Dr Erika Spray

Dr Erika Spray


School of Education (Psychology)

Career Summary


I recently completed my PhD in the School of Education. My research is in the field of Educational Psychology, particularly metacognitive and epistemic beliefs. I have presented overseas at the EARLI and AERA conferences, as well as AARE, SELF and DEAL within Australia.

I also work in the Centre for Teaching and Learning, advising staff and students about the effective integration and development of Academic Literacies. This role involves working with various discipline areas across the University, as well as organising and implementing workshop programs at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I have also conducted research into RHD Students' experiences of Academic Literacies development, which I presented at SRHE 2012 in the UK. 

Research Expertise
My doctoral study focused on individuals’ epistemic, metacognitive and affective characteristics, collectively referred to as dispositional attributes, and their relationships to learning in postgraduate education. It was hypothesised that postgraduate coursework students' academic achievement would be influenced by their dispositional attributes. A second thread of this work was the examination of consistency of such relationships across different groups, with a particular emphasis on relationships between cultural background, dispositional attributes and academic achievement. 

Teaching Expertise
I have a strong background in education, having taught at High School as well as at the Language Centre and the School of Education at the University of Newcastle. My full-time position is as a Language and Learning Adviser in the Centre for Teaching and Learning. I have also taught Educational Psychology within the Bachelor of Teaching.

Administrative Expertise
Primarily, my administrative tasks support my teaching in the School of Education and at the Centre for Teaching and Learning. I am involved in curriculum design and review, marking and assessment, and student consultations. I am also a sub-editor for the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), and a member of the Centre for the Study of Research Training and Impact (SORTI), and the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE).

My PhD Supervisors were Dr Robert Cantwell, Dr Jill Scevak and Prof Allyson Holbrook.


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Education, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Exeter - UK
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education, University of Exeter - UK
  • Master of Applied Linguistics, University of Newcastle
  • Master of Educational Studies, University of Newcastle


  • Educational Psychology
  • Epistemic Beliefs
  • Higher Education
  • Metacognition
  • Self-regulation

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
520102 Educational psychology 100

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Education


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Chapter (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Cantwell RH, Scevak JJ, Spray EJ, ''I thought I knew this stuff but apparently I don't': Understanding transition into university-level thinking', Aspirations, Access and Attainment: Current International Perspectives on Widening Participation., Routledge, Abingdon 136-149 (2014) [B1]
Co-authors Jill Scevak

Journal article (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Spray E, Hunt JW, 'Measuring the academic literacies beliefs and researcher identity of research students', Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, 1-16 (2015) [C1]
Co-authors Jaime Hunt
2013 Spray EJ, Scevak JJ, Cantwell RH, 'Personal epistemological and metacognitive awareness in first year preservice education students.', Australian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 13 44-57 (2013) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Jill Scevak

Conference (6 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Spray E, Scevak J, Cantwell R, 'Management of regulation and management of complexity', Melbourne (2017)
Co-authors Jill Scevak
2015 Spray E, Scevak J, Cantwell R, 'A cross-cultural analysis of dispositional attributes and academic achievement in postgraduate coursework students', Chicago (2015)
Co-authors Jill Scevak
2015 Hunt JW, Spray E, 'Sweet cupcakes for all: A teaching philosophy to enhance student engagement and success in an enabling linguistics course', NAEEA 2015 Selected Papers, Sydney (2015) [E1]
Co-authors Jaime Hunt
2012 Spray EJ, 'Connecting Concepts: A cross-cultural study of inter-relations between metacognition, affect and epistemic beliefs.', Postgraduate Research in Education: HDR Student Conference Proceedings, University of New South Wales (2012)
2012 Spray EJ, Hunt JW, 'Research students' experiences of Academic Literacies development.', http://www.srhe.ac.uk/conference2012/abstracts/0122.pdf, Celtic Manor, Wales, UK (2012) [E3]
2011 Spray EJ, Scevak JJ, Cantwell RH, 'Personal epistemological and metacognitive awareness (PEMA) in first year university students', EARLI 2011 14th Biennial Conference: Education for a Global Networked Society. Book of Abstracts and Extended Summaries, Exeter (2011) [E3]
Co-authors Jill Scevak
Show 3 more conferences

Grants and Funding


Number of grants 1
Total funding $1,260

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

20211 grants / $1,260

CHSF Early Advice Scheme 2021$1,260

Funding body: College of Human and Social Futures | University of Newcastle

Funding body College of Human and Social Futures | University of Newcastle
Scheme CHSF - Early Advice Scheme
Role Lead
Funding Start 2021
Funding Finish 2021
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE

Dr Erika Spray


School of Education
School of Education
College of Human and Social Futures

Focus area


Contact Details

Email erika.spray@newcastle.edu.au
Phone 4921 7361
Fax 4921 6827


Room HA113
Building Hunter Building
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308