DWU Research Centre (DWURC)

Where we are

The DWU Research Centre is a distributed facility located at the university’s Madang campus.

Mosley Moramoro Lab

PhD students have common room space in the Mosley Moramoro Lab, located upstairs in the Post-Graduate and Research Centre. The lab has wired connections to the university’s broadband network.

Graduate students from other institutions who have been accepted as Research Visitors are also welcome to use this space.

Resource Room 8

Resource Room 8, located downstairs in the Post-Graduate and Research Centre, is a space suitable for preparing project equipment and sorting materials after return from the field. A large format Canon plotter is available by prior arrangement.

Who we are

The Research Centre draws on staff across the four Faculties at the Madang campus


Professor Philip Gibbs
Vice President, Research and Postgraduate Studies

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Professor John Burton
Deputy Vice President, Research

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Ms Fidelma Takaili
Executive Officer – Postgraduate and Research Centre

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Ms Leonie Baptiste
Research Co-ordinator – Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

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Associate Professor Pascal Michon
Research Co-ordinator – Medical and Health Sciences

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Ms Theresa Kau
Research Co-ordinator – Faculty of Business and Informatics

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Associate Professor Patricia Paraide
Research Co-ordinator – Education

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What we do

Help with project design and analysis

We are happy to help staff and students on all aspects of designing and carrying out a research project. It is also quite likely that we can help with contacts in other parts of Papua New Guinea or researchers elsewhere in the world who know something about what you want to do. Ask!

Help with research applications

Contemporary research is all about collaboration. It invariably means you need to get others to ‘buy into’ what you want to do (whether this is local communities, district administrations, or research partners in other organisations), engage with funding organisations, and go through various ethical clearances. We can help you with this. If we don’t know ourselves (with external schemes), we can certainly help you find out how to go about it.

Do you want us to do some research?

While Divine Word University is primarily a teaching university, we are able to consider commissioned research projects depending on the fit with our other activities. Please use the ‘Find an expert’ resource on this page or contact one of the staff.

How can you use

How can you use the Research Centre

For members of the university

Staff and senior students of the university are automatically able to make use of the Research Centre’s human and physical resources. Just come and discuss your project and research needs.

For visitors

Divine Word University welcomes visitors. If you would like to make a research stay, we can offer you, subject to acceptance by us, one of the follow affiliation statuses:

  • Current and retired academics and researchers – affiliation as a ‘Visiting Fellow’
  • Post-graduate students – affiliation as a ‘Visiting Scholar’
  • Others with a valid proposal – affiliation as a ‘Research Visitor’

In addition, the university may affiliate individuals from time to time as Adjunct Professors.

Use of the facilities – reasonable use of internet connection, desk space as available – comes with no charge for affiliates and Adjunct Professors.

If accommodation is also required, this will by negotiation with the university.

No remuneration or or entitlement to expense reimbursements attachs to these positions.

For government and private enterprise

We can assist in policy and due diligence reviews, and short assignments providing advice depending on the fit with our other activities. Please use the ‘Find an expert’ resource on this page or contact one of the staff.

For civil society organisations and partner research institutions

We are open to joining research collaborations as partners where external funding is jointly sought, and may be able to help increase the chances of success in this. Please use the ‘Find an expert’ resource on this page or contact one of the staff.


Research Committees

Research and Higher Degrees Board

The Research and Higher Degrees Board (RHDB) is a Standing Committee of the Academic Board and plays two vital roles: First, it provides research policy direction and the regulation of these policies to ensure quality and ethical conduct of research activities and training across the university. The Board is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the activities of the University Research Ethics Committee and the Medical Health Sciences Research Committee.The second vital role of the Research and Higher Degrees Board is to develop policies and guidelines and to establish procedures for postgraduate and research higher degree programs. In this capacity, the Board provides leadership and ensures quality assurance through monitoring and regulating all matters related to student selection, admission and academic progress for higher degrees programs offered by the University. The Research and Higher Degrees Board meets at least four times a year.

