Professor Katrina Skewes McFerran appointed Director of the Research Development Unit

Professor Katrina Skewes McFerran. Photo by Giulia McGauran.
Professor Katrina Skewes McFerran. Photo by Giulia McGauran.

Professor Katrina Skewes McFerran, Professor in Music Therapy and Head of the Creative Arts Therapies Research Unit in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, has been appointed as the new Director of the Researcher Development Unit (RDU).

Professor McFerran takes on this role having previously served as Associate Dean for the Research, Student Wellbeing, and Diversity and Inclusion portfolios in the Faculty.

“I have a long-standing commitment to supporting researchers to flourish in the university system. Some challenges are specific to our systems and learning to navigate them successfully is the key to success,” Professor McFerran said.

As an educator and researcher, Professor McFerran has worked in the university sector for 20 years, focusing on how to use creative strategies to navigate through difficult and confusing times. She is an accomplished teacher and has led large undergraduate and breadth subjects in areas such as music psychology and music and health from the perspective of the humanities. She has also led graduate programs in music therapy, drama and dance therapy, designing research training programs and writing texts to support researcher development.

Professor McFerran is an enthusiastic guide and supervisor for PhD researchers and a mentor to colleagues. She will bring this longstanding commitment to supporting researchers as they navigate careers across the University to her work with the RDU.

The Researcher Development Unit was formed in 2021 to support the co-ordination, delivery and evaluation of researcher development programs and offerings across all academic career stages and levels. Working in partnership with academic and other researcher development providers, such as the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education, Student and Scholarly Services and Research Innovation and Commercialisation, the RDU aims to coordinate and facilitate the design and delivery of new University-wide programs and the expansion of existing researcher development programs.

Professor McFerran will commence in the role in July.