Our team and programs

The Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE) is an Australian and international assessment research leader in an increasingly digitally connected world.

Our team consists of academics with wide-ranging research interests and expertise in the areas of assessment in higher education. We're complemented by a competitive fellowship program, local and international visiting academics, honorary appointments, and doctoral students.

CRADLE Fellowship Scheme

Apply for a 2023 CRADLE Fellowship today! Applications close Wednesday 1 March at 5pm.

CRADLE has established a designated fellowship scheme for academic staff interested in the Centre's research program. If you’re a Deakin academic staff member interested in researching assessment and/or digital learning in higher education, don’t miss this opportunity to undertake up to 18 months’ research with the support and mentorship of our leading higher education researchers.

We welcome applications from postdoctoral researchers at every career stage, from early career to senior scholars. To apply, you must be a current Deakin staff member on a continuing or fixed-term position as an academic staff member with more than two years remaining on your contract.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate the relevance of their proposed research to CRADLE’s current research activities and our current programs of research.

CRADLE Fellowships offer funding of $15,000 to support each Fellow’s collaborative research program for research activities, and in some instances, to buy out teaching time.

Apply now


The objectives of the CRADLE Fellowship Scheme are to attract internal applicants to:

  • foster the development of relevant research expertise
  • enhance CRADLE’s research capacity and performance
  • support excellent practice in assessment and digital learning at Deakin
  • promote research collaboration between CRADLE and its fellows.

Fellows are given access to our researchers and facilities at Deakin Downtown, and are financially supported to develop both their individual and faculty's research profile. For example, the funding can be utilised for:

  • direct costs associated with research, such as salaries of research assistants
  • research dissemination at national or international conferences
  • professional development, such as methodological training.

Benefits of the CRADLE Fellowship Scheme include:

  • becoming widely recognised within Australia and worldwide as part of an international research centre in assessment and digital learning in higher education
  • interacting with eminent researchers from overseas, with opportunities for collective research partnerships
  • mentoring and financial support for research.

For further information email CRADLE.

CRADLE Fellowship Guidelines (PDF, 126KB)

CRADLE Fellowship FAQs (PDF, 133KB)

Applying for a fellowship

Types of applicants
The scheme is only available to individual applicants on a continuing or fixed-term position at Deakin as an academic staff member with more than two years remaining on their contract. In relation to prospective applicants who have a fractional appointment, approval from a direct manager to spend an equivalent of one day per week on the fellowship is required.

We welcome applications from educational research novices, however, a successful fellowship requires substantial engagement with the literature in assessment/feedback in higher education. Demonstrating this is critical to the success of the application and prior publication is one of the ways that can demonstrate an understanding of this type of literature.

The fellowship is awarded to individuals with the purpose of the fellowship to build an individual’s education research capacity in assessment. If successful, the monies may be used to fund a team research project(s).

Applicants are not permitted to apply for the fellowship more than once every 12 months.

Focus of the scheme
This fellowship is about educational research, not educational practice. If an application concerns introducing a new assessment design into a teaching program, this is generally not the type of application we find to be successful as it does not align with the focus of this scheme. Research using an assessment tool an applicant has developed is within scope.

Project research themes
Our three broad and intersecting research themes are:

  • assessing for learning
  • learning in a digital world
  • learning through, and for, work.

Our current programs of research are:

  • The digital world and its impact on learning and teaching
  • Feedback and feedback practices
  • Learning in and for the workplace
  • Evaluative judgement
  • Assessment security and academic integrity
  • Inclusion and belonging in a digital world
  • Representation in and beyond assessment.

We are best able to support fellows in one of these programs, however a strong research proposal on a related area, with demonstrated capacity in educational research, is also acceptable.

Types of proposals
We are interested in an idea or concept that:

  • addresses a particular problem
  • is based on a gap in the literature
  • draws from a conceptual/theoretical framework
  • demonstrates a broad understanding of the relevant higher education literature
  • extends the conversation within the education community (i.e. beyond your local context).

Expected involvement from fellows
We expect fellows to participate in CRADLE’s research community, including working with the team at Deakin Downtown. This type of scholarly exchange is designed to enhance both the fellows and CRADLE staff through collaboration.

CRADLE's involvement
CRADLE staff will work with you in a mentorship role. Each fellow is assigned a CRADLE academic partner to work with. The aim of the fellowship is to assist educational researchers to develop their capacities and outputs as researchers. If projects align closely with CRADLE staff research and with consultation with individual staff members they may be research partners and/or grant co-applicants in future projects.

How to apply
Please complete the CRADLE Fellowship Scheme application form. Applications close at 5pm on Wednesday 1 March 2023.

