UQ Summer/Winter Research Scholarships

Winter Research Scholarship Program 2023 

Applications close on 16 April


Social Media Collecting: From content to object

Project Duration: This research project will take place over 4- weeks from 26 June to 21 July 2023. It will involve a commitment of 30 hours per week (120 hours). The work can be competed remotely and there is no requirement to be on site

Project Description: 

Despite the reality that over half the world's population use social media there is surprisingly little guidance for museums on how to collect such content in perpetuity. Currently, most social media content is housed and owned by third party platforms that continue to change and may not exist in the future as new platforms and technologies emerge. This research will support museum professionals to build a sustainable practice of collecting historically significant social media before it is lost. Within this overarching framework and theoretical context, in this research project we explore three key research questions which are framed around: (1) what can museums learn from social media, (2) how to collect and exhibit it, and (3) the practices, tools, policies and infrastructures needed to collect it.   

Expected outcomes and deliverables: In this project we will be seeking to identify the different types of social media content that a museum might collect in terms of their different visions and mission statements. Scholars working on this project will develop greater understanding about museum practice as well as skills in seeking out suitable case studies. At the end of the project scholars will be asked to present a written and oral report.

Suitable for: This project is open to applications from students with a background in digital media, communications, journalism, museum studies or marketing.  Ideally the candidate will be postgraduate or a 3rd – 4th year student. We are looking for people with strong interest and experience with social media.

Primary Supervisor: Dr. Caroline Wilson-Barnao

Curating Histories for Cairns

Project Duration: The project will occur from 26 June to 21 July involving 20-36 hours per week

Project Description: The student will contribute to the large-scale Demons Land project, an unprecedented collaboration between UQ, Oxford University, and Queensland Indigenous artists in communities in Cairns and beyond. The project interweaves critical/historical analysis with film, painting, sculpture, drama, dance, storytelling, and explores the ongoing encounter between indigenous and colonial cultures. Dr. Andrea Bubenik (Art History, UQ) and Yidinji elder and activist Honorary Professor Henrietta Marrie (UQ) are among the chief investigators on this project. An especially important strand of this project is the development of educational resources for Cairns and art centres in regional Queensland. The student will work under the supervision of Dr. Bubenik and Hon. Prof. Marrie to research and consolidate Cairns and Yarrabah histories, oral, written, and visual. The goals is to curate a radical new time line for display and education. Sources to be explored will include: State Library Archives, the Hansard parliament reports, the Aboriginal Protection Act of 1897, and the 19th century visuals of frontier wars and massacres scattered in various archives.   

Expected outcomes and deliverables: The student will gain skills in archival research and exploration of primary source material including photographs and government reports. They will contribute to the development of a community focused educational resource, and the curation of written, visual and oral histories for an exhibition space to be situated in TAFE Cairns. The exhibition space will be designed to foster education and truth telling, as much as an emancipated community of storytellers and translators.

Suitable for: This project is open to upper level students of art history and curatorship. The successful candidate will have demonstrable independent research skills, and be able to commit to an intensive work period. Students with skills in archival research and/or curatorial practice are especially encouraged to apply.

Primary Supervisor: For more information, please contact Dr. Andrea Bubenik, a.bubenik@uq.edu.au

Land holds memory

Project Duration: The project will occur from 26 June to 21 July involving 23 hours per week. Students will be required on-site at Caloundra Art Gallery for at least one day per week.

Project Description: The project aims to profile the genre of contemporary landscape art through a curated exhibition of works drawn from the Caloundra Regional Art Gallery. Students will be involved in the full scope of exhibition development exhibition development inclusive of curating, art history research, art writing, public programming, marketing, and exhibition design and installation. Students will have the option to be enrolled in the ARTT3200 Art Internship course for 2# credit towards their art history major.   

Expected outcomes and deliverables: 

  • Working with Collection Database software programs
  • Primary and archival research on Australian artworks & artists
  • Familiarisation with Collection Storage & Management
  • Contextual research on artists, artworks & exhibition theme
  • Exhibition didactic preparation & writing
  • Working in curatorial development team
  • Researching and preparing education and public programs
  • Developing marketing material and collateral 

Suitable for: 

Students should have completed at least 8# art history studies including Australian art.

Students must be prepared to travel to Caloundra at the Sunshine Coast at least one day per week.

Students should have proven work ethic and team work qualities drawn from previous work not necessarily related to the arts industry.

Primary Supervisor: Please contact Associate Professor Sally Butler on sallybutler@uq.edu.au prior to submitting an application

We Are All Preppers Now: Survivalists, Doomsday Preppers, Climate Activists and other Subcultures of Imminent Collapse in Australia and Around the World

Project Duration: Four weeks in duration, from Monday 26 June to Friday 21 July 2023. Hours of engagement: 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday, with 1-hour lunch break (25 hours per week). The project can be completed under a remote working arrangement.

Project Description:

We Are All Preppers Now is a book-length creative writing project (creative nonfiction; literary journalism), investigating survivalists, doomsday preppers, climate activists and other subcultures of imminent collapse in Australia and around the world. This book project is under contract with Scribe Publications, for release in late 2024. Briefly defined, a ‘prepper’ is someone who expects to experience societal and/or ecological collapse within their lifetime, and who actively takes steps (‘preps’) for such an eventuality.

