Special Commendation - 2017 Dean's Award for Excellence in Research by an Early Career Researcher

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


4/7/17 Please join me in congratulating Dr Jennifer Windt – recipient of the 2017 Dean's Award for Excellence in Research by an Early Career Researcher. We also congratulate Dr Brady Robards – special commendation 2017 Dean's Award for Excellence in Research by an Early Career Researcher. Jennifer Windt, from the Department of Philosophy in the School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies, graduated with a PhD in the discipline of philosophy from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Germany) in September 2012. Jennifer’s contributions have been very well received and already have impact both within philosophy and in the fields of interdisciplinary consciousness studies and sleep and dream research. Her dissertation was awarded the Barbara Wengeler prize for interdisciplinary research in philosophy and neuroscience (by panel chaired by Daniel Dennett). The book version, published with MIT Press in 2015, is recognised as a landmark publication on dreaming with important interdisciplinary implications and described as “a game changer for philosophy and science”. In addition to this monograph, Jennifer has co-edited a 1,400 page collection featuring international leaders in philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience. This Open Mind (.net) collection is available in an innovative open access format, and the book version was published by MIT Press in 2016. Jennifer has also participated in a number of collaborations with philosophers and neuroscientists both at Monash and overseas. These outputs are flanked by a strong track record of single- and co-authored journal articles, book chapters, and encyclopaedia and handbook entries. This work is highly visible in her fields of research and Jennifer regularly receives high-profile conference and keynote invitations, and has had several media engagements. In July 2017, she will be commencing a major new project on mind wandering. This project marks a significant development in her research trajectory. She will connect her existing research on sleep and dreaming to important contemporary debates in cognitive science and consciousness research. The project is funded through the Australian Research Council, Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA 2017). Dr Brady Robards’ research is located at the intersection of the sociology of youth and digital sociology, focussed on the rapid transformation in the lives of young Australians. Using ground-breaking empirical and theoretical approaches, his research investigates young people’s social media use in connection with: changes in patterns of social and family life; minority experiences of social media; new pathways and transitions in education, leisure, and employment futures; and emerging practices and ethics around dating, intimacy and sexuality. Dr Robards has published a high number of journal articles and book chapters with leading journals and presses, in addition to one learning and teaching research monograph. He is defining his field as co-editor of two books and two journal special issues, with another two edited collections under contract. A paper with Prof Andy Bennett was nominated by the editors for a SAGE prize for excellence in innovation and has received numerous citations. From 2015-2016 he was a Chief Investigator on a $499,534 interdisciplinary research project funded by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, studying the movement and social media use of tourists in Tasmania. Dr Robards is also actively involved in research work with the wider community, through regular dialogue with the media and notably though a three-year evaluation of a Smith Family program from 2013-2016 which generated $60,000 of consultancy income and culminated in a 600-page final report. Warmest congratulations to Jennifer and Brady, and, indeed, to all the applicants. The Committee's task was a difficult one, but we were heartened by the fact that the quality of the applications bodes well for the future research performance of the Faculty.