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Lecturer scoops prestigious award from Academy of Management for PhD thesis previously given to world-leading academics


A recently-appointment lecturer has begun her career in academia by winning a prestigious award for her PhD, which a number of world-leading academics in their field have previously been recipients of.

Dr Saima Rifet, who only started as a lecturer in Human Resource Management at the University of Bradford School of Management last month, has won the Academy of Management award for Best Dissertation of the Critical Management Studies Division 2016.

She will travel to annual Academy of Management conference in California in August to collect her award.

After completed her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Bradford, Dr Rifet started her PhD at the School of Management in 2010.

It was the supervisor of Dr Rifet’s MSc dissertation and PhD thesis, Prof Nancy Harding, who persuaded her to enter the Academy of Management competition.

Dr Rifet said: “Three weeks into my new role I received a very casual email informing me that I had won the award. Words aren’t sufficient to describe the shock that I felt – I had a numb feeling of not knowing how to react.

"My instant reaction was to inform Nancy, whom I feel deserves much more credit than me for supporting me during all the ups and downs of my PhD."

She added: “I can’t thank Nancy enough – she is by far the best thing that happened to my academic career, followed closely by my amazing colleagues that played a significant role in guiding and supporting my development!”

Prof Harding said: “My congratulations to Sam - it's a pleasure and a privilege to work with her.”

Head of the Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour group at Bradford School of Management, Dr Jannine Williams said: “A huge congratulations to Saima on winning this award! It is brilliant news and something to be very proud of.”

Lecturer Dr Simon Kelly said: “This really is an incredible achievement. We’re very lucky to have Sam working with us.”

Dr Rifet graduated with a BSc in Psychology at the School of Social Sciences, following which she studied an MSc in Finance, Accounting and Management at the Faculty of Management and Law.

As part of a placement on her next course, a PGCert in Entrepreneurship and Employability, Dr Rifet spent three months working at the Union at the University of Bradford in a project linked to the new sustainable student village (SSV) built on the city campus.

Dr Rifet then took up a few projects at the University, including within the Ecoversity department, property developers involved with the SSV, and work with the previous Faculty of Management and Law Dean, Sarah Dixon.

In September 2010 Sam started a PhD at the Faculty of Management Law after receiving funding from the Faculty’s Centre for Managerial Excellence run by ProfJackie Ford.

Prof Ford was Dr Rifet's supervisor, alongside Prof Harding in the first couple of years, with sole supervision by Prof Harding in the preceding years.

During her PhD Dr Rifet was involved in Masters and undergraduate teaching, and with marking, in the HR/OB group.

During her PhD study Dr Rifet was also given the opportunity to complete her PGC in Higher Education Practice - something often expected as the next stage after completing a PhD.

During her PhD Dr Rifet also had opportunities to get involved in wider research taking place at the school and in other faculties, which supported her progression into work soon after PhD submission.

Following the completion of her PhD in early 2015, Dr Rifet secured a post at the Faculty of Health as a Research Fellow on the GENOVATE project, funded by the European Commission.

After a year in this post Dr Rifet applied and secured a lecturer position at the Faculty of Management and Law, within the group that she had previously done her PhD.

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