Winners announced for 2017 Griffith Business School Research Excellence Awards

2017 GBS Research Excellence Award winners Associate Professor Robin Roberts, Associate Professor Brett Freudenberg and Associate Professor Jay Bandaralage

The Griffith Business School has recognised five outstanding researchers as the winners of this year’s Pro Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Awards.

From the Griffith Asia InstituteAssociate Professor Robin Roberts has been named as 2017’s most remarkable Individual Early Career Researcher for her work in the University’s Agribusiness stream, with recent ARC Discovery grant recipient Dr Lee Morgenbesser earning a high commendation in the category.

Associate Professor Roberts said she appreciates the award and recognition that comes with it, which adds to an existing research portfolio that currently spans eight different grants worth more than $2.5 million.

Among those pursuits are a four-pronged Mango Agribusiness R&D Program (which includes research into quality, information, biosecurity, and markets and trade) as well as a Vietnam mango study, Indonesia strawberry R&D project and a passionfruit R&D project.

The Department of Employment Relations and Human Resources‘ Dr Rebecca Loudoun (pictured right) earned the Individual Mid-Career Researcher award in light of her extensive contributions to the research field of workplace health and safety.

This was a particularly competitive bracket, seeing both Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele (Social Marketing @ Griffith) and Dr Duncan McDonnell (School of Government and International Relations) earn high commendations.

Associate Professor Jay Bandaralage of the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics stood tall in the field of Individual Research Leadership, while Dr Sacha Reid (Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management) was awarded the prize for Individual High Impact Applied Research. Social Marketing @ Griffith’s deputy director, Associate Professor Krzysztof Kubacki, was highly commended in the latter category.

Following her award win, Dr Reid (pictured left) will be undertaking a new project next year with a colleague from Deakin University, Dr Nicole Johnston, called Residential Building Compliance: Understanding the Risks and Harms to Communities.

“The purpose of this project is to undertake evidence-based research on the prevalence and effects of regulatory non-compliance and building defects in residential/mixed-use buildings,” she said. “This is the result of significant questions beginning to emerge about the quality, durability and compliance of this built form.”

Dr Reid says that winning a Pro Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award is imbued with “the recognition that the research you are doing is being acknowledged and considered ‘impactful'”.

“The financial win will also enable me to reinvest resources to bring others along on this research journey, especially being able to hire a research assistant or to fund industry meetings,” she said.

The exemplary mentors at GBS were also recognised, with Associate Professor Brett Freudenberg (AFE) taking out the award for Higher-degree Research Supervision, a category that also saw fellow AFE academic Professor Saroja Selvanathan receive a high commendation.

Associate Professor Freudenberg is a renowned researcher in the field of tax law and policy, with previous experience supervising Honours and PhD students working in the areas of tax literacy, effective use of debt, superannuation, and GST impact on private enterprise.

The award will help fund Associate Professor Freudenberg’s own research into the impact of varied partnership structures on tax rules that apply to allocations and distributions to their members, he said.

“I plan to attend and present at the upcoming conference in 2018 on Partnership, LLP and LLC at the Nottingham Trent University,” he said.

“It will be argued that flexibility in distributions appears to be a key characteristic demanded for business structures both for commercial and tax reasons. However, investors need to be cognitive of the inherent complexity and cost that this flexibility may entail.”

Pro Vice Chancellor (Business) Professor David Grant congratulated the winners of the annual awards, highlighting their dedication and innovation in pursuing their varied research. “These colleagues are outstanding contributors to Griffith’s research performance and exemplify our research achievements,” he said.

“I congratulate them all, and thank all the nominees for their applications. We have some outstanding researchers in our School and I am delighted that we are able to recognise and celebrate their successes in this way.”