Put simply, Professor Ewen Speed isn’t your typical supervisor. In the words of one student: “He’s got your back.”
Ewen takes an interdisciplinary approach to his own work so encouraging students to work across disciplines comes naturally. He accepts applications from outside his discipline and connects his students with researchers across the University so their research is informed by wider social factors.
He has a unique ability to redress the natural imbalance of power between supervisor and supervisee. Students say he creates “a mutual learning environment” and that he treats them as equals. He co-produces work with his students, always insisting they are first author.
Ewen’s willingness to go above and beyond and create an environment that challenges restrictive academic boundaries, demonstrates his desire to give everyone a fair chance. He finds creative ways to ensure they progress when caring responsibilities get in the way; has helped students find meaningful and well-paid part-time work that enriches their study rather than detracts from it; and pushed accepted norms allowing students to complete their final year part-time.
He is always on the lookout for potential research students and creates an environment where first-generation university students feel encouraged to consider academic careers.
He has played a crucial role in nurturing students and supporting colleagues across his School too. When he was appointed Director of Research he chose to line manage the new Graduate Director who said she has “benefitted by having Ewen as a sounding board and champion.”