Caption: Summer Scholars 2016-7: Kate (Wanying) Huang, Michelle Tran, Heidi Hoffmann, Sarah Wirth, Ella Kuskoff, Lauren Boubouras, Kyla Watson and Rebekah Zhao (missing Eligh Aoina).

2017- 8 Summer Research Program

ISSR has several projects for the 2017-8 Summer Research Program:

1. How Discrimination Affects the Lives of LGB People in Australia -  Dr Paco Perales and Prof Janeen Baxter

2. Ageing families and the provision of eldercare in Australia - Dr Jack Lam and Prof Janeen Baxter

3. Global Drug Survey 2015: Analysis of the largest global survey of drugs users - Dr Jason Ferris and Dr Renee Zahnow

4. Queensland Government’s Tackling Alcohol-fuelled Violence Policy Evaluation -  Dr Renee Zahnow and Dr Jason Ferris

5. Disadvantage, Education & Employment: trajectories of disadvantaged young people through school and beyond - Dr Wojtek Tomaszewski

6. How charitable works change lives - Dr Christopher Ambrey and Dr Cameron Parsell

7.  When napping comes to an end? A systematic review of napping cessation in children - Dr Sally Staton

8. Children’s Voices Project: Interviews with children regarding experiences of sleep, rest and relaxation in Early Childhood Education and CareProf Karen Thorpe

9. Parent Engagement: Improving Child Outcomes - Dr Jenny Povey and Prof Janeen Baxter

10. Child Time Use and Inequality - Mr Martin O'Flaherty and Prof Janeen Baxter

11. Drugs, alcohol and mental health: what are the other problems? - Dr Caroline Salom and Prof Rosa Alati

 

About the Winter and Summer Research Scholarship Program

Each year the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) participates in the UQ Summer and Winter Research Scholarship Program.

Scholars are expected to actively participate in an ongoing research project or to undertake a substantial piece of supervised research work by way of an internship during either the Summer or Winter holiday periods. The Program offers scholars practical research experience and a chance to discover the type of research undertaken at ISSR by working on actual projects. 

By participating in undergraduate research programs, students gain valuable academic and professional skills, have an opportunity to develop links with industry and academic contacts, and are able to test drive research before embarking on further research studies or higher degree research projects.

ISSR forms many collaborations with external agencies, including industry and government. As such, the majority of our research requires students to assign their intellectual property to the University. In order to undertake a student placement with ISSR all students are asked to assign their intellectual property to UQ, as outlined in the UQ IP policy. You are required to seek independent legal advice when signing the agreement, which is available to you through your own independent legal adviser, or for free through the Student Help on Campus (SHOC) independent Legal Advocate. Please contact Lisa Pope for more information: l.pope@uq.edu.au

For information about the program please refer to the UQ Summer Research Guidelines or contact Lisa Pope via email  or by telephone on +617 3365 1298.

Please apply here 

Applications for the 2017-8 Summer Research Program open 10th July and close 31st August 2017

 

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How Discrimination Affects the Lives of LGB People in Australia​

Project duration:  10 weeks (negotiable) 30 hours per week. 

Description:       

Findings from international research indicate that people who identify as lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) are more likely to experience pay discrimination, material deprivation or homelessness, become the victims of bullying and violence, suffer from poor health, and have more strained relationships with their families. These findings and the ‘minority stress’ framework strongly suggest that discrimination and stigmatization remain a ‘lived reality’ for many LGB people. Today, about 500,000 individuals in Australia identify as LGB and this number is on the rise. Yet, we have comparatively little Australian evidence on the life chances and life outcomes of individuals within this collective.

The Summer Scholar will contribute to a project which aims to:

  • Develop Australian evidence on differences in outcomes between LGB and heterosexual people across life domains.
  • Understand the mechanisms that produce the associations between LGB status and life outcomes.
  • Investigate how the use of new data sources, including administrative data, can enhance the quality of research findings about LGB populations in Australia.
  • Inform the development of Australian policy on timely topics such as gay marriage and child adoption by homosexual couples, homophobic school bullying and workplace harassment, and hate crime.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:    

Scholars will gain a thorough understanding of the research process, enhance their analytical skills, learn how to prepare materials for publication, and gain experience in working as part of a team. The skills and knowledge gained by participation in this project will be useful for subsequent research degrees, including Honours and PhD.

Suitable for:

This project is open to undergraduate and postgraduate applicants with an interest in applied social research. Experience with research methods and an interest in understanding how social processes affect equality opportunity by sexual orientation are desirable.

Further info:      

Students can contact Dr Paco Perales at f.perales@uq.edu.au to discuss their application, but this is not essential.

