Why UON?

Finding the right research degree

A research degree provides a unique opportunity to follow a specific interest, in a particular area of research. We have a strong research presence across our disciplines and have approximately 150 research degrees to choose from.

Our research strengths

We have a strong research presence across the breadth of our disciplines and are particularly proud of our leadership and international recognition in our fields of strength.

  • Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) awards Newcastle highest rating of 5 in 2012 for:
    • Biochemistry and Cell Biology
    • Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology
    • Human Movement and Sports Science
    • Immunology
    • Neurosciences
    • Nutrition and Dietetics
    • Oncology and Carcinogenesis
    • Psychology
  • Brings leaders together through the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI)

Our leaders in health and medical research

ProfilePic-SansonFisher.jpgLaureate Professor Rob Sanson-Fisher AO

Behavioural Medicine

Laureate Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher is an internationally recognised cancer care and health behaviour expert. His latest ground-breaking research aims to reshape thinking surrounding death and chronic illness, so that end-of-life preparations are as thorough as preparing for the birth of a child.

» Rob's research profile

John-Aitken-new.jpgLaureate Professor John Aitken

Reproductive Medicine

Laureate Professor Aitken is a global authority on reproductive biology. Supported by funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), his research offers a solution to unsustainable population growth.

» John's research profile

Nick-Talley.jpgLaureate Professor Nick Talley


Professor Nick Talley is a neurogastroenterologist, a specialist in unexplained gut disorders affecting nerves and muscles such as irritable bowel syndrome, severe indigestion and slow stomach emptying, conditions which affect millions of people.

» Nick's research profile

Peter-and-Paul.jpgLaureate Professor Paul Foster and Conjoint Professor Peter Gibson

Immunology / Asthma

Laureate Professor Paul Foster and Conjoint Professor Peter Gibson, co-Directors of the University’s Priority Research Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases, lead highly talented teams of scientists and doctors who integrate the latest advances in laboratory technology to understand and manage the treatment of chronic airway conditions and respiratory diseases such as asthma.
» Paul's research profile       » Peter's research profile

Profile-Pic-JohnForbes.jpgProfessor John Forbes AM

Oncology - Breast Cancer

Professor John Forbes AM is an internationally renowned researcher in the field of breast cancer prevention and treatment, with a number of pioneering breakthroughs credited with saving millions of women's lives over his 40 year career.

» John's research profile

Julie-Byles.jpgProfessor Julie Byles

Gerontology and Ageing

Professor Julie Byles is the Director of the University of Newcastle's Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing. A key activity of the Centre is the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health which aims to identify biological, psychosocial and environmental factors affecting the health of women from all walks of life.

» Julie's research profile

Ron-Plotnikoff.jpgProfessor Ron Plotnikoff

Human Movement and Sports Science

Professor Ron Plotnikoff is Director of the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition which has an interdisciplinary approach to understanding physical activity and nutrition relating to population health strategies for chronic disease prevention, treatment and wellbeing.

» Ron's research profile

Rodney-and-Pablo2.jpgProfessor Rodney Scott and Professor Pablo Moscato

Information Based Medicine

Geneticist Professor Rodney Scott and computer scientist Professor Pablo Moscato are co-Directors of the University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre for Bioinformatics, Biomarker Discovery and Information-Based Medicine.  This successful collaboration between two internationally renowned researchers is using medical science and computer analysis to unlock the mysteries of cancer and other diseases.
» Rodney's research profile       » Pablo's research profile

ProfilePic-ChrisLevi.jpgConjoint Professor Chris Levi

Neurosciences - Stroke

Working on eight ground-breaking research projects, internationally renowned researcher Conjoint Professor Chris Levi is on a medical mission to cure stroke.

» Chris' research profile

Our health and medical related centres and institutes

  • Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) awards Newcastle highest rating of 5 in 2012 for:
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry
    • Geology
    • Physical Geography and Environmental Geosciences
    • Biochemistry and Cell Biology
    • Plant Biology
    • Civil Engineering
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy
  • The University of Newcastle leads the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Geotechnical Science and Engineering .

Our leaders in science and engineering research

%globals_asset_name:19154Laureate Professor Scott Sloan

Geotechnical Engineering

Laureate Professor Scott Sloan is the Director of the University's Centre for Geotechnical and Materials Modelling and also leads the ARC Centre of Excellence in Geotechnical Science and Engineering.  A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Sloan is an expert in soil stability analysis.

» Scott's research profile

%globals_asset_name:68872Professor Rob Melchers

Marine Corrosion

Professor Rob Melchers’ research on marine corrosion is leading the way towards safer, more resilient offshore engineering and construction.  The corrosion of steel in marine environments is a big issue for the water industry worldwide, in particular the corrosion of mooring chains and wire rope for offshore platforms.

» Rob's research profile

%globals_asset_name:20606Professor Adam McCluskey

Medicinal and Organic Chemistry

Professor Adam McCluskey is the Director of the University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre for Chemical Biology. He is involved in research resulting in four key drug discovery areas being pursued: epilepsy, kidney disease, cancer, and anti-viral.

