PACE Research Collaborations

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Join the ranks of Macquarie students, staff, academics, partners and graduates who are actively contributing to social impact and innovation to solve real-world issues through PACE.

As a signature program of Macquarie University, PACE drives its position as a leading university in transformative learning and high impact research. PACE enables staff and students to contribute to solving some of the big issues in society. Social impact and innovation is created through partnership with industry and community, and evident in engaged research, learning and teaching.

Over 2000 partner organisations in Australia and internationally are involved in the PACE community, and contribute to collaborations that are founded on principles of mutual benefit and long-term impact. This scale brings significant benefits to the rest of the university community through:

    • an increased number of opportunities for research collaborations
    • an expanded network of staff working on PACE
    • an increase in depth and breadth

Understanding PACE-related research and evaluation

PACE-related research and evaluation is defined as inquiry centred on community engaged learning and research. This is a definition which includes, but is not limited to, the PACE experience. More specifically, PACE-related research and evaluation involves inquiry on:

(1) the curriculum and pedagogy of community engaged learning and teaching; 
(2) the way in which PACE has been conceived, developed and implemented at Macquarie, 
(3) the impact and experience of PACE on and for Macquarie students, partner organisations, staff, the University as an institution, AVI, and the wider community; 
(4) community-university engagement; and
(5) collaborative research with PACE students, partners and the communities they engage with. 

Learning through Participation

PACE incorporates many diverse forms of Learning through Participation (LTP). LTP is an umbrella term covering a range of experience and practice-based education models (e.g. experiential learning, work-integrated learning, service learning, cooperative education) and curriculum design approaches (e.g. internships, fieldwork, engineering sandwich courses, clinical placements), where students engage with industry and community organisations.1 LTP initiatives can take place in public, private or not-for-profit sectors, are embedded within the curriculum, and require assessment of student learning. Some examples of LTP in PACE include project work, practicums, internships, simulations, volunteering, fieldwork with partnership components, and industry reference panels.


1. Mackaway, J., Winchester-Seeto, T., Coulson, D., & Harvey, M. (2011). Practical and pedagogical aspects of Learning through Participation: The LTP Assessment Design Framework.  Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 8(3), Article 5 (online). http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1183&context=jutlp


Our collaborative approach involves partners, students, and staff in three modes of engaging in PACE-related research:

1. Research on PACE

The PACE program is built from the ground up, and its success has been strengthened by research that informs program renewal, explores stakeholder perspectives, and identifies best practice in teaching and program delivery. 

Recent examples of research conducted on PACE include:

    • PACE Workloads study - researching the type and amount of work involved in teaching, administering and supporting the range of PACE units offered across the University
    • Student Experience of PACE - evaluating the student experience of PACE at Macquarie University and to assess the perceived impact of PACE on students' graduate capabilities and career aspirations.  

If you are interested in doing research on PACE, please email pace@mq.edu.au or have a look at more examples of Research on PACE.

2. Research with PACE

Our collaborative approach draws in academics, staff, students and partners in designing innovative curriculum, often co-designed with industry partners and grounded in the latest research and emerging debates. 

Research projects conducted with PACE include:

    • Classroom of Many Cultures - an Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching funded project that aims to co-create teaching materials with PACE International partners to inform student pre-departure and re-entry curriculum
    • PhDs with PACE partners - a former PhD candidate has undertaken research with Indigenous community-based organisations in Sabah, Malaysia and Indigenous tour operators in the Northern Territory, Australia who host students through PACE
    • Impact assessment framework - developed as part of our Theory of Change, this framework is a process and outcome-based evaluation project, designed with our stakeholders, to help us understand how well PACE is working operationally and whether it is achieving its intended outcomes.

If you are interested in doing research with PACE, please email pace@mq.edu.au or have a look at more examples of Research with PACE.

3. Research through PACE

PACE offers exciting opportunities to engage with over 2000 partners and form research collaborations - often involving students - to create new knowledge and deliver impact. 

Recent opportunities to engage with PACE research include:

    • PACE Development Grant - a funding scheme that brings academics and industry partners together on research projects cultivated through PACE. Find out how to Connect with PACE.
    • Modelling Partnerships: Exploring a Whole of Region Approach to Partnership Development and Management - this project focuses on the Orange region as a case study with a view to establishing long-term, sustainable partnerships.
    • PhD candidates who discovered their research interests through their PACE activities and are now undertaking PhDs in these areas

If you are interested in finding research opportunities through PACE, please email pace@mq.edu.au or have a look at more examples of Research through PACE.

PACE brings Macquarie University back to its origins as an innovative university. It also embodies the founding vision of what universities were designed to be: a nexus between knowledge and society, fostering generations of ethical, responsible and knowledgeable citizens. We invite you to join us on the next stage of this exciting journey.

Contact Us

For more information on how to undertake collaborative research with PACE, please email pace@mq.edu.au.