Fellowship appointments

Professor Emerita Beverley Oliver
Honorary CRADLE Fellow 
Dr Kate Anderson
School of Health & Social Development, Faculty of Health
Dr Jaclyn Broadbent
School of Psychology, Faculty of Health 

Dr Ros Black
School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Education

Dr Matthew Dunn
School of Health and Social Development, Faculty of Health 
Dr M. Reza Hosseini
School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment
Dr Shane McIver
School of Health and Social Development, Faculty of Health
Dr Fiona McKay
School of Health and Social Development, Faculty of Health
Dr Bryony McNeill
School of Medicine, Faculty of Health
Associate Professor Darren Palmer
School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Education
Dr Jonathan Robertson
Deakin Business School, Faculty of Business and Law
Associate Professor Wendy Sutherland-Smith
School of Psychology, Faculty of Health

Dr Kelli Nicola-Richmond
School of Health and Social Development, Faculty of Health

Dr Jemma Skeat
School of Medicine, Faculty of Health


CRADLE Co-Directors
Alfred Deakin Professor David Boud

Professor Phillip Dawson

Professor, Research
Professor Margaret Bearman

Associate Professor, Educational Research
Associate Professor Rola Ajjawi

Associate Professor, Educational Research (secondment)
Associate Professor Jaclyn Broadbent

Senior Research Fellow
Dr Joanna Tai

Senior Lecturer, Learning Futures
Dr Mollie Dollinger

Research Manager
Dr Helen Walker

Associate Research Fellow
Kevin Dullaghan

Honorary appointments

Honorary appointments facilitate our local and international partnerships and strengthen our program of collaborative research in assessment and digital learning.

Our appointees are selected based on their ability to contribute positively to our objectives, values and culture, and work collaboratively with our researchers to expand and facilitate our research both nationally and internationally. Honorary appointments recognise an extensive contribution to research and professional leadership in assessment and digital learning

Honorary Professor: Dr Gordon Joughin

Dr Gordon Joughin joined CRADLE as an Honorary Professor in June 2016. He is a higher education consultant working with CRADLE on decision-making in assessment.

In April, Dr Joughin delivered a seminar on assessment design as part of the CRADLE Seminar Series. He was also an integral member of the CRADLE International Symposium in October 2016.

Dr Joughin is a former Director of the Teaching and Educational Development Institute (TEDI) at the University of Queensland. He has published extensively on assessment and learning in higher education, including editing Assessment, Learning and Judgement (Springer, 2009)His current research considers decision-making theory in assessment design and the nature of spoken work in oral assessment.

Dr Joughin also completed a 12-month consultancy with CRADLE between June 2015–May 2016, producing collaborative research papers that have recently been published.

Honorary Professor: Professor David Carless

Professor David Carless was appointed CRADLE Honorary Professor in March 2016. He is Professor of Educational Assessment and Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) in the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong. 

Professor Carless recently participated in the CRADLE International Symposium in October 2016 both as a presenter and Panel Member, and continues to work on collaborative research activities with CRADLE researchers.

A decorated teacher and researcher, Professor Carless has authored and co-edited several books. He has also published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles. His current research explores learning-oriented assessment in higher education; productive assessment task design; using exemplars to illustrate the nature of quality work; and promoting student engagement with feedback. He currently sits on the editorial boards of five journals, including two SSCI journals: Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education and Innovations in Education and Teaching International.

Honorary Professor: Associate Professor Ernesto Panadero

An outstanding researcher, Associate Professor Ernesto Panadero was CRADLE's first Honorary Professor, appointed in January 2016. He was hosted under the Visiting Academics program in September and October of 2016 resulting in substantial collaborative output activity. Associate Professor Panadero also participated in the CRADLE International Symposium in October 2016 both as a presenter and Panel Member.

Associate Professor Panadero is funded at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid through the Ramón y Cajal Excellence Program for Research – a national program more competitive than an ARC DECRA.

Associate Professor Panadero has an excellent publication record, including well-regarded English and Spanish journals, book chapters, and international conference papers. He has undertaken funded stays at a broad range of international institutions, including the University of Missouri (US), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), the University of Vienna (Austria), and Kristianstad University (Sweden). He is also the convenor of the Special Interest Group 1 of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI), which is the major international research association for assessment.

Associate Professor Panadero's research interests include:

  • Assessment – classroom assessment, formative assessment, and assessment for learning.
  • Self-assessment – cognitive, motivational, and emotional aspects.
  • Peer assessment – accuracy and interpersonal variables.
  • Self-regulated and socially shared regulated learning – collaborative learning and CSCL.

Honorary Professor: Professor Sue Bennett

Professor Sue Bennett was appointed as a CRADLE Honorary Professor in June 2018. She is the Head of the University of Wollongong's School of Education.

