The aim of the initiative will be to enhance UQ’s research impact upon education policy at local, national and international levels. The initiative contains three interrelated research programs connected to the ‘big idea’ and a set of activities designed to meet the objectives of the Faculty and University, and to demonstrate UQ’s capacity to host an ARC CoE. The initiative will work to ensure leadership capacity is developed and high quality researchers are attracted to and retained within the Faculty. Within each program there is the capacity to build upon existing collaborations and develop new interdisciplinary collaborations that are cross-faculty, cross UQ and cross institutional (domestic/international). Similarly there is capacity to enhance industry engagement. 

Program one: Schools as we know them (Keddie & Mackinlay)

This program will feature projects that are concerned with a critical engagement with the key features of contemporary schooling. The various projects will seek to explore how schools are or are not meeting the needs of some of the most marginalised young people in Australia. Many of these projects will be concerned with global, national and local policies as well as internal school dynamics.  Of particular importance here, are the ways in which contemporary schools perpetuate and/or challenge the exclusion of Indigenous students, communities, knowledges and cultures from education. There are also possibilities here for working with large data sets, e.g. LSAY and Census, to explore exclusion from school. Recognising school based attempts at inclusion will also be a feature of this program. In this program, already existing partnerships with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit and the Indigenous Schooling Support Unit of Education Queensland in relation to the inclusion/exclusion of Indigenous students in schools can be developed into research projects.

UQ has current strengths in this area as represented by existing grants (e.g. FF Keddie, Discovery Lingard, Linkage with DETE Carroll et al., ARC Discovery Mackinlay, UQ Post Doc Sellar), there are also applications currently under consideration that align with this program (Spencer Foundation Application, Martin and Tomaszewski (ISSR) with Mills).  

Program two: Making schools accountable to whom and for what? (Carroll & Lingard)

Accountability has been a heavily loaded term in education due to its narrow usage. Building on a large linkage application (with DETE Qld) led by UQ, this program will be concerned with ‘rich accountabilities’ that take into ‘account’ diverse stakeholders and diverse outcomes. There will be a strong focus here on children’s rights, young people’s voice, alternative modes of addressing common school issues (e.g. discipline, truancy), parents and community engagement with schooling and ensuring that the concerns of the most marginalised young people (e.g. in detention, in the youth justice system, refugee children) about schooling are heard.

UQ has current strengths in this area as demonstrated through the following grants (ARC Linkage with DETE Lingard et al., Discovery Mills et al., Discovery Carroll, Spencer Foundation  Major Grant (University of Texas – host) Phillips, UQ post doc Sellar), with an ARC Discovery under consideration (Phillips, Keddie) 

Program three: Rethinking schooling (Mills & Phillips)

This program will consist of projects that prompt a rethinking of contemporary schooling in creative ways. Here there will be a focus on projects that explore major initiatives within education systems, networks of schools, individual schools and the growing international ‘alternative’ school sector. There will also be a consideration of how schools can be a hub for supporting marginalised young people’s ‘non-education’ needs, e.g. legal aid, crisis accommodation, domestic violence support, transport, mental health services. This program will facilitate opportunities for education researchers to work with youth researchers in other disciplines.

Existing projects working in this area include (FF Keddie; FF, Discovery, ARC Linkage Mills; ARC Linkage, Renshaw, Tooth;   Spencer Foundation  Major Grant (University of Texas – host), Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada partnership development grant (University of Toronto – host) Phillips.

Faculty and University collaborations

As the ERA data show, there are a number of scholars in the Faculty outside of the SOE who have made a contribution to the field of Education and who are undertaking work relevant to the programs above. For example, within the Faculty there are academics working on democracy and education (Historical and Philosophical Inquiry), Indigenous education, diverse cultures and education (Languages and Culture), teacher education and social justice (Music), conflict resolution, human rights and public policy (Political Science and International Studies), social inequality, vulnerability, community development and education, and youth welfare (Social Science). Educational research also occurs within the ISSR. There is potential for researchers in the education field to also work with schools that are not part of the Faculty, for example, Psychology, Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, Human Movement Studies, Architecture, Law. The strategic funding will work to ensure that links between these educational researchers at UQ can be enhanced. See Appendix for a list of possible cross Faculty collaborators.

