Research, development and finding our way forward – the ADR gives her view

Posted by | February 24, 2021 | Uncategorized | No Comments

Welcome to 2021 everyone. I hope you have a happy and safe year with terrific research productivity. Congratulations to all who submitted ARC grants this month.

Please update your RUNE profile as only the items in RUNE can be included in the ERA submission.

Here is a repeat of the information I provided in the 2019 newsletter re the ERA strategy –

The [ERA] strategy is still being worked on but it is intended to be simple for everyone to use:

  1. Using Scimago as a proxy for quality consult their Quartile 1 journal list to select destination journals
  2. Select book publishers carefully for chapters, monographs and edited books – the University Presses such as OUP and CUP are preferred. To help our ERA aspirations the publisher must use a peer review process, and this should be clearly indicated on their web site.
  3. Co-authorship within and beyond UNE is encouraged, especially international co-authorships. This also applies to Non-Traditional Research Outputs ensuring that at least some collaborations are with colleagues outside of UNE.

Future Fit

The new strategic plan has four priority research areas –

  • Food security
  • Better Health
  • Respecting humanity
  • Resilient communities

I put titles of HASSE staff papers into a list and submitted to a wordle maker. I present the result below to the Faculty Research Committee last week. Words are larger due to relevance rather than frequency so the more papers relevant to a word the larger the word.  In HASSE we are clearly doing research relevant to all of the themes. Let’s consider how we can highlight and further develop research activities mapped on to these themes.


What do we do in the HASSE Faculty Research Office (FRO)?

People who follow the newsletter must wonder why I so regularly include this question in my column. It is a question many people ask, and thankfully is easy to answer. FRO are the team responsible for grant support, HDR progression (after Confirmation of Candidature) and support and sign off for Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) applications for HASSE. Research problems are regularly delegated to the ADR, and issues arising for HDR candidates.

The FRO work closely with the School Research Coordinators Professor Pep Serow and Dr Jason Stoessel to ensure matters relevant to staff in the Schools are supported and problems resolved. For example, we established a working party on Non-Traditional Research Outputs led by Huw which is concluding final deliberations. We also work closely with the HDR Coordinators Dr Adele Nye and Dr Ariella van Luyn. This work involves regular meetings, raising matters of concern, developing new processes as needed, and working closely with the HDR team in research services. In 2019 and 2020 we ran HASSE research events. In 2020 it was run over two weeks completely online with presentations from more than 50 HASSE academic staff.  

As ADR I serve on the Faculty Executive Committee and attend university-wide meetings as HASSE’s representative including the UNE Research Committee which I chaired 2018-2020, and the Graduate Research Committee. I am a member of UNE’s ERA working group. I also chair the Faculty Research Committee which reports to the Faculty Executive and the UNE Research Committee. Huw sits on the School Research Committees and is a member of the UNE HREC. UNE’s ADsR regularly meet with Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and the Director of Research Services.    

The above is FRO activities in a nutshell but we also have responsibility for HEPPP/IRSLAF submissions, the DAP submission, and are regularly called into university wide consultations, for example for the Digital+ strategy. In 2018 and 2019 we prepared and submitted capital equipment bids and were awarded the total request each time. We also assist a wide range of research facing tasks including but not limited to contracts, assisting when research relationships need help, addressing funding problems, development of research groups and centres, and early stage scoping for project viability. I work closely with the other ADsRs, the research office, and Legal depending what is needed, and I regularly review our research data including recently stress testing ERA thresholds across the relevant field of research codes. I am qualified in mediation and UNE makes good use of my skills!

Who are we?
The Faculty Research Office was established in 2018 and comprises the Associate Dean for Research (ADR) who is also the responsible delegate for the Dean. We also have two professional staff in the FRO team: A Senior Research Officer, Huw Nolan, and an HDR Administrative Officer Nikki Rumpca.

How can I get help for my research development?

The FRO offers support for people applying for research grants. Research grants are highly competitive and can be challenging to prepare but grants are a crucial part of research activity for all academic staff. The FRO team regularly search for grants and fellowships and highlight these to the SRCs, and relevant discipline members. The team also offer support with research budget preparation (Huw) and pre-reads (me and Huw). Currently no-one is obliged to use the services of the FRO and submissions can be put forward without consultation with the team. However, most staff use our services, sometimes only for budget support but very often also for pre-reading and advice. We recently compared research income for the three years prior to the establishment of the FRO and the three years since. Research income has trebled across HASSE since that time due to a greater number of submissions and a higher success rate.

ALeaP was established by the Dean two years ago to provide support and training for all staff up to Level D. Weekly afternoon sessions occur during T1 and T2. I developed and lead the research module. As part of the homework for that module each participant must submit a final draft of a funded research grant proposal. Some people have written their first grant proposal during the ALeaP training. Some people who achieved promotion specifically told me that it was ALeaP that helped them apply for promotion and succeed.

What should I be doing research wise?

Schedule F in the Enterprise Agreement outlines responsibilities for staff at each academic level. As well as relevant research activity in your field such as participating in and developing conference and special interest groups, all academic staff are encouraged to publish and bring in research income. These activities support your research career but also promote UNE and your discipline as research active. This is university number eight for me and I have not worked anywhere that publishing and research income are not standard research activities expected of all academic staff regardless of discipline.

Case studies –

I often advise people not to compare themselves to what is happening in their corridor but to look beyond UNE to build personal knowledge as to what is considered a standard for research momentum in their field. However, of course we have some terrific academics and researchers in HASSE and I’ve highlighted but two of them below.

Lecturer Dr Gwyn McClelland came to UNE last year already in receipt of a Japan Fellowship. Recently he led a two day online seminar Beyond Japanese Studies. The audience comprised 180 registrants with participation from the UK, USA, and across Asia and the Pacific. Gwyn will be Guest Editor of a Special Issue based on the seminar for the Japan Foundation-run open access journal, New Voices in Japanese Studies. Gywn published five journal papers through 2020 including McClelland, G. (2020). Mary, Mothers, Lament, and Feminist Theology: The Dead Non-War Heroes of Nagasaki. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion36(2), 85-106. 

Associate Professor Jennifer Charteris came to UNE in 2013. In 2020 she won three teaching awards including the UNE Learning and Teaching Transformation Education Award. Apart from writing regularly for education magazines and newsletters she also is prolific in research publishing. For example, in 2020 she published 14 papers in scholarly journals. In 2019 along with Professor Sue Gregory she won a tender with the Victoria Department of Education and Training (VDET) to provide leadership training for schools. This tender was formerly held by The University of Melbourne and was highly competitive. This year she was a member of the UNE team who won a further $500K tender from VDET to develop a toolkit to support gifted students.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.