History of MERC
Professor Ilana Snyder
MERC has made an invaluable contribution to the Faculty’s vibrant research culture. Since its inception two decades ago, MERC has provided an intellectual home for the Faculty of Education’s large cohort of research students. MERC offers formal activities to build students’ research skills and enjoyable social events that allow members to forge friendships lasting well beyond the length of the degree. So successful is MERC’s educational and cultural program that the Faculty of Education is renowned within Monash University for the ways in which it engages its research students.
Congratulations to all the members of MERC, past and present, who have made the organisation such an important component of the Faculty of Education over the past 20 years.
In 1992, a collective of research students and staff members was formed and named ERCSS (Education Research Collective of Students and Staff). It was recognised that whilst students played a role in the research work conducted in the faculty, they had no real voice as a group. ERCSS was created to arrange functions and seminars, as well as to formally advocate on behalf of research students.
In August 2004, ERCSS was renamed to MERC in response to staff and students’ requests for a new name that would truly reflect its mission and manifesto beyond the faculty community. This name change coincided with greater participation of HDR students and a more extensive program. Informal weekly lunch meetings continued to provide a platform for newly enrolled HDR students to meet others and introduce themselves, but MERC also became a stronger voice faculty wide. MERC began to represent HDR students at faculty subcommittees such as the Research Resourcing Sub-committee and the Research Induction committee.