Summer Research Scholarship Program 2021-2022 

Applications Closed.


Aesthetics and Dementia in Film and Television Fiction

Project Duration: 10 weeks, commencing 29/11/2021 concluding 18/02/2022 (excluding 2 weeks off over the Christmas and New Year break 20/12/21-03/01/22). Remote/online participation available for the duration of the project.

Project Description: As dementia has risen to prominence as a major issue facing contemporary societies its representation in cinema and television fiction has significantly increased, particularly over the past decade. Most research addressing such representations come from a health/social science or broad communications perspective which tend to stress the negative impact of caricatured or simplistic depictions of progressive cognitive impairment and deterioration. That research has little to say about the aesthetic significance or historical prevalence of dementia in film. This project aims to scope the generic, aesthetic, and cultural dimensions of dementia either as an explicit condition acknowledged by the plot of the movies or implicit and otherwise characterised. One hypothesis is that there may be representations of dementia in film and television where characters exhibit forms of cognitive impairment and/or deterioration related to dementia that were not recognised as such. Whether or not that is the case, the theoretical and methodological model for the project is similar to Anton Kaes’s Shell-Shock Cinema: Weimar Culture and the Wounds of War.  The main task for the researcher is scoping relevant fictional movies and television shows and organising them into appropriate (or novel) genres.  

Expected outcomes and deliverables: Skills in data collection; A practical understanding of the theorisation of representation in film and television and their relationship to socio-historical reality. 

Suitable for: Third year students who have completed a significant number of courses in the Film and Television Studies Major, or, Honours students studying film and television topics for their dissertation.

Primary Supervisor: Prof. Jason Jacobs


        History and Fiction: Mapping Frontier Violence in Colonial Queensland Writing

        Project Duration: 10 weeks, commencing 29/11/2021 concluding 18/02/2022 (excluding 2 weeks off over the Christmas and New Year break 20/12/21-03/01/22). Remote/online participation available for most of the project, however the successful applicant will need to access in-person Library collections (such as Fryer Library and the State Library of Queensland) in Brisbane in order to successfully complete the project.

        Project Description: Writers such as Eliza Hamilton Dunlop and Rosa Praed recorded the violence of colonial Australia in their writing, sometimes directly, sometimes obliquely. These literary representations were often controversial at the time, drawing attention to the hidden history of colonialism and Indigenous dispossession. This project provides students with an opportunity to explore how colonial violence was represented in Queensland writing, ranging from fiction, memoirs, and non-fiction writing. This project connects to Associate Professor Anna Johnston’s ongoing work on the representation of violence and intimacy in colonial frontiers, and a collaboration between UQ and the State Library of Queensland on the history of frontier massacres. 

        Expected outcomes and deliverables: You will have the opportunity to conduct original research in print and archival sources, to work alongside scholars and library experts to create an annotated bibliography of sources, and to write an account of your findings that could result in online publication. Students may also be asked to produce a report or oral presentation at the end of their project.

        Suitable for: This project would provide an excellent opportunity for upper year English Literature students considering an Honours year, and students who have combined English Literature, English, Writing, and /or History majors and are curious about connecting the past with pressing contemporary issues.

        Primary Supervisor: A/Prof. Anna Johnston


            Developments in Digital Transactions

            Project Duration: 10 weeks, commencing 29/11/2021 concluding 18/02/2022 (excluding 2 weeks off over the Christmas and New Year break 20/12/21-03/01/22). Remote/online participation available for the duration of the project.

            Project Description: This project seeks to explore the evolution of digital transaction platforms as a key architecture of the digital economy. It has an international focus that contextualises the Australian case by examining international developments, especially in Asian countries that are market leaders.

            This phase of the project is intended to provide a research foundation by gathering news, market reports, business, policy and academic literature detailing the growth of the digital payments industry in Australia and Asia.

            Expected outcomes and deliverables: Scholars will gain an up to date understanding of developments in a key sector of the digital economy. They will develop skills in data collection, evaluation and reporting. There will be an opportunity to craft and present a comparative report on the Australian case, and to work with the project leader on a journal publication on this topic.

            Suitable for: This project is suitable for final year UG or honours students with a background in digital media and communications, business, and/or finance. Fluency in English and/or Asian languages will determine the parameters of the literature collection.

