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Mediator Standards Board awards first research grant

Australia’s Mediator Standards Board has officially launched the MSB Annual Research Grant and awarded its first research project this week.

user iconLauren Croft 27 August 2021 Big Law
Dr Lola Akin Ojelabi
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The country’s peak body for accredited mediators has announced that the first research project of the newly launched Annual Research Grant has been awarded to Dr Lola Akin Ojelabi, associate professor at Latrobe University. 

The MSB has said the launch of the grant is part of their continued commitment to support and complement its member organisations in their efforts to implement the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS) as well as provide for the continuous development of the system itself.

One way the current board has chosen to do this is through promoting research projects that encourage progressive development in the training and accreditation of mediators, and quality mediation services. As such, the MSB Annual Research Grant will be awarded each year by the MSB to one or more research projects that support the development and implementation of the NMAS. 


The grant will be open to the broader alternative dispute resolution community each year, including universities and research institutes as well as Recognised Mediator Accreditation Bodies (RMABs) and MSB members – and will provide up to $50,000 to be awarded annually.

Peter Condliffe, MSB board member and chair of the MSB’s research committee, said that the initiative began with valuable viewpoints and feedback provided by attendees at the National Mediation Conference in 2019 and has included extensive consultation since then. 

“Various members and industry stakeholders across the broader Alternative Dispute Resolution Community provided us with great insight about how the MSB could continue to support its members and develop the accreditation system,” he said.

The first research project awarded the grant, “Reality Testing in Mediation”, will be led by Dr Ojelabi.

“Reality testing is a core skill identified in the National Mediator Accreditation System’s Practice Standards and an important part of the mediator’s role. However, it is a skill which has been little studied or analysed. This project will go some way to remedy this,” Mr Condliffe added.

“It was clear in her submission that Dr Lola Ojelabi’s work, as well as her previous research on mediation, could result in findings that have immediate application to both the mediation profession, and for MSB and its members in relation to training and how the Standards are applied.

“We hope it will assist our members when training new mediators, and provide existing NMAS accredited mediators with new ideas and resources.”

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