Professor Bennett has participated in two CRADLE international symposia, in 2016 and 2017, as both a panel member and presenter. She continues to work on collaborative research activities with CRADLE researchers, including the Stories of Failure and Persistence in Higher Education project with Dr Rola Ajjawi and Professor David Boud.

An internationally recognised researcher, Professor Bennett has published over 100 refereed journal articles, conference papers and scholarly book chapters. Her research investigates how people engage with technology in their everyday lives and in educational settings. Professor Bennett's current research interests include: learning design for supporting teachers' educational design practices; sociological perspectives on educational technology, investigating young people's creative practices with technology; and functional brain imaging and multimedia based problem solving.

Honorary Associate Professor: Associate Professor Naomi Winstone

Associate Professor Naomi Winstone was appointed Honorary Associate Professor in February 2020. She is Head of the Department of Higher Education and Director of the Surrey Assessment and Learning Lab at the University of Surrey.

Associate Professor Winstone has taken part in two CRADLE international symposia, in 2018 and 2019, as both a presenter and panel member. She continues to collaborate on projects and research opportunities with CRADLE researchers.

Associate Professor Winstone is a cognitive psychologist specialising in learning behaviour and engagement with education research. Her research focuses on the processing and implementation of feedback, educational transitions, and educational identities.

Honorary Research Fellow: Dr Edd Pitt

Dr Edd Pitt was appointed Honorary Research Fellow in March 2018. He is Programme Director for the Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and Senior Lecturer in Higher Education and Academic Practice in the Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Kent.

Dr Pitt has participated in two CRADLE international symposia, in 2016 and 2017, as both a presenter and panel member. He delivered a seminar on the effects of emotional backwash in feedback situations as part of CRADLE’s Seminar Series, and continues to work on collaborative research activities with CRADLE researchers.

Dr Pitt’s principle research field is assessment and feedback, with a particular focus on students’ emotional processing during feedback situations. His research outcomes include peer-reviewed journal articles, international conference papers, and book chapters.

Honorary Research Fellow: Dr Jiming Zhou

Dr Jiming Zhou was appointed Honorary Research Fellow in November 2019. She is a senior lecturer at Fudan University, China, and holds a PhD in education from the University of Hong Kong.

During her year-long stay at CRADLE, Dr Zhou delivered a seminar on Chinese international students’ first year experiences in Australian universities. Her research activities while at CRADLE have already resulted in several publications, and she continues to work on collaborative research activities with CRADLE researchers.

Dr Zhou’s current research interests include assessment and learning, educational innovation, and students’ school-university transition.

Honorary Research Fellow: Dr Juuso Henrik Nieminen

Dr Juuso Henrik Nieminen was appointed Honorary Research Fellow in May 2022. He is Assistant Professor at the Academic Unit of Social Contexts and Policies of Education (SCAPE), University of Hong Kong.

Dr Nieminen has participated in two CRADLE symposia, in 2020 and 2021, as a presenter. In 2019 he delivered a seminar for the CRADLE Seminar Series on self-assessment as an innovative disruptive practice. Currently, Dr Nieminen is working on multiple collaborative research activities with the CRADLE team.

Dr Nieminen’s research focuses on student experiences of assessment and feedback, student formation and positioning through assessment and inclusive assessment.

Find out more about Dr Nieminen’s research.

Visiting academics


Anne Line Wittek
University of Oslo


Jiming Zhou
Fudan University

Gordon Joughin

Emma Watton
Lancaster University

Jack Walton
Griffith University

Karen Olave Encina
University of Queensland

Joanne Dargusch

Kate Thomson
University of Sydney

Peter Goodyear
University of Sydney

Naomi Winstone
University of Surrey

Anastasiya Lipnevich
City University of New York


Sue Bennett
University of Woollongong

Lynn Monrouxe
Chang Gung Medical Education Research Centre

Merolee Penman
University of Sydney

Lara Varpio 
Uniformed Services University

Christopher J. Watling
Western University

Jiming Zhou
Fudan University

Yan Zi
Education University of Hong Kong


Sue Bennett
University of Woollongong

Christine Broughan
Coventry University

Christopher Deneen
Nanyang Technological University

Rachelle Esterhazy
University of Oslo

Dragan Gašević 
University of Edinburgh

Yoon Jeon (YJ) Kim
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Rose Luckin
University College London

Adelardo Pardo 
University of Sydney

Edd Pitt
University of Kent

Kate Thomson 
University of Sydney

Jessica To
University of Hong Kong

Qiyun (Judy) Zhu
Guangdong University of Foreign Studies


David Carless
University of Hong Kong

Peter Goodyear
University of Sydney

Gordon Joughin
CRADLE Honorary Professor

Ernesto Panadero
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid