FASS Research Mentoring Award Winners 2012
By Kate Mayor
7 November, 2012
The generosity and dedication of two Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences academics, Associate Professor Ariadne Vromen and Professor Glenda Sluga, has been recognised with the first FASS Research Mentoring Award 2012.
The inaugural accolade was awarded to the two scholars for their continued commitment to peer mentoring and ongoing assistance to their colleagues' research. It celebrates the collegiality of the faculty's research community by honouring outstanding academics who have demonstrably fostered the career development of young researchers and new scholars.
Professor Margaret Harris, Director of Research Development - Humanities and Creative Arts, acknowledges that the current research environment is a challenging one.
"It is easy to lament that all you need is time to get on with your research," says Professor Harris.
"The issue really is how to make best use of research opportunities."
Professor Harris believes that securing research funding and developing quality publications is not always easy, and mentoring can play a valuable role in this process.
"Research mentoring, both formal and informal, by senior scholars and by peers, can assist colleagues to make informed decisions", she says.
Criteria for the prize included the mentors' offering sound counsel and information to promote their mentee's professional success, sharing their time and expertise to critique their mentee's work, and helping to welcome new scholars into an engaged community of researchers within the faculty.
Other measures for the award included involving peers in grants and conferences, sharing opportunities, expounding the value of the mentee's research and serving as role models of research excellence.
Associate Professor Jennifer Milam, Pro Dean Research, describes these new awards as an important first step in formally acknowledging the significance of mentoring to the Faculty's research culture.
"Over the past several years, the Faculty has launched a number of structured mentoring programs to complement the range of mentoring activities that occur at the individual, Departmental and School levels," says Associate Professor Milam. "These awards recognise the admirable commitment of two of our top researchers to peer mentoring in a variety of forms."
Professor Glenda Sluga, from the Department of History, has previously been awarded the Max Crawford Medal by the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2002. She was also appointed in 2006 as a member of the International Scientific Committee for the History of UNESCO, and in 2009 was elected to the Australian Academy of the Humanities.
Her nominators spoke of 'her legendary dedication to mentoring junior scholars', and her ability to draw on her extensive international and national networks to organise symposia and conferences, involving colleagues at all levels in these research events.
Associate Professor Ariadne Vromen, from the Department of Government and International Relations, has also previously been credited for her contributions to education excellence as recipient of the 2009 Vice Chancellor's award for Outstanding Teaching.
Associate Professor Vromen was enthusiastically supported by her colleagues, being described as 'an inspiring, yet humble and selfless scholar' and as a 'key' "go to" figure' for guidance of all kinds of research matters.
Professor Harris is delighted that Professor Sluga and Associate Professor Vromen were chosen to receive this accolade.
"Both recipients of the inaugural FASS Research Mentoring Awards have been generous in providing advice and creating opportunities for their peers."
"Congratulations to these colleagues, who in their different ways enable excellence in others."
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