» Adam's research profile

Reza-Moheimani.jpgProfessor Reza Moheimani


ARC Fellow Professor Reza Moheimani's research includes developing nanotechnology capable of creating maximum memory on the smallest piece of technology, allowing people to carry huge amounts of information on a tiny portable device.

» Reza's research profile

%globals_asset_name:32754Associate Professor Sarah Johnson

Protecting information – cryptography

Associate Professor Sarah Johnson performs research in the fields of signal processing, error correction coding and information theory. The applications of her research include secure and reliable digital communications and biomedical imaging technologies.

» Sarah's research profile

Our science and engineering centres and institutes

  • Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) awards Newcastle highest rating of 5 in 2012 for:
    • Geology
    • Physical Geography and Environmental Geosciences
    • Plant Biology
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
    • Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy
  • Leading research in sustainable energy production through the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER)

Our leaders in energy and environment research

Graeme-Jameson.jpgLaureate Professor Graeme Jameson AO

Mineral Separation Process (The Jameson Cell)

Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson is a chemical engineer and inventor of the Jameson Cell, a revolutionary mineral processing technology that contributes more than three billion dollars to the national economy every year.

» Graeme's research profile

behdad-and-eli.jpgProfessor Behdad Moghtaderi and Dr Elham Doroodchi

Clean and Renewable Energy

Chemical engineers Professor Behdad Moghtaderi and Dr Elham Doroodchi are driven by a desire to develop technologies to help reduce greenhouse emissions.  Developed in conjunction with Granite Power Ltd, GRANEX is an emission-free engine that turns heat from low-grade sources into electricity.  Professor Moghtaderi and his research team are currently delivering safe, new methods of managing Ventilation Air Methane generated by underground coal mines.

» Behdad's research profile       » Elham's research profile

Profile-Pic-KevinGalvin.jpgProfessor Kevin Galvin

Mineral Separation Process (Reflux Classifier)

Professor Kevin Galvin developed the Reflux Classifier, an industrial machine that separates fine particles on the basis of either density or size, saving the global mining and minerals processing industry billions of dollars.

» Kevin's research profile

2014-1002-RRBC-PaulDastoor-ProfilePic.jpgProfessor Paul Dastoor

Solar Paint

Designing revolutionary innovations such as solar paint and needle-free glucose tests has put Professor Paul Dastoor at the forefront of the emerging field of organic electronics. His advances are set to improve the environment and lives of communities around the world.

» Paul's research profile

Profile-Pic-ChrisGrof.jpgProfessor Chris Grof


Biologist Professor Chris Grof's love of plants has developed into a quest to engineer a viable biofuel that could reduce Australians' reliance on fossil fuels. Director of the Centre for Plant Science, Professor Grof has taken a lead role in a research project to develop sorghum as a biofuel.

» Chris' research profile

MarkJones-ProfilePic.jpgProfessor Mark Jones

Bulk solids (materials) handling

With a global reputation as an authority on pneumatic conveying and bulk solids handling, Engineering Professor Mark Jones and his team have delivered more than 3,500 bulk solids handling projects for over 1,000 companies across 40 countries.

» Mark's research profile

Erich-Kisi-2.jpgProfessor Erich Kisi and Dr Heber Sugo

Solar Energy

Material engineers Professor Erich Kisi and Dr Heber Sugo have received $515,000 from the Australian Solar Institute to create a new device that converts solar energy directly into electricity.  Working with materials at much higher temperatures than their European and North American colleagues, Sugo and Kisi's research produces a more efficient conversion of heat into electricity, thereby reducing production and environmental costs.

» Professor Erich Kisi       » Dr Heber Sugo

Alan-Broadfoot.jpgDr Alan Broadfoot

Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources

Dr Alan Broadfoot is the Director of the world-class Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), established to address rapidly emerging issues in the energy and resources sector. Providing practical and viable benefits to industry, the community and the economy, NIER is advancing research in clean energy production, energy efficiency and the minimisation of carbon emissions through its research.

» Alan's research profile

Our energy and environment centres and institutes

  • The University of Newcastle was the only Australian university to receive a rating of 5 ("well above world standard") for Social Work in the 2012 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment.
  • We are ranked by the QS World University Rankings by Subject in the top 100 in the world for Linguistics; top 200 in the world for English Language and Literature.

Find out more about the School of Humanities and Social Science.

Our leaders in humanities and social science research

Dr Rachael Unicomb

Speech pathology

Rachael Unicomb is a Lecturer and Researcher for the Speech Pathology (honours) program. She has a clinical and translational research interest in the communication of young children, in particular those with speech sound disorders and stuttering.

» Rachael's research profile

Dr Sally Hewat

Speech Pathology

Dr Sally Hewat, a University of Newcastle (UON) speech pathologist who specialises in the treatment of stuttering, is working to establish speech therapy in Vietnam – where, as a profession, it doesn't exist.

» Sally's research profile

Associate Professor Bronwyn Hemsley

Speech Pathology

Bronwyn Hemsley's research is helping bypass speech difficulties through the use of mobile technologies and e-health solutions.

