Adelaide Summer Research Scholarships

The Adelaide Summer Research Scholarship applications can now be downloaded.

For more information, visit University of Adelaide Scholarships.

    Expand
  • Closure at Holden: Comparing and analysing the company’s and workers’ perception and experience of employee separation

    Supervisor: Associate Professor Paul Sendziuk

    Department of History

    School of Humanities

    In 2017 General Motors Holden ceased manufacturing vehicles in Australia, thus ending more than a century of automotive production in this country. As South Australia’s largest private employer for much of its life-span, and the linchpin of the state’s manufacturing sector, the closure of Holden’s operations evoked grave concern for its workers and the hundreds of smaller component manufacturers and local businesses that figuratively and literally fed its factory and workforce. This project seeks to examine Holden’s closure and the experience of employee separation, from both the perspective of the company and the employees themselves. It addresses the inattention paid to workers in standard histories of Holden, which instead focus on the cars and senior management, and seeks to give voice to those who bent the metal that made the vehicles, cut and sewed the trim, and typed the orders; that is, the very people to which the company owed its long-standing success. Under the direction and with the assistance of the project supervisor, Assoc. Professor Paul Sendziuk, the student will conduct a review of literature that examines what is consisted ‘best practice’ when it comes to closing major manufacturing operations and managing the ‘separation’ of workers (i.e. the termination of their employment and assistance given to help them secure new jobs). Holden’s approach will then be compared to what was, at the time, considered ‘best practice’, and the innovative features of Holden’s approach identified. Drawing upon documents and evaluations produced by the company itself, and oral history interviews undertaken with Holden workers who were ‘separated’ from the company, the student will then compare and analyse the way in which the two parties understood what was happening and the effectiveness of programs aimed at helping Holden workers transition to new employment. This research will assist the production of at least one scholarly article, which the student will potentially co-author. The student who works on the project will be engaged in sourcing research materials and contributing to a review of the relevant literature, thus developing their skills in finding and critiquing research literature. They will listen to oral histories and read oral history transcripts and select pertinent passages for analysis. They will be introduced to theories concerning the composition and narration of memory, and learn about the practicalities of conducting oral histories. They will also acquire or enhance their knowledge of Australian history (prior knowledge of which is not essential) as well as labour and industrial relations. The student will likely help draft a scholarly article, and thus receive feedback on their writing, as well as mentoring concerning the process of having work published in an academic journal.

    Download as PDF

  • A Study on the Nature and Quality of Assessment

    Supervisor: Dr Igusti Darmawan and Assoc Prof Edward Palmer

    School of Education

    This project will involve the analysis of School of Education courses to examine the quality, utility and constructive alignment of assessments. This will be a statistically based project but will also have a strong qualitative component. There will be 114 unique courses to analyse over a period of 6 weeks. The overall goal of the project is to help improve learning outcomes for students by ensuring the best design of assessment tasks. We anticipate a publication in a high-quality journal such as Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, Assessment in Education, as an outcome with the student as co-author. Research Tasks 1. Research the literature on assessment design 2. Analyse courses to investigate how assessment is designed in courses, classifying and comparing the nature of assessment tasks 3. Analyse the utilities and outcomes of assessment tasks and examine any relationship between tasks, learning outcomes and grades 4. Prepare a draft paper for submission to a journal Whilst this is an education focussed project, we welcome applications from all students. The student will gain the following research skills and experience; • Publication in high-quality journal • Student will work on a draft as an equal author • Development of analysis skills • honing of basic research skills • Paper writing • Greater understanding of assessment • Application of quantitative methods • Understanding of good assessment design and implementation.

