Research excellence

Our faculty is proud of its world-class research and the academics leading their fields in research and scholarship.

Our faculty has the highest number of active education researchers in New Zealand and the most researchers whose work has been rated as world-class and received national recognition (Latest Performance Based Research Fund Report, 2012).

Here are some of the ways in which our staff’s rich research has been recognised and celebrated.

Very distinguished awards in the research community:

Rutherford Discovery Fellowship (2018)

Professor Jay Marlowe was awarded a 2018 Royal Society Te Apārangi Rutherford Discovery Fellowship for research into refugee settlement entitled Dislocation in an age of connection: Mapping refugee settlement trajectories within an increasingly mobile world.

Working with international collaborators, Jay is mapping refugees’ social relationships, economic contributions and transnational livelihoods to extend theoretical understandings of how refugees build social connection, despite the specific limitations on mobility that they encounter. The findings will establish how settlement policy and practice can incorporate both local and transnational connections to support successful settlement outcomes in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Professor Melinda Webber

Royal Society Te Apārangi appointment (2018)

Professor Melinda Webber was elected as Councillor on the Royal Society Te Apārangi Council. The council has a governance role within the distinguished society.

Pacific research recognition (2017 and 2018)

The work of the Faculty of Education and Social Work’s Pacific staff has been boosted with the awarding of three national Ako Aotearoa Pacific Professional Development Fund scholarships for professional learning.

The 2018 scholarships went to: Dr Analosa Veukiso-Ulugia, Lecturer, Counselling, Human Services and Social Work; Jacoba Matapo, Lecturer, Critical Studies in Education; and Tim Baice, Pasifika Success Coordinator.

Scholarships in 2017 went to Dr Rae Si’ilata and Meripa Toso.

Best article in Journal of Teacher Education (2018)

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) awarded an article by Dr Claire Sinnema, Dr Frauke Meyer and Professor Graeme Aitken the 2018 AACTE Outstanding Journal of Teacher Education Article Award for their article, Capturing the Complex, Situated, and Active Nature of Teaching Through Inquiry-Oriented Standards for Teaching.

Fellowship for early childhood education and development (2017)

Professor Dr Marek Tesar, a senior lecturer based at the faculty’s School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice, received a prestigious fellowship from the American Educational Research Association and the Society for Research on Child Development in Early Childhood Education and Development.

He was one of 22 scholars from 160 nominations and the only scholar from outside the United States to receive the fellowship in 2017.

Fellow of Royal Society Te Apārangi (2017)

Emeritus Professor Viviane Robinson is a Distinguished Professor in the School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice, and the Academic Director of the Centre for Educational Leadership, which has delivered the national induction programme for new school leaders for the last 10 years. She was recognised as a Fellow of Royal Society Te Apārangi in 2017.

University of Auckland Research Excellence Awards

Professor Helen Sword’s citation at the University of Auckland Research Excellence Awards acknowledged her use of an impressive array of methodologies and her ability to challenge the conventions of academic writing in a way that exposes the myths that hinder research creativity and clear communication.  

Dr Ritesh Shah, Senior Lecturer in the School of Critical Studies in Education, was also awarded a University of Auckland Research Excellence Award investigating how education in conflict-affected areas can contribute to a more just, equitable and peaceful world. His scholarship has been utilised by a number of United Nations agencies and non-government organisations.

Rutherford Discovery Fellowship (2017)

Professor Dr Melinda Webber from Te Puna Wānanga/School of Māori and Indigenous Education, says her Rutherford Discovery Fellowship will fill a current knowledge gap by producing powerful narratives of iwi success, identity and thriving that are unique and inspirational. The prestigious fellowship provides Dr Webber up to $800,000 over five years to pursue her research. Her project will define and test models of success that put iwi role models/icons at the centre of that conceptualisation.

Royal Society recognition (2016)

Professor Stephen May, Te Puna Wānanga /School of Māori and Indigenous Education, has been named as one of the newest fellows elected by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

International leadership role (2016)

Professor Christine Rubie-Davies was appointed New Zealand Vice President for the International Federation of National Teaching Fellows (IFNTF). The IFNTF is a collective of teaching fellows recognised for their tertiary teaching excellence. The organisation aims to foster a collective knowledge of the best teaching practices for the global advancement of learning and teaching in higher education.

American Educational Research Association Fellow (2015)

In a rare achievement for a New Zealand researcher, Professor Stephen May from Te Puna Wānanga /School of Māori and Indigenous Education was selected to become a 2015 American Educational Research Association Fellow. Only three other New Zealanders, including Distinguished Professor Viviane Robinson (also in the faculty), are fellows of this association – the largest and most prestigious in the world.

Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (2011)

Internationally acclaimed Faculty of Education and Social Work academic Distinguished Professor Viviane Robinson was honoured as a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.