Research Grant Scheme

The JERAA Research Grant provides up to $6000 to a journalism or media scholar at early or mid-career stage (up to 15 years post-PhD) to support a journalism studies research project.

2023 Research Award Winner: Dr Belinda Middleweek

The winner of the 2023 JERAA award is Dr Belinda Middleweek of the University of Technology Sydney.

Dr Belinda Middleweek

Through interviews with journalists, she will explore how the body is operationalised in the practice and conception of news work.

The judges said Middleweek’s proposal was well-supported and informed by recent journalism scholarship on the body and the emotional turn in journalism studies, as well as her own published research. They praised her innovative approach and focus on a problem that needs to be addressed and anticipate her research achieving significant outcomes.

Dr Belinda Middleweek is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism in the School of Communications at UTS. She has worked as a news producer for Australia’s top rating breakfast television programs Sunrise and The Morning Show and for the nightly current affairs program Today Tonight (Seven Network). Her research focuses on the social implications of media technologies, emerging trends in journalism and transdisciplinary approaches to human-tech interactions.

Award details

The grant will assist the successful applicant to conduct a small-scale research project with outcomes that can be delivered in 2 years. The aim of this scheme is to assist journalism and media scholars to illustrate their capacity to design/manage a project, boost their research profile, and increase leverage when applying for future research funding. We particularly welcome applications that are designed to build track record and that may lead to subsequent larger competitive grant applications.

Who can apply?

You may apply for the 2024 JERAA Research Grant if you:

  • are a member of the JERAA (you may join JERAA in order to apply),
  • have commenced or completed studies at doctoral level,
  • have not previously won the award, and
  • submit your application by31 July 2024  addressing all questions in the application guidelines below.

Email your application to

Applications for this grant will be assessed by a panel of three scholars, comprised of two members of the JERAA Executive, and one external assessor.

NOTE: This research award constitutes external research funding. Given the relatively small size of the funds granted, the applicant should liaise with relevant personnel/sections within their University to ensure that only a small (if any) administration fee will be applied by the university to administer the grant.

The Application
The application should be one (1) Word or pdf format document comprised of five parts:

  1. A three-page project outline of your proposed research. This should include a brief overview of key literature, outline your research methodology and the proposed outputs of the project. Key sub-headings to be used are outlined in the Application Guidelines (below).
  2. A brief (max. one page) budget which outlines the planned expenditure for the project. Budget items might include, for example: research assistance, travel to complete fieldwork, costs associated with running a workshop or symposium if that is a proposed output, or travel to carry out collaborative meetings with research.
  3. A research CV (max four pages) which outlines your publications, previous or current grants, and research service positions. You may include publications that are forthcoming only if they have been ‘Accepted’ for publication, and the acceptance date given.
  4. A support letter from your line manager or workplace supervisor indicating that your workload will allow you sufficient time to complete the project by the deadline (see details below).
  5. Signed grant declaration

Evaluation Criteria
Applications will be evaluated on the basis of:

  • the quality of research benefits to Australian journalism, or the practice of journalism globally
  • the coherence and merit of the proposed topic of research.
  • the clarity and relevance of the research methodology
  • the potential impact and significance of the intended outcomes.
  • track record or relevant skills in the particular area of research
  • indicators of realistic project planning within the allocated budget
  • indicators of realistic time management within the allocated 24 month deadline
  • indicators of likely use of the research project to benefit and extend journalism research activities.
  • timeline for submission of journal articles, or other outcomes, to quality peer-reviewed scholarly journals and/or the development of an application for larger grant funding.

Conditions of the Grant
Successful applicants will fulfil the following conditions:

  • Submission of a brief progress report to the JERAA Vice President (Research) by June 30, 2025 of no more than 500 words detailing your progress towards project goals.
  • Submission of a final report to the JERAA Vice President (Research) President by July 31 2026. This will include a statement of up to 500 words about the project’s execution and what it has achieved. You will also add a budget statement that indicates how you have used the funds that have been allocated to
  • Submission of peer-reviewed research articles and/or HERDC-eligible creative/professional practice work based on project findings prior to August 31 2027. One article should be submitted to the Australian Journalism Review.
  • Presentation of research findings at the following JERAA conference, or in cases where you and the JERAA President agree that this is not feasible, in an article submitted to Australian Journalism Review.
  • When any research outcomes are published in any form, you will include an acknowledgement of JERAA’s funding and support.

Application Guidelines
To apply for JERAA Research Grant, please submit your application via email to by July 31st, 2024. Please put the words “JERAA Research Grant” in the subject line of your email. If you need to confirm whether your membership is active, log into the website or email For details on how to join, see

We have provided below a template for the key areas that your application should address.

Note: The Proposal sub-headings outlined below are guides only – please use your three-page description to outline your project as clearly as possible and to ensure you consider the issues we’ve outlined below.