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Ageing families and the provision of eldercare in Australia

Project duration:  10 weeks (negotiable) 30 hours per week. 

Description:       

Population ageing is changing family structures and processes, producing the possibility of longer marriages and intergenerational ties.  As people are living longer, it also means that our family relationships could increase in duration, and take on greater significance.  Spouses may be together for a longer period of time, parents and children age together, and multi-generational families become increasingly common. 

As Australians are living longer, who are the ones providing care for elderly members of their family when it is needed?  Further, what are the implications of providing eldercare for the caregivers?  The summer scholar will contribute to a broader project which aims to provide evidence to inform policies in improving caregiver wellbeing.   

Expected outcomes and deliverables:    

Scholars will gain a better understanding of how to carry out academic research.  They will have the opportunity to gain skills in preparing a paper for publication in an academic journal. They will also gain skills in literature review, and/or data analysis.

Suitable for:      

This project is open to applications from all students.

Further info:   

Students can contact Dr Jack Lam at j.lam@uq.edu.au to discuss their application, but this is not mandatory.

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Global Drug Survey 2015: Analysis of the largest global survey of drugs users

Project duration: 10 weeks (negotiable) 30 hours per week. 

Description:       

The Global Drug Survey is the largest survey of drug users around the world. In 2015 almost 102,000 people from over 30 countries completed a survey of their drug use: ever, last 12 months and recent use. We have data on over 100 different types of drugs: on the less typical drugs for example GHB, ketamine, and many Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) and the more common drugs for example cocaine, methamphetamines, cannabis and synthetic cannabis, and alcohol. If you are interested in change in patterns over time we also have GDS data from 2014 (72,000 people) and 2013 (25,000 people).

We are looking for a highly motivated scholar to prepare 1, 2, or 3 papers of which you will be authored analysing the GDS data. If you want to know more see (http://www.globaldrugsurvey.com/)

Expected outcomes and deliverables:       

  • Conduct a literature search
  • Creation of an endnote library
  • Write up of literature for a report and journal article
  • May include data cleaning and preparation
  • May include descriptive data analysis

Suitable for:      

  • Excellent writing skills
  • Quantitative analysis skills (3rd / 4 th year level)
  • Interest in alcohol and illicit drug policy/interventions

Further info:      

Students can contact Dr Jason Ferris at j.ferris@uq.edu.au prior to submitting an application, though this is not essential.

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Queensland Government’s Tackling Alcohol-fuelled Violence Policy Evaluation

Project duration: 10 weeks (negotiable) 30 hours per week. 

Description:       

In response to community concerns around alcohol-fuelled violence, particular in the night-time economy, the Queensland Government has introduced a series of policy changes. One of these has been the introduction of early times for last drinks. Dr Ferris, Professor Miller, Dr Zahnow and others has been commission to evaluate these policies. The role for the intern will be based on his or her skill-set and interests - but may include data collection, entry and analysis, interviewing patrons in the night-time economy, using GIS software for mapping businesses, literature reviews, media discourse analysis and many other opportunities.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:  

Depending on how your skills and interest align with the project you may:   

  • Conduct a literature search
  • Creation of an endnote library
  • Write up of literature for a report and journal article
  • May include data cleaning and preparation
  • May include descriptive data analysis
  • May include more sophisticated data analysis

Suitable for:      

  • Excellent writing skills
  • Quantitative analysis skills (3rd / 4 th year level)
  • Interest in alcohol and illicit drug policy/interventions

Further info:      

Students can contact Dr Renee Zahnow at r.zahnow@uq.edu.au prior to submitting an application, though this is not essential.

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Disadvantage, Education & Employment: trajectories of disadvantaged young people through school and beyond​

Project duration: 10 weeks (negotiable) 30 hours per week. 

Description:

Even in a highly developed country like Australia, a young person’s chances in life are still largely determined by the characteristics of family they are born into and raised in. There is a wealth of international evidence showing that family background affects a range of educational and labour market outcomes in young people, which in turn have knock-on effects on a range of other outcomes later in life.

This Summer Research Project will feed into a broader program of work exploring Australia’s educational and labour market disadvantage in young people associated with low-socioeconomic background. Key themes in this program of work include the inter-relationships between disadvantaged background and educational outcomes, including academic achievement in primary and secondary school, participation in higher education, and post-educational destinations. Much of the work in the program is based on quantitative analysis of secondary datasets. 

Expected outcomes and deliverables:   

This is a unique opportunity for a Summer Research Scholar to get hands-on experience of participating in a major, high-profile research project. Depending on their interests, skills and experience, scholar can be involved in conducting literature reviews, performing data manipulation and analysis, and presenting research findings. It is expected that the work the scholars undertake will feed into research publications or conference presentations.

