Research Newsletter

Office for Learning and Teaching Innovation and Development grant success!

Congratulations to Seamus Fagan, Sally Baker, Evonne Irwin and Helen Cameron for their successful OLT Innovation and Development grant. The '(Re)claiming social capital: improving language and cultural pathways for refugee students into Australian higher education' project will identify the pathways taken by Humanitarian Entrant Background (HEB) students to enter higher education, and investigate how HEB students experience their transitions into and through undergraduate study.

The project will see the team from the University of Newcastle partner with Ruth Tregale and Sonal Singh from Macquarie University and Jaya Earnest from Curtin University.

Professor Liz Thomas visit

On Monday 29 June 2015, the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre hosted Professor Liz Thomas from Edge Hill University UK.

Professor Thomas has had a long history of researching and advocating for widening participation in higher education. She has published widely on the subject and also directed the "What works?" project which was co-funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and focussed on student retention and success in UK higher education.

Professor Thomas presented a lecture on 'What works? Facilitating an effective transition into higher education. The lecture was well attended by a broad range of University of Newcastle staff. Professor Thomas also facilitated a workshop which focussed on widening participation research relevant to the Centre.

Liz Thomas with Banner Liz Thomas workshop

Research Retreat

The English Language and Foundation Studies Centre held its 2nd annual Research Retreat on Wednesday 15 July 2015. The retreat was attended by 19 academic staff and research active professional staff from within the Centre. The retreat provided staff with the opportunity to hear about the research journeys of a number of academic researchers from a range of disciplines. The retreat provided the chance for staff to discuss research themes and develop communities of interest from within the Centre. Sessions were also held relating to Academic performance requirements and the use of University data in research.

Research Retreat Photo

Brown Bag Seminar Series

The next Brown Bag Seminar will be presented by Sally Baker and Evonne Irwin. Sally and Evonne will present 'Getting the house in order: working towards a clear view of the enabling field through a national stocktake'. The focus of this seminar will be to describe and present the findings of a national stocktake of enabling courses in Australian HE which took a broad, yet comprehensive view of the range of enabling provision in Australia, exploring, for example, curriculum shape, entry requirements and available support.

The Seminar will be held in Ourimbah on Wednesday 19 August 2015 from 12pm to 1pm in CS202 and repeated at Callaghan on Tuesday 25 August 2015 from 12pm to 1pm in MCG61.

ELFSC Research Awards- application period extended until 10 August 2015

The 2015 ELFSC Research Awards application period has been extended!

Applications are now due on 10 August 2015. The award categories available are the Best Publication award, Research Excellence award and the Research Higher Degree grant. Please contact Helen Cameron ( for more details.

ELFSC Research Conference

The inaugural ELFSC Research conference will be held on Monday 21st September at Callaghan campus. The conference is open to all ELFSC staff. The main aim of the conference is for staff to present and disseminate their research with peers.  Details of the conference will be informed to all staff soon.


The CASS Foundation Travel Awards open on 31 July 2015 and close on Friday 28 August 2015. The Travel Awards enable Early Career Researchers (ECR) to attend and present at an international conference of significance to their research. Awards of up to $4,000 are available. Please consult the CASS Foundation website for more details:

Upcoming conferences

GAPS: Global Access to Postsecondary Education

Sunway University, Kuala Lumpur, 5-8 October 2015

International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (ISSOTL)

RMIT Melbourne, 27-30 October 2015.

NAEEA: National Association of Enabling Educators of Australia

University of Western Sydney, Parramatta Campus. 25-26 November 2015

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