The Fellowship Scheme is an opportunity for individuals who are enthusiastic about progressing their careers in academia and research. As part of the Council’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, this scheme encourages career progression for academics that are currently underrepresented within our membership.
We were overwhelmed with the number and quality of applicants to the Council’s Fellowship Scheme cohort. Our Fellows for 2022/23 were confirmed through a very rigorous selection process.
The Fellows represent a range of academic and research experience from across the UK, as well as a variety of professions including nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy, operating department practice, physiotherapy, podiatry and radiography.
Find out more about each of our Fellows below, including why each of them applied to the Scheme and what they hoped to gain from it.
Aneesa Admani, London South Bank University
Why did you apply to the Fellowship Scheme? I applied to the Fellowship Scheme because it was (i) a unique opportunity to learn from individuals at Dean level and to develop skills to have a stronger vision for my institution, (ii) to get a deeper understanding of the Deans role and what this entails, and (iii) an opportunity to represent diversity and inclusion on the scheme. All three of these are important to me from both a career trajectory perspective and also from a representation for future generation’s perspective.
What did you most look forward to in the Scheme? The opportunity to be mentored and network with deans and other scheme participants. I saw that as providing a starting point on assessing whether a future role as a dean aligns with my career trajectory. Additionally, having access to resources and policy advisor group activities would allow me to cultivate a skill set that only an opportunity like the Fellowship Scheme could provide. Finally, the ability to meet like-minded who may be on a similar journey to myself and to discuss their challenges and successes.
How has the Fellowship Scheme supported your leadership journey? I applied for an associate Dean role and was able to seek support for this.
Audley Graham, London South Bank University
Why did you apply to the Fellowship Scheme? I applied for the Fellowship Scheme because it was an opportunity for me to participate in training and development activities including leadership and strategic thinking that are essential in my career aspirations. I was confident that this scheme had the potential to provide a gateway for further development of my career and would also equip me with an array of skills enabling me to make greater contributions by seeking new career challenges and opportunities within healthcare academia. For me the Fellowship Scheme has been a great opportunity to work with likeminded individuals on issues of mutual interest.
What did you most look forward to in the Scheme? I particularly looked forward to the opportunity to be mentored by an experienced individual and learn from their expertise. I also anticipated participation in targeted development and learning activities that were aligned with my own career aspirations and goals. Likewise, as a minoritised ethnic individual, I looked forward to working with a variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds to share in their knowledge and learn from their transferrable skills as well as to promote greater inclusion through the deployment of networks.
How has the Fellowship Scheme supported your leadership journey? I have made significant progress and I am confident that my participation in the fellowship programme was a critical factor in my promotion to Head of Division at my workplace. It also provided me with the opportunity to undertake a bit of introspection of my abilities and skills, as well as focus on how best I can influence others, and promote and project my career interest. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to share and discuss ideas with like-minded individuals.
Dezita Taylor-Robinson, Birmingham City University
Why did you apply to the Fellowship Scheme? I applied for the Council’s Fellowship Scheme because I truly believed that it is hard to be what you cannot see. I wanted to continue to develop and utilise my knowledge, experience, and positions to increase positive actions that impacted diversity and inclusion within healthcare academia. The Fellowship Scheme would also help me to raise awareness of the variety of roles and opportunities within the higher education sector and why it is integral that we provide fair and equitable opportunities for development from clinical practice through to higher education institutions.
What did you most look forward to in the Scheme? I looked forward to one to one mentorship with an experienced Council member, as well as attending the Council events. I hoped that being able to engage with resources such as the training series around leadership, strategic thinking and strengthening influence would support me to deliver the innovative thinking, responsiveness, and leadership requirements to ensure departmental and faculty growth, effective long-term partnership working and continual monitoring and action planning when developing the future clinical and academic healthcare workforce.
Diana De, Cardiff University
Why did you apply to the Fellowship Scheme? I applied to the Scheme because I always had a keen interest in promoting cultural safety and diverse leadership. Under the guidance of the Council of Deans of Health, I hoped to be able to advance my ongoing work in these areas and create more impact on the race and equality agenda at a more strategic level.
