Sue Starfield is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Education. She was the Director of The Learning Centre at UNSW from 2000-2017. Her research and publications cover tertiary academic literacies; doctoral writing, writing for publication, postgraduate pedagogy, English for Specific Purposes, identity in academic writing and access and equity in higher education. She was a recipient of two Australian Research Council grants: Writing in the academy: The practice-based thesis as an evolving genre (ARC Discovery Grant 2008-2010) and a A cross-national study of the relative impact of an oral component on PhD examination quality, language and practice (ARC Discovery Grant 2011-2014). She supervises students in the areas of academic literacies, academic writing, research genres, English for specific purposes, access and equity issues for non-native speakers of English in higher education, students from refugee backgrounds. Sue has an ongoing interest in qualitative research methods and recently co-edited the Palgrave Handbook of Applied Linguistics Research Methodology (2019). Ethnographic perspectives on academic writing, co-authored with Brian Paltridge and Christine Tardy (Oxford University Press 2016) makes the case for ethnographic approaches to the study of academic writing. The second edition of her co-authored book Thesis and Dissertation Writing in a Second Language: A Handbook for Students and their Supervisors appeared in 2020 (Routledge). She recently co-guest edited a special issue of the Journal of Second Language Writing: 'Thesis and dissertation writing in a second language: Context, identity, genre' (2019, vol. 43). Sue is currently co-authoring a book on the evolution of the PhD as an academic genre to be published by Bloomsbury. Sue also edits two book series with Routledge in the field of English for Specific Purposes: Introductions to English for Specific Purposes and Research in English for Specific Purposes. To hear Sue talk about her research focus, click here
Learning & language support at tertiary level; international students' teaching, learning & language issues; doctoral writing; academic writing; writing for scholarly publication; learning through a second language; policy development for student support.
Sue Starfield is a Professor and was the Director of The Learning Centre at UNSW for 18 years. She is co-author with Brian Paltridge of Thesis and Dissertation Writing in a Second Language: A Handbook for Supervisors published by Routledge in 2007. She was co-editor of the journal English for Specific Purposes from 2009-2014. She is the recipient of a 2008 Australian Learning and Teaching Council citation for an Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning for the development of a research-led innovative curriculum to support postgraduate research students' writing with significant impact on the field of postgraduate writing.
Sue's current research interests include advanced academic writing, postgraduate pedagogy and issues of identity in academic writing and language learning. With colleagues from the University of Sydney, Sue and Pam Mort of The Learning Centre were awarded a 2006 Carrick Institute Competitive Grant – Creating a student-centred online learning environment for report writing in the sciences and engineering.
Sue currently teaches Thesis Writing and Presentation, a course she has developed for the School of Education. She has also taught Developing a Research Proposal, a course for commencing postgraduate research students. In addition, she has been involved in program development to enhance students' successful access to academic skills across the university. She is currently teaching courses in advanced qualitative methods and TESOL curriculum.
Prior to moving to Australia, Sue worked for over fifteen years in South Africa, mainly at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where she developed academic programs to promote access and success in higher education for students who had been disadvantaged by apartheid education. She also worked with academic staff who wanted to make their teaching more responsive to the learning needs of the very diverse student body.