» Bronwyn's research profile

Professor Alison Ferguson

Speech Pathology

Professor Alison Ferguson is a speech pathology researcher whose specialty is communicative interaction. She explores novel communication strategies for people who have lost speech and language function.

» Alison's research profile

Dr Caragh Brosnan

Sociology and Anthropology

Dr Caragh Brosnan is a researcher in the sociology of health and illness. Her focus is on health care and its value to society, but more fundamentally, the moral and principled human decisions that lie behind the science that governs our health and wellbeing.

» Caragh's research profile

Dr David Farrugia

Sociology and Anthropology

Through his research into the shifting sense of identity of Australia's young people, University of Newcastle sociologist Dr David Farrugia is questioning the assumptions on which our policies around rural youth are based.

» David's research profile

Dr Kathleen McPhillips

Sociology and Anthropology

Dr Kathleen McPhillips is looking into the murky world of child sexual abuse within the church culture.

» Kathleen's research profile

Dr Hedda Askland

Sociology and Anthropology

University of Newcastle researcher Dr Hedda Haugen Askland examines the deep-rooted forces behind home, identity and belonging in exile and refugee communities.

» Hedda's research profile

Dr Daniela Heil

Sociology and Anthropology

Daniela Heil's anthropological expertise is helping to understand the impact of cultural differences on the health of indigenous communities.

» Daniela's research profile

Dr Terry Leahy

Sociology and Anthropology

Dr Terry Leahy, a University of Newcastle sociologist, is behind a film documenting a permaculture project in Zimbabwe that has changed lives and boosted food security.

» Terry's research profile

Professor Lisa Adkins

Sociology and Anthropology

Professor Lisa Adkins' research interests are in feminist theory and the sociology of gender; social and cultural theory; and economic sociology (especially the sociology of post-industrial economies and the new political economy).

» Lisa's research profile

Professor Pam Nilan

Sociology and Anthropology

Professor Pam Nilan contributes a unique sociologist's viewpoint to the body of research on youth cultures in the Asia-Pacific region.

» Pam's research profile

Professor John Germov


Professor Germov is a sociologist and widely published author with research interests spanning the social origins of food and alcohol habits, public health nutrition, sociology of obesity and workplace change. His recent work focuses on the historical sociology of wine.

» John's research profile

Dr Milena Heinsch

Social work

An advocate of strengthening links between research and practice, Dr Milena Heinsch is seeking to contribute to social advancements in the allied health and medical arenas.

» Milena's research profile

Dr Tamara Blakemore

Social work

Dr Tamara Blakemore's framework for social work practice is grounded in an understanding of the complex and connected contexts that prompt, facilitate, and constrain the wellbeing of children, families and communities.

» Tamara's research profile

Professor Mel Gray

Social Work

Under the guidance of Professor Gray, the University of Newcastle was the only university in Australia to receive a '5' rating for social work research in the "Excellence in Research for Australia" (ERA) rankings which are administered by the Australian Research Council.

» Mel's research profile

Professor Terry Lovat

Philosophy, Religion and Theology

Nothing frustrates Professor Terry Lovat more than opening a newspaper to read uninformed commentary about Muslims and the Islamic faith.

» Terry's research profile

Professor Roland Boer

Philosophy and Religion

Religion, radicalism and revolutionaries all fall under the critical gaze of theologian and writer Professor Roland Boer.

» Roland's research profile

Dr Catriona Malau


Documenting small, regional languages can help them to not only survive, but thrive.

» Catriona's research profile

Associate Professor Mark Harvey


When it comes to language, how well do we actually understand the structure of syllables and words? Associate Professor Mark Harvey's 2015 Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project aims to determine this through the documentation of a severely endangered Indigenous language.

» Mark's research profile

Dr Christo Moskovsky


At the heart of a cross-faculty research project under way at Newcastle is the view to improving the quality of life of newcomers to Australia.

» Christo's research profile

Dr Bill Palmer


A dedicated team of Newcastle linguists is committed to studying the practical, scientific and cultural significance of dying local languages.

» Bill's research profile

Dr James Bennett


Because he doesn't believe the present can be understood without acknowledging the past, Dr James Bennett is casting a critical eye over a broad slice of twentieth century Australia and New Zealand.

» James's research profile

Professor Lyndall Ryan


The story of Professor Lyndall Ryan from Newcastle's Centre for the History of Violence began while documenting the history of Tasmania's convict system.

» Lyndall's research profile

Associate Professor Wayne Reynolds


Associate Professor Wayne Reynolds is on a quest to unearth the real story of Australia's nuclear ambitions

» Wayne's research profile

Dr Kit Candlin


An authority on all things American, Dr Kit Candlin is seeking to unearth – and solve – some of its history's most devilish mysteries.

» Kit's research profile

Professor Victoria Haskins


Professor Victoria Haskins' study of Indigenous domestic service policies across two countries is filling a gap in the historical narrative.

