HERDSA Grants Scheme

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HERDSA Grants Scheme 2021


Since 2020, HERDSA has been offering grants to HERDSA members to fund research and/or development projects on teaching and learning in higher education that directly align to the mission of HERDSA.

HERDSA works to:

  • Advance educational policy and practice in the higher education and tertiary sector,
  • Facilitate and promote the enhancement of teaching and learning,
  • Encourage and disseminate research on higher education and tertiary teaching, learning, development, research, leadership, and policy matters,
  • Recognise and reward outstanding contributions to higher and tertiary education,
  • Encourage collaboration and the development of professional communities in higher and tertiary education, and
  • Assist its members in their ongoing professional development.

Five (5) grants of AUD$5000 each are available. Priority for one grant is given to applicants identifying as Indigenous/First Nations (e.g., Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Māori, or Pacific Nations).


A total of 12 grant applications were received in this round. Following a rigorous review and assessment process, the HERDSA Executive in April this year approved six grants to the following HERDSA members:


Dr Christine Slade (Project Leader) University of Queensland, Dr Guy Curtis, University of Western Australia and Sheona Thomson, QUT.

Title of Project: Time poor, strategic or vulnerable? Understanding how and why students use online ‘buy, sell or trade’ file-sharing/tutoring services and the ethical impacts for tertiary institutions.

Project Focus: This project investigates how students use file-sharing ‘buy, sell or trade’ online services, and their motivation in undertaking these transactional practices.


Dr Prue Gonzalez (Project Leader) Charles Sturt University

Title of Project: Early Assessment Practices in First Year University

Project Focus: With the increasing diversity in the first-year cohort in universities globally, emphasis has been placed on using early low-stakes assessment tasks to transition students into academia and improve retention rates. This project will result in a Typology of Early Assessment Tasks and associated Principles of Good Practice.


Dr Elise Bone (Project Leader) The University of Melbourne

Title of Project: Disruption as a catalyst for change? Perceptions and approaches of teaching academics during COVID-19.

Project Focus: This project aims to examine the impact on teaching and learning of the COVID-19 pandemic at a large, research-intensive Australian university through analysing teaching staff perceptions of teaching and learning context, their responding approaches to curriculum design and relevant contextual factors.


Associate Professor Eva Heinrich (Project Leader) Massey University

Title of Project: The role of semi-formal online environments for student engagement

Project Focus: The focus of the research project is to understand why Discord ‘works’ for our students and how (if at all) this translates to the Teams environment. While the specific tools (Discord and Teams) play a role, the research focus is on the underlying characteristics and principles.


Dr Tracy Zhou (Project Leader) The University of Hong Kong

Title of Project: Engaging Faculty in Internationalization of the Curriculum in the Post-pandemic Era

Project Focus: The focus of this project is the curation and evaluation of existing resources and tools used by those who support faculty members and teaching teams to internationalize

curricula in Australia, but also in other parts of the world.


Professor Ruth Bridgstock (Project Leader) Griffith University

Title of Project: Leading the future of learning & teaching in higher education: Senior leadership perspectives on change

Project Focus: This research project seeks to explore the perspectives of senior leaders in universities with respect to navigating the current time of change and taking strategic action towards creating the future of higher education learning and teaching in Australia.


The call for HERDSA Grant applications was made in November 2020. Applications closed on 28th February 2021 and successful applicants were informed at the end of April 2021. The grant’s applicants have one year for projects to be undertaken and completed. Grant final reports are due in April 2022. Dissemination of project outcomes occur in, e.g., presentation at the annual HERDSA conference in July and publication in, e.g., HERDSA Connect, RDHE, the HERD journal or ASHRE journal. Successful grant recipients are usually announced at the annual HERDSA conference (June/July) and are listed on the HERDSA website.