2019 ACEN Research Grants

Early Career Research Grants

Grants of $5,000 have been awarded to the following:

‘Supporting professional development and patient safety through online clinical supervision during (WIL) placements’

Project Leads: Dr Lyn Ebert and Dr Eileen Dowse, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle

Midwifery students spend a minimum of 1400 hours undertaking allocated and on call WIL experiences, often working with vulnerable women and sensitive issues. The complexities of midwifery WIL make support through clinical supervision difficult to implement effectively.

This project aims to address the difficulties in providing timely and effective clinical supervision through an online mode.

“Stories of success”: Inclusive work-integrated learning (WIL) practices that support diverse learners

Project Lead: Jacqueline Mackaway, Macquarie University

This project showcases evidence informed “Stories of Success” which illustrate to students, WIL practitioners and workplace supervisors conditions and models for work-integrated learning (WIL) building capacity to promote and enable diverse learner access to WIL and the potential benefits it offers.

Research Grants

Grants of $10,000 have been awarded to the following:

‘Virtual reality experiences that facilitate workplace acculturation for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) students in professional placements’

Project Leads: Dr Stacie Attrill, Associate Professor Chris Barr, Dr. Brett Wilkinson and Mrs. Leeanne Pront, Flinders University 

Virtual reality presents an opportunity for CALD students to commence acculturative adjustments for diverse workplaces prior to commencing professional placements. This project will develop prototype virtual reality experiences that enable CALD students to identify and interact with common workplace features, roles and processes to facilitate adjustment and learning for placements.

 ‘Virtual WIL: Technology-enabled WIL placements and projects’

Project Leads: Dr Harsh Suri and Ms Friederika Kaider, Deakin University  

The Virtual WIL project aims to provide educators with a conceptual framework and practical guidelines for developing online WIL placements and projects to increase student access to WIL. This framework, guidelines, case studies, and a sample of digital technologies is aimed at providing practical strategies for maximising the opportunities and overcoming challenges involved in implementing WIL utilising online platforms.

‘Establishing an online community-of-practice model: Supporting students’ development of learner agency and professional identity during work placements’

Project Leads: Dr Kim Dang and Dr Minh Hue Nguyen, Monash University and Professor Angela Carbone, PhD, Swinburne University of Technology and Associate Professor Mohan Yellishetty, PhD, Monash University.

Placements are crucial WIL components where students engage in real work environments and develop their professional identity. Students, however, are commonly placed individually, whilst facing multiple challenges to optimal learning. This project examines how engagement in an online community-of-practice model supports students in exercising their agency and developing professional identity during work placements.

2019 Applications

Applications closed 5pm AEST on May 2

In 2019 ACEN is offering funding for three Work Integrated Learning (WIL) research grants up to $10,000 each and two grants of $5,000 for Early Career Researchers.*

*To be eligible for an Early Career Researcher (ECR) grant the project must be led by an ECR. An ECR is an emerging researcher who is at an early stage of their academic career. Researchers may be eligible to apply if they have been awarded a PhD within 8 years. The grants are open to both academic and professional staff.

Applications are invited on topics related to one of the following themes identified through National WIL Strategy and the 2018 ACEN National Research Symposium.
• Innovative and scalable WIL models
• WIL and global mobility
• Leadership in WIL
• Digital technology enabling WIL
• Building learner agency and professional identity through WIL
• WIL practices supporting diverse learners

Scheme Objectives

The grants are intended to:
• build the capacity of ACEN members including early career researchers and higher degree research students to undertake research into WIL
• promote and support scholarship in WIL
• develop effective mechanisms for identifying, developing, disseminating and embedding research-based practice in WIL programs
• leverage opportunities for collaboration in WIL research and the sharing of WIL resources.

Funding and Reporting Requirements

These research grants are valued at a maximum of $10,000 plus GST for each full Research Grant and $5,000 plus GST for ECR grants. The projects should be completed within a twelve-month period. Funding will be paid at the commencement of the project on provision of an invoice from the institution. Any unspent funds must be returned to ACEN at the end of the project.
At the conclusion of the project successful applicants will be required to complete a project report which will be published to the ACEN website and to submit a statutory declaration detailing how funds were spent.
• The grants are available to professional or academic staff of institutions with ACEN Full Institutional Membership.
• The grants are not available to members of the ACEN Board.
• Applications that include industry or community organization partners are encouraged.

Application Requirements

The application must be provided as a Word document and not exceed five pages and may be addressed to the ‘ACEN Research Chair’.
Areas that must be addressed in the application are:

  1. Whether you are applying for a full Research Grant of $10,000 or an Early Career Researchers Grant of $5,000
  2. Title of Project
  3. Identification of the relevant theme to the project (see above)
  4. Brief description of project for communication to WIL Community (around 50 words)
  5. Project Lead/s contact details and short relevant bio (100 words max). Note applications for ECR research grants must be led by an ECR.
  6. Names of other people, institutions and organisations (if applicable) involved in the project
  7. How the project is consistent with vision, mission and aims of ACEN and how it will build on existing research and scholarship in work integrated learning
  8. Aims of the project
  9. Expected Outcomes
  10. Research methodology
  11. Impact of the project and significance to higher education (for example: expected impact on stakeholders, future practice and policy)
  12. Dissemination plan
  13. Overview of project phases and timeline
  14. Project budget
  15. If projects involve creating a website, the project must make clear how the website is to be maintained for up to five years.

Examples of allowable budget expenses include personnel plus on-costs (clerical support, student assistance, etc.), postage, printing, photocopying, travel for conference presentation, telephone and fax costs, and office supplies. Items must be directly related to achieving the research project.

Examples of non-allowable budget expenses include salary for the applicant, indirect institutional expenses, institutional overheads, permanent equipment and capital purchases.

A letter of endorsement from the first named project lead’s line manager must accompany the application. This endorsement indicates support for the project and a willingness to provide time for the project to be undertaken. The letter of endorsement should be attached to the same email as the application.

It is the responsibility of the Project Lead to:
• arrange ethics approval
• involve other ACEN members in the process, especially early career researchers, where possible
• meet negotiated timelines and ACEN reporting deadlines
• present on findings at an ACEN event including webinars
• leverage dissemination opportunities to share good practice including a refereed publication
• ensure that any resources developed through the project are designed with a view that these are made available for use by the ACEN community and where appropriate a Creative Commons License such as Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International is applied to these resources
• any publications and resources developed through the project should acknowledge the contribution of ACEN to the project
• provide details of the refereed publication (when available) to ACEN National Board for dissemination.

Selection Process

The project proposals will be assessed using the following criteria:
• significance to one or more of the research grant themes
• quality of the design
• potential impact and transferability of project outcomes
• capacity of the project to deliver proposed outcomes
• involvement of early career researchers (this will be viewed favourably for projects applying for full research grants)

Closing date

Applications must be sent to admin@acen.edu.au by 5pm AEST on Thursday May 2, 2019



2019 Information session

A briefing session was held on April 4 and the recording of this session and the slides used in the presentation are provided.