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Alumni: Building a Global Community

Learning at Nottingham does not end upon graduation. Our School recognises that skills take time to develop and are best nurtured within a supportive community. Our alumni strategy ensures that graduates can network with each other and that contact between staff and graduates is retained.

We are particularly proud of our doctoral alumni scheme. Each year, the School awards between 2-4 post-doctoral research fellowships to enable our doctoral alumni to return to Nottingham to spend time writing papers and developing new research proposals with their supervisors.

For more details on this scheme, contact Jacqueline Jenkins:

Doctoral alumni award winner profiles

Dr Ruqayya Zeilani

Ruqayya Zeilani

I received a post-doctoral 'alumni' fellowship from The University of Nottingham in 2010, one year after finishing my doctorate. This fellowship was incredibly beneficial to my future career. I had two main goals and achieved them both. The first one was to develop knowledge and skills in mentoring and supervision at Masters and Doctoral level. I had several meetings with Dr Catrin Evans, Director of the PhD programme, who introduced me to the recent literature and resources related to supervision and to the PhD process and criteria. I also learned many strategies and skills in supervision through observing several supervisory meetings with different staff.


The second aim was to further advance my research skills through developing a collaborative research project with staff at The University of Nottingham. I started two research projects, the first one was with Professor Jane Seymour looking at research related to palliative care in Jordan. The second project was with Dr Catrin Evans and Dr Ahmed Nawafleh. Together, we developed a project looking at the post-doctoral journey and development of a research career in a Jordanian context. Three peer reviewed papers have been published based on these projects. 

I am very grateful to the staff at The University of Nottingham who welcomed me and supported me to achieve my gaols. The knowledge and skills that I learnt helped me to develop two further research projects once I returned to Jordan, and I am now the lead researcher for palliative care studies at my university. I also hold a position of 'senior doctor' for the palliative care masters degree program in Jordan. I have 27 students and six of them will be graduating this year. What I have learned from The University of Nottingham, is more than what I can describe.


Dr Ahmad Al-Nawafleh

Dr Ahmad Al-NawaflahDr Ahmad Al-Nawafleh completed his PhD from The University of Nottingham in 2009, and is now working as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing, Mutah University, Jordan. Ahmad's research interests have focused on career development for nurses to illuminate profession related strategies and policies in national regional and global context. In 2011, Ahmad obtained funding from the School's post-doctoral alumni award to return to Nottingham for a short sabbatical. In this time, Ahmad was able to finalise one paper (based on his PhD) for publication and developed a new research project investigating ''post-doctoral knowledge transfer in an internationalized context'' focusing upon Jordan as a case study. This research investigated the personal and professional impact of doctoral education, illustrating the hurdles and initiators for ongoing research career development once nurse graduates return home after doctoral study overseas.  The project has results in two publications. 


Ahmad has since gone on to be successful in obtaining another post-doctoral fellowship award – this time from INDEN (International Network of Doctoral Education in Nursing) which involved a visit to the University of Michigan, USA. Here, he has developed a project to explore the feasibility of developing clinical academic career pathways for academic nursing staff in Jordan. For more information, contact:


Philemon Amooba

Philemon AmoobaThe School is proud to be keeping in touch with Philemon Amooba – a graduate from the MSc Advanced Nursing. During his studies in Nottingham, Philemon focused on learning about new models of stroke care and was able to undertake an observational placement on the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust stroke unit. Since returning to his home country, Ghana, Philemon has been employed as a Lecturer in the Nursing Department of the Kwame Nkrume University of Science and Technology (KNUST). His passion for clinical care has not abated however. He and his colleagues have been working hard over the last year to establish a dedicated six bedded stroke ward to improve patient care at the Komfe Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi. Dr Linda East has maintained a keen interest in his work and was thrilled to visit Ghana recently to see the new stroke unit in action.  For more details, contact:

Photo: Dr Linda East presenting a copy of the latest guidelines for stroke care from the Royal College of Physicians to Philemon and the Komfe Anokye stroke unit staff.

Ping Guo

Ping GuoMy name is Ping Guo and I was awarded a PhD in Nursing Studies in July 2013 by the University of Nottingham. My PhD project was a randomised controlled trial evaluating a preoperative education intervention designed to reduce anxiety and improve recovery among cardiac surgery patients in China. We observed a greater effect on symptoms of anxiety and depression than that reported with regard to similar interventions in western care settings. A qualitative evaluation was also conducted to explain the results of the trial by exploring Chinese patients’ perceptions of preoperative information giving and their experience of seeking and receiving information relevant to their health, health problems, and treatment. My time at the university was a transformative and enjoyable experience; not only did I learn research knowledge and skills in health care but the opportunity to study an area I loved and to make lifelong friends was very rewarding.


As an alumna, I'm delighted to have received the Doctoral Alumni Research Visit Award 2013 from the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy. It enabled me to extend my PhD work by further exploring staff views of the patients’ experience, the intervention, and the delivery of preoperative education in their everyday practice. I have finished a short research visit in China to conduct in-depth individual interviews with some cardiac ward staff including surgeons and nurses in the two study hospitals in Luoyang. Currently, I am in the process of transcribing, translating, and analysing data. Findings from this study, I believe, would not only help to explore personal, professional and organisational factors influencing the incorporation of preoperative education into routine practice, but also help make recommendations for quality improvement of preoperative education in practice, health care policy, nurse training and future research. The final output would be a qualitative paper with my PhD supervisors.


Wesley Too

Wesley TooUpon completion of my PhD in 2011, in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy I left to go back to Kenya where I serve as a lecturer. I knew that leaving behind my email address was a gateway to Alumni news. In my mind, it was clear that I needed to publish from my PhD thesis (entitled ‘Palliative Care for People Living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda: An investigation of Patients’ and Caregivers’ Experience and Professional Perspective). I therefore waited for such an opportunity at the University to present itself in order to come back under Alumni visit program. I knew I had done my very best in my PhD and had confidence that the contents are publishable and which it was my desire to share this information in journal(s). I also knew I cannot do this in Kenya given the workload at the University where I take maximum load of teaching, clinical supervision amidst other administrative duties compounded with rare grant opportunities. This context prompted my application to the School’s Doctoral Alumni Scheme. My supervisors, whom I lack words to express my gratitude for their support during PhD, were always in touch with me and very supportive. 


I knew The University of Nottingham offers conducive environment: excellent facilities and resources, proximity to my supervisors and interactions with other scholars in different forums motivated my return. I was filled with great joy when I learnt that I was considered for this year’s award (2013). I knew it was competitive and that the selecting panel had not only confidence in my work but had seen the worth, quality and potential for publication-something that inspired me! 

I aim to make major contribution upon my return to Kenya where I will serve in new capacity (promotion) as senior Lecturer and chair, department of Nursing. I hope my impact will be of beneficial in training, research and publication as I utilize the skills and knowledge that I have acquired here. I feel my training here at The University of Nottingham for my PhD and Post-doctoral opportunity has paid off. I also hope to keep network and connections with Nottingham and to be an ambassador for Nottingham in Kenya-in supporting other prospective students. 

Finally, I am very much grateful for the post-graduate panel committee for offering doctoral alumni grant opportunities for alumni. It is through this chance that alumni realize their potentials, improve their career through support to publish and create more professional links. I therefore urge all alumni to grasp this opportunity and use it to turn their PhD thesis into articles for wider audience to read!



School of Health Sciences

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