Personal Details:

Name (Title, Given Name, Family Name)
Position (Your Current Job Title, Name of Your Institution)
Contact Postal Address, Email, Phone

Proposal Details:

Project Title
Project Description (Max:100 words)
Research Method and Approach
Ethical Clearance  (Max: One sentence to identify whether you will need ethical clearance for this project. If yes, identify in your Timeline when you will apply for clearance.)
Project Timeline
Anticipated Outcomes (Outline what the project will achieve overall, alongside details of specific deliverables, such as publications or other works)
Significance of the Project (For example — Why is this project important? What will be its impact? What gap is it filling, how is it advancing our field?)
Track Record and/or Relevant Professional Skills (Provide evidence of your impact and contribution to the project’s field. This may include an overview of your academic research track record; and/or outline your ability to produce HERDC-eligible creative/professional practice research outputs)
Budget (Up to one page: this may include teaching buyouts, research assistance, equipment, travel, or other research-related expenses. If you will hire a Research Assistant, you should identify the number of hours to be paid, the hourly pay rate, plus the percentage oncosts that your institution requires for their employment. This is usually 18% to 30% on top of the RA’s salary.)
Academic CV (Up to four pages)
Optional: Other Relevant Details

Support from the Relevant Authorising Officer
Attach a short letter or email from your workplace supervisor indicating s/he is aware of the proposed project, is willing to allow you to conduct the project if you are successful and agrees that your workload will allow you sufficient time to complete the project by the deadline. The relevant supervisor must have sufficient knowledge of your overall work responsibilities to be able to judge whether you could realistically complete the project by the deadline given your workload requirements, eg Head of School/Portfolio/Division, Unit Director, Executive Dean, etc.

Cut and paste the following declaration to the end of your application, then sign and date it.

I declare that this application for a JERAA Research Grant is entirely my own work. References to other people’s work and ideas have been appropriately attributed. To the best of my knowledge, the information that I have provided is true, correct and accurate.
If I am a successful grant applicant, I will conduct my project in an ethical fashion. If ethical clearance is required, I will obtain Human Research Ethics Committee approval before I recruit any participants for my project.
I plan to complete my project by July 31, 2026 and will provide JERAA with a final report of 500 words about the project’s execution and achievements. I will lodge an interim report on project progress by June 30, 2025. I will also submit my research outcomes to suitable peer- reviewed journals and/or other appropriate publications prior to or by, the end of August 2026, a month following the project completion date.

Add the following sentence if you do not have funding from other sources:
I do not have funding from other sources to undertake the activities that I have described in my grant proposal above.

Add the following sentences if you do have funding from other sources (e.g., if this project forms part of a bigger project, and you have funding for other elements of that project):

I have funding from other sources to undertake activities that are complementary to this project but do not replicate it. In the ‘Purpose’ and ‘Methodology’ sections of my application I have:

  • named those other funding sources,
  • provided details of the funding amounts and what the funds are for, and
  • explained clearly how the different elements of the project will work together.

I will immediately inform the JERAA Vice President Research if there are any changes to circumstances or activities outlined in my proposal.

I understand that all grant applications will be judged independently by a panel comprised of members of the JERAA Executive, and one external assessor. I will respect the panel’s decision as final. I also understand that the JERAA may decline to offer a JERAA Research Grant in any given year.

SIGNATURE ………………………………………………………….…………

DATE ……………………………………………………..……………………..

History of the Grants

The grants commenced in 2011, following evidence in current research that pointed to a gap in opportunities for mid-career journalism academics to develop the research outcomes and profile needed to advance themselves into the professoriate and other higher levels of Australian universities. Compared to the overall profile of Australian academics, journalism academics are disproportionately clustered at Levels B and C. Many journalism academics spend most of their time teaching, striving with some success to be research active, and with less than average opportunities for promotion to a professorial position (Bromley, forthcoming). The research indicates a need to support further development of critical research within the journalism academy, with particular attention to the fact that research activity appears to stall at Senior Lecturer level (Bromley and Neal 2011, p. 67). Consequently, at the end of 2011, two research grants were offered to mid-career journalism academics.

No evidence has come to light that the situation described above has shifted significantly. Until evidence pointing to greater movement beyond Senior Lecturer level in the field of journalism research, JERAA will keep offering the research grants to mid-career journalism academics.


Bromley, M. (2014). Field maturation in journalism: The role of hackademics as a ‘motley crew’. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 17(1), 3-19. doi: 10.1177/1367877913483423

Bromley, M. (2013). The ‘new majority’ and the academization of journalism. Journalism: theory, practice and criticism. doi: 10.1177/1464884912453285

Michael Bromley and Regan Neal (2011) ‘Publishing, participation and productivity among journalist-academics in the era of ERA’, Australian Journalism Review, 33(1): 55-72.

*At times the grant will be reviewed and the JERAA Executive may opt to not issue calls during the review.

Past Winners

2022 Research Award Winner: Dr Huck Ying Ch’ng

The winner of the 2022 JERAA research award is Dr Huck Ying Ch’ng of RMIT University.

