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Affiliate PhD Students


Profiles of the PhD students associated with the Jubilee Centre can be found below.

Yousra Osman

Yousra Osman is a PhD student at the Jubilee Centre supervised by Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson and Dr Tom Harrison. Her doctoral thesis involves examining the effects of teaching Aristotelian virtues through role models to school children in the UK and Saudi Arabia.

Prior to her enrolment at the University of Birmingham, she completed her bachelors in English Literature and Language from the American University of Sharjah in the UAE, as well as two masters' degrees, one in English Literature from the University of Westminster, and the other in Mental Health from Queen Mary University of London. She also has experience of teaching English as a second language to children and adults. However, it is her interdisciplinary academic background in analysing human behaviour through literature and psychology which initiated her interest in character education; while her intention to implement it in Saudi Arabia is due to her Middle Eastern background. 

Dr Sabena Y Jameel

Sabena is a GP and Constructivist Medical Educator with a particular interest in metacognitive aspects of learning and tacit knowledge. She enjoys delivering sessions on reflective practice, communication skills, compassion and self-awareness and is also involved in Quality Management of General Practice and Foundation training.

Her PhD is a study looking at the enactment of Phronesis (Practical Wisdom) in General Practitioners with the aim to provide clues as to the important aspects of education and training that could be developed in order to look at ways of considering a wisdom approach to medical education.

Kristian Guttesen

Kristian Guttesen is a PhD student at the Jubilee Centre supervised by Professor Kristján Kristjánsson and Dr. Tom Harrison. His doctoral thesis involves developing a means for teachers and parents to encourage virtuous living through poetry.

Prior to his enrolment at the University of Birmingham, Kristian completed his bachelors in Philosophy (major) and Creative Writing (minor), as well as two masters' degrees, one in Philosophy and one in Creative Writing from the University of Iceland. He also completed his Teacher Training qualifications at the University of Iceland and worked as a teacher for 5 years. Kristian is also a published poet and has an academic background in Kierkegaard studies. However, it is his experience as a teacher which kindled his interest in character education. His intention to implement it in Iceland is due to his Nordic background, having Faroese, Icelandic and Danish ancestry.


Aidan Thompson

Aidan began a part-time PhD in Education in 2017, under the title 'Educating Character Through Poetry: the role of the poem in the education of virtue literacy'.

This proposed study follows on from the M-Level work of this author, titled ‘A Poem Should Not Mean, But Be’: Poetic Form vs. Content In Algernon Charles Swinburne’ (2015), and will focus on the role of the pop song lyric as a piece of poetry in the education of virtuous feeling and virtue literacy of school pupils. This study will build on the assertion that poets should be considered public moralists, writing to challenge thought and evoke emotion, and that their poems, when read and studied, can evoke a virtuously emotional response from their readers, and be used to develop virtue literacy. The study will also build on the work of Adam Bradley (2017) that pop song lyrics can and should be considered as pieces of poetry in their own right. The proposed project seeks to study pop song lyrics as pieces of poems, de-coupled form their accompanying music, which focus on a particular virtuous theme or message, and create a teaching resource which exposes pupils to these poems as part of an intervention designed to measure virtuous feeling and virtue literacy.

As of October 2017, Aidan is also the Jubilee Centre Director of Strategy and Integration, having previously managed the Centre since its launch in 2012. View his profile here. 

Paul Watts

Paul joined the Jubilee Centre as a Research Fellow in September 2017 and is currently working on the Teacher Education: Character, Ethics and the Professional Development of Pre- and In-service Teachers project. View his profile here.

Paul’s PhD study critically examines the use of stories within the primary school classroom, specifically focusing on the value and use of stories as a vehicle for character education. His work seeks to examine the extent to which stories are used for the purpose of character education and to establish how teachers may be influenced in this regard. Paul’s research will interpret how findings contribute to the assumption that exposure to art and literature provides a unique means of facilitating character cultivation.


Jason Metcalfe

Jason's PhD focuses on whether the teaching of moral virtues is seen as a fundamental aim of the subject of religious education in England & Wales. The PhD also examines whether pupil’s self-reported manifestations of respect and empathy are shaped by the teaching of the subject of religious education in a consistent manner across England & Wales.

Jason also joined the Jubilee Centre in September 2017 as a Research Associate. View his profile here.

Major Scott Parsons

Major Scott Parsons is a PhD Student at the Jubilee Centre supervised by Professor Kristján Kristjánsson and Professor James Arthur.  His doctoral thesis involves using Aristotelian virtues as a basis for improving character in the United States Army. 

Scott is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is an Officer in the United States Army having served in strategic, operational, and tactical assignments for 19 years, including three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. 

Prior to his enrollment at the University of Birmingham, Scott completed two Masters’ Degrees from Columbia University, one in Philosophy and one in Political Science.

Scott has several teaching and research areas of focus. He specializes in Character Education and Aristotelian Virtue Ethics. Scott also teaches and conducts research in the intersection of Just War Theory with Cyber Ethics, the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, and the Ethics of Autonomous Weapons Systems.

Scott is a Research Fellow of Applied Ethics at the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College in the United States and is an Advisory Board Member for the Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace based, Heritage in War Project. 

Jinu Varghese

Jinu Varghese is an affiliate PhD student at the Jubilee Centre supervised by Professor Kristján Kristjánsson. She is currently a lecturer in Nursing at the University of Birmingham and her PhD is focussed upon an examination of whether Christian and secular nurses understand and practice compassion in similar or different ways.