Scholar Identities Google Scholar ID ORCID ID


Twitter @meljlewis


As an educator in higher education for the past thirty years, I developed my teaching style which is facilitative, enabling, and productive. Curating my teaching-research nexus, this style was in part drawn from earlier roles as an Education Consultant and Quality Advisor within Health Sciences, Nursing, eLearning, and Education Innovation at The University of Sydney. Doctoral research with academic colleagues respected the close-up, insider, and consultative nature of transformation, growing networks, and communities of practice across diverse fields.

I joined Charles Sturt University in 2017 as the Academic Courses and Resources Lead, Indigenous Cultural Competency in the Division of Learning & Teaching, and in 2021 will be an academic developer coordinating subjects in the Graduate Certificate Learning & Teaching in Higher Education. Combined with education and doctoral research, I have experience in the following areas:

  • qualitative insider research methodologies
  • the sociology of higher education
  • researching higher education
  • learning theories & learning designs
  • supporting quality teaching and learning
  • academic identities
  • Indigenous Australian Cultural Competency
  • culturally safe practices
  • relational frameworks for community engagement
  • professional learning of university teachers
  • curriculum renewal
  • learning resource development
  • building capacity and participation in the scholarship of learning and teaching

PhD Project Description

The project focuses on forms of disruption in higher education, offering an initial story on the use of frameworks to help guide and structure the identities of academics, and the practice roles they undertake. Adopting a meandering methodology, the research question explored the research-teaching nexus from the views of a few academic participants in an Australian research-intensive university. The RTN as a practice framing was shaped and reshaped with and through academic identities and archetypal patterns, to design unique portraits, and reveal the tactics employed strategically, eg oscillation, horsetrading, and for some, a felt sense of impostorism. Moving to the level of the organisation, the second story centers on the forms of capital and the rules of the game in the field, from the traditional to the contemporary, from the global north to the global south. Opening out to a view on the sector, the third story in the thesis asks many questions on potentials for wider participation and inclusion of First Nations knowledges, to share and shape individual and organisational identities, and to offer hope in the ongoing management of emergent disruptions.

Doctoral Research Outputs


Lewis, M.J., & Quinnell, R. (forthcoming). Marginalising imposterism: An Australian case study proposing a spectrum of tendencies that frame academic identities. In M. Addison (Ed.). The Palgrave Handbook of ‘Imposter Syndrome’ in Higher Education. 

International conference presentations

Lewis, M.J. & Quinnell, R. (2018). Negotiating multiple forms of stigma in the Australian academy: A call to action. Academic Identities Conference (AIC), University of Hiroshima, Japan, 12-14 September.

Lewis. M.J. (2015). Synchronicity and dualisms amidst the research-teaching nexus. Paper presented at the Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE), Newer Researchers Conference, Global Higher Education Research: Local, national and international perspectives, Newport, Wales, United Kingdom, 8 December.

Lewis. M.J. (2014). A tale of shedding and growing skins in close up academic and higher educa@on research. In Professor Paul Trowler Higher Education Close Up 7 (HECU7) International research Conference. Lancaster University, UK, 21-23 July.

Lewis, M.J. (2014). Where academics oscillate, in the field of higher education. In Academic Identities Conference 2014 Screaming in a 20-mile zone: Academic Identities. University of Durham, UK, 8-9 July.

Lewis, M.J. (2012). Together alone with everyone: Academic identity construction and relationships within the practice of insider educational research. In Dr Barbara Grant Roundtable presentation at the Academic Identities Conference (AIC) 2012, Thinking, Researching and Living Otherwise. Faculty of Education, University of Auckland. Auckland, New Zealand, 25-27 June.

Doctoral Colloquia & Pitch Presentations

Lewis, M.J. (2015). Risk, responsibility & reputation in participatory, ethnographic work. CoCo, Faculty of Educa@on & Social Work, The University of Sydney, 5 May.

Lewis, M.J. (2014). The sitter and the painter: A nuanced portrait of Sally and her everyday academic practices at Sunny U. CoCo, Faculty of Education & Social Work, The University of Sydney, 12 March.

Lewis, M.J. (2013). Research and teaching in health @ Sydney: Exploring the nexus from a dual (research student-teaching academic) perspective. CoCo, Faculty of Educa@on & Social Work, The University of Sydney, 29 October

Lewis, M.J. (2013). Changing practices at the research teaching nexus: Views from academics situated in a research university. CoCo, Faculty of Educa@on & Social Work, The University of Sydney.

Faculty Research Student Forums

Lewis, M.J. (2014). The difference can’t be that difference! Linking research, teaching and practice dispositions in contemporary higher education. Faculty of Education & Social Work, The University of Sydney.

Research fests (posters)

Lewis, M.J. (2013). Scholar-Researcher-Teacher: Turning the learning sciences towards academic work. CoCo Research Fest, Faculty of Education & Social Work, The University of Sydney, 7 November.

Lewis, M.J. (2014). The digital habitus of academic missions: Is an eNexus the missing link? CoCo Research Fest, Faculty of Education & Social Work, The University of Sydney, 26 October.

Methods workshop

Lewis. M.J. (2014). Qualitative interviews in academic research: Working together with your participants, Invited talk for the CoCo Research Methods Workshop Series, Faculty of Education & Social Work.

Research Roundtable

Lewis, M.J. (2015). “Love thy neighbour!” (Maybe not). Navigating researcher and participant positioning within and across research paradigms. Institute for Teaching & Learning (ITL), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Portfolio, The University of Sydney, 30th June.