    Download as PDF

  • Make the World Greta Again: The Activism of Greta Thunberg

    Supervisor: Dr Benito Cao

    Department of Politics and International Relations

    School of Social Sciences

    The threat of climate change is having a profound impact on all dimensions of life on Earth. This includes the ways in which environmental activism in general, and youth environmental activism in particular, is taking shape in the twenty-first century. The poster child of this development is Greta Thunberg, a sixteen-year-old Swedish girl who inspired the School Strike for Climate, also known as Fridays for Future. This Summer Research Scholarship Project will focus on collecting and analysing the media coverage of the environmental activism of Greta Thunberg. The student will also conduct a literature review of relevant theoretical and empirical work, and analyse the speeches delivered by Greta Thunberg since she began delivering public talks in late 2018. The project will expose the student to interdisciplinary research methods and draw on previous and current research on environmental citizenship conducted by the project leader, Dr Benito Cao, including his book Environment and Citizenship (2015) and his keynote contributions to the European Network for Environmental Citizenship. The project will include the preparation of a scholarly article for submission to a high-quality peer reviewed journal on which the student will be co-author. The project will also inform the teaching of several courses, including “Introduction to Global Politics”, “Citizenship and Globalisation”, “Global Environmental Politics”, “Environment and Citizenship”, and “The State of the World: Post Covid-19”.

    This will familiarise the student with the teaching/research nexus. The analysis of the media data and public speeches will be submitted to a high-quality peer-reviewed journal on environmental politics or citizenship studies.

    The student will gain the following research skills and experience;

    • identify relevant background literature and produce a literature review

    • organise key relevant themes

    • source data from popular media and other internet sources

    • conduct textual and discourse analysis

    • write a scholarly journal article

    • work on a collaborative research project • construct an engaging public presentation of scholarly work in research and teaching academic settings

    Download as PDF

  • How is Cognitive Load Theory Applied in Education Courses?

    Supervisors: Dr Brendan Bentley and Associate Professor Edward Palmer

    School of Education

    This project will involve the analysis of School of Education courses to examine if and how cognitive load theory (CLT) is applied in the teaching materials and delivery of content. There will be at least 10 unique courses to analyse over a period of 6 weeks. We are not looking only for explicit application of CLT but also how experienced lecturers build in appropriate cognitive tasks and load into their work.

    The student will examine the courses and compare it with the theory they research. The overall goal of the project is to help improve learning outcomes for students by ensuring the delivery of course materials and learning tasks is supported by theory. We anticipate a publication in a high-quality journal such as Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education as an outcome with the student as co-author.

    Research Tasks

    • Research the literature on cognitive load theory

    • Analyse courses to investigate how CLT manifests itself in courses, comparing those designed by practitioners of the theory to those who do not

    • Prepare a draft paper for submission to a journal Cognitive Load Theory is based on a model of human information processing. It describes the process as having three main parts: sensory memory, working memory and long-term memory and helps “provide guidelines intended to assist in the presentation of information in a manner that encourages learner activities that optimise intellectual performance” (Sweller 1998). Whilst this is an education focussed project, we welcome applications from all students.

    The student will gain the following research skills and experience;

    • Publication in high-quality journal

    • Work on a draft co-publication as an equal author

    • Collate background information for a competitive grant application • Work on an existing competitive grant

    • Understand CL theory as researched and how it can be realised in an educational setting

    • Hone basic research skills and paper writing

    Download as PDF

  • How is Online Learning Engagement Affected by Social Distancing Measures?

    Supervisors: Dr Walter Barbieri and Associate Professor Edward Palmer

    School of Education

    This project will involve the analysis of School of Education courses to examine the effectiveness of online delivery, tasks and assessments. You will examine the variety of online delivery methods in 50 unique courses over a period of 6 weeks and report on the variety, perceived quality and engagement with various online aspects of those courses. You will also have access to learning analytics from the course to analyse. The online courses will be compared and contrasted against theoretical frameworks for good practice in online learning. The overall goal of the project is to help improve learning outcomes for students by ensuring the best implementation of online methods is clearly understood.

    We anticipate a publication in a high-quality journal such as Computers and Education as an outcome with the student as co-author.

    Research Tasks

    • Research the literature on online learning

    • Analyse courses to investigate how online approaches are used in them, classifying and comparing approaches

    • Analyse learning analytics from course (these will be provided) to look for patterns related to grades and the online methodologies used. Compare these with equivalent previous years courses and identify any change in behaviour from students and any changes in design

    • Prepare a draft paper for submission to a journal Whilst this is an education focussed project, we welcome applications from all students.

    The student will gain the following research skills and experience;

    • Publication in high-quality journal • co-publication with Supervisors

    • Application of quantitative methods • An understanding of good online design and implementation • Hone basic research skills and paper writing.

