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Director, Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland

Mark Western is Director of the Institute for Social Science Research at The University of Queensland, and a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Children and Families Over the Life Course. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and an International Fellow of the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University, USA. He has previously worked at the Australian National University and the University of Tasmania, and held visiting appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Manchester, and the Institute of Education, London.

Mark is a sociologist whose research examines how systems of inequality and disadvantage arise and can be addressed and what matters for economic and social well-being. Mark also carries out research in social science methods.

In 2012 Mark chaired the Education and Human Society Research Evaluation Committee for the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) national evaluation of university research quality. In 2013 he was Deputy Chair of the Steering Committee for a joint Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences project, Mapping the Humanities and Social Sciences in Australia, for the Australian Chief Scientist. In 2014, Mark represented the Academy of Social Sciences on an Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) project, Research Engagement for Australia, exploring options for metrics to measure university and industry research engagement. In 2015 Mark was Deputy Chair of the Expert Working Group undertaking the Review of the Australian Research Training System for the Australian Council of Learned Academies. Aside from Centre of Excellence funding, Mark has held research grants and government contracts worth over $25 million. He has edited and authored 6 books, and over 100 book chapters, journal articles and commissioned reports.


  • 2008–2016
    Director, Institute for Social Science Research , The University of Queensland