Western Australian Institute of Educational Research

The Fogarty Foundation is supporting the Western Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER) to provide an Annual Research Prize in a critical area of educational research.

A key activity of the Institute is the annual WAIER Forum which provides opportunities for research students and university lecturers to build networks and present their work. It is an important forum for education students, early career researchers and established researchers to receive feedback on their work in a friendly and collegial space and make connections across institutions.

The support from the Fogarty Foundation contributed to another successful Annual Research Forum. With over 100 participants in 2022 the Forum offers Professional and Postgraduate researchers in the education sector the chance to showcase their findings and celebrate their achievements.

In 2022, due to their equally high calibre submissions, Ashah Tanoa and Brett Heale were the dual winners
of the 2022 WAIER-Fogarty Foundation Postgraduate Student Research Prize. Ashah Tanoa is a Noongar woman from Perth, studying a Master of Education by Research at Murdoch University. Ashah also works as an associate lecturer at the Kulbardi Aboriginal centre at Murdoch University. Ashah’s research project focuses on Indigenous students’ university experiences, looking at why Aboriginal people leave university before attaining a degree. Ashah will conduct yarning circles with Aboriginal university students, past and presently enrolled, to hear their stories and gain an understanding of the factors that cause Aboriginal students to depart early. The Fogarty prize has enabled Ashah to be able to remunerate the research participants for their time,
knowledge, and contribution to the project.

Brett Healey is a teacher and researcher specialising in children’s writing. His doctoral research project examines the discourse children use to talk about their writing and how adopting embodied cognition as a form of dialogic talk can support students in understanding how grammar shapes meaning in their stories.

“Brett’s international teaching experience coupled with his strong focus on teacher 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,”

WAIER Judge 2022 Fogarty Foundation WAIER Prize recipient

Past Winners


Jane Kirkham, a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia (UWA). Jane is researching motivational factors that underlie gendered decision-making about mathematics courses in senior secondary school students. Given that the study of mathematics has been identified as an ‘enabling discipline’ that predicts STEM aspirations and career paths, a main aim of this research is to provide an understanding of the mechanisms that influence mathematics choice decisions of Year 10 students, and to illuminate gender biases in preferences for mathematics courses.

This prize money will fund attendance at the Network Gender & STEM Conference at Universität der Bundeswehr München in July 2022 entitled, Sticking with STEM: Who comes, who stays, who goes, and why? This will provide a valuable opportunity for Jane to discuss her findings with others from the international community investigating personal and contextual influences on participation in education courses and careers in STEM.


The inaugural Fogarty supported grant was awarded to Dr Donna Barwood of ECU towards her research Understanding and challenging the dominant discourse in Health and Physical Education at Edith Cowan University

Felicity Roux, winner of the 2020 Fogarty WAIER Award, also won the Curtin Innovation Award for Teaching and Learning. Felicity won this award for founding My Vital Cycles, a school-based ovulatory-menstrual health literacy program centred on the whole person.

For more information about the Annual Research Grant visit the WAIER website.

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