What did you most look forward to in the Scheme? I immensely looked forward to meeting and hearing more from all those who had also been accepted on the Scheme and those involved in the development and delivery of it. I was excited by the potential networking and collaborative opportunities that I could become involved in on a national and perhaps even wider scale.
How has the Fellowship Scheme supported your leadership journey? I have been invited to participate at a more strategic level and my mentorship has also given me the confidence to apply for Readership and to have more strategic involvement.
Ifrah Salih, Sheffield Hallam University
Why did you apply to the Fellowship Scheme? I am passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion within healthcare and education. My career aspirations are to reduce the degree awarding gap within Sheffield Hallam University in my current role and beyond but more importantly to ensure our minoritised students belong. Through the fellowship, I aimed to develop the skills to navigate through the institution to become a senior leader, become a role model for other staff and drive the EDI work further across the institution, in particular race equity and anti-racism practice. The student experience is extremely important and this will remain my lifelong focus.
What did you most look forward to in the Scheme? I am looked forward to meeting and networking with other professional staff nationally, where we could share good practice and support each other with our career aspirations. I wanted to use the knowledge and skills I would develop, with the aim of sharing good practice nationally across the education and healthcare sectors and to support others. I hoped the Fellowship Scheme would develop my leadership and influencing skills to shift the culture of our institution in relation to EDI in particular race equity to empower our students and their voice.
Jou Yin Teoh, Brunel University
Current role: Lecturer in Occupational Therapy
Why did you apply to the Fellowship Scheme? The Council’s transparency about its values as well as its efforts to encourage equitable applications to the Fellowship Scheme were significant motivators towards my application. As a person experiencing multiple systemic disadvantages, I learnt that influencing institutional change requires strategic and intentional effort to minimise harm to my person alongside maximising the impact of my work. As such, I believed the training and networking offered through the Scheme this would go a long way toward enabling me to strengthen the necessary competencies needed to accomplish my goals.
What did you most look forward to in the Scheme? I most looked forward to connecting with fellow academic comrades in healthcare professions across the UK with shared aspirations and values. Through exchanging ideas, absorbing inspiration, as well as exploring new and innovative ways to facilitate change through engaging with the Scheme, I hoped to open doors to further interprofessional collaboration. Together, we would be able to build back better to foster a just and inclusive culture across the health and care professions, both in solidarity among ourselves and with the communities we serve.
How has the Fellowship Scheme supported your leadership journey? I have had the opportunity to further develop and solidify the idea of what sort of leader I would like to be – as well as what sort of leader I do not want to be. My mentor has helped significantly with the process, particularly in terms of deciding on strategic directions as well as identifying areas for development. Exposure to academic leaders in the health professions from around the UK, as well as further conversations with the people working under them has also been invaluable.
Miranda Leach, City, University of London
Why did you apply to the Fellowship Scheme? My motivations for applying to the Council of Deans of Health Fellowship Scheme were firstly that it would evidence and role model to colleagues that the narrative around the BAME population having less representation at senior levels was changing. Secondly, I felt that in order to achieve some of my objectives in equality and diversity I could benefit from a few things that the fellowship would offer such as, leadership development, strategic thinking and strengthening influencing power.
What did you most look forward to in the Scheme? My career ambitions were to start a PhD and gain a more senior role in my institution so that the representation of the BAME community was not lacking at senior levels in the Higher Education Academy (HEA) arena. My commitment to anti-racism is to offer support and advice where issues do arise and signpost to where relevant help can be sought but also to offer training where needed to ensure that no individual feels unjustly treated based purely on being different from others. I most looked forward to being better equipped for this and to developing a strong network with leaders who could mentor me to help make a change.
How has the Fellowship Scheme supported your leadership journey? The fellowship scheme has been instrumental in my leadership journey so far. I managed to start my doctorate, get accepted by the ‘100 Black Women Professors Now’ programme and I’m also applying for senior fellowship with the HEA.
