Professor with open door policy shortlisted for Times Higher Education Award
‘Oscars of education’ shortlisting for academic whose students ‘file patents and develop technology for industry’
University of Bradford Professor in the School of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences, in the Faculty of Life Sciences, Anant Paradkar, has been shortlisted in THE Awards 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards).
Prof Paradkar is shortlisted in the category of Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year.
The THE Awards are widely recognised as the Oscars of the higher education sector. Winners will be revealed during a virtual ceremony on November 26.
Prof Paradkar, 55, grew up in Pune, known as the ‘Oxford of India’, the son of an Indian Railway worker. He is the first graduate in his family, completing a pharmacy degree at Poona College of Pharmacy, Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi, and Nagpur University. He worked at Poona College of Pharmacy for 16 years (including years at Nagpur College of Pharmacy).
He first came to the University of Bradford in 2005 for a Royal Society funded three-month project with Professor Peter York and again for a year in 2007 on a UK-India education and research initiative programme. He was inspired by his mentors Professors Peter York and Phil Coates, whom he cites as “stalwarts in research” and “kind and great human beings”. He joined the University of Bradford as a professor in 2008.
His shortlisting recognises his vibrant research team, open door policy to students and graduates alike and the high numbers of students who gain employment within the industry.
The listing states: “He has always been generous in providing access to his industrial networks, which has launched many entrepreneurial careers. His open door policy and willingness to support his PhDs through professional and personal challenges has made him a lifelong mentor to many of his graduates.”
Indeed, Prof Paradkar, 55, from Guiseley, keeps in regular contact with many of his graduates, maintaining daily contact with a WhatApps group, together with his 5,000-plus followers on Facebook and over 3,600 on LinkedIn. He even remembers their birthdays.
Speaking on his own birthday (September 10), he said: “I’m very proud to be shortlisted. It’s recognition for the support which has been provided for me and which I try to provide for my students. I have good quality students and excellent support from management. My door is always open, that’s important because international students often need more support.
“I work very closely with industry. All our students are placed with companies within three months of graduation. Some are employed before that. Research and knowledge and transfer projects support and help students’ employability.”
He added: “Pharmaceutical engineering is important now more than ever, whether it's in terms of creating new delivery systems or vaccines.”
In his 12 years at Bradford, he has supervised 24 PhD candidates and a host of Masters students, inspiring them to carry out research. He founded and is director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science and his team, including PhDs, have won awards for innovation including the finalist for the Best KTP Award 2019 in the Business Impact category and Vice Chancellor's Outstanding Research Contribution Award 2019. He also won the prestigious Bionow Project of the Year Award 2019 for development of low sodium effervescent products.
His research team do not just publish their research, they undertake industrial placements, develop and file patents and have developed technology that has been transferred to industry through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.
The shortlist was drawn from hundreds of entries from over 80 institutions across the UK.
THE editor John Gill said: “This has been a year like no other, and universities have faced unprecedented challenges as a result of the pandemic. While we are by no means through the crisis, the response over the last six months has been immensely impressive and served yet again as a reminder of the dedication and commitment that exists across UK higher education.
“While this year’s THE Awards will differ from previous years, since we will not be able to gather to celebrate in person, the purpose remains the same: to highlight and champion the very best of the talent and creativity that shines out from our universities.
“In 2020 more than ever, it is vital to recognise and shout about those achievements, and we have been gratified by the huge number of entries at a time when university staff had so many demands on their time.”
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