Suitable for: 

This project will suit a highly-motivated, well-organised student with an interest in research on educational and labour market disadvantage. Social sciences background is required, as is a good understanding of, and some experience working with, quantitative methods for data analysis. Experience with using Stata will be an advantage. When preparing your application, please highlight your skills and experience with working on research projects in general, and in working with quantitative methods and data in particular.

​Further info:   

For further information on the post please contact Dr Wojtek Tomaszewski via email: w.tomaszewski@uq.edu.au

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How charitable works change lives

Project duration: 10 weeks (negotiable) 30 hours per week.  

Description:

This project will extend on research being undertaken for St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland. It will provide much needed practical evidence on the efficacy of some of the measures that the Society takes to help people out of disadvantage. The project will involve the application of statistical techniques to a large administrative dataset. This project will investigate how St Vincent de Paul Queensland, through its charitable works, helps to improve the lives of people in need.

​Expected outcomes and deliverables: 

There is tremendous opportunity for the successful scholar to learn new quantitative skills and techniques. In addition to providing a chance to gain valuable experience and generate useful insights the scholar will have the opportunity to contribute to and co-author research output(s). It is expected that the scholar will present their findings at the end of their project.

Suitable for: 

This research project is suitable for students with a keen interest in doing ongoing research that can be useful to improve outcomes of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. A good foundation in statistics/econometrics using Stata would be very helpful. Also, students should be willing to: learn and apply new knowledge; demonstrate attention to detail; and work studiously.

Further info:   

For further information contact Dr Christopher Ambrey (c.ambrey@uq.edu.au)​ 

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When napping comes to an end?  A systematic review of napping cessation in children 

Project duration: 10 weeks (negotiable) 30 hours per week

Description:

Across the first five years of life children’s sleep gradually consolidates into the night-time. Whilst international studies indicate that most children will typically cease napping sometime before school entry (at age 5 years), the exact timing of this cessation and the extent to which there is individual difference amongst children, however, remains unclear. Determining what constitutes ‘normal’ napping behaviour is critical, with implication for informing parenting practices, educational policies and advice provided by medical professionals. The aim of this project is to provide, through systematic review, evidence of the typical age of napping cessation in young children (aged 0-5 years). 

​Expected outcomes and deliverables: 

The scholar will receive training in systematic review methodology, experience in conduct of a systematic review and involvement in preparation of a journal article for publication. Student will be included as a co-author in publication as appropriate for role

Suitable for: 

This project is open to applications from students with a background in psychology, education, medicine, or social sciences. 

Further info:  

For further information please email s.staton@uq.edu.au

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Children’s Voices Project: Interviews with children regarding experiences of sleep, rest and relaxation in Early Childhood Education and Care​

Project duration: 10 weeks (negotiable) 30 hours per week

Description:

Rest times are part of ECEC curriculum and recognised in the National Quality Standard for ECEC. The Early Years Learing Framework for ECEC emphasises the maximising opportunities for learning.  Despite this, previous work from our team suggests that many ECEC educators see sleep, rest and relaxation as outside the curriculum. This raises the question, what opportunities for learning occur and what are children’s experiences of learning during rest-times in ECEC?  The aim of this project is examine children’s perceptions of learning during sleep, rest and relaxation in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services. 

​Expected outcomes and deliverables: 

The scholar will receive training in qualitative methodologies, experience in conduct of qualitative analyses of transcripts of children’s voices and involvement in preparation of a journal article for publication. The scholar will be included as a co-author in publication as appropriate for role.

Suitable for: 

This project is open to applications from students with a background in psychology, education or social sciences. 

Further info:  

For further information please email k.thorpe@uq.edu.au
 

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Parent Engagement: Improving Child Outcomes

Project duration: 10 weeks (negotiable) 30 hours per week

Description:

A parent’s educational aspirations for their child and the extent to which they engage with their child’s learning have a significant impact on child outcomes - both academic and socio-emotional. Increasing levels of parent engagement may be of particular benefit to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, who tend to have poorer outcomes in these regards than their more advantaged peers. Schools, and in particular school leadership, have an important role to play in building partnerships with parents in order to support their engagement.

This Research Project will involve investigating issues of parent engagement and educational aspirations in an Australian context. Research questions may include: How do parents engage with their child’s learning? What innovative practices are school using to increase parent engagement? How does the principal’s knowledge of school milieus inform his/her engagement practices? How do parent’s educational aspirations for their child effect child outcomes over time? This information will be used to develop interventions in order to decrease educational disadvantage and lead to improved educational outcomes for all Australian children. 

