distinct set of skills in the academic job market.
Dr Bristow has been appointed as Deputy Director of the Research Degrees Programme, as of 1 October. Professor Emma Bell is Director of the Research Degrees Programme.
Louise Taylor, a second year doctoral student within the Law School, was runner-up in the postgraduate academic poster competition at the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Annual Conference in Leeds in April 2019. This was for her poster, ‘Developing a Coercive Control Defence’.
She was then asked to give an overview of her research and the value of research dissemination through academic poster presentations by Wiley the publishers – this was to contribute to their Sociology Lens blog.
The Faculty’s PhD Colloquium on 10 April 2019 saw an entertaining keynote from Professor Chris Grey of Royal Holloway University of London on his work on Brexit, plus 14 full paper presentations, 15 roundtable presentations and three posters!
Richmond Lamptey won the Best Full Paper Award; Jose Fevereiro won the Best Roundtable Presentation Award; and Vickie Williams won the Best Poster Award.
The organising committee (pictured) of Laura Reeves, Kweku Arthur-Annobil and Elena Tudosie put the event together, as well as presenting papers of their own, with fantastic support from Research and Enterprise Coordinator Lin Nilsen.
The Faculty will be welcoming two PhD students in October 2019 who have been awarded UK Research and Innovation studentships.
Edward Rees won his studentship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Open-Oxford-Cambridge Doctoral Training Partnership, which is accepting students for the first time this year. His PhD project is entitled ‘The 1836 Prisoners’ Counsel Act: the pursuit of truth?’ and he is due to be supervised by the Law School’s Dr Caroline Derry and Dr Anne Wesemann, as well as a colleague from History.
Katy Woodger, who won her studentship from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership, will be working on a project entitled ‘Experiences of mental health service users: from self-management and self-governance to user-led services’. The pathway that Katy applied for is also new this year, and her supervisors are due to be Professor Steve Brown and Dr Charles Barthold from the Department for People and Organisations (DPO).
Seven new PhD students have been encouraged to play an active role in the Faculty, such as attending departmental seminars and meetings, after beginning their studies on Friday 1 February 2019.
In the Law School, Simon Pratt will be supervised by Dr Robert Herian and Dr Caroline Derry and his focus will be on legal history. Leona Samuda is exploring women and ethnic minorities in modern law (supervisors are Dr Emma Jones and Dr Caroline Derry).
The Department for People and Organisations (DPO) has three new students. Seth Hunter will be focusing on service user engagement with grassroots spaces of recovery (supervisors Professor Steve Brown and Dr Tim Butcher, and Professor Paula Reavey from London South Bank University). Rachel Waddingham, better known as Rai, will be focusing on leadership and strategy in alternative organising for mental health (supervisors Professor Steve Brown and Dr Charles Barthold, and Professor Paula Reavey). Vickie Williams will be focusing on the influence of organisational menstrual policies on women with endometriosis (supervisors Professor Jo Brewis and Dr Cinzia Priola, and Professor Kate Sang from Heriot-Watt University).
PuLSE’s Gizem Kutlu (supervised by Dr Aqueel Wahga and Professor Michael Ngoasong) will be studying the influence of gender on environmental entrepreneurship. Sally Vivyan (supervised by Dr Carol Jacklin-Jarvis, Dr Nik Winchester and Dr James Rees) will be exploring voluntary sector leadership in small and medium-sized UK charities.
Eight new PhD students have been encouraged to play an active role in the Faculty, such as attending departmental seminars and meetings, after beginning their studies on Monday 1 October 2018.
In the Law School, Adedamola Gbolahan will be supervised by Dr Marjan Ajevski, Professor Simon Lee and Dr Olga Jurasz; her focus will be on measuring the quality of the international judiciary. Michael Lewis is exploring consent as a legitimising factor in processing personal data and ‘big data’ (supervisors are Professor Simon Lee and Dr Caroline Derry). Alex Murray’s PhD research builds on the themes of belonging and community and focuses on legal frameworks for dealing with chronic illness; this study will be supervised by Dr Caroline Derry and Dr Matthew Howard.
In the Business School, Awele Achi is investigating the construct and antecedents of social innovation with his research supervised by Professor Gordon Liu and Dr Fiona Harris (Strategy and Marketing). Located in the Department for People and Organisations, Kay Logan will be focusing on authentic leadership coaching for NHS leaders (supervisors Professor Richard Holti and Dr Owain Smolovic Jones). PuLSE’s Sampierre Mendy (supervised by Professor Edoardo Ongaro and Dr Alessandro Sancino) will be studying context in the strategic management of public organisations.
The Centre for Policing Research and Learning (CPRL) has recruited two part-time doctoral students. David Penney’s PhD title is ‘Tackling serious and organised crime: Processes, Challenges and Consequences of Prioritisation’ (supervised by Mark Roycroft, Lara Frumkin and Paul Mulholland). Nicole Woodhall’s area of interest is in ‘Incidence rate of indecent images of children in the UK and policing’s capacity to respond to the increasing threat’ (supervisors Heather Montgomery and Paul Walley).
Seven of the eight (Michael Lewis was unable to attend) are shown with Emma Bell, Director of Research Degrees.
Elena Tudosie, in her second year in the Law School, travelled to South Africa to attend the #AssistedDying2018 Conference in Cape Town, hosted by DignitySA. The organisers, The World Federation of Right to Die Societies, awarded Elena a student sponsorship in support of her presentation ‘Assisted Suicide Legislation: Failing to Safeguard the Vulnerable in England and Wales’. With the experience and networking leaving Elena inspired by the dedication of those contributing to knowledge through research and practice, she said: “The conference enabled me to network with some of the leading names in my area of research.”