Vacation Research Scholarships

Are you an undergraduate student curious about research?

Do you want to find out whether doing research in your field of study is your future career direction?

If you are in your second, third or honours year and have a strong academic record, a Vacation Research Scholarship may be for you.

The aims of the vacation research scholarship are to:

  • encourage outstanding UniSA students who may be interested in exploring or wish to pursue a higher degree by research
  • provide the platform to learn about the principles and practices of undertaking research
  • stimulate students’ interest in research and to interact with students and staff who are actively involved in research
  • gauge the research aptitude of the successful applicants

The scholarships give you the opportunity to earn $300 a week undertaking research for up to 8 weeks with experiences UniSA researchers between December and February. The scholarships are offered annually, and applications close 9 September 2018.

How do I apply?

For more information about the scholarships and how to apply click here.

You must contact the project supervisor to discuss the project prior to submitting your application. The project supervisor is required to provide a supporting statement and approve your application. Applications will not be accepted without the approval of the project supervisor.

Vacation Research Project Descriptions

School of Art, Architecture & Design

 

Project Title

Project Description

City Modelling of Adelaide

Project Summary: The project will apply advanced modelling and visualisation technologies including the immersive display environment – Hyve 3D – to contribute to the development of a virtual Adelaide city model to assist future architectural design and urban planning. The ideal scholar for the project will have some design and computing background who is open to new knowledge and challenges. You will be supervised and assisted by a team of experienced researchers and PhD students in the field.

Contact person and details: Professor Ning Gu / Ph: 8302-0349

Transforming Architectural Design with Holographic Computing

Project Summary: The project will explore the use of new interaction and visualisation technologies including the wearable holographic device – Microsoft HoloLens – to contribute to the creation of hybrid and creative design in architecture that merges between the digital world and the physical world. The ideal scholar for the project will have some design and computing background who is open to new knowledge and challenges. You will be supervised and assisted by a team of experienced researchers and PhD students in the field.

Contact person and details: Professor Ning Gu / Ph: 8302-0349

Smart Campus Design and Analysis with Big Data

Project Summary: The project will continue the development of an existing smart campus model of the UniSA City West Campus, using parametric design tools, computational analysis techniques, and big data. The project will connect to an international network with collaborators from Denmark and France. The ideal scholar for the project will have some design and computing background who is open to new knowledge and challenges. You will be supervised and assisted by a team of experienced researchers and PhD students in the field.

Contact person and details: Professor Ning Gu / Ph: 8302-0349

Public engagement and stakeholder consultation through computer visualisations - a review of international and Australian experiences

Project Summary: A key challenge for urban planners is how to engage effectively with the public and other stakeholders, how to communicate planning proposals and the choices they imply in a balanced and informed manner, and how to effectively moderate engagement processes involving a wide range of different (and often conflicting) interests. Online mapping systems and computer visualisations, including 3D models, could be powerful instruments in communicating planning proposals to the public and to different stakeholder groups.

However, planning authorities in many countries continue to rely on traditional public consultation processes (using two-dimensional or paper maps and plans). This project will include a review of the international literature to categorise the reasons for the low uptake of new technologies in planning processes to date. Further, it will explore the opportunities and challenges of selected Australian planning authorities (state, city) in expanding their public engagement approaches to include computer visualisations.

Contact person and details: Professor Stefanie Duhr / Ph: 8302-0636

A framework of decision-making factors and supporting information for facilitating sustainable land assembly in urban renewal projects.

Project Summary: This research is an empirical study investigating land assembly process for urban renewal projects in South Australia. The proposed framework will be developed using several research methods such as literature review, case study, document analysis and co-design workshop with stakeholders. The ideal scholar for the project will have some knowledge of planning policy and land use planning and open to challenges to identify land assembly process that could be used as a guideline by City Councils. Students will be supervised and assisted by a team of experienced researchers and senior planners from the City of Port Adelaide Enfield (PAE). PAE have provided us a support letter for their collaboration in this project. This project will facilitate students’ real life challenges of land assembly for urban renewal.

Contact person: Dr Alpana Sivam E: alpana.sivam@unisa.edu.au P: 8302 1850

and Dr Sadasivam Karuppannan E: sadasivam.karuppannan@unisa.edu.au P:8302 1066

Mismatch of Housing: Adequacy of Housing for the Population

Project Summary: A range of data sources including Australian Bureau of Statistics will be analysed and synthesised to map the mismatch of housing demand and supply using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) tools. Students will be supervised and assisted by team of experienced researchers and senior planners from City of Port Adelaide Enfield (PAE). PAE have provided us a support letter confirming their coloration in this project. Moreover, the study findings will provide salient lessons on both research on housing provision and professional practice.

Contact person and detail: Dr Sadasivam Karuppannan E: sadasivam.karuppannan@unisa.edu.au P:8302 1066

and Dr Alpana Sivam E: alpana.sivam@unisa.edu.au P: 8302 1850

Australian Centre for Child Protection (ACCP), School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy

Project Title

Project Description

New approaches to early intervention and prevention of child abuse and neglect in South Australia

Australian Centre for Child Protection

 

Project summary: Recent estimates have identified that one in four South Australian children are reported to child protection services by age 10, highlighting a need for new and innovative approaches for responding to children and families with complex needs. A range of projects are being undertaken at the ACCP within a broad program of research focused on identifying opportunities to respond to children and families as early as possible, including the development and evaluation of programs aimed to support families and to prevent the intergenerational involvement of families with child protection systems.