Functions of the Research and Higher Degrees Board

  • Develop, monitor and regulate policies, procedures and regulations for university research and training, and postgraduate and research higher degree programs
  • Recommend to the Academic Board university research and higher degrees policies and guidelines
  • Advise the Academic Board on university research and higher degrees supervision training, policy and practice
  • Advise the Academic Board on the management of intellectual property and copyright
  • Screen candidates for doctoral programs, appoint supervisors, arrange proposal presentations, and receive semester progress reports from candidates and supervisors
  • Approve examiners for doctoral theses and monitor the examination process
  • Ensure the promotion of presentation of staff research papers in journals, on the Internet and at conferences and seminars
  • Maintain and review academic standards of postgraduate and research higher degree programs through benchmarking against good international practices
  • Coordinate reports of research activities by the university research ethics committee, and the medical health sciences research committee
  • Report to Academic Board on the research activities and research training across the university
  • Report to Academic Board on postgraduate program developments and progress of doctoral candidates

Membership of the Research and Higher Degrees Board

The composition of the Research and Higher Degrees Board includes:

Vice President Research and Higher Degrees Board (chairperson)
Director Center for Health Research and Diagnostics
Director Center for Social Research
Vice Presidents (ex officio)
Full time professors
Dean of Each Faculty

Standing committees of the Research and Higher Degrees Board

The Standing Committees that report to the Research and Higher Degrees Board are the University Research Ethics Committee and Medical Health Sciences Research Committee.

University Research Ethics Committee

The University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) reports to the Research and Higher Degrees Board and is responsible for protecting the rights, dignity, health, safety and privacy of research participants. It is also concerned with protecting the health, safety, rights and academic freedom of researchers and the reputation of the University as a centre for high-quality research. No research proposal may proceed without approval of the ethics committee.

Functions of the University Research Ethics Committee

  • Consider the ethical and legal implications of all proposed research projects (including those by visiting researchers or other institutions who want to conduct research involving human participation at DWU) that are conducted in or by the University and involve contact with human participants, and to determine whether or not they meet the requirements   for the ethical conduct of research involving human participants and whether or not they conform to relevant legal requirements.
  • Establish procedures for the evaluation and certification of all proposals for the conduct, by members of the University, of research projects which involve human participants.
  • Assist researchers to meet the requirements and standards of legal, professional and grant-awarding bodies.
  • Establish and maintain a register of all proposed research projects which involve contact with human participants, so that the relevant data are readily available.
  • Monitor the progress of research projects so as to ensure that they conform to ethical principles and standards
  • Provide for a confidential mechanism for receiving complaints or reports on the conduct of research projects.
  • Report to the Research and Higher Degrees Board on a regular basis.

Membership of the Research Ethics Committee

The University Research Ethics Committee will be appointed by the Research and Higher Degrees Board, and consist of at least four members.

Chairperson: Most Senior academic staff (PhD/MD/or equivalent)
Deputy Chairperson- nominated by the Research Ethics Committee (1)
Vice President Research and Higher Degrees (ex officio)

Director of Post Graduate and Research Center (1)
Director of Quality Assurance (1)
Chaplain of the University or senior layman (1)
Chairperson of Each Faculty Research Committee (4)

Research Documents

Download this file (DWU Research plan 25 01 18.pdf)Download[DWU Research Plan 2018]

Strategic Objectives

Strategic themes

  • A balance of fundamental research as an academic pursuit for the sake of generating new knowledge for its own sake and applied research to serve public need.

  • Developing a scholarly culture that sees a natural relationship between research and teaching, research and learning, and research and leadership and management. All staff with postgraduate qualifications will be motivated to develop a research mindset such that the practices of scholarship and research become an engrained culture.


Support an environment of research culture Attract, retain, support and celebrate people engaged in and supporting research Engage with community partners and collaborators locally, nationally and internationally to create, share and apply research. Support fundamental and applied research in areas of strategic responsibility

Core Value

Divine Word University’s Core Values, as articulated in the University Charter and also expressed in its Vision and Mission Statements, are at the heart of Divine Word University’s academic and non-academic programs and its philosophy. These values provide a framework for the University’s development and enliven the University's identity, the University’s heritage and its commitment to knowledge for holistic, personal development and social progress.

Integrity - offers to the University the ability to realize the Christian values and maintain the highest academic standards by upholding academic policies. It promotes the University strategic objectives and its Vision by emphasizing holistic education at the University and encouraging a consistency of actions and values.

Academic Excellence - DWU is committed to quality of research, learning and teaching for every individual learner. DWU’s diverse academic faculties with a qualified academic staff, in collaboration with international academics and universities, promotes critical thinking for staff and students who are engaged in learning, research, and creativity. Thus, DWU stimulates academic and personal leadership for staff and students with a spirit of ethical values and personal discipline.

Community Engagement/Service - commits the DWU Community to follow the example of the Divine Word to utilize our gifts, talents and abilities to advance the genuine well-being of the people we encounter in our community and the nation.

Respect - the DWU Community respects every person’s dignity, background and potential, and appreciates and respects the right to express diverse ideas with a freedom of academic enquires.

