Community Fellows Program

Melbourne Social Equity Institute’s Community Fellows Program aims to meet the research needs of community organisations to conduct small research-related projects in collaboration with university-based researchers.

Through the Community Fellows Program, we aim to support research that will lead to positive outcomes such as improved service delivery, the development of new services, improved ability to advocate effectively or the improved capacity to undertake future research projects.

Community Fellows are able to spend time at the University of Melbourne to develop research skills. Projects should be relevant to the work of community-based organisations and aim to promote social equity. Projects could involve conducting a scoping report, literature review, data analysis or a small research project.

The initiative is targeted at small to medium-sized community-based organisations (up to 200 employees) that currently have very limited capacity to conduct research. Projects should be small, tightly focused and address an issue of relevance to the organisation. Key objectives for the Community Fellows Program are to generate quality research outcomes, meet community-based needs for research and to foster community–academic collaborations.

Each Community Fellow is assigned an Academic Mentor with relevant expertise. The Melbourne Social Equity Institute and the Academic Mentor will work with the Fellow to design a feasible project and the supervisor will meet with the fellow 2 – 3 times over the course of the project. An Academic Coordinator will also be available to support the Community Fellows while they conduct and write up their research.

During their placement, Community Fellows will have opportunities to participate in a range of academic and professional development activities. Community Fellows will also be provided with desk space at the University, a computer to work on, a temporary email address and access to library and internet facilities.

Depending on the size of the project, grants of up to $5000 are available to the community-based organisations to compensate them for the time that Community Fellows spend working at the University. A Memorandum of Understanding will be created specifying project details, levels of financial support and expected outcomes.

Commenced in 2017

Jessica Tran, 100 Story Building
Development of participatory evaluation toolkit  
Academic Mentor: Lisa Gibbs

Bridgid Junot, Athletics Australia
Assessing long-term outcomes of Raise the Bar Academy
Academic Mentors: John Quay and Bernadette Murphy
Supported by the Indigenous Research Initiative

Nick Cooper, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Measuring #RightTrack digital engagement and uptake

André Dao and Michael Green, Behind the Wire
Behind the Wire: A case study of collaborative activism
Academic Mentor: Sara Wills

Jennifer Coburn, Deafness Foundation (Victoria)
Understanding the needs of people who are deaf or have hearing loss
Academic Mentors:  Manjula Marella and Alex Robinson
Supported by the Disability Research Initiative

Denise Cauchi, Diaspora Action Australia
Understanding how South Sudanese and Sri Lankan communities in Australia contribute to peace-building in their countries of origin through community harmony and reconciliation initiatives
Academic Mentor: Jennifer Balint

Julian McDonald, Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre
Analysing police complaints data from community legal centres
Academic Mentor: Diana Johns

Ruth Barson, Human Rights Law Centre
The use of solitary confinement in Australia’s youth justice facilities
Academic Mentor: Bernadette McSherry

Matt Addison, Not To Violence Incorporating Men's Referral Service
Better Lives: Applying Rehabilitative Principles to Family Violence Perpetrator Interventions
Academic Mentor: Kelsey Hegarty
Supported by Melbourne research Alliance to End Violence against women and their children (MAEVe)

Helen Greig, Oakwood School: Caulfield Park Community Campus
Equipping young men to avoid becoming perpetrators of family violence
Academic Mentors: Helen Cahill and Kylie Smith
Supported by Melbourne research Alliance to End Violence against women and their children (MAEVe)

Dominic Golding, RISE
Overcoming impairment: disabled refugees and their perceptions of accessing disability support
Academic Mentors: Cathy Vaughan and Karen Block

Jenny Chapman, Royal Women's Hospital
Older women’s experience of family violence      
Academic Mentor: Kelsey Hegarty
Supported by Melbourne research Alliance to End Violence against women and their children (MAEVE)

Belinda Briggs, Shepparton Art MuseumIncreasing the representation of Yorta Yorta and Southeast Indigenous art in the Shepparton Art Gallery 
Academic Mentor: Genevieve Grieves

Sally Beattie, The Smith Family
Improving parent engagement in a local primary school
Academic Mentor: Julie McLeod

Sarah Diplock, The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency
An evaluation model for arts-based social enterprises
Academic Mentor: Winsome Roberts

Katrina Cornwell, Women's Circus
Evaluating the effectiveness of Women’s Circus’ programs
Academic Mentor: Katrina McFerran

Commenced in 2016

Aila Joodi and Ondine Spitzer, Space2b
Evaluation Framework for Space2b, a Design-based Social Enterprise for Unemployed Women who are Refugees or Asylum Seekers
Academic Mentors: Ben Neville and Richard Williams

Commenced in 2016

Bec Harris, Carlton Primary School
A Trauma Informed Approach to Education Organisation
Academic Mentor: Greg Donoghue

Catherine Hemingway, Western Community Legal Centre Community
Final Project Report on Research into Issues of Migrant Employment
Academic Mentor: Joo-Cheong Tham

Shawn Wilkey, Carlton Football Community Fund
Skills For Life Community Program Review
Academic Mentor: Karen Block

Kamarra Bell-Wykes, ILBIJERRI Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre Company
Performing Arts Programs in Juvenile Justice in Victoria 2005–2015: Mapping Policy, Research and Programs 
Academic Mentor: Sophie Rudolph

Susan Timmins, Women’s Health West
Identifying Employment Barriers for Tertiary-educated Muslim Australian Women
Academic Mentor: Richard Williams

The most recent fellowships round closed on Monday 27 March 2017.

For information purposes only, the Information Kit for Applicants (PDF) is available here.

* Please contact us if you require information in an alternative format

Please subscribe to the Melbourne Social Equity Institute email list for updates about the Community Fellows Program and news about future funding rounds.

If you have any questions about the Community Fellows Program or the application process please contact:

Dr Richard Williams
+61 (3) 9035 8066