» Victoria's research profile

Dr Kate Ariotti


Digging into the past and turning up surprising – and sometimes uncomfortable – truths, Dr Kate Ariotti is seeking to put names, faces and facts to the First World War prisoner of war experience.

» Kate's research profile

Professor Catharine Coleborne


Professor Coleborne is an internationally recognised historian of health and medicine with an extensive portfolio of research, teaching, administration and academic leadership. Her research and publishing in the histories of mental health, families, illness, colonial worlds and medical institutions, as well as in law and history has attracted world-wide attention.

» Catharine's research profile

Associate Professor Hans-Lukas Kieser


University of Newcastle Future Fellow Professor Hans-Lukas Kieser looks to humanity's violent past for answers to a peaceful future

» Hans-Lukas's research profile

Dr Nancy Cushing


Dr Nancy Cushing is an environmental historian who is examining the underlying beliefs and aims that led, by the end of the colonial period, to a typical Australian diet based around the heavy consumption of beef and mutton.

» Nancy's research profile

Professor Hilary Carey


Professor Hilary Carey's research into the anti-Transportation movement provides new insight into an important aspect of Australia's colonial history.

» Hilary's research profile

Professor Roger Markwick


Associate Professor Roger Markwick, Head of the School of Humanities and Social Science and founding member of the Centre for the History of Violence believes the way we frame our past is pivotal for our understanding of the present.

» Roger's research profile

Dr Elizabeth Roberts-Pedersen


Elizabeth Roberts-Pedersen is an ARC DECRA Fellow in the Centre for the History of Violence, where she is researching the impact of World War Two on the theory and practice of psychiatry

» Elizabeth's research profile

Professor Philip Dwyer


Professor Philip Dwyer and his team are leading a fundamental rethinking of violence in the modern world.

» Philip's research profile

Associate Professor Alistair Rolls


Associate Professor is a leading expert on Twentieth and Twenty-First Century French Literature, the principal English-speaking scholar on the immortalized French writer Boris Vian and is paving the way forward in the field he calls Fetishism Criticism, a discourse which recognizes that two opposing narratives can co-exist while actually refuting each other.

» Alistair's research profile

Dr Emmett Stinson

English and writing

With the publishing industry facing unprecedented challenges from digital technologies and global competition, what does the future hold for contemporary Australian literary publishing?

» Emmett's research profile

Professor Hugh Craig

English and Writing

As unlikely as it sounds, literary scholar Professor Hugh Craig has enhanced his appreciation of Shakespeare through statistical analysis.

» Hugh's research profile

Dr Jesper Gulddal

English and Writing

The University of Newcastle's Head of English, Dr Jesper Gulddal, has always been fascinated by travel adventure stories, but gone are the days when fictional characters were footloose and fancy free to navigate a plot's twists and turns on a whim.

» Jesper's research profile

Dr Dave Musgrave

English and Writing

With a recent revival in Australia's poetry scene, acclaimed poet Dr David Musgrove is paving the way for others to follow his path to success.

» Dave's research profile

Associate Professor Ros Smith

English and Writing

Associate Professor Ros Smith examines the contribution of female writers to the culture of the early modern era.

» Ros's research profile

Dr Trisha Pender

English and Writing

Dr Patricia Pender is a Lecturer in English at the University of Newcastle. She has active research interests in early modern literature, feminist literary history and theory, and contemporary popular culture.

» Trisha's research profile

Professor Marguerite Johnson


Associate Professor Maguerite Johnson is interested in how stories from Antiquity console us and connect us as humans through the falling in love, the heartbreaks, the sorrow and the celebrations.

» Marguerite's research profile

Dr Julia Coffey

Julia Coffey is a lecturer in sociology in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her research is in the field of health sociology, with a focus on youth, the body, and gender.

» Julia's research profile

Dr Michael Askew

Project Director of CSRRF, Dr Michael Askew, coordinates the network's professional, systematic and academically rigorous service to government and industry.

» Michael's research profile

Our humanities and social science centres, groups and journals

University Institutes and Centres

Centre for 21st Century Humanities

Centre for 21st Century Humanities

The Centre for 21st Century Humanities is focussed on three key themes of e-research, impact, and crossing disciplines. Our vision is that by 2020 the University of Newcastle will be known for a significant concentration of excellence in the humanities to complement its distinction in science, engineering and medicine.

History of Violence

History of Violence

The Centre for the History of Violence is a world-first collaboration that applies new historical knowledge to advance humanity's understanding of violence. Members of the Centre explore every aspect of the history of violence, including concepts of violence, representations of violence, questions of interpersonal violence and issues of political and cultural violence.

Literary and Linguistic Computing

Literary and Linguistic Computing

The Centre for Literary and Linguistic Computing (CLLC) was established to continue the development and application of statistical and computing tools for the analysis of (literary) texts.

Research Groups

Early Modern Women Research Network

Early Modern Women Research Network

The Early Modern Women's Research Network (EMWRN) was established by Associate Professor Rosalind Smith and Dr Patricia Pender in 2007. Comprising scholars from Australia, New Zealand and the UK, the network has rapidly developed an international reputation for engineering innovative productive research collaborations'.

