Barbara M Grant

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Barbara Grant is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland where she teaches, supervises and researches in the field of higher education. This follows a long career in the university’s academic development centre. For six years (2011-2016), she served as the Executive Editor for Higher Education Research & Development (HERD) and she is a member of several international editorial boards for journals of higher education. Barbara teaches social theories of education, with a particular focus on higher education, and the idea of the university student.

As Executive Editor of HERD, Barbara led an editorial team that raised the standard and prestige of HERD and introduced sound systems and processes that have smoothed the way for subsequent editorial teams, reviewers and authors. Her team established a suite of new innovations - a twitter account for the journal, a new discussion section called Points for Debate, a revived contribution to HERDSA News, a new process for commissioning journal Special Issues, and a constant presence of the editorial team at HERDSA conferences. As a result of the quality and impact of HERD, Taylor & Francis, the publisher of HERD, recommended an increase in the number of issues per year as well as offering a more favourable financial outcome for HERDSA. 

Barbara’s contribution to HERDSA also includes service to the New Zealand Branch committee as well as the HERDSA Executive. In 2011 and 2012, Barbara developed and led the inaugural HE Research Symposium as part of NZ branch activities. These symposia were important flagship events that empowered many new HE researchers and PhD students to come together to consider matters of theory, methodology and ethics.

She is a regular facilitator of workshops and seminars and speaker at education conferences including a keynote address at the 2018 HERDSA conference. She convened the Academic Identities conference at the University of Auckland in 2012 and continues to be part of the conference organising committees (and likely many others).

Barbara's research field is higher education, in particular questions of identity, pedagogy and ethics in higher education, and she is most interested in qualitative and textual enquiries that foreground post-critical theories of education.

Barbara is well published and cited in a range of areas. Her main area of expertise is the supervision of graduate research students but she has researched and published in a wide range of higher education areas, including researcher identity, academic development, research methodologies for education and social sciences, and academic writing. The underlying thread connecting her enquiries is an interest in academic subjectivities/identities and ethical questions regarding the relations between academic subjects, and between them and institutions, and the higher education project at large.

Previously, she has taught workshops on graduate research supervision as well as on academic and thesis writing for institutions in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas. She is considered one of Australasia's leading experts in facilitating academic writing and is the author of the HERDSA Guide Academic Writing Retreats: A Facilitator's Guide. For at least 20 years, Barbara has facilitated residential and non-residential writing retreats for academic women (and sometimes men) within NZ and without. The writing retreat served as one of the original models of residential writing for academic women, cementing her international reputation in this area.

Barbara has made a substantial and sustained contribution to HERDSA through her service to the New Zealand Branch and as the Executive Editor of HERD. In addition, she has made a distinguished contribution to higher education though her research, writing, practice and stewardship of the field.