            Primary Supervisor: A/Prof. Adrian Athique


            Re-Storying Sustainability

            Project Duration: 10 weeks, commencing 29/11/2021 concluding 18/02/2022 (excluding 2 weeks off over the Christmas and New Year break 20/12/21-03/01/22). Remote/online participation available for the duration of the project.

            Project Description: This project is about collecting stories that represent various understandings, issues and narratives of sustainability - without explicit asking for it. With various video/audio and possible gamification and APPlication approaches, we stimulate people to tell their stories - in different cultural and community settings. 

            The researchers will collaborate with and get supported by a team of researchers at the University of Queensland (Dr. Franzisca Weder) and the University of Otago (New Zealand: team of Prof. Dr. Nancy Longnecker, Dr. Gianna Savoie). 

            This project is predominantly designed for remote students who can’t be in Australia/Brisbane, and who study in their very own (cultural) environment. Thus, the project is unique in its approach, supporting external students to get connected with an international, collaborative research team and UQ as research assistants. There are no requirements for on-site activities.

            The project includes:

            • An introduction workshop to get familiar with the program background, topic, research questions & the team
            • A weekly workshop with the team leaders (check-in, methodological & analytical design)
            • Background literature to get an understanding of sustainability, from a strategic communication point of view and as research area; further information and contacts provided digitally
            • Collection of stories (by individual “explorative, narrative interviews”, scheduled and conducted in own time) Re-narration of the stories in a creative form (podcast preferred, but other forms possible)
            • Final workshop for future outlook

            Expected outcomes and deliverables: With this project, the student can not only advance their methodological expertise with getting training and practical expertise in qualitative research and innovative methodologies (whatsapp group research, focus groups settings, grounded theory); by the same time, the project offers insights in concepts of sustainability, environmental and science communication and recent, innovative concepts (like storytelling approaches). Students are asked to participate in the workshops, do the research (collect the stories) and create a final media product (podcast, app, video etc.) at the end of the research project phase.

            Suitable for: This project is open to applications from students with a background in communication and media, but applications from students with experience in app-/webcontent production and/or sustainability studies, renewable energy, or business are welcome to apply as well.

            Primary Supervisor: Dr Franzisca Weder


            Queer Australian Art History

            Project Duration: 10 weeks, commencing 29/11/2021 concluding 18/02/2022 (excluding 2 weeks off over the Christmas and New Year break 20/12/21-03/01/22). Remote/online participation available for the duration of the project.

            Project Description: Kink ( is a working group examining queer Australian art history. Kink is dedicated to investigating and bringing together the diverse and disparate histories of Australian LGBTQIA+ art. As a growing collective, our current work involves nationwide community consultation, with the goal of developing new and open resources on queer Australian art history. One of the project’s aims is to create an evolving, publicly searchable online database that will increase visibility of LGBTQIA+ in Australia. The platform will also be able to host, archive, and commission research texts and online curated projects to advance knowledge of Australian LGBTQIA+ arts practice. For this Summer Research Project, we seek a research assistant to gather foundational data for use in the development of an online database and archive.

            Expected outcomes and deliverables: The work will involve compiling and cataloguing data on the praxes of LGBTQIA+ Australian artists, including archival and collection-based research into the holdings of state museums and galleries, as well as some reading and analysis of scholarly art historical literature. Students will gain skills in data collection and analysis, as well as skills in using museum-based collection search engines and cataloguing art works. This work will contribute to the development of an online, searchable database designed to enrich knowledge of the breadth and scope of LGBTQIA+ art practices in Australia.

            Suitable for: This project is open to students studying a Major or Extended Major in Art History, at 2nd or 3rd year levels only. Software to be used: MS Word and Excel. Experience with Chicago Manual of Style referencing style would be advantageous.

            Primary Supervisor: Dr Amelia Barikin


            Mapping Simon Stone & Company

            Project Duration: 10 weeks, commencing 29/11/2021 concluding 18/02/2022 (excluding 2 weeks off over the Christmas and New Year break 20/12/21-03/01/22). The project can be completed mostly off-site (remotely/online); however, two weeks will be required on-site for collaborative research. One of these weeks will be in December and one in February, and the precise details can be negotiated with the successful applicant.

