BEd (Hons I & Medal), PhD (USyd)


Professor Helen Watt, BEd (Hons I & Medal), PhD, is Professor of Educational Psychology at The University of Sydney where she is Director of Research Development (Social Sciences), and Honorary Professor at Monash University. She previously served at Monash, Michigan, Western Sydney, Sydney, and Macquarie Universities; was Australian Research Council Future Fellow 2017-2021, and Australian Research Fellow 2011-2015. Helen has systematically researched motivation in relation to educational and occupational choices in two main programs of research that examine declining participation in advanced sciences and mathematics especially by girls (, and the engagement and wellbeing of beginning teachers together with Professor Paul Richardson at Monash University ( Her findings are founded on long-term large-scale survey data across comparative settings and depend on her developed methodological skills and statistical knowledge. Her work is highly theoretical, yet focused on addressing issues of educational significance to inform policy and strategic initiatives in areas critical to Australia’s prosperity and innovation. Valid data identifying long-term trends and influences are needed to understand and address the move away from STEM fields, and attract and sustain effective teachers in the profession. Helen has published extensively on these topics for which she won multiple research awards and substantial funding. She initiated and convenes Network Gender & STEM ( whose members share objectives to gain greater insight into the various connected aspects of career choices and professional careers of girls/women (and boys/men) in the direction of STEM, and detect new approaches to improve and address the underrepresentation of girls/women. Biennial Network conferences since 2012 have marked the beginning of a more coherent way of exchanging information, as members collectively work to find new ways to implement research findings in both policy and practice. She has held leadership roles in major international (American Educational Research Association) and Australian (Australian Association for Research in Education) societies. Helen’s capacity to attract funding and produce quality publications is a reflection of her standing in the discipline, willingness to lead and collaborate with others, and strength of her international networks.

Professor of Educational Psychology, The University of Sydney 2017 +

ARC Future Fellow 2017-2021

Professor, Education, Monash University 2016-2017

Head, Educational Psychology and Inclusive Education, Monash University 2015-2017

ARC Australian Research Fellow 2011-2015

Associate Professor, Education, Monash University 2009-2015

Senior Lecturer, Education, Monash University 2006-2008

Assistant Research Scientist, Educational Psychology, University of Michigan 2004-2006

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Educational Psychology, University of Michigan 2003-2004

Senior Lecturer, Educational Psychology and Quantitative Methods, University of Western Sydney 2003

Assoc. Lecturer, Educational Psychology and Quantitative Methods, The University of Sydney 1998-2002

Lecturer, Quantitative Methods, Institute for Early Childhood, Macquarie University 1997-1998


  • Faculty of Education, Monash University, inaugural Dean's Award for Research Impact, 2015
  • Runner-up, AERA Division E (Counseling & Development) Outstanding Research Award, 2014
  • Society for Research in Child Development International Award, 2007
  • Faculty of Education, Monash University, inaugural Dean's Award, Excellence in Research by Early Career Researchers, 2006
  • Australian Association for Research in Education, Early Career Researcher Award, 2004
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA) Div E (Counseling & Human Development) Outstanding Dissertation Award, 2004
  • AERA Div C (Learning and Instruction) Graduate Student Research Excellence Award, 2001


  • 2017-2021: ARC Future Fellow
  • 2011-2015: ARC Australian Research Fellow
  • 2004: Positive Psychology Summer Institute Fellowship
  • 2003-2004: University of Michigan, Postdoctoral Fellowship


  • Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA) “Supervisor of the Year”, 2020
  • Monash Postgraduate Association “Supervisor of the Year”, 2013
  • Nominee, Monash Postgraduate Association “Supervisor of the Year” (each year), 2007-2011
  • Nominee, Monash University Vice-Chancellor’s Education Award for Excellence in Honours Supervision, 2013
  • Monash University Faculty nominee, Carrick citations for outstanding contributions to student learning, 2008
  • Monash University, Vice-Chancellor’s Showcase of Teaching Excellence, 2007
  • University of Western Sydney, Teaching Quality Grant 00, 2003
  • The University of Sydney, Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, 2003
  • The University of Sydney, Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, 2000


  • American Educational Research Association
  • European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction
  • Australian Association for Research in Education
  1. De Clercq, M., Watt, H. M. G., & Richardson, P. W. (2021). Profiles of teachers’ striving and wellbeing: Evolution and relations with context factors, retention and professional engagement. Journal of Educational Psychology.
  2. Watt, H. M. G., Butler, R., & Richardson, P. W. (2021). Antecedents and consequences of teachers’ goal profiles in Australia and Israel. Learning and Instruction, 14, 101491. 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2021.101491
  3. Lazarides, R., Watt, H. M. G., & Richardson, P. W. (2020). Teachers’ classroom management self-efficacy, perceived classroom management and teaching contexts from beginning until mid-career. Learning and Instruction, 69, 101346.
  4. Watt, H. M. G., Bucich, M., & Dacosta, L. (2019). Adolescents’ motivational profiles in mathematics and science: Associations with achievement striving, career aspirations and psychological wellbeing. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 244-266. 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00990
  5. Watt, H. M. G., Hyde, J. S., Petersen, J., Morris, Z. A., Rozek, C. S., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2017). Mathematics - A critical filter for STEM-related career choices? A longitudinal examination among Australian and U.S. adolescents. Sex Roles, 77(3-4), 254-271. 10.1007/s11199-016-0711-1