2022 WAIER Fogarty Foundation Postgraduate Student Research Prize

August 17, 2022

Congratulations Ashah Tanoa and Brett Healey, dual winners of the 2022 WAIER-Fogarty Foundation Postgraduate Student Research Prize.

The Fogarty Foundation partner with the Western Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER) to offer a postgraduate student research prize of $5000. The aim of the prize is to support educational researchers studying at an approved higher education institute who are conducting research directly relevant to early childhood, primary, secondary or tertiary education. 

Ashah Tanoa’s project,“Let’s yarn about uni”: Conversations around the Indigenous student university experience, includes two studies on conceptualising and supporting Indigenous student success. In the first study, Ashah will describe an innovative undergraduate enabling unit that offers academic coaching to Indigenous students, where students value relational support and accountability. For the second study, Ashah will present a research proposal on an appreciative inquiry study that will capture lived experiences of Indigenous students who left in their first year of university. The study will collect data through yarning with previously enrolled Indigenous students: those who left within their first year and those who continued studying. 

“We were especially impressed with Ashah’s focus on First Nations students’ experiences in higher education and her focus on using the money to further develop her research and data collection in this important project,” the judges commented. 

Brett Healey is a teacher and researcher specialising in children’s writing. His doctoral research project, A cognitive stylistics approach to grammar for writing in teacher-student writing conferences, aims to develop a set of concepts to help primary school students understand the link between the way they visualise narrative scenes and the grammar that helps them write it. Specifically, the research is focused around dialogue between teacher and student. Dialogue centred on a student’s writing – known as a writing conference – helps teachers enter the world of the student’s narrative, and from here they can teach explicit modes of imagination which translate into grammatical choices.

“Brett’s international teaching experience coupled with his strong focus on teaching narratives indicates yet another much-needed area of research in education. His work signals a return to teacher-as-facilitator and guide in how students develop their work as writers and are supported in making meaning with language,” the judges commented. 

Congratulations Ashah and Brett – we at the Foundation – look forward to seeing the results of your research projects. 

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