            Project Description: This project seeks to build and complete the AusStage dataset in relation to the network of theatre practitioners who developed around Australian-Swiss director Simon Stone across the 2000s and into the 2010s. It is designed to support the publication of a special issue of the leading journal  Contemporary Theatre Review on Simon Stone & Company, which is to be published in 2023 and co-edited by the primary supervisor.

            The project seeks to locate the relevant data, cross-check its accuracy, and enter it into the AusStage database. Specialist training will be provided to the successful applicant in the use of AusStage systems. At the conclusion of the data entry phase, the project will develop a virtual exhibition on the AusStage platform that highlights the most significant nodes of the Stone network and links to other paratextual ephemera.

            This project forms part of a wider international movement in theatre historiography, which seeks to understand the theatrical avant-garde as networked – that is, as driven not by white, male superstars, but by the network of collaborators that develop around them, whose contributions are all too often erased in theatre scholarship. The project also seeks to make Australian networks of practice visible in an international forum. 

            Expected outcomes and deliverables: 


            • The student will gain a strong understanding of the development of the Australian theatrical avant-garde across the 2000s and the 2010s through the network of Simon Stone & Company.
            • The student will gain experience with data entry, mapping tools, and the exhibition function of the AusStage database, a unique resource featured on the UNESCO Memory of the World register.
            • The student will gain insight into the academic journal production process, through working on the development of a special issue of Contemporary Theatre Review, a Q1-ranked journal by Scimago.


            • The student will build a comprehensive dataset of the network of Simon Stone & Company in AusStage, to assist research on contemporary Australian directors and theatre historiography. 
            • The student will co-curate a virtual Exhibition through AusStage that visualises the development of Simon Stone & Company, to be launched with the special issue of Contemporary Theatre Review.
            • The student will write a brief reflection on the process and challenges of building the dataset in AusStage, which will be submitted for publication in the Backpages of the special issue.

            Suitable for: Ideally, the applicant will have some experience using AusStage for research purposes through either DRAM2050 Australian Drama or DRAM3103 Theatre Historiography. The project is particularly suitable for Drama Honours students, either beginning or completing their studies.

            Primary Supervisor: Dr Chris Hay


            (Up)rooted identities: Trying to understand identity formation, maintenance, and transmission among families in global Indian diaspora

            Project Duration: 10 weeks, commencing 29/11/2021 concluding 18/02/2022 (excluding 2 weeks off over the Christmas and New Year break 20/12/21-03/01/22). Remote/online participation available for the duration of the project.

            Project Description: Over the past two centuries, millions of Indians have migrated across the globe (through forced and/or voluntary migration) for better education and employment opportunities or as indentured labour in various colonies.  They carried across their culture to new lands, and over decades/centuries, their cultural baggage has amalgamated with the cultures of their new home country/ries.

            The aim of this project is to investigate how the identities of such a varied diaspora have formed, how they are maintained by each generation, and how important is their Indian identity to be passed to the next generation (identity transmission).

            This project aims to gather quantitative survey data as well as open-ended responses from participants across the globe.

            Expected outcomes and deliverables: Applicants will learn more about transnational movement among Indian diaspora, research project design, conducting a literature review, and designing reliable/valid surveys.

            Applicants will be expected to complete the following tasks:

            • Assist with brief literature review
            • Assist with research design
            • Assist with constructing a quantitative survey
            • Assist with online data collection processes

            The successful applicant will need to submit an academic report that outlines all the above tasks. They will be added as a co-author on a conference presentation arising out of this project with acknowledgement in all print publications

            Suitable for: Students with a background in social sciences and/or cultural psychology and/or intercultural communication preferably completing their Master’s degree are encouraged to apply.  Knowledge in survey construction and quantitative methods is required. Having familiarity and/or being of Indian heritage is an added bonus.

            Primary Supervisor: Dr Aparna Hebbani


            Arts in Health St Vincent's Hospital

            Project Duration: 10 weeks, commencing 29/11/2021 concluding 18/02/2022 (excluding 2 weeks off over the Christmas and New Year break 20/12/21-03/01/22). Remote/online participation available for the majority of duration of the project, with occasional on-site visits required.

