Doris Pappoe, Postgraduate Administrator, Department of Chemistry


“I support and advise students from their initial application to their graduation.”

I have been working at Imperial for 35 years. In my role as Postgraduate Administrator in the Department of Chemistry, I am responsible for PhD recruitment and training activities.

I manage and co-ordinate all aspects of postgraduate administration. This includes processing PhD applications, making offers, and welcoming new students to the department. I work closely with the Director of Postgraduate Studies and the Research Student Manager.

I like the varied and interesting aspects of my job. During a normal week, I may be answering queries from staff and students or processing applications for admissions. I also help administer the President’s PhD Scholarships.

I am there for students from the beginning and advise them throughout their time at Imperial. I become part of their journey and help them be successful, and their success is (partly!) a result of my support. It is really special to see students through their assessments and watch them pass their vivas and attend their graduation in the Royal Albert Hall.

The role offers a high level of interaction with staff and students at all levels. I lead the supervisors and students through our processes and explain our policies, rules and regulations and what is expected. As that point of contact, the staff rely on me to guide them.

I enjoy every part of my role, but I particularly like organising events such as our annual PG Symposium. This takes place at the end of the three years of the students’ postgraduate degrees. It is an opportunity for students to showcase their research with around 240 people in attendance. This year we adapted the event and held it on Teams.

Personally, in the past year I have learned new skills and good methods. I spent my free time gardening, baking different kinds of bread and going for walks. I have created my dream garden.

Professionally, I am working in the right place playing an important role, among great colleagues and students. Throughout my time at Imperial, I’ve seen many changes such as the expansion of the Chemistry building and different heads of departments including Nobel laureate, Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson. I first started off at Imperial as the Department of Chemistry’s secretary for undergraduate admissions. In my 35 years, I’ve worked with many nice people. I am proud to be contributing to the work in one of the leading chemistry departments in the world!

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