    Download as PDF

  • Like Christ on the Cross: Early Modern Models of Pain Management

    Supervisor: Dr Claire Walker

    Department of History

    School of Humanities

    In 1659 a Benedictine nun was dying from breast cancer in Ghent. She offered her pain as a form of atonement for her sins, but she also likened the ulcerating tumours to the five wounds of Christ on the cross. In a world without effective pain killers, early modern people developed narratives of suffering which enabled them to make sense of pain and manage physical trauma. Understanding bodily agony within a religious matrix (for example) did not stop them from seeking various medical remedies, but it shaped the way they experienced and coped with painful symptoms.

    This summer scholarship project will investigate 16th and 17th-century languages of pain to establish models of meaning and management. As part of the 2021 ARC Discovery Project Graeco-Roman and Christian Pain Narratives: Reading Emotion through Language, the student will compile a bibliography of early modern medical and religious texts, using Early English Books Online, to collect preliminary data on conceptual languages of pain. This will be applied to convent narratives of illness to determine which templates informed religious women's interpretation and management of physical pain. Research to date has identified the religious model, and the project will investigate its form and application in specific cases, but it will also seek alternative frameworks of meaning and how they might complement or replace the religious paradigm.

    By undertaking this project, the student will acquire key methodological and analytical tools employed in historical research. They will also be involved in the preparation of a scholarly article which the student will coauthor.

    The student will gain the following research skills and experience;

    Learning how to write and publish a scholarly article:

    • Publication in a high-quality journal
    • Co-publication with Project Supervisor

    • Collecting, collating and analysing dataWork collaboratively on a research project

    Download as PDF

  • Remembering John Kennedy

    Supervisor: Professor Jennifer Clark

    Head of School

    School of Humanities

    John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 while he was President of the United States. The public mourning for Kennedy was extensive within America and across the world. Streets, bridges, buildings and schools were renamed for him. In Australia, a bas-relief was erected in the Treasury Gardens in Melbourne. And, people from all over the world, including Australia, wrote heartfelt letters of condolence to his widow. They also composed music and sent that to Jacqueline Kennedy as well. This project is about the music that was composed and submitted to Jacqueline Kennedy in 1963 and 1964. The student will work with Professor Jennifer Clark to construct an electronic data base from an archive collection of music located in Adelaide – songs, instrumental pieces and their accompanying letters – ready for analysis.

    The student will assist in the identification of categories for analysis and be responsible for building the data base. The student will learn ways of constructing data sets from archives, and the processes of formulating useful questions for analysis. The project would especially suit a student who is interested in digital humanities, who is comfortable working with Excel and can read music. The student will learn about how to utilise cultural products in historical analysis, how to work with materials of public mourning, how to use finite archive collections and learn more about American History in the 1960s generally.

    The student will have the opportunity to exercise specific skill sets should they have them including data visualisation and music analysis. The project crosses disciplines – cultural history, musicology, digital humanities, popular culture, cultural studies. No previous knowledge of American History is required, but the ability to read music and an interest or background in digital humanities, including the use of Excel and data visualisation, is an advantage.

    The student will gain the following research skills and experience;

    • Publication in a high-quality journal

    • Opportunity to co-author the publication with Project Supervisor

    • Using finite archive sets

    • Data set building

    • Data analysis

    • Data visualisation

    • Work with materials of cultural history

    • Be involved in all aspects of historical thinking around the building of the data set including the choice of categories, interpreting the archives and interpreting the resultant data sets.

    Download as PDF

  • Using Software Tools to Identify and Analyse Patterns of Offending and Victimisation Online

    Supervisor: Dr Russell Brewer

    Department of Sociology, Criminology and Gender Studies

    School of Social Sciences

    Background: Our research team has developed a software infrastructure that scrapes data from online sources, extracts and matches facial and voice biometric characteristics, and permits the analysis of patterns in the data. This software was originally designed to aid in the discovery and investigation of Child exploitation materials on the Internet, in so far as it is able to automatically detect new media as it becomes available online, as well as identify instances of co-offending and co-victimisation across media files.

