New Chair of U21 Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies

This week the U21 Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies (DDoGS) welcome a new Chair. Professor Jonathan Morris, Dean of Graduate Research at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, takes on the role and also becomes Co-Chair of the Researcher Engagement Cluster. Jonathan has been an integral member of the DDoGS group and had recently joined the Researcher Engagement Steering Group.  

Jonathan Morris
Professor Jonathan Morris, UNSW

Professor Morris says: “One of the strengths of this group is that each member institution has unique systems, which presents an excellent opportunity to learn from each other and to think about whether there could be a better way of doing things. I look forward to continuing this group’s efforts to show leadership in this sphere by supporting the development of proactive programs and support networks.” 

“I am committed to building on the efforts and the strong leadership of the previous Chair Associate Professor Caroline Daley to continue our fruitful collaborations across this global network to develop best practice in research candidatures and enhance the doctoral experience.” 

Prior to joining UNSW in 2009, Professor Morris held academic positions at the Universities of Canterbury and Adelaide. From 2015-2018 he was Deputy Dean Graduate Research at UNSW and was promoted to Professor in Chemistry in 2018. He was appointed Dean of Graduate Research in 2019. 

Professor Morris also leads a research group in the School of Chemistry, who work on developing the biomedical potential of small molecules using their expertise in synthetic organic chemistry. He is particularly focused on the development of small molecules that can be delivered in eye drops to control aged related macular degeneration (in collaboration with UK-based biotech Exonate Pty Ltd). 

Associate Professor Caroline Daley (University of Auckland) steps down from her role as Chair of the DDoGS after 6 years in post. Her leadership has brought the group together to create opportunities for graduate students in the network such as the Graduate Collaborative Research Awards and the continued success of competitions including the U21 Three Minute Thesis®. Associate Professor Daley will continue to represent the University of Auckland in the DDoGS group. 

Associate Professor Daley says: ‘I’m delighted that Professor Morris will take up the leadership of the DDoGS group. As well as bringing new energy and ideas to the Researcher Engagement cluster, Jonathan will ensure the DDoGS contribute even more to the cluster and the work of the wider network.’ 

‘It’s been a great honour to chair the DDoGS group for the last six years. My fellow Deans are fantastic people: collegial, hard-working, insightful, and a lot of fun. Their dedication to the well-being and success of doctoral candidates is admirable. I’ve learnt a lot from them.’ 

Professor Bairbre Redmond, U21 Provost, offered her congratulations and thanks: 

“Taking on extra responsibilities on top of busy and demanding jobs is never easy and U21 is always aware of the debt of gratitude we owe to those in our membership who assume network leadership roles. Without this generosity with their time and experience, the network could never hope to achieve what it is now able to do.  I am sincerely grateful to Caroline Daley for the very major contribution that she has made to the formation and expansion of the work of the DDoGS in the past 6 years and she leaves it one of the most active and energetic groups in the network. I also want to thank Jonathan Morris for his willingness to become the next DDoGs chair, particularly at a time of great pressure on all our members – I am confident that the group will go on from strength to strength under his leadership.” 

R Edwards