Diversity - the University’s Founders were from a different cultural and social background. Diversity nurtures an international academic community within the university that fosters a culture that is open and welcoming to people of diverse backgrounds, and promotes ideas and perspectives that engages the faculty, staff and students in academic and non-academic activities in an educational environment, and prepares the students to live and work in an international society within a global economy.

Hospitality - at DWU we attend to our daily duties with a spirit of openness and kindness that welcomes new ideas and people with a diversity of backgrounds and beliefs. We receive and value our visitors with divergent ideas and new insights and challenges.

Learning for Life - DWU is committed to providing opportunities to staff and students for personal growth in an environment that supports the development of discipline, ethical decision- making, and personal responsibility.

Social Responsibility - DWU is committed to equity, social justice, and diversity, and maintains the highest standards of integrity in our relationships with others. DWU is an institution that serves as a resource for and stimulus to social, economic, educational, cultural, environmental, and community development in Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific.

DWU Research Centre (DWURC)

Name: The Centre is called the DWU Research Centre (DWURC)

Focus: Research Management, Commercialization of projects and Securing of grants

• Promote development research (science & technology & issues of patency and creation of new knowledge through development and commercialized research)
• Engage International research partners in exchange programs
• Network with external research institutions and organisations
• Secure External Grants
• Engage in Collaborative and large-scale grant research
• Promote publications in referred journals leading to influence in policy and practice, both internationally and nationally


Key Performance Indicators:

The DWU Research Plan outlines the following four KPIs:

Key Indicators Outputs
  • • Papers accepted for publication in international refereed journals
  • • Papers accepted for publication in national refereed journals
  • • Book chapters
  • • Edited or sole books
Higher Degrees by Research (HDR)
  • • Number of Completion rates
External Competitive Research Grants
  • • Number of grants and total income
Commercial and public sector research grants
  • • Number of grants and total income


DWU Research Centre – Terms of Reference, Aims and Objectives

1. The DWU Research Centre (‘the Research Centre’) is established as an entity within Divine Word University (‘the University’).

2. The aims of the Research Centre are to undertake research activities in any areas or disciplines relevant to the broad interests of the University and in line with the DWU Research Plan.

3. The term ‘research activities’ shall be not be limited to, but may taken to include: conducting research with the resources of the centre; assisting other members of the University with research and research supervision; providing advice to the University on research policy, standards and performance; seeking external funding for research; assisting staff and students with applications for research grants and fellowship schemes; liaison with national and international research bodies and institutions, especially those the University has formal research linkages with; hosting self-funded researchers from other institutions; and the dissemination of research findings.

4. The University may appoint research or administrative staff to positions within the Research Centre to further its research activities and the Research Centre may recommend to the Director, University Human Resource Management such appointments.

5. The University may allocate funds to the Research Centre to further its aims and objectives.

6. The Research Centre may seek external funding sources, manage funds so obtained, and use such funds for research activities.

7. The Research Centre may affiliate external, self-funded pre-doctoral researchers as Research Visitors; and, subject to the approval of the Vice President for Research and Postgraduate Studies, may affiliate external, self-funded postdoctoral researchers as Visiting Fellows.

8. An Annual Report of the activities of the Research Centre, including a financial statement, shall be submitted to the Research and Higher Degrees Board before 01 February of the following year.


Since the 2011 Academic Audit by AUQA, Divine Word University has advanced its research profile in significant ways. The Office of Vice President, Research and Postgraduate Studies (VPRPS) was created in late 2011 followed by the subsequent appointment of the VPRPS in early 2012. The VPRPS is responsible for ensuring quality leadership and management of two core academic activities; Research and Postgraduate Studies, the latter, is inclusive of master and doctoral programs. Whereas all formal research activities are aligned to the DWU Research Plan 2011-2016, our postgraduate studies operate within the Regulations that Guide Research Higher Degree Programs.

The Research Plan, derived from the DWU Strategic Plan 2006–2016, is intended to drive the triple mission of DWU; the acquisition of knowledge (the mission of research), the transmission of knowledge (the mission of teaching), and the application of knowledge (the mission of community engagement). Faculties have begun and will continue to be active participants in the plan as they measure their performances against the key research performance indicators.

Regarding postgraduate studies, except for the Doctor of Philosophy Program, which is offered both full and part time, all other postgraduate masters programs are offered through flexible learning. As the university expands to meet the demands of higher education in PNG, some of these postgraduate masters programs will be offered either on full time basis, online, or through blended learning. For now, the demand to study part-time whilst remaining connected to the workforce, workplace environment, and the social support and security of family, determines the nature of our postgraduate masters programs at DWU. This can pose various challenges, including, that of sustaining quality postgraduate programs in a changing higher education landscape in PNG.

Dr Maretta Kula-Semos (PhD)