ELDTA Linguistics Research Program

ELDTA Linguistics Research Program

The University of Newcastle is home to linguistics scholars with expertise in documenting diverse endangered languages, and in diverse theoretical and applied areas of research.

Gender and Labour in New Times

Gender and Labour in New Times

Post-Fordist accumulation processes are entangled in major reorganizations of labour and life in the contemporary present. These arrangements have demanded that social scientists think anew about many key categories of analysis, including the home, living, working, the private, the everyday and even the future.

Newcastle Youth Studies Group

Newcastle Youth Studies Group

The Newcastle Youth Studies Group examines inequalities that affect young people's lives across national and international contexts. It has a particular focus on Australia, South-East Asia and the Pacific

Social Work

Social Work

Led by Professor Mel Gray from the School of Humanities and Social Science, the Social Work Research Program has established a strong track record and an Excellence in Research for Australia ranking of 'well above world standard'.

Speech Pathology

Speech Pathology

The Speech pathology discipline is distinctive in its diversity (speech, language, fluency, disability, aphasia) and focus on the impact of communication disorders and disabilities in everyday life and on key stakeholders supporting them in education, health and employment.

Wine Studies Research Network

Wine Studies Research Network

Wine studies research is a humanities and social science-based field at University of Newcastle. Cross-discipline collaboration in this field includes scholars from history, social science, business and tourism.

Research and Innovation Cluster

Creative Industries Research and Innovation ClusterCreative Industries Research and Innovation Cluster

The Creative Industries Research and Innovation Cluster (CIRIC) takes a coordinated multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach, engaging across the many stakeholders that contribute to the growth and health of contemporary creative economies.

Creative Arts Research Groups

Our Leaders in Creative Arts Research

Dr Kit Messham-Muir

Art history and theory

Dr Kit Messham-Muir is an art theorist and museologist in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Newcastle whose current research focus is the psychological and emotional dimensions of visualising war.

» Kit's research profile

Professor Frank Millward

Creative Arts, Media And Communication

Professor Frank Millward explores the intersection between fine art, music and theatre making, and how technology is turning the arts into a fertile ground for innovative research.

» Frank's research profile

Dr Gillian Arrighi

Drama, Theatre And Performance Studies

Dr Gillian Arrighi is interested in the circus, the role of children in the entertainment industry, and the arts/health nexus, particularly the impact creative engagement has on everyday life.  Her research investigates the social significance of the growth of community-based circus and circus skills groups since the 1970s. 

» Gillian's research profile

Dr Helen English


Dr English's primary research interests lie in the areas of music practices in the 19th century, music and society, Australian music, social Justice and gender studies. She brings a distinct local focus to her work, which developed in her PhD, Music as a Resource for World-Building in Newcastle and its Townships, 1869-1879, which investigated what music afforded Newcastle settler communities in world-building through its effects on body, mind and emotions.

» Helen's research profile

Professor Richard Vella


As Professor of Music in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Newcastle, Professor Richard Vella, is investigating the economic and cultural value of Australian music exports.

» Richard's research profile

Dr Philip Matthias

Music composition

For the Torres Strait Islander (TSI) community, music helps to articulate the concepts and embodied experiences of their lives. Despite its significance to the culture, there is a fragmented and under-developed approach to the documentation and cultivation of music.

» Philip's research profile

Associate Professor Craig Hight

creative industries

The Faculty of Education and Arts welcomes Associate Professor Craig Hight, who joins the University of Newcastle (UON) to lead the development, management and delivery of a new suite of creative industries programs and courses.

» Craig's research profile

The University of Newcastle's Education program is ranked 127th in the world by the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2014/2015).

Our research strengths are in:

  • Physical Activity and Nutrition
  • Teachers and Teaching
  • Research Training and Adaptive Knowledge
  • Equity and Education 
  • Comparative and International Education
  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Disability and Special Education

See the School of Education for more information

Our leaders in Education research

Dr Jordan Smith

Dr Jordan Smith's doctoral research focused on obesity prevention among disadvantaged adolescent boys, with a particular emphasis on the promotion of resistance training as a hook to get boys re-engaged with physical activity. In partnership with the Department of Education, the school-based fitness program that Jordan helped to develop is currently being implemented in public high schools throughout New South Wales.

» Jordan's research profile

Associate Professor Tom Griffiths

Comparative and international education

Associate Professor Tom Griffiths's research centres on comparative educational analyses, including historical and contemporary explorations of policy and practice in context, linked to a world-system level theoretical approach to systems of mass education, their structure, curricula and development.

» Tom's research profile

Dr Zsuzsa Millei

Curriculum And Pedagogy

Dr Zsuzsa Millei's research examines the way in which constitutions of ‘the child’ and childhood in pre-compulsory education shift in concert with the changing problematizations about the government of population and individuals.

» Zsuzsa's research profile

Professor Allyson Holbrook

Doctoral education

Professor Allyson Holbrook of the Research Training and Transformational Knowledge program looks at the huge intellectual and emotional changes that occur in PhD candidates and what affect these have on their thinking and attrition rates.

