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2023 Special Issue

The Contribution of Educator Wellbeing to Achieving Student Success 

2023 Special Issue Editors: Associate Professor Deanna Grant-Smith and Dr Melinda Laundon

Submissions are now closed - full issue published November 2023

Student wellbeing as an important contributor to success has been explored across multiple dimensions including emotional wellbeing (Baiket al., 2019), financial wellbeing (Grant-Smith & de Zwaan 2019), psychological wellbeing and distress (Brooker & Woodyatt 2019), and in relation to transitions into higher education (van der Zanden et al., 2018). The impact of educator wellbeing on student success is emerging as a critical area requiring more research and is the focus of the 2023 special issue of the Student Success Journal.

Educational responses to the COVID-19 pandemic focussed on educators’ ability to support student learning and student wellbeing in the newly online learning environments associated with emergency remote education, (Grant-Smith & Payne 2021). However, as additional workload expectations and resource constraints continue to impact higher education globally, there are growing concerns about educator stress, workload, burnout and intention to leave academia. It is now timely to recognise and investigate how educator wellbeing supports or constrains student success. Recent research has also demonstrated a link between student wellbeing and educator wellbeing (Savage & Morrissey 2021). Specific studies have investigated the link between educator and student wellbeing (Gillett-Swan & Grant-Smith 2020; James, et al., 2019), emotional labour associated with extension requests (Abery et al., 2016) and teaching support activities as a facilitator of staff wellbeing (Gunson et al., 2016).

In this call, we define educator broadly to include all higher education staff involved in teaching and/or supporting student learning including academics, tutors, learning designers, professional/administrative staff, and student support officers (including peer advisors). Submissions to this special issue can focus on educator wellbeing as both an indicator of, and response to, student wellbeing and success, and we are particularly interested in submissions that highlight the intersection of student and educator wellbeing. We welcome submissions that explore issues of educator wellbeing from the perspective of educators, students and/or administrators. Submissions may consider student success and educator/student wellbeing across a broad range of educational contexts including work-integrated learning and all levels of tertiary study including undergraduate, postgraduate and research higher degrees, and enabling education (e.g., transition and university entry programs).

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • The impact of poor student wellbeing on educator wellbeing
  • Considerations of the material, relational and subjective dimensions of educator wellbeing– including spiritual, cultural, physical, emotional, intellectual, social, mental, and financial wellbeing - and intersections of these
  • The contribution of educator development, self-efficacy and recognition of teaching effectiveness to educator wellbeing and/or student success
  • The impact of academic workload intensification, change fatigue, educator burnout and/or casualisation of the academic workforce on educator/student wellbeing
  • Explorations of policies, interventions, infrastructure (e.g., technological or physical), practices (e.g. collegiality and peer or pastoral support) or structural measures (e.g. financial or other measures) that can safeguard or promote the wellbeing of educators and others who support student learning.


Review and Revision process: Rolling until June 2023

Final selection/approval of papers: July 2023

Special Issue published:  November 2023


Submission information

As this is a relatively new area of inquiry we welcome empirical or conceptual articles, as well as critical literature reviews and practice reports focussing on educator wellbeing. Article submissions should include a 150-word abstract and be no more than 12 pages (including references) while Practice Reports should not exceed seven pages (including references). Submissions that do not comply with Student Success author guidelines and formatting requirements will be returned to authors for correction before being sent for review. For more details, refer to the SSJ author guidelines:


About the Special Issue Editors

Associate Professor Deanna Grant-Smith is Deputy Director of the QUT Centre for Decent Work & Industry, co-leader of the QUT Centre for Justice Technologies of Justice program, and an academic in the Faculty of Business and Law, Queensland University of Technology, Australia Deanna has published extensively in the areas of work-integrated learning and student and educator wellbeing. She has a strong research track record in exploitative work practices and the equity aspects of higher education access and participation having twice received funding from the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education to conduct research on these themes. Deanna is a Senior Fellow and Associate Fellow (Indigenous) of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded an Australian Awards for University Teaching citation in 2017.

Dr Melinda Laundon is a postdoctoral research fellow and lead of the sustainable transitions program in the QUT Centre for Decent Work & Industry, Queensland University of Technology, Sustralia Melinda is a Senior Fellow and Associate Fellow (Indigenous) of the Higher Education Academy and has served as a reviewer, mentor and external assessor for multiple institutions’ Higher Education Academy Fellowship schemes. As a lecturer in learning and teaching development, impact and recognition, she published research on university educators’ teaching philosophy statements, the role of industry in co-creating authentic learning resources, and educator perceptions of student evaluations of teaching. 



Abery, E., & Gunson, J. S. (2016). The cycle of student and staff wellbeing: Emotional labour and extension requests in higher education. A practice report. Student Success, 7(1), 65-71.

Baik, C., Larcombe, W., & Brooker, A. (2019). How universities can enhance student mental wellbeing: The student perspective. Higher Education Research & Development, 38(4), 674-687.

Brooker, A., McKague, M., & Phillips, L. (2019). Implementing a whole-of-curriculum approach to student wellbeing. Student Success, 10(3), 5-63.

Brooker, A., & Woodyatt, L. (2019). 2019 special issue: Psychological wellbeing and distress in higher education. Student Success, 10(3), i-vi.

Gillett-Swan, J. & Grant-Smith, D (2020). Addressing mentor welling being in practicum placement mentoring relationships in initial teacher education. International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, 9(4), 393-409.

Grant-Smith, D. & de Zwaan, L. (2019). Don’t spend, eat less, save more: Responses to the financial stress experienced by nursing students during unpaid clinical placements. Nurse Education in Practice, 35(1), 1-6.

Grant-Smith, D. & Payne, R. (2021). Enacting care-full engagement in the (post) pandemic higher education. In A. Bozkurt (Ed) Examining Emerging Pedagogies for the Future of Education: Trauma-informed, Care, and Pandemic Pedagogy. igiGlobal.

Gunson, J.S., Abery, E., Krassnitzer, L., Barton, C., Prichard, I., & Willis, E. (2016). Teaching in Focus: The value of implementing a program-specific teaching support project for staff wellbeing and student success. Student Success, 7(2), 51-58.

James, C., Strevens, C., Field, R., & Wilson, C. (2019). Student wellbeing through teacher wellbeing: A study with law teachers in the UK and Australia. Student Success, 10(3), 76-83.

Savage, K., & Morrissey, S. (2021). Keeping well, teaching well: Supporting staff wellbeing. Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (22).

van der Zanden, P.J., Denessen, E., Cillessen, A.H., & Meijer, P.C. (2018). Domains and predictors of first-year student success: A systematic review. Educational Research Review, 23, 57-77.

Open Access Journal
ISSN 2205-0795