Dr Huck Ying Ch’ng

She will undertake a comparative case study of how Indigenous constitutional reform is covered by Asian-Australian ethnic media and mainstream English-language media. The judges said the proposal was timely, original, significant and addressed gaps in knowledge about how Australia’s ethnic media convey critical debates about complex social and policy issues to do with Indigenous peoples, rights and identities.  Her study builds on earlier work and is clearly staged to develop her research track record and to position her to apply for competitive funding.

Dr Huck Ying Ch’ng is a lecturer and the Deputy Program Manager of the Journalism Program at RMIT University. She has researched in the areas of ethnic minority media in Australia, citizenship and the governance of identity, and inter-cultural/cross-cultural communication. She is currently working within a research trajectory addressing issues of public/media representations of/by Asian Australians and their engagement with/on various issues of national importance, which contributes to improving Australia’s cultural literacy within the Asia-Pacific region. Besides English, Ying is fluent in Mandarin and Hokkien and competent in Malay/Bahasa Indonesia.

2021 Research Award Winner: Dr Heather Anderson and Dr Bridget Backhaus

Dr Heather Anderson and Dr Bridget Backhaus

Project: Codes in Practice: a critical analysis of news and current affairs on community radio

This research project interrogates how effectively news and current affairs (NCAF) on Australian community radio upholds and promotes the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia Codes of Practice. Using content analysis and semi-structured interviews they focus on a) the extent to which stories broadcast on Community Radio News and The Wire address Code 2 – Principles of Diversity and Independence; Code 3 – General Programming (provide access to views not adequately represented by other broadcasting sectors); and Code 4 – Indigenous programming and coverage of Indigenous issues, and b) how producers of these shows perceive their responsibilities in relation to the Codes. The research aims to develop a stronger understanding of the scope and quality of NCAF on Australian community radio, and to highlight best practice in NCAF production.

The judging panel noted that their application was selected from a very strong field of applicants. The panel noted:

Their proposed project involves a very good case study about a topic of substantive importance to journalism research and practice. It will set them up very well to apply for an ARC grant or other competitive funding in the future. The application was clearly written with concise, pertinent details of the methodology that will serve well to address the research problem. The project was well scoped to be achievable within the timeline and budget/other resources available for the research, and they have clearly demonstrated the potential significance and impact of the intended outcomes. As early career academics they have demonstrated excellent publication track records following their PhD completions and build well on the track record that Griffith University has for research in this subject area.”

2020 Research Award Winner: Dr  Chrisanthi Giotis

Dr Chrisanthi GiotisProject: Teaching each other trust in the fake news era

This pilot project will test a unique media research technique that sees audiences and journalists examining pieces of reportage together. This engenders a relationship of trust on both sides, while providing the journalist with feedback and diverse perspectives which they can incorporate into their practice. Meanwhile, researchers gain a greater understanding of the linked socio-political drivers behind distrust, news avoidance, polarisation and fake news.

The judging panel commended Dr Giotis’ innovative frame reflection interview methodology, which brings journalists, audiences, students and researchers together to explore the factors that lead to trust and distrust in news journalism. They indicated that the development of this approach could usefully inform journalism practice and research, and help the media build better community relations around the coverage of contentious issues.

Dr. Giotis’ work focuses on changing journalism practice to promote marginalised voices. As a working journalist she covered Indigenous issues in the Dubbo area, and as an academic, her reporting on marginalised young people in Western Sydney won the Dame Mary Gilmore Prize for Journalism. More recently she worked with Congolese refugees, seeking their input before reporting on refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This  led to her current postdoctoral position at the Centre for Media Transition, University of Technology Sydney, examining best practice journalism at the global-local interface and how this relates to trust in the media.

Previous winners:

Maxine Newlands – How has journalistic practice shaped public knowledge of the Great Barrier Reef: A discourse analysis of the media clippings 2003-2018

Dr Peter English –  A typology of Australian sport journalism

Dr Deb Anderson – Courting Disaster: cyclone reporting in a climate change world

Dr Stephanie Brooks – Checking the Facts: The impact of new sources of political information on ‘legacy’ election coverage in Australia and the United States

Dr Sue Joseph and Dr Carolyn Rickett – The Ethical HDR Supervision of Literary Journalism: managing long form trauma narrative within the Australian tertiary sector

Dr Caroline Fisher – Press Secretary to Press Gallery: managing conflict of interest and perceptions of partisanship

Dr Folker Hanusch – Examining the influence of journalists’ professional views on news content

Dr Lisa Waller – Developing a Southern approach to the study of news media and Indigeneity

Dr Kathryn Bowd – Left Behind or Making their Own Way?: online and interactive communication and small-town newspaper journalists’ professional practice

Dr Colleen Murrell – Australian and Canadian Public Service Broadcasting: an investigation of international newsgathering capabilities on restricted budgets

Dr Zala Volcic – Continuous Battle: the relationship between journalists and politicians in Slovenia.

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