Winter Research Scholarship Program 2018

Applications open 5 March 2018, close 3 April 2018.


Story-telling on Stage, Screen, and Online 
Project Duration: 4-6 weeks.
Project Background: Have you heard of the Australian writers Dorothy Blewett (no, not Hewett), or Millicent Armstrong, Max Afford, Betty Roland, or Catherine Shepherd? How about Kester Berwick, Furnley Maurice, or Lottie Lyle?

Are you, or do you think you could be, a persistent researcher who enjoys piecing together stories from old books, ephemeral information, newspaper reports, and archives?

You’ve probably never heard of the people listed above and that’s because their stories are still being told. You could help to tell them by taking part in a project that is identifying, researching, and digitising plays and other works from before 1950, and publishing them on AustLit.

Apply to become a Scholar with the AustLit team of researchers. Help us build a fabulous digital archive of plays and other literary works, undertake research on them and the writers who made them. Create dynamic online exhibitions and deepen your understanding of the lives and careers of Australian writers from a time when writing for performance was a Sisyphean task of trying and trying again to find a stage or screen for your Australian story.

Expected outcomes and deliverables: Identifying, researching, and digitising plays and other works from before 1950, and publishing the works on AustLit; Building a digital archive of plays and other literary works; Creating online exhibitions.

Suitable for: This project is suitable for students who have the ability to write succinctly and research well, and who have an interest in contemporary publishing and disruptive technologies.

Primary Supervisor: Kerry Kilner, Director, AustLit -


Physical Journalism

Project Duration: 4-6 weeks.

Project Background: The project will explore the possibilities of physical, situated and wearable interfaces for telling stories in the public interest. It will investigate emerging technologies and examples of projects that have used tangible or wearable computing as means of communication.

Expected outcomes and deliverables: Scholars will gain experience in cross-disciplinary research. They will prepare a dossier of their research, including a dataset, summary of major themes, project descriptions and an annotated bibliography. There is scope to design workshop materials based on this data.

Suitable for: Scholars should have an interest in the topic, the ability to think laterally and well-developed research and writing skills. The scholar will need to read and make sense of academic and non-academic material from disciplines including communication, design and technology.

Primary Supervisor: Dr Skye Doherty, School of Communication and Arts -

    Walkabout Magazine and Digital Humanities

    Project Duration: 4-6 weeks.

    Project Background: The project explores Walkabout (1934-1974) – one of Australia’s best-loved mid-twentieth century magazines – in order to pose innovative research questions through new open-access digital humanities resources. It aims to develop innovative digital humanities methodologies to collect empirical data about readership. The project is conducted in partnership with the National Library of Australia (NLA). One of the outcomes will be the digitization of the magazine’s literary and visual contents on NLA’s world leading Trove platform. The project will contribute to making an important record of Australia’s national heritage accessible to the community and to researchers in a way that was not previously possible.

    Expected outcomes and deliverables: The candidate will be expected to contribute to the digitization of Walkabout’s issues published between 1944 to 1954. S/he will have to transcribe and collect a range of data about the magazine’s contents and input them into a predefined dataset elaborated by the project’s supervisors. Throughout the project the student will gain technical, communication and analytical skill sets that are needed by heritage, media and cultural industries. In addition, s/he will develop a first-hand understanding of the complexities of textual, visual and historical research and a direct insight into the potential of state-of-the art digital technologies.

    Suitable for (desirable skills/experience of the applicant): Some experience of using research databases and style guides, excellent knowledge in the use of PCs/Macs, precision and attention to detail are the desired skills for the position. The student will be comfortable working autonomously and in a team environment. A demonstrated interest in print and visual culture will be an advantage.

    Supervisors: A/Prof Anna Johnston and Dr Paolo Magagnoli, School of Communication and Arts - and

    Sci-fi News

    Project Duration: 4-6 weeks.

    Project Background: Science fiction and interaction design are occasional bedfellows: science fiction speculates on possible futures; interaction design researchers imagine new technological possibilities. This project aims to draw inspiration from science fiction to think about how news and information might be communicated in the future. This scholarship forms part of the scoping work for a larger design project. The scholar will source descriptions and concepts of communication tech from a selection of science fiction books, with the aim of developing a dataset. We will be looking for technological concepts and the social context in which they are used.

    Expected outcomes and deliverables: Scholars will prepare a dossier of their research including a data set, annotated bibliography and summary of key themes. There is scope to design workshop materials based on this data. Scholars will gain exposure to interaction design research.