Aim: chart, document and understand the proliferation of prepper and prepper-adjacent worldviews, activities and identities around the world, especially since 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hypothesis: while prepping originated in the 1950s and 1960s as a US-centric phenomenon, with a far-right political orientation, in recent years prepping has become a much more mainstream, and ideologically diverse, activity. There seem to be three main drivers for recent increases in prepper behaviour:
1) lack of faith in existing political institutions;
2) concern about the worsening climate crisis;

3) a generalised ‘fear of the future’ (including, but not limited to, Covid-19, rogue AI, etc.)

I argue that prepping culture(s) are much more diverse than mainstream media accounts suggest; e.g., there are centrist preppers, left-wing preppers, ‘climate preppers’, etc. While individualism and misanthropy are currents within the prepping movement, they are not the only – or the most important – factors at play.
At the same time, as a cultural phenomenon, all preppers and prepper groups are arguably ‘giving up on the future’ in one way or another – whether that’s ‘giving up’ on late capitalism, or incremental climate action, or democracy, or ‘the state’, or ‘the social contract’.

Approach: Dr Tom Doig has been interviewing preppers and climate activists in New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Indonesia and India; he has also been collecting news articles related to prepping and preppers for two years. Sorting and coding this data will help Dr Doig write his book manuscript

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Applicants will be expected to listen to interview recordings (conducted by Dr Doig) with preppers, identifying key themes and points of interest. They will use transcription software (www.otter.ai) and produce short written reports, summarising each interview. They will then produce an overall report, summarising the corpus of the interviews.

Applicants will also be expected to review 48x news articles about preppers, identifying key themes and points of interest, producing short written reports summarising relevant stories and identifying potential future interview subjects.

Time permitting, applicants will be expected to carry out independent research, identifying online prepper groups, finding news articles about preppers in countries around the world, and identifying potential future interview subjects.

Student scholars will gain skills in data collection, data processing (coding, summarising, synthesising) and report-writing. Students will be credited as ‘research assistants’ in the ‘acknowledgements’ section of We Are All Preppers Now. Students will gain key insights into the book writing process and the book publishing industry

Suitable for:

This project is open to students with a background in creative writing, or publishing, or journalism. It is also open to any student/s with a background in social sciences (e.g., sociology, anthropology) or humanities (e.g., cultural studies, history) and a keen interest in the themes of prepping / climate crisis / societal breakdown.

It is particularly suitable for students with ambitions to publish non-fiction books in the future.

Honours and/or Postgraduate Coursework students preferred, but motivated 2nd/3rd year students will be considered

Primary supervisor: Dr Tom Doig

It's Only Rock and Roll but I Write It: AustLit's Rock Music Dataset

Project Duration: The project will be for 4 weeks in duration, from 26 June to 21 July 2023 at 20  per week per scholar. COVID-19 considerations: the project can be completed remotely

Project Description:

This project is the second stage of the construction of a specialised dataset in the AUSTLIT database on Australian writing about rock music.

The first phase was successfully completed during the 2022-23 Summer Scholars Scheme. Our summer scholars undertook foundational work, focusing on identifying and compiling networks of records already within the AUSTLIT database, developing dataset parameters, identifying future sources of data, and designing the dataset welcome page and other graphical and multi-media material (e.g. a t-shirt, a Spotify playlist).

The second phase will:

  • Continue the existing work in creating networks between people and rock bands within the AustLit database.
  • Identify material for inclusion in the dataset where it has not been previously identified (e.g., missing biographies / documentaries)
  • Develop additional, high-level networks between people and works by tracking and connecting additional rock-music relationships, including promoters, managers, and record producers.
  • Expand geographical information, to enable sophisticated mapping of locations when bands were formed / common settings for rock-themed writing.
  • Develop a webpage/pages (consistent with the existing webpages for the project) that enable database users to access this new information (in consultation with and under the guidance of AustLit staff)
  • Organise the launch of the AUSTLIT dataset

 If time permits: Work with AustLit staff on a protocol for identifying and connecting information about rock bands and Australian film (using the affordances of the existing AustLit system)

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Scholars will work under the supervision of A/Professor Henderson and Dr Mills, with Dr Mills providing training in the use of AUSTLIT.

Scholars will:

  • Gain an understanding of the mechanics of databases
  • Gain skills in data collection and database design, including multi-media resources and their integration
  • Gain skills in designing data base interfaces
  • Learn basic event management skills
  • Learn more about the dynamics of the field of Australian rock music
  • Learn about and contribute to Australian digital cultural heritage

Scholars will be expected to:

  • Assist in the expansion and completion of the data set
  • Assist in the organisation and publicising of the data set launch

  • We also aim to produce one jointly authored scholarly publication on the networks of cultural production uncovered by the project (for publication in JASAL or Australian Literary Studies)

Suitable for: This project is suitable for Arts and Humanities students with good research skills, an interest in Australian rock music and contemporary Australian literature; and/or an interest in cultural heritage and archives

Primary Supervisor: A/Prof Margaret Henderson

Secondary Supervisor: Dr Catriona Mills (Director, AustLit)

How to Apply?

Summer and Winter Research Scholarship Programs -  https://employability.uq.edu.au/summer-winter-research

If you require further assistance, please contact the School of Communication and Arts Research research.commarts@uq.edu.au