Professor Rachel Parker

Pro Vice Chancellor (Research)

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)
+61 7 336 59044


Rachel Parker's research field is technology innovation systems and she has a discipline background in policy, governance and strategy.

Rachel has twenty years experience in higher education research leadership as Director Higher Degree Research Studies (UQ, 2003-2006), Associate Dean Research (QUT, 2009-2018), Dean Research Development (QUT 2014-2015), Director Centre for METS Business Innovation (QUT, 2017-2020) and most recently as Executive Director, Research Translation and Impact (UQ, 2022-2023). She has worked closely with State and Federal governments as an advisor on technology and innovation policy, research impact and university-industry research collaboration.

Rachel's research focuses on the business and social dimensions of uptake and diffusion of science and engineering research across the economy and the creation of new economic opportunities from new technologies. She is Leader of the Industry Translation Capability and Chief Investigator in the recently awarded ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology. She was the inaugural Director Centre for Mining Equipment Technology and Services (METS) Business Innovation (QUT 2017-2020), funded by Queensland Government, Mining 3 and with major projects funded by CRCOre. She has led large-scale multi-disciplinary partnerships including ARC, CRC and commercial research. She has been a Lead Chief Investigator on three ARC Discovery Projects and a Chief Investigator on four ARC Linkage Projects and the Centre of Excellence in Creative Industries and Innovation.

Rachel was a member of the social sciences panel of the ARC Research Engagement and Impact assessment exercise, she was an invited expert witness before the Senate Economic References Committee inquiry into Australia’s innovation system, she was a member of the economic impact panel of the ATN/GO8 research impact assessment trial. Rachel has worked as an advisor on knowledge transfer activities for several public organisations and her leadership roles have involved the development of impact pathways including the coordination, design and delivery of collaborations with industry and government to maximise industry awareness of emerging industrial opportunities as well as the barriers and drivers of technology adoption and industry development.

Her publications appear in leading international journals in the field including Economic Geography, Sociology, Regional Studies, Industrial and Corporate Change, Environment and Planning A, Organization Studies, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and Work, Employment and Society. In addition to academic publications, her research on industrial innovation has been published in the Australia Higher Education Supplement and The Conversation. In 2005, Rachel received a Vice Chancellor Foundation Research Excellence Award.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Law, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Arts, The University of Queensland


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  • Boreham, Paul R., Parker, R., Thompson, P. and Hall, R. (2008). New technology @ work. London, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780203647004

  • Parker, R. L. Government, Business and Society 2nd ed. Frenches Forest NSW: Pearson Education Australia, 2003.

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PhD and MPhil Supervision

Completed Supervision