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Written by:
Paul Holland
07 Jun 2024

The 2024 Aaron Rapport Teaching Prize for excellence in teaching has been awarded to Dr James Wood

He was singled out by students as “the best supervisor”, “caring” and “inclusive and engaging”.

The Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) awards an annual prize based on student feedback to the individual who has best informed students’ education in Politics and International Studies over this past year.

This is the second time Dr Wood (a Trinity Hall Fellow) has been awarded a prize from the Department of Politics, having jointly won the POLIS Teaching Prize in 2019 (it was renamed the Aaron Rapport Prize in 2020 in honour of the late Dr Aaron Rapport).

Dr Wood said: “I’ve been incredibly fortunate to teach so many bright, hardworking students throughout my time at POLIS. Cambridge is a highly challenging academic environment, and it is immensely rewarding to see students gain confidence in their abilities over the course of their studies.

“I am continuously inspired by our students’ academic achievements and their desire to make an impact in the world, which fills me with hope for the future.

“It is very satisfying to be able to play a small part in their impressive growth as scholars and people. Knowing how committed they are to their studies makes winning this student-nominated award exceptionally special to me. I am deeply grateful to be recognised in this way by them.”

Dr Wood teaches both undergraduates and postgraduates.

One second year undergraduate student said of Dr Wood ”…has been the best supervisor I’ve had all year. He has conducted discussions excellently, ensuring everyone is on the same page in group supervisions. He makes it clear that it is okay if you don’t know something, and will explain it concisely and accessibly.”

A third year undergraduate said: “James Wood… has been so incredibly understanding and caring both as a human and in catering to my disabilities and needs”

And an MPhil student added: “Seminars were made inclusive and engaging by Dr Wood. Discussions were always fruitful and everyone was encouraged to join in.”