Dr Niki Murray staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 83977

Dr Niki Murray BA, MA (Hons), PhD

Senior Lecturer/Accreditation Manager

School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing

Niki was the project manager of the 3½ year Foundation of Research, Science and Technology (FRST) funded Literacy and Employment project. She has managed several government-funded research projects into adult literacy including work with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Department of Labour, and the Health Research Council/Ministry of Health. Her background lies within the mental health sector where she worked as a Specialist Services Co-ordinator, establishing links with community resources and groups, and healthy living programmes for high-risk clients.

Niki's PhD study incorporated quantitative and qualitative methods and investigated the ways in which people in adult vocational courses of differing literacy levels cope with and make meaning of stressful learning encounters, and the impacts this has on persistence.

Current work includes trialling an immunisation communication resource within five District Health Board regions and assessing its effectiveness in increasing health professional confidence in discussing immunisation, client uptake of information, and client uptake of infant immunisation services.

Niki’s specialist research areas include adult literacy, health communication, stress and coping and women in academia. She is experienced in project management of large research projects, building and managing collaborative research teams, and the design, analysis, and interpretation of quantitative research studies. Additionally, she holds an interest in the analysis and interpretation of qualitative research and has worked with qualitative methodologies for the past eight years.

More about me...View less...


Contact details

  • Ph: 5941
    Location: 2.23, Social Sciences Tower
    Campus: Turitea


  • Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and English) - Massey University (2000)
  • Master of Arts (Psychology) with Honours - Massey University (2002)
  • PhD (Psychology) - Massey University (2009)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Adult Literacy

Health Communication

Stress and Coping

Workplace Learning

Women and Academia


21st Century Citizenship, Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Communication and Media Studies (200100): Communication Studies (200101):
Education (130000):
Educational Psychology (170103):
Languages, Communication And Culture (200000):
Psychology (170100): Psychology And Cognitive Sciences (170000)


Adult Literacy

Health Communication

Stress and Coping

Women and Academia

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 1 1
Team Member 0 5

Completed Projects

Project Title: Health literacy and communicating immunisation information to decision-makers

This pilot study investigated the impact that illustrations have on delivering immunisation information to immunisation decisions-makers who are of differing health literacy levels.  It had six objectives: (a) to develop illustrative tools that form the intervention of the study; (b) to describe factors that influence immunisation decision making processes of decision-makers with differing levels of functional health literacy; (c) to determine if recall of immunisation information was improved by the illustrations; (d) to determine if the illustrations improved comprehension of immunisation information; (e) to report on the outcomes in relation to immunisation uptake at six weeks and three months; (f) to evaluate the illustrations and suggest recommendations for modifications. This pilot intervention study included qualitative interviews, quantitative assessment, and focus groups. Enhanced immunisation information recall, comprehension and improved immunisation rates were predicted benefits of this study, alongside illustrative models available for use nationally.
Read Project Description Hide Project Description

Date Range: 2008 - 2010

Funding Body: Health Research Council of New Zealand

Project Team:

Project Title: Literacy & Employment

Researchers from the Adult Literacy and Communication Research (ALCR) Group at the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, in partnership with the Wanganui District Library, undertook a major longitudinal research project funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, focusing on adult literacy and employment in Whanganui and Districts. Through a series of interlinked research projects we aimed to achieve the following four objectives: 1. To establish adult literacy needs of both employed and unemployed in Whanganui and Districts region. 2. To identify the social, attitudinal and economic barriers to adult literacy, numeracy and analytical thinking skills of employed and unemployed in Whanganui and Districts. 3. To evaluate how effectively adult literacy programmes secure employment outcomes. 4. To examine adult literacy learning processes and their relationship to employment. The Whanganui project group added their own further objectives, specific to gaining tangible benefits for Whanganui. These included: 1. Achieving positive, tangible and practical outcomes for the Whanganui community, with a well-researched plan of action for medium-long term 2005-2015 to address identified issues relating to literacy 2. Establishing a database of meaningful, relevant information relating to the links between literacy and employment in Whanganui and identify links to other social issues e.g. crime, health, and housing; and providing benchmarks to measure future progress 3. Developing collaboration between agencies within the Whanganui region, to strengthen the community and social infrastructure for future work and projects 4. Building the research capacity within Whanganui.
Read Project Description Hide Project Description

Date Range: 2004 - 2007

Funding Body: Foundation for Research, Science & Technology

Project Team:

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
CoSupervisor 1 0

Current Doctoral Supervision

CoSupervisor of:

  • Aruneewan Buaniaw - PhD
    A case study of mental health communication programme delivery during mass violence in southern Thailand, 2004-2014

Media and Links

Other Links

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5:00pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey