Assoc. Prof. Mathias Sinning's passion in his new role

14 Aug 2023

Having taken on the role of ADR within the College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP) less than a month ago, Associate Professor Mathias Sinning is looking forward to ramping up with the understanding that there's a lot already going well within the College. 

Associate Professor Sinning is Deputy Director of the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at the Crawford School of Public Policy, and has been at the ANU since 2008, when he started out in the Research School of Economics. He spent a year teaching at the University of Queensland (UQ), then came back to Crawford where he has been based for almost 10 years. 

"I'm very interested in uncovering the effectiveness of policy interventions," he says.  

"It's about grasping the essence of causality - understanding the impact of policy on people's lives and working out how to measure that impact." 

Associate Professor Sinning says that one of the challenges in the ADR role will be to ensure CAP continues to keep doing the right things.  

"There are three things I'll be concentrating on for the next few years, starting with funding - looking at how diversifying could boost our resources," he says. 

"Secondly, enhancing capabilities for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) has been successful in the past, but we need to keep doing this well. I'm also committed to forging pathways for First Nations scholars." 

Associate Professor Sinning says that CAP will host Linkage Application Workshops aimed at college-level projects, focusing on the strategic value of Linkage projects, finding suitable partners and crafting compelling applications.  

His own ARC Linkage project, "The use of nudges as a local government environmental policy instrument" starts imminently and will focus on investigating the practical implementation of behavioural economics concepts, specifically the use of nudges as a strategic instrument for environmental policies in the ACT. 

"My personal passion is looking at data, so within this role in CAP I'm keen to see if there are ways to collect relevant data to help us develop better performance indicators," he says.  

"And related to that, as a behavioural economist I'm passionate about making things easier for academics." 

He says the ADR role was particularly appealing to him, as he's enthusiastic about research and the mechanics of securing funding.

"I'd like to help others improve their grant applications, so this is a really interesting role for me - I'm very passionate about research and thrilled to learn more about research management through this role," he says. 

​​​​​​​"I'm keen to promote interdisciplinary research and to foster that environment of collaboration, looking beyond CAP and thinking about ways to connect Colleges."

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