» Allyson's research profile

Dr Christine Hatton


A lost culture of frozen people is discovered underwater in the Pacific Ocean. They were frozen in time on the edge of a catastrophic environmental disaster, a crisis that scientists and archaeologists of the future grapple to fully understand. The history of these people had been erased. Who were they, these people of Ardus Unda? What happened to them? Can they be restored to life? Can we learn from their past to inform the present and the future?

» Christine's research profile

Associate Professor Linda Newman

Early Childhood Education

Associate Professor Linda Newman's far-reaching research in early childhood education is expanding the Faculty of Education and Arts' international footprint.

» Linda's research profile

Dr Narelle Eather


Narelle Eather believes encouraging children to be more active is easier than people think - it's all about giving them the right tools.

» Narelle's research profile

David Roy


David has extensive experience in education as a department head, advisor, author and speaker. He was a practising teacher for 17 years, working in the Primary and Secondary sector as a Creative Arts and Drama specialist and currently leads post graduate teacher education. He has and continues to lead  Professional Development on Quality Teaching, pedagogy and diverse learning needs.

» David's research profile

Mr Nick Riley


Nick Riley believes integrating physical activity into core school subjects can improve not only students' health but their behaviour and their academic performance.

» Nick's research profile

Associate Professor Ruth Reynolds


Facilitating the acquisition of globally relevant knowledge, beliefs and skills, Associate Professor Ruth Reynolds is seeking to refine the focus of Australian primary school education.

» Ruth's research profile

Dr Nisha Thapliyal


Dr Nisha Thapliyal believes that students, parents and communities should have the power to participate in education reform and redress inequalities in educational opportunity and quality.

» Nisha's research profile

Dr Robert Parkes


The work of Dr Robert Parkes sits at the intersection of history education and public history, underpinned by curriculum theory.

» Robert's research profile

Professor John Fischetti


Professor John Fischetti, Head of the School of Education, is focussing his research on finding what gives great teachers that magic touch – how to prepare them to help students really learn. His aim is to produce teachers who are well equipped for a new era in education.

» John's research profile

Dr Scott Imig


From marines to Masters' students, principals to preservice teachers, Dr Scott Imig is helping educators on both sides of the Pacific to engage in reflective practice and conversations about growth.

» Scott's research profile

Dr Adam Lloyd


Adam is a post-doctoral research fellow in the School of Education. His research to date has primarily been focused on identifying parenting practices/strategies to best prevent childhood obesity and better understand how parents influence their children’s lifestyle behaviours.

» Adam's research profile

Professor Geoff Whitty

Equity in Education

International league tables in tertiary education provide useful comparisons about rankings and research outputs – but how do universities perform when it comes to providing equal access?

» Geoff's research profile

Dr Rachel Buchanan

Equity in Education

Dr Rachel Buchanan works at uncovering and addressing the equity implications of the increased deployment of educational technologies in all levels of education.

» Rachel's research profile

Dr Erica Southgate

Equity in Higher Education

  Dr Erica Southgate explores the factors that create disadvantage in higher education and creates real world solutions to address them.

» Erica's research profile

Professor David Lubans

Human Movement And Sports Science

The University of Newcastle's (UON) Professor David Lubans is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow who is delivering a range of innovative school programs designed to upskill teachers in physical education and re-engage teens.

» David's research profile

Professor Philip Morgan

Human Movement And Sports Science

Professor Philip Morgan’s research program is tackling the obesity epidemic. His work focuses on the impact of school and community based interventions to prevent or treat obesity in child, adolescent and adult populations.

» Philip's research profile

Professor Ron Plotnikoff

Human Movement and Sports Science

Professor Ron Plotnikoff is Director of the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition which has an interdisciplinary approach to understanding physical activity and nutrition relating to population health strategies for chronic disease prevention, treatment and wellbeing.

» Ron's research profile

Dr Elena Prieto-Rodriguez

Mathematics Education

There has been a massive drop in the number of advanced mathematics students in the last decade, accompanied by poor results across all school years. Dr Elena Prieto-Rodriguez believes this has significant implications for Australia's ability to produce the next generation of engineers, physicists, chemists and software engineers – the innovators we need to skill Australia into the future.

» Elena's research profile

Dr Drew Miller

Physical Education

Mentoring using the familiar and effective mantra 'work hard, play hard,' Dr Drew Miller is seeking to promote and produce holistic, evidence-based physical education programs for children and adolescents across the country.

» Drew's research profile

Professor Michael Arthur-Kelly

Special Education

Professor Michael Arthur-Kelly's research focuses on the needs of individuals with multiple and severe disability. Communication intervention and behaviour support are two main strands of this research, informed by behaviour state assessment.

» Michael's research profile

Professor Jenny Gore

Teacher Education

Leading a new era of teacher education and professional development, pedagogy expert, Professor Jenny Gore, is building a world-class model of education excellence that helps support both teachers and students and is influencing government and educational bodies across Australia.

