Caption: ISSR Summer Scholars for 2017/2018 From front to back: Kathryn Good, Mollie Harding, Barbara Wood, Elizabeth Baldwin, Jessica Dunphy, Isabella Benfer, Abram Todd, and Bing Xian Lee 

2018 Winter Research Program

ISSR has several projects for the 2018 Winter Research Program:

1. How Discrimination Affects the Lives of LGB People in Australia -  Dr Paco Perales and Prof Janeen Baxter (a Life Course Centre Project)

2. Population aging and family dynamics in Australia - Dr Jack Lam and Prof Janeen Baxter (a Life Course Centre Project)

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

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

5. Choosing Rest: Finding Effective Alternatives to Mandated Rest-Times in Early Childhood Education and Care ServicesDr Sally Staton

6. Child Time Use and Inequality - Mr Martin O'Flaherty and Prof Janeen Baxter (a Life Course Centre Project)

 

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.

The ISSR administers the Life Course Centre, an Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence studying deep and persistent disadvantage.

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 aims to provide its students with a distinctive study experience which is characterised by applied research, teaching and commercial opportunities. To support this, the Institute requires our students to sign a Student Intellectual Property and Confidentiality Agreement (SIPCA) as a condition of enrolment, pursuant to UQ’s policy on Intellectual Property for Staff, Students and Visitors. Independent legal advice is available to prospective students free-of-charge through the UQ Student Union (see http://www.uqu.com.au/legal). ISSR will provide further information on the IP assignment process at the point of application and induction.

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

Please apply here 

Applications for the 2018 Winter Research Program are now closed

 

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How Discrimination Affects the Lives of LGB People in Australia​

Project duration:  6 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 Winter 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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Population ageing and family dynamics in Australia

Project duration:  6 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.  This project will examine these factors, and consider responses to meet the needs of elderly family members, considering topics including intergenerational transfers, differences in the type and level of transfers, and potential gender differences.

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 undergraduate and postgraduate applicants with interests in applied social research.  Students with interests in the research topics, and/or with data analysis skills including experience with STATA are encouraged to apply.  

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: 6 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: 6 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:      

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

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Choosing Rest: Finding Effective Alternatives to Mandated Rest-Times in Early Childhood Education and Care Services

Project duration: 6 weeks (negotiable) 30 hours per week

Description:

The National Quality Standard for early childhood education and care (ECEC) requires that services provide for each child’s sleep, rest and relaxation need. Yet current evidence shows that 80% of services in Queensland mandate a rest-period during which all children are required to lie down without alternative activity. During these periods 70% of children do not sleep, emotional climate declines, and some children exhibit overt distress. This study aims to strengthen the capacity of educators to provide effective restful experiences and learning opportunities focussed on child agency and self–regulation. Using an intervention design, the study investigates the effect of a professional development program on interactional quality, child learning, and the well-being of children and educators.

​Expected outcomes and deliverables: 

The scholar will receive training in qualitative and quantitative data collection and analyses and involvement in preparation of a journal article for publication. Student will be included as a co-author in publication as appropriate for their contribution.

Suitable for: 

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

Further info:  

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

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Child Time Use and Inequality

Project duration: 6 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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Past Scholars

 
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).