The project may involve the use of qualitative and/or quantitative data from a range of sources, for example:

  • Principal leadership for parent-school-community engagement project data;

  • Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) data; or

  • Parent Engagement in Schools (PES) data.

If you have an interest in Education, Social Policy or improving outcomes for children, apply for this great opportunity.

In addition to this project, Dr Jenny Povey’s team is engaged in various commissioned research activities and this is an invaluable opportunity to get exposure to the environment of commissioned research.

​Expected outcomes and deliverables: 

Scholars would develop the following practical skills by participating in this research project: analytical skills (quantitative and qualitative) and writing skills.  The development of these skills will be useful if you are considering undertaking Honours or further research. The experience and the skills learnt will also provide an employment track record for any future research assistant roles you may apply for.

The potential deliverables would be contributions to: peer reviewed publications; reports; and grant applications. Substantial contributions to these outputs could result in co-authorship which would make you more competitive for future scholarships.

Suitable for: 

This Scholar position offers flexible working arrangements and is open to all students who are:

  • currently completing or who have completed third year;

  • currently completing or about to commence their honours year; or

  • currently completing or about to commence their masters.

This project is suited for someone who wishes to gain invaluable experience in the real world of social research within the context of a dynamic, multidisciplinary research institute.

While experience using STATA and NVivo would be an advantage, experience with other statistical and qualitative packages would be considered.

Further info:  

If you wish to contact Dr Jenny Povey prior to applying for this Scholar position, please feel free to email j.povey@uq.edu.au or call 07 3346 7474

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Child Time Use and Inequality

Project duration: 10 weeks 30 hours per week

Description:

Research consistently indicates that children from disadvantaged family backgrounds fare worse across a host of indicators, encompassing physical and mental health, academic outcomes, and socio-emotional development. Differences in disadvantaged children’s patterns of time use – the activities they undertake, with whom, and at what times – represents a primary mechanism contributing to the perpetuation of these inequalities. For instance, international evidence suggests that children from poorer background spend less time with their parents, pursue less cognitively stimulating activities, and are engaged in activities with their parents that are less developmentally appropriate.

This project draws upon a unique data set, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, which includes repeated observations of children’s time use from infancy through to adolescence, to address these issues. As the project scope is broad, a range of specific topics may be negotiated in accordance with the student’s interests and experience. Potential research questions include, for example: How are patterns of screen use linked to obesity, sleep, and mental health in adolescence? Do children from disadvantaged backgrounds spend less and/or poorer quality time with their parents, and does this contribute to long term disadvantage?

The project offers an ideal opportunity for a motivated student to gain experience in a world-class research environment, be involved in high quality scientific work, and ultimately contribute to shaping policy aimed at improving the lives of disadvantaged children.

​Expected outcomes and deliverables: 

Work on the project may entail completion of a systematic literature review, descriptive analysis of the data, and the completion of a report. These deliverables may form the basis for peer reviewed publication or policy briefs. Substantial contributions to these outputs could result in co-authorship.

As part of the program, scholars may expect to develop practical skills, including:

  • Quantitative analysis techniques for survey data

  • How to conduct a thorough academic literature review

Writing for scientific publication

Suitable for: 

The position is suitable for students who are currently completing the final year of their undergraduate degree or honours. The project would primarily suit candidates from sociology, psychology, economics, or cognate disciplines.  

The student must be highly motivated and possess good writing and communication skills.

Experience with STATA software is desirable.

Participation in the program would provide an ideal pathway for entry into honours or higher research degree study, as well as offering invaluable work experience.

Further info:  

Please contact Mr Martin O’Flaherty to discuss the position prior to applying. You may email m.oflaherty@uq.edu.au or phone (07) 3365 4808.

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Drugs, alcohol and mental health: what are the other problems?

Project duration: 10 weeks (negotiable) 30 hours per week

Description:

Two annual national studies document trends in the use of substances such as ecstasy, amphetamines and opioids. This project will look at the difficulties experienced by people who use these substances, the options available to them for assistance and how they are able to access this help.

​Expected outcomes and deliverables: 

The scholar will contribute to analysis of these data and may have the opportunity to take part in some interviews of participants and key experts. The scholar will advance their skills in data analysis and may contribute to publications.

Suitable for: 

This project is open to enrolled students of 2nd year and beyond; a background or interest in health/psychology/sociology is helpful; statistical skills will be a strong advantage.

Further info:  

c.salom@uq.edu.au<mailto:c.salom@uq.edu.au ; r.alati@sph.edu.au<mailto:r.alati@sph.edu.au