» Jenny's research profile

Our Education Research Centres, Groups and Journals

Priority Research Centres
Physical Activity and Nutrition

Physical Activity and Nutrition

The Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition investigates physical activity and nutrition for population health, with particular emphasis on education and health promotion strategies for chronic disease prevention, treatment and wellbeing.

Research Programs
Teachers & Teaching Research Centre

Teachers & Teaching Research Centre

The Teachers and Teaching Research Centre at the University of Newcastle, Australia, aims to achieve high quality research, training and knowledge translation in the development and testing of interventions and innovations that will be used and sustained in the practice of teaching and teacher development across a broad range of contexts.

Research Training and Transformational Knowledge

Research Training and Transformational Knowledge

Research Training and Transformational Knowledge research is focused on understanding the development of research and higher order problem solving skills.

Faculty Research Groups
Comparative and International Education

Comparative and International Education

Comparative and International Education Group University of Newcastle (CIEGUN) brings together a critical mass of established comparative researchers exploring global educational policies and alternatives for contemporary times.

Digital Identity, Curation and Education (DICE)

Digital Identity, Curation and Education (DICE)

Digital Identity, Curation and Education (DICE) is a network of scholars interested in digital identity, digital footprint, curation of online presence, and serious games for learning

Early Childhood Education and Care

Early Childhood Education and Care

Internationally, early childhood eduction research is a strong and flourishing endeavor. Politically, early childhood education and care has been the focus of significant new policy and provision developments.

Historical Experience | Representation | Media | Education | Society

Historical Experience | Representation | Media | Education | Society

Historical Experience, Representation, Media, Education, Society (HERMES) is an interdisciplinary research group based at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Its two main lines of research concern historical consciousness and history education.
University Centres
Study of Research Training and Impact - SORTI

Study of Research Training and Impact - SORTI

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.

Australian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology

Australian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology

The Australian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology (AJEDP) is a double blind peer reviewed online journal, publishing research and scholarly reports from the broad areas of educational and developmental psychology.

Education Sciences

Education Sciences

Education Sciences is a scholarly international open access journal. It publishes extended full-length research papers that have the scope to substantively address current issues in education.

  • The University of Newcastle Legal Centre is both a community legal service and a teaching facility for University of Newcastle law students.  The Legal Centre provides free advice and information to members of the community on a range of issues.
  • An initiative of the Legal Centre is the annual 'Law on the Beach', which is a free legal advice clinic staffed by University of Newcastle professional program students and Legal Centre lawyers.  Specifically directed to young people, it is run at Newcastle beach during January and February each year.
  • Launched in 1995 the Newcastle Law Review has seen an impressive variety of articles and notes published in more traditional categories of legal scholarship.  The Editorial Board comprises eminent judges, practitioners and legal academics from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Our leaders in business and law research

%globals_asset_name:19038Professor Bill Mitchell

Employment and Equity

Professor Bill Mitchell, a world-renowned expert on employment and equity, is the Director of the University’s Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE).  Established in 1998, CofFEE promotes research aimed at restoring full employment and achieving an economy that delivers equitable outcomes, particularly for the disadvantaged.

» Bill's research profile

%globals_asset_name:19058Professor Gordon Boyce

Business and international institutions

Professor Gordon Boyce is a recognised authority on institutional and organisational performance in an international context, with specific reference to systems that support organisational decision-making, negotiating, and inter-firm learning.  His research addresses a series of inter-related themes surrounding information theory and the economics of information.

» Gordon's research profile

%globals_asset_name:19200Professor Ted Wright


Professor Ted Wright holds the Belle Wiese Chair of Legal Ethics at the University of Newcastle.  He has undertaken research on behalf of the Law Council of Australia, the Attorney-General's departments of the Commonwealth, NSW, Queensland and Victoria, the Legal Aid Commission of NSW, the Queensland Criminal Justice Commission (now the Crime and Misconduct Commission), Queensland Legal Services Commissioner, Motor Accidents Authority of NSW, County Court of Victoria, and NRMA Insurance (now IAG).

» Ted's research profile

%globals_asset_name:19749Professor Alison Dean

Marketing management

Professor Alison Dean has two major areas of research interest.  The first is service marketing and management, which includes customer loyalty, consumer participation in service delivery, co-created value, and service quality. Her second area of research interest is pedagogy in business courses, with special emphasis on graduate attributes, and assessment.

»  Alison's research profile

%globals_asset_name:94357Professor Rebecca Mitchell

Organisational behaviour

Internationally-renowned organisational behaviour expert, Associate Professor Rebecca Mitchell is helping to form a new generation of interprofessional healthcare teams.

» Rebecca's research profile

%globals_asset_name:19763Dr Paul Docherty


Dr Paul Docherty’s research interests lie in empirical finance and capital markets, focusing primarily on asset pricing.  He collaborates extensively with academics from the University of Melbourne and is also undergoing research collaboration with an industry partner, Platypus Asset Management.