Neesha Oozageer Gunowa, University of Surrey
Why did you apply to the Fellowship Scheme? By completing this reputable Fellowship, I hoped I would gain invaluable opportunities, including learning techniques to truly influence and lead nurse education using the most effective leadership style. I expected the Fellowship Scheme to assist and guide me with the skills required to develop my academic career, to move from a Teaching Fellow to more senior management by working collaboratively to deconstruct inherent processes and promote inclusive thinking.
What did you most look forward to in the Scheme? I hoped that by accessing and building networking opportunities and mentoring I would develop my personal presence, confidence, strategic thinking skills, strengthen my influencing power and challenge the imposter syndrome feeling, which is crucial to delivering effective and efficient nurse education.
How has the Fellowship Scheme supported your leadership journey? I have most benefitted from the mentoring opportunity. I have explored roles within HEIs and the opportunities that I should and could look out for, through the recognition of opportunities and providing connections with senior academics who have had similar career pathways.
Rayna Rogowsky, University of Dundee
Why did you apply to the Fellowship Scheme? I was drawn to the Fellowship Scheme because of my aligned values with the Council and its motivations to establish the Scheme. As a Lecturer in Health Sciences, I wanted to develop effective leadership skills for influencing how equality, diversity, and inclusion considerations are embedded in health sciences education. I have established myself as integral to my School’s activities in this broad area, and I believe the Scheme could offer me tools to maximise impact.
What did you most look forward to in the Scheme? I most looked forward to connecting with academic and student leaders in healthcare higher education across the UK. Deepening my understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the sector and learning about innovative practices would support my ability to positively impact my School and future healthcare professionals.
How has the Fellowship Scheme supported your leadership journey? The Fellowship Scheme has offered me valuable insights relating to my leadership potential. I have been linked with people and opportunities that are enhancing my ability to make an impact in my role and sector through knowledge, skills, and empowerment. I have applied for leadership roles within my School and was appointed co-lead for Athena Swan, which offers me a strong position to progress EDI in my School and University. I am more confident in using my voice for advocating for change internally and externally to my institution.
Swati Kale, University of East Anglia
Current role: Lecturer in Physiotherapy
Why did you apply to the Fellowship Scheme? The Fellowship Scheme would allow me to broaden my horizons and help me understand factors that drove policy impacting healthcare education including in allied health. Working in physiotherapy education in India and for the past 20 years in the UK has helped broaden my teaching and learning skills further. There is a need to constantly evaluate learning and teaching practices and learn best practice from each other. I saw the Fellowship Scheme helping me with collaborations to undertake such evaluations and generate the evidence base for the therapy professions.
What did you most look forward to in the Scheme? The mentorship opportunities that the fellowship offered looked a great way of building a new perspective on problem solving. I looked forward to the training sessions that would foster the skills of leadership development. It was also an excellent opportunity to connect with other Fellows, share experiences, exchange ideas and develop wider professional networks.
How has the Fellowship Scheme supported your leadership journey? It has been an insightful journey since the start of this fellowship in January 2022. I have had the opportunity to attend workshops, interact with people in leadership roles and gain an understanding of the ways in which one can develop in the constantly changing landscape of health and higher education. It has given me a wider understanding of the challenges and barriers that one faces in leadership roles. Participating in the creation of podcasts and attending workshops on promoting equality encouraged me to embed the topic of equality within the curriculum.
Thanaporn (Dao) Tunprasert, University of Brighton
Why did you apply to the Fellowship Scheme? There were a lot of rapid changes and uncertainty in the situation that we were in. I wanted to ensure that I could continue to be a great leader , capable of leading the team to success and creating a sustainable future for them. The Fellowship Scheme would also help to support my future career goals.
What did you most look forward to in the Scheme? I looked forward to learning more about leadership and having support from a mentor who was an experienced leader. I was excited for an opportunity to network with other Fellows from various disciplines across the country as well.
How has the Fellowship Scheme supported your leadership journey? I have been promoted to Principal Lecturer and been successful in securing a school-level role within my university, so there has definitely been significant progress. My mentor has been a great support throughout my journey. The opportunities to interact and get to know other fellows have also helped me a lot. I also appreciate the opportunities to network with senior leadership at universities and CoDH.