The Centre for the Study of Research Training and Impact (SORTI) is focused on understanding and developing research and higher order problem solving skills, and the impact of research training and research outcomes in a wide variety of contexts.

Centre for the Study of Research Training and Impact


SORTI projects and initiatives fall into a number of key interrelated areas:

1. Research Quality and Impact

Assessment and Evaluation of Research and Research Quality e.g., studies of thesis quality, peer review and the bases for research evaluation and grant assessment; viva  - A cross-national study of the relative impact of an oral component on PhD examination; assessing the quality and impact of education journals - PAJE Project

The Impact and Influence of Research, Research Training and Education e.g., how to define and determine impact and take-up and the broader influence in the community and on innovation, e.g., the influence of health research in areas such as urban planning; synergies between higher education researchers and government policy personnel in Australia

2. Research Training

Research Training: Programs, Processes and Outcomes e.g., tracking student progress, tracking PhD graduates; supervision and understandings of research across disciplines.

Research Student Transition, Attrition and Completion e.g., transition from honours to higher research degrees, factors influencing attrition and completion in a variety of higher education contexts; Influences of metacognitive beliefs on success in PhD candidature

3. Professions and Higher Order Thinking

Research and High Level Skills Development e.g., skills acquired by nurses undertaking Graduate Certificate qualifications in intensive care; the skills and understandings sustaining musical composition; evaluation of diverse teaching practice.

Cognition, Epistemology and Ontology e.g., how research students and other students (undergraduate) develop disciplinary and research knowledge; the impact of affect on cognition, understanding cognitive and metacognitive factors associated with patterns of obstetrician decision-making to perform caesarean sections (with Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia).

Professional Pathways e.g., the identification and development of strategies for increasing Engineering enrollments (with Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment) – Engineering Choices, Engineering Futures

4. Higher Education

E-learning e.g., the impact of web-based lecture technologies on current and future practice in learning and teaching; interactive distance e-learning for isolated communities – Remote Communities and Distance Learning; ITL Australia Project

Student experience, teaching practices and performance, relevance of curriculum, policy implementation.

5. Cultural Variation

e.g. Indigenous research students;  the impact of educational systems in shaping and developing values and attitudes and the understanding of knowledge; cultural differences in learning experienced by international RHD students and their supervisors.

6. Contextual and Institutional Frameworks

Historical, Biographical, Institutional and Policy Studies e.g. a range of works that explore knowledge development, knowledge and skills, developments and trends in tertiary education, and the contribution of research, and research institutes in historical and political context.

Research Administration and Management e.g., The profile/role and contribution of university research services staff and their perspectives on managing change within Australian universities - A national study for and about University Research Services staff; strategic planning and performance management