Dean's Research Awards 2015

21 May 2015

The Dean’s Research Awards recognise and reward excellent research performance by UNSW Arts & Social Sciences' academics.

This year's award ceremony was held on Wednesday 21 May at Walsh Bay to coincide with the Sydney Writers’ Festival, of which UNSW Arts & Social Sciences is a major partner.

Ian Jacobs, UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor, was in attendance to present the awards to this year’s successful winners.

We are pleased to announce the 2015 recipients:

Best Monograph

Recognising the best scholarly monograph of the year, produced by a UNSW Arts & Social Sciences researcher.

Joint winners:

Encountering the Pacific book coverScientia Professor John GascoigneEncountering the Pacific in the Age of the Enlightenment, Cambridge University Press.

Epic in scale, rich in data, and magisterial in the telling, John Gascoigne's book represents nothing less than a re-imagining of the push-pull of cultural and political forces in the Pacific. Structured around the themes of exploration and encounter, wealth, belief and knowledge, he shows how European Enlightenment ideals run up against the complex reality of Pacific cultures and societies.

John Gascoigne is also the recipient of the 2014 NSW Premier's Award for History and has been awarded the esteemed Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Chair of Australian Studies

Flight Ways Book CoverDr Thom van DoorenFlight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction, Columbia University Press.

An elegantly written and beguiling treatise that deftly interweaves philosophy and the natural sciences to explore the fleshy, biosocial and ethical consequences of extinction. Thom van Dooren’s elegiac stories about five bird species facing the ‘dull edge of extinction’ that made the judges think differently about the world. Another reader comments that the book ‘carries the environmental humanities to new heights'.


Best Monograph by an Early Career Researcher

Recognising the best scholarly monograph of the year, produced by a UNSW Arts & Social Sciences early career researcher.

  • Awarded to Dr Christian DownieThe Politics of Climate Change Negotiations: Strategies and Variables in Prolonged International Negotiations, Edward Elgar.

By looking at the negotiating strategies and behaviour of the United States and the European Union in the course of a protracted series of international efforts to achieve an effective climate change treaty, Christian Downie throws new light on why states agree to certain things (and not others) and why they change their positions in the course of serial negotiations.


Sue GreenMost Publishable Unpublished Manuscript

Supporting early career researchers or HDR candidates who have/will complete during 2014/2015. UNSW Arts & Social Sciences will submit the winning manuscript to the editorial processes of UNSW with a view to publication.


Achievements by an Early Career Researcher

Recognising the efforts and productivity of a staff member within first 5 years post- PhD completion.


Achievements in Research Leadership Award

Recognising a staff member who has made a significant contribution to the research efforts of their peers and colleagues.


Research Society Impact Award

Recognising an individual or small team who demonstrate significant broader social impact, achieved by an identified piece of research.

Joint winners:


Research Scholarly Impact Award

Recognising an individual or small team who demonstrate significant scholarly impact from a particular piece of research.


Best Higer Degree Research (HDR) Supervision

Recognising an outstanding record of HDR supervision and leadership in supervision.

Joint winners

  • Dr Jodi Brooks for outstanding track record in HDR supervision, School of the Arts & Media
  • Professor Chihiro Thomson for outstanding leadership in HDR supervision, School of Humanities & languages

Best Doctoral Thesis

Recognising the year’s most outstanding doctoral thesis.

  • Awarded to Josephine McSkimming: Identity formation and re-formation within and beyond Christian Fundamentalism: A post-structural narrative analysis of power and resistance. Supervisor, Dr Michael Wearing.

Congratulations to everyone shortlisted for this year’s awards.