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Dr. Nicole McDonald

PhD in Vocational Psychology of Agriculture, BSci. (Hons.) Psychology
Senior Research Officer-673207
School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences
Institute for Future Farming Systems
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About Me

Dr Nicole McDonald is a Senior Research Officer – Agri-tech Education and Extension at CQUniversity Australia with Bachelor of Science Hons 1 (Psychology) and a PhD in the Vocational Psychology of Agriculture. Nicole is an early career researcher in the field of career development within the agricultural industry and has worked on projects within the Australian cotton industry that explore the psychological factors contributing to job satisfaction, and more recently seeking to understand and plan for the future cotton industry workforce. These projects have developed her knowledge of attraction and retention of the agricultural workforce, technology acceptance and adoption, skills development, and leadership within agriculture. She is experienced in survey design, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, quantitative and qualitative approaches to data analysis. Nicole’s objective is a commitment to understand, improve, and promote the quality careers that exist within food and fibre industries. Joining CQU to work on the RACE Gippsland project, she is excited to apply the research she has been doing on workforce attraction to the agriculture industry to design effective career development interventions for primary and secondary students.

Universities Studied At

University of Southern Queensland

Doctor of Philosophy

Thesis: Exploring cotton farm workers’ job satisfaction by adapting social cognitive career theory to the farm work context

Bachelor of Science (Psychology, First Class Honours)

Thesis: The Reciprocal Relationship between Negative Problem Orientation, Mindfulness, and Depression: A Path Analysis

Universities Worked At

University of Southern Queensland

Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow


2019 Career Development Association of Australia Excellence in Research Award

2017 Australian Psychological Association Prize for USQ Psychology Honours

Professional Experience

National Farmers Federation 2030 Leaders Program

Professional Memberships

Career Development Association of Australia

Research Supervision

I am currently accredited for supervision in the following:

  • 3002 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management

At the level of Principal Supervisor

Current Capacity
I am currently available to supervise more research candidates
No Supervisions to display.
Research Interests
Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences

Agriculture, Land and Farm Management - Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness
Leadership, People management, Workforce development

Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences

Agriculture, Land and Farm Management - Sustainable Agricultural Development
Social Sustainability of Agriculture

Psychology And Cognitive Sciences

Psychology - Industrial and Organisational Psychology
Psychology of Work; Career Development; Vocational Psychology

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