The Universitas 21 (U21) Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies (DDoGS) has welcomed Professor Jonathan Morris, Dean of Graduate Research at UNSW Sydney, as its new chair. He also takes on the role of co-chair of the Researcher Engagement Cluster, after recently joining the Researcher Engagement Steering Group.

“One of the strengths of this group [DDoGS] is that each member institution has unique systems, which presents an excellent opportunity to learn from each other and to think about whether there could be a better way of doing things,” said Professor Morris. 

“I look forward to continuing this group’s efforts to show leadership in this sphere by supporting the development of proactive programs and support networks. 

“I am committed to building on the efforts and the strong leadership of the previous chair Associate Professor Caroline Daley to continue our fruitful collaborations across this global network to develop best practice in research candidatures and enhance the doctoral experience.” 

Professor Morris joined UNSW in 2009, after holding academic positions at the universities of Canterbury and Adelaide. From 2015–18, he was Deputy Dean Graduate Research at UNSW and was promoted to professor in Chemistry in 2018. He was appointed Dean of Graduate Research in 2019. 

He leads a research group, in the School of Chemistry at UNSW Science, who work on developing the biomedical potential of small molecules using their expertise in synthetic organic chemistry. In collaboration with UK-based biotech Exonate Pty Ltd, he has developed small molecules that can be delivered in eye drops and are currently undergoing clinical trials to control aged related macular degeneration.

U21 Provost, Professor Bairbre Redmond, thanked and congratulated the outgoing and incoming chairs.

“Taking on extra responsibilities on top of busy and demanding jobs is never easy and U21 is always aware of the debt of gratitude we owe to those in our membership who assume network leadership roles. Without this generosity with their time and experience, the network could never hope to achieve what it is now able to do,” Professor Redmond said.  

“I am sincerely grateful to Caroline Daley for the very major contribution she has made to the formation and expansion of the work of the DDoGS in the past six years and she leaves it one of the most active and energetic groups in the network.

“I also want to thank Jonathan Morris for his willingness to become the next DDoGs chair, particularly at a time of great pressure on all our members – I am confident that the group will go on from strength to strength under his leadership.” 

U21 is a global network of 27 research-intensive universities that work on shared issues of importance to member universities and to global higher education more generally. It promotes the value of internationalisation and multinational collaboration, facilitating the delivery of programs, activities and initiatives that could not be delivered through a single university or via bilateral agreements.