Macquarie University Centre for Reading

Project: Research

Project Details


Macquarie University has a long-standing international reputation for reading research, particularly in the areas of skilled reading, reading development, developmental and acquired reading disorders, and cross-linguistic reading. Its reputation was initially established by Professor Max Coltheart and his MQ colleagues, with their close collaborations with reading researchers in Australia and around the world. This group's international reputation contributed to MQ's successful application for an ARC Special Research Centre (2000-2009) - the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science (MACCS). The success of the MACCS Reading Program attracted numerous reading researchers to MQ including Professor Anne Castles from University of Melbourne (now an MQ Distinguished Professor), Professor Genevieve McArthur from Oxford University (now Head of Cognitive Science), and Dr Saskia Kohnen from Potsdam University (now Clinical Director of the MQ Reading Clinic). In 2010, when MQ applied for an ARC Centre of Excellence, its reading researchers were again a key component of its success. The ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) attracted $21M from 2011-2018. It supported the expansion of the reading group by six postdoctoral researchers and dozens of PhD students. This period of growth also saw new connections formed between reading researchers in different Departments within the University as well as further expansion of the already extensive international network. In addition, the MQ Reading Clinic was founded in 2014; and in 2017, two international leaders in reading research - Professors Erik Reichle and Rauno Parrila - joined MQ, attracted in part by its stellar international reputation in reading research. There are now over 35 staff members across the University engaged in reading-related research, with five in the global Top 150 researchers in "Language; Reading; Semantics" (SciVal: Castles, Coltheart, Nickels, Parrila, Reichle). This area is overall 3rd most productive at MQ in terms of scholarly output, 2016-19 (Scival). Macquarie has long been recognised for its excellence in reading research. However, with the completion of the CCD, MQ requires an ongoing mechanism for promoting, co-ordinating and accelerating this research, allowing it to capitalise on the momentum that has been built through successive external Centre funding. Therefore, the first major focus of the Centre will be to support a diverse, interdisciplinary program of reading research across the University, addressing a range of significant problems related to skilled reading, learning to read, reading interventions, and dyslexia. It will bring together researchers from across the University, including from Cognitive Science, Psychology, Linguistics, Educational Studies, Philosophy, and the Centre for the Health Economy (MUCHE). This will serve to cement our international profile in this field, provide a focus for branding and promotion, and provide a hub to link us in with our large network of international collaborators. In order to maintain momentum, we have already established the Centre profile and set up a website ( A second major focus of the Centre will be to take up the challenge of developing a co-ordinated set of pathways to impact. It is widely recognised that there is a large evidence gap between the state of research knowledge about reading and its development and the application of that knowledge in educatio
Effective start/end date1/01/2031/12/22