Two new CRADLE Fellowships for 2024

We are pleased to announce that two Fellowships have been awarded so far for 2024. Congratulations and welcome to Dr Maria Rae, Senior Lecturer in Politics and Policy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Associate Professor Laura Gray, School of Medicine.


Dr Maria Rae


Maria’s research interests include political communication, media, podcasts and digital journalism, and she has previously worked as a newspaper journalist. Her research explores how marginalised and fringe communities use media to contest dominant narratives. More recently she is studying the sound of politics through voice, power and audio technology.

Maria’s Fellowship project ‘Voice, diversity and digital audio in assessment for inclusion’ aims to provide a platform for marginalised voices in oral communications and presentations, and seeks to consider how culturally and linguistically diverse, working-class, women’s and neurodiverse voices may be presented, heard and assessed. Specifically the research will aim to co-design digital audio assessment with students to make oral presentations more inclusive, and to develop a framework for educators to design and grade audio assessments to account for diversity

Associate Professor Laura Gray


Laura is working towards equity of educational experience and access for students in health professions programs. With a background in medical education leadership and research her interests and publications span models of authentic assessment for enabling learner agency, inclusive policy and practice, and fostering cultures of respect and compassion in the educational setting.

Her Fellowship project ‘Masks on or off? Are workplace-based assessments a tool for professional identity development or a setting for identity dissonance, for neurodivergent medical students?’ will investigate the interfaces between neurodiverse identity and professional identity in healthcare learners, and the role of workplace learning and assessment. It will seek to understand how neurodivergent medical students navigate the co-construction of professional and neurodiverse identities in clinical learning environments, and investigate the associated role of workplace-based assessments.

About Maria Rae


Maria Rae is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and Policy in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and previously worked as a newspaper journalist. Her research interests include political communication, media, podcasts and digital journalism. Specifically, her work explores how marginalised and fringe communities use media to contest dominant narratives. More recently, she is studying the sound of politics through voice, power and audio technology. Her work has been published in New Media and Society, Journal of Radio and Audio Media, Continuum, International Journal of Communication and Media, and Culture and Society.

About Laura Gray


Laura Gray is an Associate Professor with the School of Medicine and works towards equity of educational experience and access for students in health professions programs. With a background in medical education leadership and research, she has recently taken on the role of Deputy Director of the newly established Damion Drapac Centre for Equity in Health Professions Education at Deakin University. Current research projects include explorations of disability inclusive practice in medical training and the experiences of neurodivergent students in clinical learning environments.


What is the CRADLE Fellowship Scheme?

The objectives of the CRADLE Fellowship Scheme are to attract Deakin academics to foster the development of relevant research expertise, and support excellent practice in assessment and digital learning at Deakin. Fellows are given access to our facilities and researcher team, and are financially supported to develop both their individual and faculty’s research profile. The benefits of being a CRADLE fellow include gaining worldwide recognition as being part of an international research centre in assessment in higher education and interacting with eminent researchers from overseas, with opportunities for collective research partnerships.

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