Mark Western is Director of the Institute for Social Science Research and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He has previously worked at the Australian National University and the University of Tasmania, and held visiting appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Manchester, where he held a Hallsworth Visiting Professorship, and the Institute of Education, London.
Mark is a sociologist whose research examines how systems of inequality and disadvantage arise and can be addressed, what matters for economic and social well-being, and how institutions like schools, families, networks and labour markets are involved in these processes. Mark also carries out research in social science methods.
Mark is an International Fellow of the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University, a Chief Investigator on the ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families Over the Lifecourse and a former Chief Investigator on the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security. Mark is a Board Member of the Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research at the University of Manchester and a former member of the ARC College of Experts.
In 2012 Mark chaired the Education and Human Society Research Evaluation Committee for the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) national evaluation of university research quality. In 2013 he was Deputy Chair of the Steering Committee for a joint Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences project, Mapping the Humanities and Social Sciences in Australia, for the Australian Chief Scientist. In 2014, Mark represented the Academy of Social Sciences on an Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) project, Research Engagement for Australia, exploring options for metrics to measure university and industry research engagement. In 2015 Mark was Deputy Chair of the Expert Working Group undertaking the Review of the Australian Research Training System for the Australian Council of Learned Academies. Aside from Centre of Excellence funding, Mark has held research grants and government contracts worth over $20 million. He has edited and authored 6 books, and over 100 book chapters, journal articles and commissioned reports.