    Student project summary: The student project will involve a series of validation (or testing) exercises, to assess the performance of the software, with respect to its facial and audio recognition and matching capabilities. To this end, the student will learn to use the tool to scrape (legal) media from websites, catalogue the downloaded materials, and use the matching tool to help determine the software’s performance.

    The student will then work with Dr Brewer and other members of the research team to complete a series of validation exercises, and then write up the results as a peer-reviewed journal article. Student eligibility: To be eligible for this position, applicants must have at some background in Criminology at the University of Adelaide or elsewhere (i.e. completed at least 6 units of CRIM courses) and must have successfully completed at least one research methods topic at the University of Adelaide or elsewhere (e.g. CRIM 3004, GEOG 2132, SOCI2012, SOCI 3010, SOCI3012 or others). Computer programming experience is not required, however, applying students should be familiar with and very comfortable using different types of software, including Excel. For more information about the Digital Youth Research Lab and our other research projects, visit our website: www.DigitalYouthResearch.org.

    The student will gain the following research skills and experience;

    • co-author an AIC Trends & Issues manuscript, being written by Brewer, Westlake (San Jose State University), Ross (Michigan State University), Swearingen (Michigan State University) and Bright (Flinders University)

    • Develop discipline-specific knowledge on the topics of time and change sufficient to make a critical contribution to the evaluation of work in progress.

    Download as PDF

  • Filling the Vacuum: Start-up Media in the Local News Landscape

    Supervisor: Dr Kathryn Bowd

    Department of Media

    School of Humanities

    The pace of change in the local news media landscape in Australia has been rapidly accelerated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A sharp drop in advertising, along with other factors, has contributed to newspaper closures and shifts to online-only publishing, most recently by News Corp Australia.

    However, some of the gaps in the news landscape are being filled by local start-up media, in some cases run by journalists and in others by people with no media background, but with an interest in local news and community-building. As the pace of newspaper closure has accelerated during COVID-19, so too has the growth of such online-only outlets.

    This summer scholarship project will explore the growing numbers and diversity of these publications – identifying examples of such outlets nationally, compiling a database of outlets and analysing key points of difference and similarity between them. It will also include development of a scholarly article which the student will co-author for submission to a high-quality peer-reviewed journal.

    The student will gain the following research skills and experience;

    • review literature in the area of local news publishing

    • gather and collate data from a range of sources

    • compile a database

    • analyse key differences between outlet types and outputs.

    The student will bring all of these skills together in the process of co-authoring a journal article.

    Download as PDF

  • How Does an Embryo Come to Life? Porphyry and the Ancient Greek Views on Ensoulment

    Supervisor: Professor Han Baltussen

    Department of Classics, Archaeology and Ancient History

    School of Humanities

    This project involves a new study of the embryological theories of antiquity, focused on the work of the Platonist philosopher Porphyry (ca. 234–ca. 305 CE). Porphyry is mostly known for his advocacy of vegetarianism, a biography of his teacher Plotinus, an edition of his teacher’s works, and his anti-Christian polemics.

    But in the past decade, his treatise entitled To Gaurus or How Embryos are Ensouled, has been studied more intensely (e.g. Wilberding 2016). It presents an intriguing look at the scientific interests of the later Platonists and shows how empirical observation can lead to fascinating insights in biology and how scientific speculation was stimulated by the restrictions on access to internal workings of the human body. The project aims to contribute to understanding how Porphyry combines historical, scientific and philosophical considerations to resolve some of the most difficult questions we can ask about living organisms: when and how are embryos ensouled?

    The project started at a workshop on ensoulment in antiquity (University of Queensland 2019) and is related to a thesis supervision on early Hippocratic notions of life and the body. Important materials have been collected but not processed. The availability of a modern English translation (Wilberding 2011) will make the analysis easier, but the interpretation of the text leaves us with many questions and puzzling details. Why does Porphyry divide the main positions historically into two camps? What are his arguments regarding the stages of the creation and growth of a human embryo? Is his definition of an embryo very different from ours? How does he defend his own view on the moment of ‘ensoulment’ in the embryo’s development against the various views of earlier thinkers? Thus the paper is very much under development and will allow the student to see it progress from its embryonic state to a fully-grown product.

