Drama Australia Research Award – Distinguished research thesis

This Christine Sinclair Research Award honours exceptional scholars.

Drama Australia has named this award after the late Dr Christine Sinclair (d. 2020) to honour her exceptional contribution to the Drama education community supporting emerging scholars in our field, serving on the Drama Victoria Committee as Vice-President and on the Drama Australia Board as Director of Publications and editor of NJ.

2020 Drama Australia Research Award winner

Dr John Nicholas Saunders

Dr Saunders’ PhD thesis title: Dramatic Interventions: A multi-site case study analysis of student outcomes in the School Drama program,

Distinguished features of Dr Saunders’ thesis:

• The thesis is a substantive original contribution to knowledge in drama education.

• The findings are among the most important and persuasive in providing a reliable evidence-base for processual drama pedagogy.

• The thesis provides evidence for the advocacy of essential policy change in education and schools, giving ample weight to the writer’s assertion that drama and drama pedagogy ought to be at the core of today’s curriculum.

Dr Saunders was nominated by one of his PhD supervisors: Professor Emerita Robyn Ewing AM from The University of Sydney who is a member of Drama New South Wales.

2020 Drama Australia Research Award finalist

Dr Jennifer Wong

Dr Wong’s PhD thesis title: Playbuilding: Considering Identities, Agency and Self-Efficacy.

Distinguished features of Dr Wong’s thesis:

• This thesis provides a comprehensive investigation of the topic.

• Research findings are significant to the field and accompanied by quality interpretation.

• This research has the potential for national and international impact.

Dr Wong was nominated by one of her PhD supervisors: Associate Professor Madonna Stinson from Griffith University who is a member of Drama Queensland.

Research Award nominations

Eligibility for the Drama Australia Research Award nominations are open to members of Drama Australia either as the nominee (research degree graduate), or the nominator (thesis supervisor).

Nomination due dates for the 2022 Award will be announced shortly.

For more information contact Mary Mooney, Director of Research: m.mooney@westernsydney.edu.au

Research Award criteria

1. The thesis constitutes a substantive original contribution to knowledge in one or more of the following areas: drama education; or, applied theatre; or theatre for young audiences

2. The thesis provides a high-quality critical appraisal of the relevant literature.

3. The research methods are relevant to the research questions, appropriate to the field and clearly justified and applied.

4. The thesis is of a high quality and provides a critical and comprehensive investigation of the topic.

5. Research findings are significant to the field, clearly demonstrated and accompanied by a high-quality interpretation.

6. Conclusions and implications are appropriately developed so that the research has the potential for national/international impact.

Research Award Review Panel

The blind thesis review and Award selection process necessitates strict confidentiality from the Review Panel to ensure that only they are cognisant of the Award’s longlist, shortlist and winner recommendations.

Research Award Review Panellists 2020:

• Adjunct Professor Mary Mooney, Western Sydney University, NSW.

• Dr Christina Gray, Edith Cowen University, WA.

• Professor John O’Toole AM, University of Melbourne, VIC & Griffith University, QLD