The Melbourne Social Equity Institute brings together researchers to address disadvantage across social life, including health, education, housing and work.
- February 2018
Poverty and income inequality conference
- All Being Equal
Conversations about social equity
- Persons with disabilities: Cure or accommodate?November 30Audio
- From surviving to thriving: Inclusive work and economic security for refugees and people seeking asylumDecember 7Event
The Melbourne Social Equity Institute (MSEI) supports interdisciplinary research on social equity issues across the full spectrum of social life including health, law, education, housing, work and transport. We bring together researchers from across the University of Melbourne to identify unjust or unfair practices that lead to social inequity and work towards finding ways to ameliorate disadvantage. From 2013-15, research was aligned to four themes: Social Policy Across the Life Course, Human Rights, Citizenship and Diversity and Place Matters.
Since 2016 three priority areas of inequity have been identified and will guide future research. They are detailed below.
MSEI prioritises rights-based and interdisciplinary research, involving partners from the community and giving those with a lived experience of disadvantage voice in the focus, design and outcomes of research. Interdisciplinary research means drawing on the strengths of each of our university’s faculties in order to better solve complex problems of disadvantage. Involving community partners ensures that research is relevant to those outside the academy.
As part of the commitment to interdisciplinarity, MSEI seeks to identify and support communities of academics who research similar areas of inequity. The Disability Research Initiative (DRI) was founded following an MSEI-led forum for disability rights researchers and continues to be a close partner in research and training activities. The Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence Against Women and their Children (MAEVe) recognises the leadership of University of Melbourne academics in this field and is supported as one of MSEI's key research programs.
MSEI continues to be closely involved with research communities including the Ageing Research Initiative, the Children's Lives Hallmark Initiative and the Melbourne Refugee Studies Program . It is also the venue for monthly Researchers for Asylum Seekers meetings and convenes a network of gender equity researchers.
Housing & Equitable Development
As our cities expand, we must ensure that everybody can access adequate shelter and resources.Read more
Poverty and income inequality
This research program will focus on the factors leading to poverty and the role of policy in addressing these causes.Read more
Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Resettlement of refugees and asylum seekers is essential to ensure a humane and equitable future.Read more
|Interdisciplinary seed-funding (MSEI)||Not running in 2016|
|Interdisciplinary seed-funding (MAEVe)||
Expressions of interest: April 4 - April 29 2016 |
Invited presentations: May 20 2016
|Interdisciplinary seed-funding (DRI)||May 6 2016 - June 17 2016|
|Post-doctoral award||To be confirmed 2016|
|Community fellowships||2016 fellowships allocated|
|Doctoral academy fund||
Round 1 opens May 16, closes June 24|
Round 2 opens August 15, closes September 16
|Australian Postgraduate Awards||2016 scholarships allocated|
|Travel fund (Habitat III, Quito, October 2016)||Applications due May 27 2016|
Through each of our research programs is a commitment to community-led and -engaged research. The key feature of community engaged research is a high level of community decision-making about the purpose, design, conduct and use of research. It moves beyond seeing members of communities as research ‘subjects’ to enabling them to drive the research agendas that concern them.
Wherever possible, those with lived experience of the research issue being addressed will advise and co-design MSEI-supported interdisciplinary research projects.
A/Prof Deborah Warr leads MSEI's community research efforts.
To support members of community organisations to conduct research at the University of Melbourne, in 2016 the MSEI is piloting a community fellows program. This program aims to provide institutional and academic guidance, as well as the resources necessary for organisations to undertake small-scale projects.
The Melbourne Social Equity Institute (MSEI) offers a number of opportunities for students, including scholarship opportunities, networking events and a doctoral academy to support research.
Each year the Melbourne Social Equity Institute gives Australian Postgraduate Awards (APAs) and other scholarships to students whose interest in social equity issues aligns closely to our research agenda. Recipients of an APA are given automatic entry into our doctoral academy once they have completed confirmation.
The 2016 allocation of APAs has been exhausted. Current funding opportunities are listed here.
Annually the Institute selects a cohort of research higher degree students from across the university to share their research, knowledge and ideas on social equity issues. The academy aims to support students through peer-learning opportunities and mentoring from experienced academics. Membership of the academy will expose doctoral students to different disciplinary perspectives and research methodologies that will enhance their own research.
At the Melbourne Social Equity Institute, we acknowledge an imperfect world. We realise that societies are sometimes beset by divisions of culture, economic status or creed. Chances of birth such as class, race, ability or gender often lead to marginalisation and disempowerment.
We strive to identify the origins of disadvantage and develop effective solutions through high-end research and active community engagement.
Our vision is to influence government policy, public opinion and social practices through the highest quality scholarship in order to create fairer societies.
The MSEI was established in mid-2012 as part of the University's family of interdisciplinary research institutes. It operates on a 'virtual institute' model, meaning that it has a small directorate who are responsible for allocating funding, co-ordinating communities of like-minded researchers and engaging with external partners, policy-makers and the public.
The MSEI was heavily involved in the establishment of the Disability Research Initiative and the Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence Against Women and their Children, and has worked closely with the Melbourne Refugee Studies Program since its inception.
The MSEI's small directorate co-ordinate research and engagement activities.Read more
Program leaders steer the MSEI's research direction, commission projects and champion outputs.Read more
The MSEI is guided by its reference group and advisory board.Read more