Submit your nomination for the Convocation postgraduate award

Award made to a student who has demonstrated significant academic achievement during the period in which he/she was registered on an Ulster University course.

2020 winners

Fatima Ali Haider

Dr. Fatima Ali Haider is a Pakistani citizen and a medical doctor and EMDR therapist by training who travelled to Northern Ireland with her young daughter in September 2019 to undertake the MSc in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Dr. Ali Haider lost her husband and son in an incident of sectarian terrorism in 2013.

Her personal experience and journey after the tragedy made her aware of those suffering in similar situations.

Therefore, she co-founded an initiative in 2015 called The Grief Directory that was intended to be a bridge of compassion between victims of terrorism in Pakistan who require support and individuals willing to offer it. Through this platform, she has reached out to countless victims of terrorism and their families across the boundaries of religion, sect or ethnicity, providing assistance in areas of health, education and emotional support.

An analysis of the work of the Grief Directory in ‘Countering Extremism among the Youth’ formed the basis of Dr. Haider’s MSc dissertation (supervised by Professor Brandon Hamber) which gained one of the highest dissertation marks achieved on the Peace and Conflict Studies programme.  Dr Haider accepted an invitation to represent Pakistan and speak at the United Nations International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism in August 2020, hosted and introduced by the Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres, in relation to her work with victims of terrorism,

In addition to the successful completion of her studies, Fatima worked closely with Dr. Johanne Devlin-Trew to prepare a successful research proposal to conduct doctoral studies at Ulster University. Fatima was awarded the full Department of Education and Learning scholarship to support her PhD studies from October 2020.

For her doctoral research proposal entitled, Persecuted Lives: Hazara Women Living in Diaspora in Pakistan and Europe, Dr Haider was awarded first place among the PhD candidates selected for 2020-21 by the School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences.

In October 2020, Dr. Haider was awarded her MSc with Distinction and she also won the Tom Finnegan Peace Prize for the highest overall grade on the MSc Peace and Conflict Studies programme for the 2019-20 academic year.

These achievements make Dr. Fatima Ali Haider a very worth winner of the Convocation Postgraduate Student of the Year (Doctoral).

Chris Proctor

A final year PhD student in the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences where he works across both the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

His research has focused on the formulation and assessment of polymer systems to deliver phytochemicals to chronically infected wounds.

During his PhD, Chris has developed both a novel pharmaceutical material and a novel in vitro model of chronic wound infection.

Throughout his time at Ulster University, Chris has been awarded funding from numerous sources for travel and research from sources such as the Henry Royce Institute and the Microbiology Society. As a Microbiology Society Champion for the university ,he has also been awarded funding to organise several public outreach events.

These have been included as part of the Northern Ireland Science Festival and World Antibiotic Awareness Week, educating people about microbiology and its importance.

Chris has been interviewed about his life as a PhD researcher at Ulster University for both the Microbiology Society and DiscoverPhDs websites.

Chris Proctor was recently selected as one of twenty-five young researchers from around the UK to take part in the Royce Institute Materials Science PhD Research Sandpit event, which he and his team won for their development of a method to detect impending failure in materials.

He was recently selected as one of seven early career microbiologists to present his work at the Fleming Showcase as part of the Microbiology Society’s 75th Anniversary celebration.

He has also been selected as a member of the Medical Research Foundation Antimicrobial Resistance Cohort of young researchers

In addition to this PhD work Chris has gained associate fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and has been an active source of support and guidance for numerous undergraduate and post-graduate students.

For his continued achievements and in recognition of his research, Chris Proctor has been named winner of the Convocation Postgraduate Student of the Year (non-doctoral).

Previous Winners
2019Luisa  Fernanda Romero  Munoz and Nadim Aitya
2018 Katie Christie
2017 Azadeh Sobout
2016 Alan Kennedy
2015 David Courtney
2014 Vahab Youssofzadeh
2013 Somak Mitra
2012 Bill Tormey

In this section


Submit your nomination for the Convocation postgraduate award.

Convocation postgraduate award criteria

Criteria to be eligible for this award, with examples.