Professor Will Bateman champions interdisciplinary excellence and innovation at ANU

13 May 2024

Professor Will Bateman loves to push boundaries within his research.  

In his current role as Associate Dean Research (ADR) at the ANU College of Law, he still regularly publishes, with two new books due out in coming months.  

He leads multi-jurisdictional projects on the legal regulation of public and private finance, with a focus on central banking, sovereign debt markets, national budget formulation and sustainable investing. 

“The more challenged I am, the more energy I have, so that intellectual spark is absolutely still there for me while I’m in the ADR role,” he says. 

Will also has a strong passion for intellectual exchange across disciplines and a drive to solve complex societal problems. 

Having studied his masters and PhD in Law at Cambridge University, he used the opportunity to explore mixed methods research, bridging law with public administration and institutional economics.  

“Studying at Cambridge opened my mind to connecting with other disciplines. My closest colleagues were economists, classicists, computer scientists and mathematicians, and as a result, I still publish in journals outside law,” he says. 

“Cambridge also trained me in asking difficult questions and to not be afraid to take risks.” 

Even while working various roles within law practice, Will continued publishing and remains energised by a love of ideas.  

As ADR, Will appreciates the opportunity to make things better across the University.  

“I’m always thinking about ways we can build support structures and institutional processes that lead to more excellence, and make everybody's work better,” he says. 

“There is so much talent and energy at ANU. I’m pleased that I can be a catalyst for even more of this, particularly in the ECR and MCR space. 

When we can set people on a runway and watch them take off – I find that incredibly meaningful. That’s what keeps me in the job.” 

A major part of the ADR role has been working to diversify funding and providing support for people to achieve that. 

“As a researcher, what you’ll be rewarded for (and what is recognised as excellent) is constantly evolving,” he says. 

“Making sure we maintain the academic quality that is so important at ANU but also supporting our people to develop and meet the changing world, is a big challenge.” 

Will’s leadership extends beyond the College of Law, the ANU and Australia, with the College collaborating with universities across disciplines globally to address common challenges.  

“I love that the College of Law is extremely interdisciplinary, and that we encourage and reward people who aim high,” he says. 

“We're focused on being involved in international debates which matter to Australia. One of the things I’m proudest of is that we maintained this international drive during Covid.” 

Will says that ANU is an incredible place for scholars in terms of commitment to academic excellence, and to innovative and applied research. 

"I'm excited about the future of ANU, just as excited as I am about the past," he says. "Let's take some risks and see where we end up.” 

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