Professor Kara Chan is renowned for the energy and dedication she devotes to recruiting, mentoring and guiding her research students. The excellence of her painstaking approach is demonstrated by the fact that under her highly effective supervision, all her full-time PhD and MPhil students graduated on schedule. Furthermore, her PhD students have all been able to secure academic appointments in the region.
Professor Chan has developed efficient strategies and uses her excellent networking capabilities in recruiting quality research candidates. For example she takes time out to join in student recruitment trips. In 2010 she and colleagues visited six universities in Eastern Europe to recruit PhD students. In the selection process she takes great care in scrutinising candidates’ track records and research experience and conducts interviews before choosing the strong candidates and recommending them for the University’s programmes.
Once candidates have been selected, Professor Chan devotes great effort to looking after their personal lives as well as their research studies. She likens postgraduate studies to a marathon race that needs a great deal of mental strength. To help students maintain this strength, she devotes time to meeting with students outside the classroom for discussions and counselling while at the same time communicating to them the need to maintain a high academic standard. One of her successful approaches is to set up milestone targets and celebrate with students once those milestones have been reached.
Throughout the supervision process Professor Chan provides her students with clear directions on the research framework and methodology. She also spends a great deal of time in coaching the skills needed for academic publishing. She reads the students’ manuscripts, gives comments, is responsive to questions, and shows how to revise the manuscripts as necessary.
Professor Chan has published 15 conference papers, 16 journal articles and six book chapters with the University’s graduates and exchange students. In her academic career, she supervised and co-supervised eight PhD students, six MPhil students, 14 MA students and two exchange research postgraduate students and numerous undergraduate students.
Professor Chan’s excellence in her supervision is demonstrated by her successful mentoring of her students’ career development. She supports her students in their job searches by writing letters of recommendation and coaches them on career planning. These efforts have contributed to the good results achieved by her students, who have benefited enormously from her mentorship both before and after graduation.
With Professor Chan’s demonstrated excellence and her willingness to go the extra mile to help students in their academic pursuits, the Selection Committee is unreserved in recommending her for the President’s Award for Outstanding Performance in Research Supervision.