Macquarie University researchers awarded Fulbright Scholarships

20 February 2019

Two Macquarie University researchers have been announced as recipients of prestigious Fulbright Scholarships.

The grants will enable the researchers to travel to the United States to work alongside leading academics in their fields to advance their own research. 

The Fulbright Program is the flagship foreign exchange scholarship program of the US, aimed at increasing binational research collaboration, cultural understanding, and the exchange of ideas.

Dr Michael Donovan, Academic Director, Indigenous Learning and Teaching was awarded a Fulbright Indigenous Scholarship, which he will use to spend time in Hawaii studying unique education models that are designed to empower Indigenous students, and their possible applications for the Australian context.

Dr Donovan is a member of the Gumbaynggirr Nation and has been involved in Aboriginal education since 1992, working in schools through to University. A primary focus of his teaching and research is on supporting teachers to better engage with Aboriginal students and the benefits of implementing content about Aboriginal society for all students.

“This scholarship will provide insight into a Hawaiian educational system that prioritises Indigenous understandings to better engage Hawaiian students,” said Dr Donovan.

“Much of this research is done from an Indigenous standpoint, and presenting Indigenous perspectives is at the centre of the work.

“Ultimately we want to see if these systematic changes could be transferred to an Australian setting.”

The second scholarship recipient is postgraduate student Callum McDiarmid from the Department of Biological Sciences, who has been awarded a Fulbright Future Scholarship which he will undertake at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

McDiarmid will build on his work studying the behaviour and reproduction of long-tailed finches by learning and employing powerful next-generation sequencing techniques, and aims share these new skills and perspectives with colleagues upon his return to Australia.

“This scholarship will allow me to extend the scope of my research beyond what would otherwise be possible, and gain skills and expertise with world leaders in avian speciation genomics,” said McDiarmid.

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