    The work involved for this Scholarship is suitable for a high achieving student at level 2 or 3, ideally possessing experience with Classical scholarship and methods (Classics major) and an interest in ancient philosophy and medicine (optional).

    The student will gain the following research skills and experience;

    • Keyword searching and analysis

    • Compiling bibliographical data

    • (Online) scanning and translation of foreign language articles

    • Discipline specific skills of comparative analysis of crucial texts (writing summaries).

    Download as PDF

  • Time and Change

    Supervisor: Dr Antony Eagle

    Department of Philosophy

    School of Humanities

    Things change. A candle was tall when it was first lit. Now, it is merely a stub. Change however poses a puzzle. The changing candle must be the same (otherwise we wouldn't have change, but replacement of one candle by another). But the changing candle must also be different (otherwise we would have constancy, not change).

    It might seem mere wordplay to point out the tension between 'the candle is the same' and 'the candle is different' here, but it is surprisingly difficult to give a coherent account of what is going on in cases of change. One popular idea is to appeal to the notion of temporary truth: that it IS true that the candle is a stub, but now it merely WAS true that the candle was tall, and it merely WILL BE true that the candle has gone out. In this summer research project, a student will engage with the scholarly literature on the problems of time and change under the supervision of a faculty mentor, and alongside postgraduate students working on related topics. The first part of the project will involve the student developing a literature review covering some key recent developments in the field. The second part of the project will involve the student contributing to the development of research manuscript(s) in the field, by offering critical feedback and editorial advice, drawing on their overview of the contemporary literature. This project will be suitable for an upper level student, ideally with some background in philosophy, logic, or mathematics. The project is associated with Antony Eagle’s ARC-funded Discovery Project 'Everything in its Place: Location, Persistence, and Change'. There may be opportunities to continue in honours or postgraduate work on this topic if the project is successful.

    The student will gain the following research skills and experience;

    • Work on an existing competitive grant

    • Develop and refine an ability to search for and access publications on a research topic

    • Evaluate data and publications to determine which literature makes a noteworthy contribution to scholarship

    • Read and analyse sources

    • Write a coherent narrative that synthesizes noteworthy sources

    • Develop skills of academic writing through critical engagement with work in progress

    • Develop discipline-specific knowledge on the topics of time and change sufficient to make a critical contribution to the evaluation of work in progress.

    Download as PDF

  • Inquiry-based learning trends in schooling

  • Facilitating critical and creative thinking in the middle years

    Supervisor:  Dr John Willison
    School of Education

    Critical and Creative Thinking (C&CT) is classed as a General Capability that spans all Learning Areas in the Australian Curriculum, through to Year 10. The cognitive elements of C&CT are crucial when students develop and employ the associated skills, however, the intersections between the cognitive and affective domains are pivotal for learner engagement in C&CT (Willison, 2020). These intersections, where the mechanisms by which teachers engage students both cognitively and affectively, are under-conceptualised and so potentially effect student development of C&CT skills.

    This project will conduct a systematic review of the literature on C&CT development in schools, with a focus on the cognitive and affective domains. The cognitive and affective elements of the Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching (Willison, 2020) will be used as the conceptual framework to guide the analysis.

    The overall goal of the project is to illuminate best-practice C&CT in schools internationally, specify the ways that the cognitive and affective domains have been handled and determine the range of outcomes in C&CT. This will inform an Australian Research Council Linkage Project grant application and provide the basis for a journal article submitted to the Harvard Educational Review (QRI=5).

    Research Tasks

    • 1. Systematic Literature review of C&CT processes and outcomes 2011-2020
    • 2. Drafting an article based on this literature review for the Harvard Educational Review
    • 3. Recommending C&CT approaches for a an Australian Research Council Linkage Project grant application

    Reference
    Willison, J. (2020). The Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching. Springer.
    https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-15-2683-1

    The student will gain the following research skills and experience;

    • Publication in high-quality journal
    • Collate background information for a competitive grant application
    • Determine search parameters including keywords
    • Find appropriate literature through a systematic literature search
    • Evaluate and rate articles
    • Analyse quality articles and organise into a systematic structure
    • Communicate in academic writing and less formally by email and conversation with supervisor

    Download as PDF