Winter Research Scholarship Program 2021 

Applications closed


Why Literature Matters: Shakespeare and the Rise of the Novel

Project Duration: 5 weeks, commencing 21/06/2021 concluding 23/07/2021

Project Description: This project examines the process of literary canonisation between the 17th and 20th centuries in a new and illuminating way. It does so by concentrating both on Shakespeare and the novel form. More specifically, it attempts to ascertain how the terms on which Shakespeare became the presiding genius of English literary culture from the end of the 17th century on related to the conditions in which the novel moved from being a popular form to a sanctioned and aestheticised literary form in the 19th century. This is an important question precisely because the criteria for anointing Shakespeare seem to be so different from the criteria used to sanction the novel.  And it will help us understand the situation today in which the literary canon is losing prestige even as ‘English' remains a national priority for Australian education.  

Expected outcomes and deliverables: 

  • An Australian Research Council Discovery grant application for the 2023 round (jointly developed with Prof. Peter Holbrook, ACU).
  • Preliminary research for a pilot article publication.
  • The project will extend its preliminary round of outreach, consulting with secondary teachers on the design and development of CPD and outreach events on reading the literary canon.  The project draws on Prof Holbrook’s experience delivering keynote lectures at conferences of the English Teachers’ Association of Queensland (ETAC) and of the Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE) (he has also published an article in the latter’s journal).  We will draw too, on our experience working together in UQ Node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, which delivered over 30 Continuing Professional Development seminars for teachers of the humanities (and English teachers in particular) in Brisbane. We have very good links with teachers as a result and in the first round of our consultation we worked with teachers at Kenmore SHS, Craigslea SHS and Brisbane SHS. 

Suitable for: A high-performing Literature undergraduate (preferably but not necessarily with literary historical training) who wishes to pursue Hons or HDR study: duties will include preliminary database and archival research to identify, collect and/or collate relevant library materials nationally and internationally; assistance with grant budgeting and submission; liaising with peak bodies to gather initial data for the design of the outreach element of the grant project; visiting a selection of local schools and organisations to talk with head teachers and students about potential events for the project.

Primary Supervisor: A/Prof Lisa O'Connell


        COVID-19 rocks: Everyday creativity, nature, and urban space

        Project Duration: 5 weeks, commencing 21/06/2021 concluding 23/07/2021

        Project Description: This project investigates the use of social media in building everyday creative communities in both virtual and off-line public spaces. Qld Rocks is a local group that paints, hides and finds rocks, posting their process and findings, online. The idea behind the practice is to connect with others anonymously, express oneself creatively, and share messages of gratitude, beauty, storytelling, etc.

        Our study is going to investigate underlying motivations and the benefits of participating in such groups, and the creative practices involved. In particular, we want to investigate the intersection of online and offline space, and the kinds of online storytelling produced by digitally-documented acts of rock painting, hiding, and finding. 

        Expected outcomes and deliverables: The participant will gain experience in online ethnographic research, storing and organisation of visual and text-based data, and the communication of their findings in written form.

        Suitable for: We are looking for candidate that is familiar with Facebook and Instagram and good at organising and analysing large amounts of information. They will be asked to undertake thematic analysis of the data and communicate their findings in written form.

        Primary Supervisor: Dr Nat Collie and Dr Caroline Wilson-Barnao


            How Communication for Development can make a difference - Exploring the efficacy of the Redi KAMODI co-innovation model to facilitate community-based cattle enterprise development in Timor Leste

            Project Duration: 5 weeks, commencing 21/06/2021 concluding 23/07/2021

            Project Description: This project is part of a larger research for development project entitled ‘Smallholder cattle enterprise development in Timor Leste’, which is implemented by the UQ-based Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovations (QAAFI), School of Agriculture and Food Sciences (SAFS) and Centre for Communication and Social Change (CfCSC), in collaboration with the Timor-Leste Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) and various Indonesian research partners, and funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) – hereafter referred to as ‘the Timor-Leste project’. The CfCSC leads the Communication for Development (C4D) component of the Timor-Leste project, which involved a participatory situation analysis study, the design and piloting of a co-innovation model and concomitant outreach strategy, and the implementation of a participatory monitoring and evaluation system.

            Considering the natural limitations for crop production in the mountainous areas of Timor-Leste, on the one hand, and the growing demand for beef in urban areas, on the other, cattle production offers one of the best opportunities for smallholder farmers in Timor-Leste to improve their subsistence-based livelihoods. This, however, requires better cattle management and marketing; hence, a transition to more intensive, cost-effective and commercial production and business systems.

            A core strategy of the Timor-Leste project was the creation of Innovation Platforms, or locally called Redi KAMODI, meaning ‘Cattle for Good Lives Network’. A Redi KAMODI (RK) consists of several small groups of local farmers, traders and technical advisers within one villages, who collaboratively explore ways to improve their cattle production and business. They are facilitated by the technical advisers in the development of critical skills to analyse the current (socio-economic and biophysical) situation of their livelihoods, identify gaps, problems and solutions relating to improved cattle systems, explore innovative practices, and test/adapt/internalise those practices in their daily farming and business practices.

