News & Announcements

Recent News

Preschool Activity Monitor Study – Research Volunteers

Researchers from UOW’s Early Start Research Institute and Information and Computer Technology Research Institute are conducting an Australian Research Council-funded study investigating how innovative data modelling processes used in areas such as computerised speech recognition can assist in understanding preschool children’s movement patterns – e.g., whether a child is walking, dancing or colouring.

Participating 3- to 5-year-olds will be invited to a study playgroup session and other optional visits.

For more information, see the Preschool Activity Monitor Study - Parent Info Sheet or contact Christel van Loo.

Conference: The Future of Fatherhood – November 7–8, 2016

The Centre for Research on Men and Masculinities (University of Wollongong) is hosting a two-day conference titled The Future of Fatherhood: What’s next in fathering practice and research?

The conference will be held on November 7-8, 2016 on the Wollongong campus of the University of Wollongong.

Abstracts close on September 9, 2016.

This conference will bring together researchers, practitioners, and those interested in fathering to explore fathering practice and research. What will the future of father research look like? What impact do fathers have? How can fathers be engaged in children’s lives? How do particular groups of men negotiate and experience parenting? How does fathering intersect with masculinity? How is fathering shaped by political, cultural, or institutional forces?

For more information, go to the Conference page on the CROMM blog.

Breaking the Cycle

Addressing the impact of inter-generational unemployment and social exclusion

This project is collaborating with the Hope Centre, Warrawong, to support the identification of best practices and generate knowledge about successful strategies for engaging young people in specialised employment training programs.

The Breaking the Cycle project.

Standing Preschools Project

Long periods of sitting may be harmful for the health, growth and development of young children.

A team of researchers from the University of Wollongong’s Early Start Research Institute are conducting a study investigating the short-term effects of a “reduced sitting pre-school day” on energy expenditure, musculoskeletal health, and cognitive development in pre-schoolers.

During the study, children will visit the University and mimic a “normal pre-school day” and a “reduced sitting pre-school day” in a whole-room calorimeter to measure how much energy they expend.

The study requires 30 participants aged 4 and 5 years.

The Participant Information Sheet for the Standing Preschools Project.

Smash the gap

"We won't close the gap, we'll smash it"

This is the headline of a recent news article published in the Sydney Morning Herald (Feb 13, 2015) by Jack Manning Bancroft, CEO of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME). The University of Wollongong has a research partnership with AIME, with UOW team-members based in the Early Start Research Institute (Sam McMahon, Paul Chandler, Sarah O'Shea, Valerie Harwood) and Dr Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews, based at University of Technology, Sydney.

How AIME and ESRI are helping to "smash the gap".

ESRI member appointed to prestigious journal's editorial board

In recognition of her standing in the field, ESRI member Associate Professor Valerie Harwood has been appointed to the editorial board of the British Journal of Sociology of Education - one of the most renowned international journals in the field of Education Research.

Valerie's appointment to the BJSE editorial board.

Why we support Movember

This year, the Movember Foundation announced it will fund a two million dollar project to tackle mental health issues among adolescent males, to be headed by ESRI's Dr Stewart Vella.

The project will work with some of Australia’s most popular national sporting associations to promote wellbeing and reduce the risk of mental health problems, and adopt a grassroots approach to provide clubs with the tools they need to support young members grappling with depression and suicidal thoughts.

To support Movember and help raise funds for the project, ESRI members Tony Okely, Dylan Cliff and Stewart Vella joined a wider team on campus to grow moustaches to support mental health research.

We asked some of the team members of U-Mo-W for their thoughts on Movember, the project, and the moustache-growing experience.

What the boys had to say about Movember.

2015 ESRI PhD scholarships available

ESRI is offering two PhD scholarships for 2015 in sport and mental health, and in physical activity and cognition:

Promoting wellbeing among adolescent male sport participants

Organised sports present an engaging environment in which to intervene to increase the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents. This is particularly so for adolescent males. The objective of this PhD program is to formulate, implement, and test the efficacy of a sports- based campaign to increase wellbeing among adolescent male sport participants. The project will be based on principles of positive psychology. The project is nested within a larger study that has been funded by the Movember Foundation. The study, a cluster-randomised controlled trial, will involve 100 sporting clubs from around the country.

Sport and mental health PhD scholarship details.

Electronic media use and physical activity in preschool children: are they associated with psychosocial and cognitive development?

How do health behaviours put young children on the right developmental pathway and give them the best start in life?

Levels of physical inactivity and screen-based entertainment are alarmingly high among preschool children, yet little is known about the independent effects of these behaviours on cognitive and psychosocial development during early childhood. This prospective study will investigate the associations between physical activity and screen-based entertainment and cognitive and psychosocial development in preschool children. The findings will identify how much and which types of these behaviours influence developmental outcomes in young children. This knowledge will benefit parents, educators, health professionals and governments to develop and implement evidence-based strategies and policies to give young children the best start in life.

Physical activity and cognition PhD scholarship details.

Annual Report

ESRI Annual Report 2015 (PDF)ESRI Annual Report 2015 (PDF)