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Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Afsie Sabokbar, has been re-elected to the Medical Sciences Skills Training Team for the third time as Director of the Skills Training and Researcher Development. We chatted to her to find out more about what the team do, and what Afsie’s role is.

Horizontal portrait of Afsie Sabokbar

How do you feel to be re-elected to the Medical Sciences Skills Training Team?

“I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to be elected for the third term, as the Director of the Skills Training and Researcher Development at the Medical Sciences Division (MSD). I look forward to continuing the work with a very supportive administrative team as well as invaluable contribution from the Skills Training Committee.”

The Medical Sciences Skills Training Team runs courses and provides resources to MSD research students and staff to enhance their communication, research and teaching skills and further their career development.

Since joining the team, what have you helped them to achieve?

“Since 2016, the Skills committee and I have introduced a large number of new workshops which have proven to be quite popular with the students - namely: How to successfully Transfer your status; How to successfully defend your DPhil; Introduction to R for biologists; Fiji/Image J analysis; Primary qualitative research made simple; Writing a journal article; Writing a conference and journal article abstract; Why and how to conduct a systematic review, are a few examples. We have also introduced asynchronous teaching on a number of courses such as Preparation for Learning and Teaching at Oxford (PLTO) and Writing a Transfer report as well as Writing a Research Thesis. Another significant achievement has been the introduction and its incorporation in Graduate Supervision Reporting (GSR), of the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) for the post-graduate research students. We have also collaborated (and continue to do so) with colleagues across the collegiate university, in supporting and implementing the 10-day training per annum for students and research staff.”

What do you hope to achieve during the next three years?

“In the next 3 years, I hope to develop a core curriculum for the postgraduate research students across the MSD to facilitate their progress in their studies and work more closely with colleagues at the Careers and Alumni offices to provide ample guidance for the varied career paths available for the students.”

What does it mean to you to be elected?

“I feel very flattered, humbled & privileged to be given the opportunity to work with an exceptional team for the next 3 years. There will be challenges, I have no doubt, but with the continued support from the Skills Committee members, I endeavour to tackle them and provide the best training for all our researchers across the MSD.”