External University Collaborations.  We have close relationships with all of the following research centres, these will be developed and enhanced through the proposed initiative: Youth Research Centre (Melbourne); Centre for Public Policy Research (Kings College London); The Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity and the Institute of Education, Community & Society (Edinburgh), The Centre for Children's Rights (Queens University Belfast); Geary Institute for Public Policy, Childhood and Human Development Research Centre (University College Dublin),  Centre for Commonwealth Education (Cambridge) and the Nordic Center of Excellence Justice Through Education (through Reykjavik University).  Collaborative grant applications in international schemes have also been successful (Swedish Research Council – Phillips with Orebro University & University of Brighton; Spencer Foundation  Major Grant (University of Texas – host)  Phillips with Victoria University , Wellington; Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada grant, Phillips (University of Toronto – host) with  Pennsylvania State University and University of Southern Queensland; Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada grant - Mills, and Lingard and Sellar both with University of Western Ontario).

Industry/government collaborations.  Education staff have a long history of Linkage and other forms of collaboration with industry partners. Collaborations exist with State and Territory Departments of education, youth organisations, philanthropic organisations, and the mining industry. For example, from across the School of Education research grants have been obtained from the following organisations:

Disability services Qld (Cuskelly), Qld College of Teachers (Goos, Renshaw; Van Kraayenoord), Archdiocese of Brisbane Catholic Education (Goos, Honan, Van Kraayenoord), Department of Education and Children's Services, South Australia (Goos), AusAID-Australian Agency for International Development (Honan), AUDA Foundation (Honan), Education Queensland (Mills, Goos, Honan, Lingard, Renshaw), Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (Mackinlay), Australian College of Educators ( Lingard, Mills, Renshaw, Keddie),  Indigenous Schooling Support Unit, Education Queensland (Mackinlay), ACT Department of Education and Training (Mills), Commonwealth Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (Lingard, Mills, Van Kraayenoord), Department Families, Youth & Community Care QLD (Van Kraayenoord).

Cross faculty collaborations will open up some of these avenues to other schools. A key component of this initiative will be to build extensive connections with industry/government to lay the groundwork for the CoE bid in 2018, as well as to attract Category 2, 3, 4 funding sources with and from such organisations.  



Research Projects: Program leaders will develop research teams from across the Faculty to construct at least one research proposal per program. The initiative will provide seed funding to undertake some preliminary data gathering and analysis related to each proposal. Each research team will be expected to submit one grant application in the first two years of the initiative. These grant applications will demonstrate relationships with government/industry, be reflective of the interdisciplinary approach of the programs and enhance existing or initiate new collaborations.

Distinguished visiting fellows program: The initiative will run an annual distinguished visiting fellows program enabling the Faculty to invite a scholar of international standing (including Australians) for approximately a month to work on a collaborative grant application, contribute expertise to a grant application, work on a collaborative publication, and/or offer a master class. The selection of the fellows will be strategic in relation to the future CoE bid. All faculty staff will be able to nominate a scholar for this program (Mills & Lingard have at different times participated in a similar program at The University of Western Ontario). Distinguished fellows will be expected to present in the public lecture series. (See below)

Travel grants: The initiative will run 2 competitive travel grants per year to enable a scholar from the Faculty to visit one of the Centres with which a reciprocal relationship has been or is to be developed.

Internal faculty fellowship scheme: Two internal faculty fellowships will be offered each year.  One will enable an early/mid-career scholar from a non-Education school to be released from teaching to spend time (a semester) working on a project, developing a grant application and/or finishing a publication related to educational research. The second fellowship will be open to all within the Faculty to work on a collaborative education related project in a school other than their own.  Awardees will be expected to deliver a Faculty seminar as part of the initiative.

Public lecture series: Throughout the course of each year a public lecture series will be hosted at UQ (approx. 4-6). Invitees to present these lectures will include both academics and high profile government/industry personnel. The selection of speakers will also be strategic in that they will include personnel from organisations that will support the CoE bid. 

Other: Through the initiative a number of relationships will be developed with key universities to open up reciprocal visiting scholars programs, PhD student visits, guest seminars etc. (non-funded).

Project members

Professor Annemaree Carroll

Associate Dean (Research)
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences