Menu Close
Senior Research Fellow, Teachers and Teaching Research Centre, University of Newcastle

Dr Sally Patfield is a Senior Research Fellow with the Teachers and Teaching Research Centre at the University of Newcastle. Sally has over 15 years' experience working in various educational contexts, including as a primary teacher in NSW public schools and across professional and academic roles in higher education.

Sally's doctoral research investigated school students who would be the first in their families to enter higher education. Conferred in 2018, her thesis was awarded the prestigious Ray Debus Award for Doctoral Research in Education (2019) by the Australian Association for Research in Education. Her thesis was also awarded the Higher Degree by Research Excellence Award for the School of Education (2018) at the University of Newcastle and the Australian Council of Deans of Education Postgraduate Student/Early Career Researcher Poster Award (2016).

Sally's research interests include the sociology of education, higher education, social inequality, and teacher professional learning.


  • 2015–present
    Sessional Academic, The University of Newcastle
  • 2022–present
    Senior Research Fellow, The University of Newcastle
  • 2018–2022
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The University of Newcastle
  • 2015–2018
    Research Assistant, The University of Newcastle


  • 2018 
    The University of Newcastle, PhD (Education)