National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network
(ARC SRI Grant)
Duration: January 2013 – December 2016
Recent reports confirm that important factors in retaining and attracting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders into higher degrees by research are the provision of sufficient academic support and social and cultural inclusion (Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People 2012, Universities Australia 2013, The Bradley Report 2008). The National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN) received a four year Australian Research Council (ARC) Special Initiative Grant (2013-2017) to address the urgent need to build research capability relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges and perspectives in Australian universities. NIRAKN is a national, inclusive, multidisciplinary hub and spokes model network committed to facilitating and establishing Indigenous-led research. NIRAKN’s research and capacity building activities are designed to contribute to attracting and retaining a new generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers.
What we did
As one of the collaborating universities, the University of Wollongong made a commitment to support NIRAKN for the period 2013-2016. UOW contributed a higher degree research scholarship and a financial contribution of $15,000 per year to support Indigenous research staff and students to participate in NIRAKN events over the four years of the grant. CHSD staff member Professor Kathleen Clapham is one of the three national health node convenors of NIRAKN and is responsible for the coordination of university-wide activities at the UOW. During 2014 Professor Clapham collaborated with the Faculty of Law, Arts and Humanities to co-host a university wide support group for UOW Indigenous higher degree research and honours students (Supporting Indigenous Research Scholarship), gave presentations on Indigenous research and ethics at various workshops and seminars, and assisted with the establishment of an Indigenous HDR scholarship and provision of financial support for Indigenous postgraduate research activities.
NIRAKN members, presenters, post graduates and guests at the 2014 NIRAKN Members meeting and workshops at the Gold Coast Hilton July 2014. Image courtesy of Adam Robinson.
The Management Committee at the launch of the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network, 15 July 2013. Image courtesy of Wayne Quilliam.