IMG_5276(Edited).jpg

“My research focus on the development of psychometrically robust and culturally-sensitive measures of both early childhood development and the quality of Early Childhood Education” 

NR new 2.png

Nirmala Rao

Ph.D., C. Psychol., FPBS, FHKPS

Human Communication, Development, and Information Sciences

Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong Pokfulam, Hong Kong

T: 852 3917 7604 | E: nrao@hku.hk

Welcome

Nirmala Rao is a Serena H C Yang Professor in Early Childhood Development and Education, Chair Professor of Child Development and Education, and Director of the Consortium for Research on Early Childhood Development and Education (CORE), Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong (HKU). 
 

She is a Developmental and Chartered (Educational) Psychologist by training and has conducted research on early childhood development and education in Asian cultural contexts. Her work has focused on the development of psychometrically robust and culturally-sensitive measures of both early childhood development and the quality of Early Childhood Education; early educational policy in the Asia-Pacific; evaluation of early childhood programmes; and culture, policy and pedagogy in the early years. 
 

Professor Rao has published widely; serves on the Editorial Board for premier scholarly journals; has participated in high-level international meetings; written advocacy materials, and undertaken consultancies for international organisations. She has received awards for both research and teaching. Furthermore, she has also had significant administrative leadership roles in the Faculty of Education and at the Graduate School of HKU. Nirmala holds a Ph.D. from Tulane University.

 

PROFESSIONAL LINKS

 
hku-logo.jpg
Screenshot 2021-12-17 at 5.10.18 PM.png
hku-logo.jpg
hku-logo.jpg
hku-logo.jpg
google-scholar4372.jpg
Screenshot 2021-12-17 at 5.12_edited.jpg
CORE-logo-landscape-2048x232_edited.jpg
 

Leadership within the University of Hong Kong

Professor Rao has played a pivotal role in the development of early childhood programmes at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She has had significant administrative leadership roles in the Faculty of Education, including:

1998-2002: Deputy Head of the Department of Education

2002-2005: Associate Dean (Centres and Outreach) for Faculty of Education

2006-2007: Interim Dean of the Faculty of Education for 18 months

2020-Present: Director of Consortium for Research on Early Childhood Development and Education

Her main contribution in terms of administrative service from 2010 to 2016 was to the Graduate School that oversees research postgraduate education in all ten Faculties of HKU.

2010-2013: Associate Dean

2014-2016: Dean

 

Recent Awards

Professor Rao has been recognised internationally over many years for her research into the development of young children. Some of her recent awards include: 

078.JPG

2019

Sino-British Fellowship Trust Visitorship 2018-19 Visiting Research Fellow, Department of Education, University of Oxford (June 2019)

2019

Nehru Visiting Chair Professor, UGC - Center of Advanced Study in Human Development , MS University, Baroda, India (January 2019)

2018

HKU, University Outstanding Research Award (2017-2018)

2018

HKU, Faculty Knowledge Exchange Award 2018

2017

Hong Kong Research Grants Council
Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship

2015

Best of UNICEF Research - Validation, Finalization and Adoption of the East Asia-Pacific Early Child  Development Scales (EAP-ECDS)

Professional Associations

Professional Memberships 

Member

OMEP

World Organization of Early Childhood Education – Hong Kong

Member

NAEYC

National Association for the Education of Young Children (US)

Member

SRCD

Society for Research in Child Development

Fellow

HKPS

Hong Kong Psychological Society

Member

APA

American Psychological Association

Member

PECERA

Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Association - HK 

Member

HKCCR

Hong Kong Committee on Children’s Rights

Fellow

BPS

British Psychological Society

Editorial Board Membership

Associate Editor

Child Development

Child Development

Editorial Board

IJCCEP

International Journal of Child Care and Educational Policy

Editorial Board

APJRECE

Asia-Pacific Journal of Research in Early Childhood Education

Editorial Board

IJP

International Journal of Play

 
 

Recognitions & Indicators of Esteem

2020

UK Medical Research Council, Global Health Faculty of Experts

2016, 2018 and 2020

European Research Council, Panel Member Social Sciences and Humanities StG

2016 - 2020

Expert Advisor: Early Childhood Development Index (ECDI) Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) UNICEF, New York

WHO 2018 - Present

Project Advisory Group for Global Scale of Early Development (birth – 3 years)

2016

OECD Starting Strong Survey, Early Childhood Education and Care Expert Consultant, Questionnaire Expert Group

2015

Fellow of British Psychological Society

2015

UNESCO Paris; Expert member; International Advisory Group for the Survey of Teachers in Pre-Primary Education

2015

UNESCO, World Bank, Brookings Institution, and UNICEF Expert for the Measuring Early Learning Quality and Outcomes Project

2014

Steering Committee member 2017 Lancet Series on Early Child Development

2013-19

Associate Editor of Child Development, Impact Factor 4.891 Journal Citation Reports Ranking 2019:4/77 (Psychology, Developmental)

2013-14

Associate Editor of Developmental Psychology, Impact Factor 3.063

Since 2010

Participated in high level international meetings as an expert in early child development for international agencies/government advisory committees

2006 Onwards

UNICEF Consultancies: East Asia and Pacific Regional Office, Bhutan Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao, DPR Korea, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar, NY UNESCO Consultancies: Asia Pacific Regional Bureau of Education, Paris