            Project Description: Associate Professor Sally Butler and Jess Olding, Manager of The Arts in Health Program at St Vincent's Private Hospital Brisbane and Northside, are researching and co-authoring an article about the art collection of the hospital and its role in Arts in Health programs.  The Arts in Health provides patients, visitors and staff with encounters with the arts that enhance the environment and support their spiritual, emotional and physical health and well-being, in line with the Hospital's Mission and values. These encounters seek to motivate, inspire, orientate and provide diversion, capitalising on the arts' profound impact on the human experience. The St Vincent's Private Hospital Northside and Brisbane Art Collections are an integral component of the Arts in Health Program. Across the two campuses, the Art Collection comprises over two thousand artworks, of which the history is largely undocumented. The UQ Student Scholar’s focus is on researching and documenting selected work from the collection to contribute to an ongoing registration database to record the history of the collection. The student scholar will conduct the research independently off-site, with some on-site visits. The following questions will guide the research: - What is the artwork title, date and medium? - What is the artist's full name? - Where are/were they located? - Is the artist still alive? - If yes, are contact details available for the artist? - If no, are next of kin/estate details available for the artist? - Is the artwork a reproduction of an original artwork? - Has there been a formal valuation conducted of the work? -- How did the artwork enter the collection at St Vincent's Private Hospital? - Why was the work acquired/donated into the collection.

            Expected outcomes and deliverables:  Students can expect to learn skills in Collection Data-base management and analytics, arts in health program development, art exhibition development, and collection archiving and research. Students can also take this internship in conjunction with the ARTT3200 Art Internship summer semester course if they are eligible.

            Suitable for: This application is open to students who have completed at least 4 courses in art history, preferably including Australian Art.

            Primary Supervisor: A/Prof Sally Butler


            Other summer research projects that may be of interest to our students (not offered by the School of Communication and Arts):

            Publishing an Indigenous peer research manual (offered via the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health)

            Supervisor: Associate Professor Steve Bell

            Duration: 8-10 weeks

            Drawing on work in Central Australia, best practice internationally, and consultation with our partners, the scholar will contribute to publishing a UQ Poche manual on working with community-based peer researchers in health research. 

            The project may suit someone who is creative, with skills, interest in graphic design, communications, and communication technologies who can help publish a manual that is suitable for online print.

            Download further details (DOCX, 14.7 KB)


            Australian and Japanese Fantastic Arts (offered via the School of Languages and Cultures)

            Project duration: 6 weeks 29 November 2021 - 10 January 2022, 30 hours per week


            This is a research project on Australian and Japanese fantasy genres of literature and popular culture (manga, anime, film, fashion). Its main aim is to investigate cross-culture connections between Japan and Australia through fictional works of fantasy – examples include Nahoko Uehashi’s young adult fantasy series Moribito, combining ancient Japan with Uehashi’s knowledge of the Yamatji people of Western Australia; the Japanese anime series Deltora Quest, based on Australian author Emily Rodda’s books; and Australian-authored series that reimagine Japan, such as Lian Hearn’s Tales of the Otori and Jay Kristoff’s The Lotus War.

            In practice, students will be asked to assist with some of the following tasks: proofreading and referencing research publications on this topic;  planning an exhibition or event related to this project;  updating and developing a literature review and endnote library;  searching for and reading/watching/listing manga, anime, novels, illustrations, etc, then writing concise, relevant summaries;  translating relevant fiction and/or criticism from Japanese into English.

            Expected outcomes and deliverables:

            Students will be expected to: Collaborate with other students and the advisor on this project; Research and write a literature review of fiction and criticism; detailed, progressive feedback will be provided. AND/OR, Co-translate a (short) piece of fiction or criticism.

            Students who take part in this project can expect to: Improve their general research skills in the humanities; Improve technical editing, proofreading, and referencing skills used in the humanities and humanities publishing; Develop the ability to write succinctly and clearly; Gain knowledge of the field of fantasy in Japan and Australia; Gain knowledge of the field of contemporary Japanese popular culture and literary studies; Students undertaking the optional translation task will improve their translation ability and experience, and may have the chance to submit the work for publication as a co-translator.

            Students are also welcome to devise their own personal project related to the topic, to present at the end of the research period and receive detailed feedback from the advisor.

            Suitable for: 

            This project is open to students who have achieved excellent results in one or more university courses in writing, editing, literature, film, television, popular culture, or similar. Students who are interested in these fields and who can read and write both Japanese and English at an advanced level are also invited to apply.

            Further information: 

            Please contact Dr Lucy Fraser via email


            How to Apply?