    Suitable for: Scholars should be fans of science fiction and have an interest in the topic. They should have the ability to think laterally and well-developed research and writing skills. 

    Primary Supervisor: Dr Skye Doherty, School of Communication and Arts -


    Connecting the disconnected: Understanding place-based communication spaces that create livelihood opportunities for the most disadvantaged in urban Queensland

    Project Duration: 4-6 weeks.

    Project Background: 

    The Centre for Communication and Social Change is leading the development of an ARC Linkage grant proposal for a collaborative research project with the School of Social Science and the Red Cross on place-based communication spaces for disadvantaged community groups. The objectives of the project are:

    • To understand how organised communication spaces facilitate sense of belonging, social connectivity and community cohesion among extremely isolated community members in urban SE QLD.
    • To examine the extent to which the processes expand social and economic opportunities for people to move out of cycles of homelessness.

    This case-based action research project will be placed in a conceptual framework involving theories of community development and communication for social change.

    The proposed student research will collect and collate background information available in the literature on homelessness, place-based community development approaches and participatory communication. The scholarship recipient will be involved in the following activities:

    • Conduct a literature search, select and read articles on place-based communication spaces relating to services provided to vulnerable urban communities.
    • Write an annotated bibliography.
    • Conduct an analysis from the literature review of factors influencing engagement in place-based communication spaces.

    The successful applicant will have good analytical and writing skills.

    Expected outcomes and deliverables: The expected outcomes for the student include (1) enhanced research skills, (2) improved academic writing skills, and (3) an understanding of how a transdisciplinary research project is designed. The deliverables include (1) a written annotated bibliography and (2) a brief report containing the analysis.

    Suitable for: The assignment is suitable for students who are in their last year of a Bachelor of Communication, Social Science, Social Work or Psychology, and who have a strong interest in Community Development. 

    Primary Supervisor: A/Prof Elske van de Fliert, School of Communication and Arts -

    Screened Live: a new paradigm for theatrical performance

    Project Duration: 6 weeks approx.

    Project Background: In terms of both production and consumption, contemporary theatre is undergoing rapid change. The cinematic screening of live theatrical performances (or ‘live screening’) is one of the most significant manifestations of this change. ‘Live screening’ is creating new opportunities for innovation in creative economies around the world (Towse 2014). Digital technologies have had a significant impact not only on performances but also on audiences (Fotheringham 2016; Midgette 2016). Through the development of both digital technologies and the live screening phenomenon, the performative scope of theatre/opera/ballet companies has expanded to reach not just national audiences but international ones. This complex of live performance, cinematic viewing, and digital innovation is having a profound effect on performing arts companies, affecting everything from accessibility, to business models, to attitudes to liveness (Barker 2013). It is this complex that is the focus of the Screened Live: a new paradigm for theatrical performance project. For the broader project, there are two planned outcomes. Firstly, there is a monograph of the same name, and secondly, the ARC Linkage project being developed by Bernadette Cochrane, Kerry Kilner, Anne Pender (UNE) and Playlab. The significance of this broader project lies in its examination of a) the political and economic markets of live screenings; b) the architectonics of distribution and dissemination; and c) the aesthetics of creation and reception. The present study aims to answer the specific research questions: Who are the content generators? What are the primary business models? What are the primary distribution and reception modes; where are the global reception points? In short, which companies are creating the material for live screenings; what are the business models being used; and where and what type of live
    screening is being shown?

    Expected outcomes and deliverables: By participating in the project, scholars can expect gain/learn skills related to:

    • Literature Review – e.g. of literature in the area of live screenings work in done in the fields of drama, film and television, business, and adaptation from 2016 -2018.
    • Data collection
    • Data analysis
    • The value of interdisciplinary research apropos problem solving.
    • Basic report writing skills in the preparation of the report of results.

    There is the opportunity to be involved in drafting and collaborating on a paper for presentation and publication.

    Suitable for: This project would suit a UQ final year undergraduate or post-graduate student
    who is reliable, motivated, enquiring, and organised. The main criteria are an interest in the digital humanities, data analysis, and an inquisitive problem-solving mind set. It is desirable that applicants have some familiarity with quantitative approaches to data collection and analysis. 

    Primary Supervisor: Dr Bernadette Cochrane, School of Communication and Arts -


    How to Apply?