Research Training and Innovation

Why a PhD or Research Masters in Research Training and Innovation at Newcastle?

Research Training and Transformational Knowledge

The University of Newcastle's School of Education is home to the Centre for the Study of Research Training and Innovation (SORTI).

SORTI members have their gaze firmly fixed on the future capacity, learning needs, learning trajectories and well-rounded and ethical development of tomorrow's knowledge leaders. This is captured in their new research program: Research Training and Transformational Knowledge.

PhD and Masters by Research students will benefit from a supportive network of leading researchers who draw on a well-established evidence base to undertake theoretical and applied work in higher education and the professions.

SORTI also boasts strong collaborative links with researchers nationally and internationally including universities in UK, Hong Kong and USA.

Our researchers publish a significant proportion of their research in top quality international refereed journals.

Members of SORTI have held 10 Australian Research Council (ARC) grants (Discovery and Linkage) in the past 10 years, as well as consultancies with Industry and Government departments.

What you can research

Research proposals are invited in the following areas:

  • Research training and doctoral learning
  • Innovative problem solving in professional life
  • Entrepreneurial knowledge workers
  • The impact and role of technology in higher order learning
  • Learning/learning processes in higher education
  • Leadership and change
  • University administration and management
  • Ethics and values in Higher Education
  • Transformational knowledge
  • Student well-being, voice, equity
  • Assessment/feedback in higher education

Research methodologies

SORTI members have expertise in quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research, learning theory, STEM and the education, social sciences and humanities fields.

Our recent research has utilised, questionnaire design and delivery (including specially designed online web formats), individual and focus group interviews, and large data set analyses. The group has particular expertise in the use of SPSS quantitative software and QSR N.Vivo qualitative software.

Find a supervisor

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Prof Allyson Holbrook: doctoral education and assessment; higher education; higher order learning; history of education; professional education; research impact and quality; researcher development; university administration
  • E/Prof Terry Lovat: education; ethics; Islam; religion; theology; values
  • Dr Robert Cantwell
  • Dr Neville Clement
  • Dr Kerry Dally: early childhood intervention; reading acquisition; reading difficulties; values education
  • Dr Daniella Forster: philosophy of education; professional ethics; teacher education; values education
  • Dr Kath Grushka: artmaking and wellbeing; design education; digital literacies; iconography of learning; learning and identity; visual art education; visual literacies; visual narrative learning; visual pedagogies
  • Dr Elena Prieto: computational thinking; engineering education; mathematics education
  • Dr Jill Scevak: educational and developmental psychology
  • Dr Kylie Shaw: doctoral education pathways; higher education; innovative teaching and learning; learning journeys; mixed methods research; research preparedness; student transition; student experience; teacher education
  • Dr Jennifer St George: family studies, father engagement, men in human services, music educational psychology, qualitative research methods
  • Mr Greg Preston: computer education; history of education; multimedia; online education

How to apply


Current graduate studies in Research Training and Transformational Knowledge

There are a number of research projects being undertaken by graduate students in the area of Research Training and Transformational Knowledge at Newcastle. Take a look some of the current topics:

  • Pathways to Leadership for Professional Staff in the Higher Education Sector
  • Teacher Job Satisfaction and the Effect it has on Student Achievement
  • Exegesis of Islamic Sources and Educational Ramifications
  • Coping with the Experience of First Year University Study: A Case Study of Cambodian University Students
  • Restorative Practices and the Impact on a Learning Community