Celeste Combrinck was the first recipient of the WERA Visiting Researcher Award. The award is a joint collaboration by the World Education Research Association (WERA) and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) to contribute to the advancement of educational research.
The WERA-IEA-DiVER award offers academics the opportunity to visit the IEA Research and Analysis (RandA) Unit in Hamburg and the Diversity in Education Research Lab (DiVER) at the University of Hamburg. Visiting researchers have the opportunity to develop their own research project while benefiting from the individual support of IEA and DiVER Hamburg experts working in different fields related to international large-scale assessments, especially with a focus on diversity in education. The award committee had a strong and large application pool, which made the selection task particularly challenging. In total, 35 applicants from 18 countries applied.
Celeste Combrinck visited the Universität Hamburg and the IEA offices in Hamburg for six weeks in 2019. Dr Combrinck worked on data from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), with the aim to devise models which make heterogeneous samples more comparable. According to Dr Combrinck: The liberty to contemplate the nature of knowledge work and my role as researcher and academic was an unexpected benefit. I practised the discipline of focused reading, thinking and writing during my time as a visiting researcher, a practice I intend to integrate more fully into my daily habits.
Prof Ingrid Gogolin (University of Hamburg) and Dr Dirk Hastedt (IEA) presenting the award to Dr Celeste Combrinck (University of Pretoria)