Research focus areas

The Institute of Ethics and Society (IES) pursues academic research on ethics and society that is philosophically rigorous, interdisciplinary, and informed by the Catholic intellectual, social and moral tradition.
The Institute has three Research Focus Areas.


The IES aspires to be a collegial community of qualified and passionate researchers that includes Institute staff, Adjuncts, visiting scholars, early-career researchers, HDR students, UNDA colleagues and cross-institutional collaborators. We are seeking to build a hub of research expertise within our five Research Focus Areas.  At present, we are developing a program for postdoctoral students that offers adjunct status, as well as some institutional resources such as library access and the provision of desk space. Scholars who hold a PhD, work in one of our Research Focus Areas and would like to be involved with the IES, should contact the Director, Prof. Sandra Lynch. The Institute is particularly interested in attracting researchers working in areas of Professional and Applied Ethics that relate to Notre Dame's professional degree programs (Medicine, Nursing, Law, Business and Education).  Students interested in postgraduate HDR study at Notre Dame in any of the Institute's areas of expertise can find information here.

Research Culture

The IES aspires to create an exemplary research culture that fosters and enhances members' research undertakings, including their ability to develop substantial research proposals, attract external funding and produce high-quality research outputs. Our regular research-focussed activity is the IES Research Seminar, however project convenors also organise other activities such as conferences.

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Training and Support

The IES seeks to expand the research capacity of its staff through tailored training workshops and by drawing on the expertise of our senior adjuncts as mentors. We are directing particular effort to involving junior staff and adjuncts in this training in order to contribute to the development of early-career researchers at the University.

Interdisciplinary, Cross-Institutional and Professional Engagement

The IES seeks to capitalise on the identified research strengths of the University to work actively with Notre Dame staff, as well as researchers from other institutions and professional bodies, to develop and drive innovative collaborations in our Research Focus Areas. Researchers with proposals regarding possible collaborative projects with the IES are encouraged to contact the Director, Prof. Sandra Lynch. To view examples of our current collaborations, please explore the projects listed under our Research Focus Areas.

Notre Dame Research

IES, IHR and Nulungu The IES and its fellow research institutes at The University of Notre Dame Australia, the Nulungu Research Institute and the Institute of Health Research, share a commitment to developing collaborative approaches to research. The IES also shares responsibility with its fellow institutes for the development of research capacity more broadly across the University. With regard to its relation to the IHR and Nulungu, the IES seeks in particular to support and enhance the ethical dimensions of their research.

IES Journal: Solidarity

The Institute for Ethics and Society also continues to prioritise research on Catholic Social Teaching through the publication of its journal, Solidarity: the Journal for Catholic Social Thought and Secular Ethics. Please follow the link to the Journal's homepage to read more.