            As the Timor-Leste project is coming to an end in 2021, the C4D component will conduct a final evaluation study from Feb-Jun 2021 to assess the efficacy of the RK model and its potential to be institutionalised within the Timorese Ministry of Agriculture. The study consists of focus group discussions and semi-structured individual interviews with partners and participants at all levels of the Timor-Leste project.

            Expected outcomes and deliverables: The successful scholar will be required to:

            • Conduct desk-top research and write a literature review on facilitation mechanisms of Innovation Platforms. 
            • Assist in the analysis of evaluation data and prepare a set of visuals and narratives that illustrate the impact of the project for diverse audiences.

            The expected outcomes for the student include (1) enhanced academic research, writing and data presentation skills, and (2) an understanding of how transdisciplinary research for development is designed and evaluated.

            Suitable for: Students who are in their last year of a degree in Communication (for Social Change), Social Science, Development Practice or Agribusiness, and who have a strong interest in community development. The successful applicant will have good analytical, writing and visual presentation skills.

            Primary Supervisor: A/Prof Elske van de Fliert


            Learning Intercultural Communication Through Doing It

            Project Duration: 5 weeks, commencing 21/06/2021 concluding 23/07/2021

            Project Description: This project aims to search for literature and design exercises for a new edition of a textbook in intercultural communication.  It involves reviewing the current literature in intercultural communication education, designing learning activities that encourage students to engage with people from different cultures, and finding information on interesting characteristics of certain cultural groups to assist with the writing of case studies. 

            Expected outcomes and deliverables: 

            • Valuable training and mentoring in research skills, particularly searching, reviewing and writing up research. Such research training will facilitate and benefit students when they progress to project or thesis based courses in their program, as well as those who intend to pursue honours, postgraduate or PhD programs in the near future.
            • Great opportunities for the student to apply their knowledge, skills and experiences in intercultural communication to the design of learning activities to benefit future students internationally.
            • The student’s name will be listed in the Acknowledgement of the book, when published.

            Suitable for: The experiences of having taken a course that includes some content in intercultural communication will be highly valued.

            Primary Supervisor: A/Prof Shuang Liu


            Contemporary Australian Playwriting: Re-visioning the Nation on the Mainstage

            Project Duration: 5 weeks, commencing 21/06/2021 concluding 23/07/2021

            Project Description: This is a research project that Associate Professor Stephen Carleton and Dr Chris Hay are working on investigating major trends in Australian playwriting in the first two decades of the C21st. It will be the first significant book-length study on the state of play in this field since John McCallum and Geoffrey Milnes’ broad survey monographs examining c20th Australian playwriting, and will result in a co-authored book with Routledge and an accompanying series of duologue-style interviews between pairs of leading Australian playwrights whose work aligns with each of the 8 topical content chapters in the book. These “in conversation with” outputs will be published separately as recordings/podcasts, to be made available to a wider audience (both scholarly and industrial), disseminated via UQ's Centre for Critical and Creative Writing. The interviews will take place across the July midyear break. It is this component of the research project in particular that we are seeking to intern a winter research student. 

            Expected outcomes and deliverables: 

            We will require the student to undertake research into the body of work of each of the 16 playwrights selected for interview, providing them with meaningful input into the range of questions we set as discussion points for each pair of playwrights. This will be an extraordinary networking experience for a theatre studies and/or playwriting student, connecting them as it will with some of this century’s leading and most awarded practitioners in the field. We will provide the student with training to operate the podcast recording equipment in the UQ Michie Building facilities, and the student will be given significant responsibility in the recording, collating, editing and disseminating of these interviews. These deliverables, podcast recordings that will sit prominently in the public domain, are rich ones for developing the student’s track record in the field. The interviews are expected to make a significant contribution to the scholarship surrounding c21st Australian playwriting, with impact measures that transect academia and industry. We will provide mentoring in the uploading of the finished product to the website of UQ’s Centre for Critical and Creative Writing, and empower the student to write the framing article on the website that contextualises the overall research project.

            Suitable for: High achieving students from the Drama major or a Playwriting and/or Theatre Studies honours or postgraduate student. The student should have excellent research writing skills, a demonstrated interest in contemporary Australian playwriting, and an aptitude for and keen interest in developing digital technical skills pertaining to podcast interviewing and recording. (We do not expect students to already have these technical skills.) Undergraduate/Honours students who have achieved strong results in DRAM2050 Australian Drama or DRAM3102 Playwriting and Dramaturgy are especially encouraged to apply. Students who are currently enrolled in or have recently completed DRAM6050 Drama Honours Seminar will also be strongly competitive applicants for this project.

            Primary Supervisor: A/Prof Stephen Carleton and Dr Chris Hay

            How to Apply?