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 Winter Research Program

ISSR has several projects for the 2017 Winter Research Program:

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

2. Fertility choice and preference in AustraliaDr Danilo Bolano

3. Ageing families and social inequality - Dr Jack Lam and Prof Janeen Baxter

4. Domestic violence victims in Australia – who are they and what are their life outcomes? - Dr Melanie Spallek

5. Refugee lives in Australia: Building successful transitions - Dr Walter Forrest

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

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

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

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

10. How benevolent works change lives - Dr Christopher Ambrey

11. Conceptualising the experiences of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups receiving emergency relief - Dr Christopher Ambrey

 

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 Student guidelines or contact Lisa Pope via email  or by telephone on +617 3365 1298.

Applications for the 2017 Winter Research Program open 6th March and close 3rd April 2017

Please apply here 

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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 these collectives.

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

  • Develop the Australian evidence of differences in life 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 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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Fertility choice and preference in Australia

Project duration: 6 weeks (negotiable)

Description:       

Fertility intentions indicate the plan of having a (another) child. Fertility preference is a key factor in predict fertility rate in a given population and in the study of reproductive behaviour. Using HILDA data the project will investigate the determinants of fertility plans and the factors that are responsible for the realisation or not of the intention of having a (another) child. More generally, the project aims to shed light on the reproductive decision making process in Australia.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:    

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

  • Conduct a literature search on fertility intentions
  • Write up of literature for a report and journal article
  • Data cleaning and preparation
  • Descriptive data analysis
  • More sophisticated data analysis

The scholars are expected to actively participate in research seminars and other events organised by ISSR to enhance their experience in undertaking research in the social sciences. 

Suitable for:      

This project is open to undergraduate and postgraduate applicants with a background and interest in at least one of the following topics: economics, quantitative sociology, statistics, quantitative methods for social science research, decision-making process, fertility.

Excellent writing and quantitative analysis skills (3rd or 4th year level) are necessary.

Experience with statistical software as Stata and/or R are necessary.

Further info:      

Students can contact project supervisor d.bolano@uq.edu.au prior to submitting an application.

In the application form, please mention if and what type of experience you have in data analysis and statistics and in particular the software packages used. 

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Ageing families and social inequality

Project duration:  6 weeks 

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 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 family relationships increase in duration, it also opens up the possibility of more frequent exchanges, in support and care between family members over the life course.  But as society becomes more unequal, it may also mean that while some people are able to rely on their family in times of need, others are less able to do so.  Drawing on life course theories, and the concept of “linked lives”, this project will consider how ageing families may become a new site of inequality in Australia.  

Expected outcomes and deliverables:    

Scholars will learn about life course theories, and will gain skills in literature review, and/or data analysis. Students may also be asked to give an oral presentation at the end of their project.

Suitable for:      

This project is open to applications from all students.

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Domestic violence victims in Australia – who are they and what are their life outcomes?

Project duration: 6 weeks 

Description:  

Domestic violence effects individuals and families across Australian society. A multi-dimensional problem, domestic violence has become recognised as a social and policy priority.

Given the private nature of the relationships within which violence occurs and with most incidents of domestic violence unreported, we do not yet have a rigorous evidence base to demonstrate or measure the prevalence. The absence of data notwithstanding, we do know that domestic violence in Australia is common and widespread: every week, two women are killed as the result of domestic violence; every three hours a woman is hospitalised from domestic violence. Lack of affordable housing keeps women trapped in domestic violence situations and increases their risk of homelessness (55% of women seeking help for homelessness say they do so because of domestic and family violence).

We will be using an Australian longitudinal study to examine contextual factors, recurrence of violence, and life comes of victims, focussing particularly on women. This research is in line with the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.     

Expected outcomes and deliverables:    

I’m looking for a highly motivated scholar to assist with the preparation of a paper for publication in an academic journal. Depending on the scholar’s skills, possible tasks include a thorough written literature review of the topic, data sourcing, data preparation and statistical analysis.

Suitable for:      

This project is suitable for students with a background in Social Sciences, preferably with data analysis skills and experience in SAS or Stata. 

Further info:      

I’m happy to be contacted by students prior to submitting an application to clarify any questions they may have: m.spallek@uq.edu.au

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Refugee lives in Australia: Building successful transitions

Project duration: 6 weeks 

Description:

This project applies a life course perspective to identify factors that influence the successful integration and adaptation of refugees to life in Australia. Using a landmark, national longitudinal survey of humanitarian migrants to Australia, the project will investigate the impact of pre- and post-arrival factors on employment, education, housing, mental health, and childbearing. Insights from this research will provide an evidence-base to support policies aimed at improving refugee settlement and wellbeing.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:   

Scholars will develop a deeper understanding of factors influencing the wellbeing of refugees in Australia and other countries. They may gain skills in reviewing literature, data preparation and analysis, including basic longitudinal data analysis. Students may also be asked to produce a report or oral presentation at the end of their project or participate in research translation activities aimed at supporting evidence-based public policy.

Suitable for: 

Applications from students who have completed courses in research methods, statistics, and or data analytics and who have an interest in the social sciences and/or policy-relevant research are welcome to apply. This scholarship would suit students from a variety of backgrounds including economics, computer science, mathematics, sociology, psychology, criminology, peace and conflict studies, or political science.

Further info:   

Please contact either Lisa Pope or Walter Forrest for more information.

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

Project duration: 6 weeks (negotiable)

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)

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 Jason Ferris at j.ferris@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: 6 weeks (negotiable)

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

Project duration: 6 weeks (negotiable)

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:   

Students can contact Dr Caroline Salom c.salom@uq.edu.au; or Prof Rosal Alati r.alati@sph.edu.au prior to submitting an application, though this is not essential.

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How benevolent works change lives

Project duration: 6 weeks

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. To evaluate the extent to which different types of assistance (e.g. education grants and no interest loans) and modes of delivery impact reduce long-term dependency on emergency relief provided by St Vincent de Paul Queensland.

​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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Conceptualising the experiences of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups receiving emergency relief

Project duration: 6 weeks 

Description:

This project will extend on research being undertaken for the St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland. The project will involve undertaking qualitative analysis of shorter comments and extended narratives in a large administrative dataset. The purpose of this project is to improve our understanding of and conceptualise the experiences of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups with the Society.

​Expected outcomes and deliverables: 

The successful scholar has the opportunity to undertake qualitative analysis using Leximancer. 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 our understanding of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups’ experiences with St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland. Students should have a good knowledge of and/or interest in community organisations. 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)