»  Paul's research profile

%globals_asset_name:21968Dr Patricia Johnson

Tourism and cultural studies

Dr Patricia Johnson’s research is interdisciplinary and lies within the areas of tourism studies and cultural studies.  She maintains an active and interdisciplinary research focus which draws from English literature, cultural studies, sociology, geography, anthropology, gender studies and tourism studies to engage concepts such as the emerging area of cosmopolitanism, liminality, the tourist gaze and cultural capital.

» Patricia's research profile

Our business and law centres and institutes

  • The University promotes and encourages quality indigenous research activities which link research outcomes to our teaching curricula through the Wollotuka Institute.
  • The Umulliko Indigenous Higher Education Centre endeavours to invigorate a new pathway of research and researching training that is nationally relevant and of significant importance to Indigenous Australians. In the language of the Awabakal people, Umulliko means 'to create, to make, to do' and this forms the primary focus of research and training for the Wollotuka Institute.

Our leaders in indigenous research

John-Maynard-2.jpgProfessor John Maynard

Indigenous History

Professor John Maynard's journey began with a desire to piece together a family history and has now seen him become one of the world's most prolific and respected voices on Indigenous history.

» John's research profile

Dennis.Foley@newcastle.edu.au-.jpgProfessor Dennis Foley

Indigenous Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

Professor Dennis Foley researches and teaches across numerous academic fields related to Indigenous Australians, directing his main research focus towards the discipline of Indigenous enterprise and entrepreneurship. He is a member of the Darug Tribal Aboriginal Corporation and Director of both the Mandurah Hunter Indigenous Business Chamber and the NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce.

»  Dennis' research profile

Victoria-Haskins-profile.jpgAssociate Professor Victoria Haskins

Indigenous History

Associate Professor Victoria Haskins is intrigued by domestic service practices and policies and their impact on race relations.  A Co-Director of PURAI, the Global Indigenous and Diaspora Research Studies Centre, she was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship in 2009 to conduct a transnational study of state intervention and Indigenous domestic service in Australia and the United States.

» Victoria's research profile

mark_lock_for-web.jpgDr Mark Lock

Indigenous Health

Dr Mark Lock was awarded the largest Discovery Indigenous grant by the Australian Research Council for research into Indigenous health in 2013. A descendant from the Waanguybuwan tribe in NSW, Dr Lock will conduct research into Indigenous health policy in order to improve national policy processes.

» Mark's research profile

Kym-Rae_Thumb.jpgDr Kym Rae

Indigenous Reproductive Health

Dr Kym Rae's research is aimed at reducing premature and low birth weight deliveries in Aboriginal communities. She is the program coordinator for both the Scientific research and ArtsHealth Gomeroi gaaynggal program, designed to improve the health outcomes of expectant Aboriginal mothers. Dr Rae is committed to developing research in partnership with Aboriginal people and providing ongoing capacity building opportunities for Aboriginal researchers.

» Kym's research profile

Our indigenous centres and institutes

Wollotuka InstituteThe Wollotuka Institute

Wollotuka is committed to the advancement and leadership of Indigenous education at a local, national and global level. It also continues to draw strength from culture, communities and past journeys.

Strong international reputation in research performance

Current rankings

At UON we consistently rank highly in the world-wide systems that measure our academic and research performance against the best universities.

The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2016-2017 list the best global universities based on core missions including teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. THE World University rankings utilises 13 performance indicators to measure performance on the 5 core missons – Teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

The 2016-17 Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE) ranks UON in the top 250 universities in the world.

See our media release which outlines UON's performance in the THE World University Rankings.

See the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The University of Newcastle (UON) continues to build its global reputation for being one of the world's most prestigious universities. In 50 years, our outstanding educators have achieved a long list of accolades and our world-class researchers are recognised internationally for their contribution to many fields of inquiry. Our remarkable students continue to impress with stories of success within the region and on the national and world stage.

UON has a proud history of achievement that has led to strong outcomes in international university rankings. Together and as individuals, we are among the world's best.

The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative is an evaluation of research quality in universities by the Australian government. It is administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and was conducted in 2010, 2012 and 2015.

The ERA assessment covers six years of research and judges research quality.

In 2015, the ERA assessment placed the University of Newcastle in the Top 8 universities for research that is 'well above world standard'. The UON achieved the highest possible '5' rating for 22 fields of research, an increase from 18 in 2012.

Visit our ERA data page for a better understanding of the assessment and a detailed view of our results.

Great locations and campus life

University of Newcastle has two main campuses. The largest, set on 140 hectare natural bushland site, is Callaghan, 12 kilometres from the city centre of Newcastle. The other main campus is located on picturesque 85 hectare site at Ourimbah on the Central Coast, halfway between Newcastle and Sydney. Our Newcastle City precinct comprises the Newcastle Business School, the Newcastle Legal Centre and the Conservatorium of Music.

The University has also recently secured $95m for the construction of a landmark education precinct in the Newcastle CBD. The NeW Space will position the University as an international leader in the provision of modern, high-tech education.

Join us at any time

Once you have an offer of admission, you are welcome to start your research degree on almost any weekday of the year.