The student(s) would contribute to one or more of these projects by assisting with a range of activities including reviewing literature or policy documents, data collection and data analysis using quantitative and qualitative methods. The student(s) would contribute to work that underpins significant reform to child protection systems in South Australia.

 The student(s) would be co-supervised by Dr Sarah Cox, Olivia Octoman and Jenna Meiksans with support from senior staff at the ACCP.

Contact person: Jenna Meiksans / Ph: 8302-1222

School of Creative Industries

Project Title

Project Description

Exploring the positive impact of refugees in society: Social, cultural and economic contributions of humanitarian migrant

Project Summary: To identify the ways (social, cultural and economic) in which humanitarian migrants transform, and in turn, are transformed by the migration settlement process in Australia. The project will use a qualitative ethnographic approach that includes participant observation and semi-structured biographical/life-history interviews with Hazara Afghan humanitarian migrants and other residents in the Port Adelaide-Enfield Local Council area of SA in order to investigate the innovative social, cultural and economic contributions of the Hazara to their Port Adelaide-Enfield community.

Contact person and details:  Dr David Radford / Ph: 8302-1003

School of Education

Project Title

Project Description

Examining the identities and capacities of pre-service teachers and teachers teaching in Shanghai Xiehe international schools.

Research for Educational and Social Inclusion group.

Project Summary: The aims of the longitudinal research (2017-2020) are:

  1. to investigate the professional placement experiences of our domestic pre-service teachers (PSTs), teaching and conducting action research in four of the Shanghai Xiehe schools;
  2. to examine how the Chinese and Expatriate teachers teaching at Shanghai Xiehe schools play their role as ‘host mentor teachers’ to the Australian PSTs; as well as, work collaboratively with each other in developing inclusive and differentiated pedagogies to meet the diverse needs and backgrounds of students (e.g. diverse socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicity, and English Language acquisition).

Following the initial interview analysis of both the Chinese and Expatriate teachers conducted at the four schools in Shanghai, and focus group discussions with the Australian PSTs (from 24/04/2017 to 12/06/17), the research team has identified some initial themes with regard to the impact of ‘East-meets-West’ Pioneer initiatives in the four Shanghai schools. So the student researcher will assist in analysis of data and/or literature review in the field of the professional placement experiences of our domestic pre-service teachers (PSTs) impact their development in intercultural, inclusive and differentiated pedagogies to meet the diverse needs and backgrounds of students.

Contact person and details: Dr Hannah Soong / Ph: 8302-6331

How first-in-family males transition to and experience Australian university

Project Summary: Males from low socio-economic backgrounds remain severely underrepresented in higher education, and significant gaps exist in our knowledge of how these students experience university life. This project provides the first detailed account of how gender, ethnicity and social class impact on Australian males from low socio-economic backgrounds as they transition to university. Despite an emphasis on widening participation in the Australian university sector, the path to university is still precarious, particularly for first-in-family students. The project uses mixed methods to better understand the experiences of first-in-family males entering universities in different locales/institutions across Australia. This project draws on data from 42 participants located in the northern suburbs of Adelaide and the western suburbs of Sydney. Many different ethnicities and religious affiliations are part of the project.

Contact person and details: Dr Garth Stahl 

How schools foster refugee student resilience


Research for Educational and Social Inclusion

Project Summary: This research aims to investigate how schools transcend refugee students' past life experiences by creating the social and educational conditions that enhance their resilience. It will focus on the policies, practices, relationships, and events that shape the schooling experiences of refugee students and promote their resilience. The study will provide education sectors, schools, and refugee service providers with crucial new knowledge about how school-based policies and practices can foster refugee student resilience. Outcomes of this project will include the development of research-based guides to good policy and practice in refugee education, and improved educational and social outcomes for refugee students.

Contact person: Dr Melanie Baak / Ph: 8302-4294

Improving educational outcomes for students from refugee backgrounds in the South Australian Certificate of Education


Research for Educational and Social Inclusion

Project Summary: This project was initiated by Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) in response to identification of the challenges for students from refugee backgrounds in completing the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). The Pathways to Success Program, a funded program to improve the support available to refugee background students in the senior secondary years, was introduced in two Catholic secondary schools in 2016 and 2017. These two schools have a significant number of students from diverse backgrounds and make use of a number of approaches to support refugee background students. This project used a mixed-methods approach to explore the school practices that supported students from refugee backgrounds undertaking the SACE.

Contact person: Dr Melanie Baak / Ph: 8302-4294

Creative and Body-based Learning

Centre for Research in Educational and Social Inclusion (CRESI)

Project Summary: This project was initiated by Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) in response to identification of the challenges for students from refugee backgrounds in completing the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). The Pathways to Success Program, a funded program to improve the support available to refugee background students in the senior secondary years, was introduced in two Catholic secondary schools in 2016 and 2017. These two schools have a significant number of students from diverse backgrounds and make use of a number of approaches to support refugee background students. This project used a mixed-methods approach to explore the school practices that supported students from refugee backgrounds undertaking the SACE.

Contact person: Dr Robyne Garrett / Ph: 8302 6347

Data Analysis and Evaluation of the Year 7 and 8 STEM Collaborative Inquiry Project

STEM Innovation and Research Group

Project Summary: STEM is currently a national priority for Australia with a skilled workforce in the area considered a high priority for ensuring future economic prosperity through innovation and entrepreneurship. The National Innovation and Science Agenda focuses on four key pillars: Culture and capital, Collaboration, Talent and skills, Government as an exemplar (Australian Government, 2015). This current STEM project aligns to the pillars of Collaboration, Talent and skills. The project has established and built partnerships between the primary and secondary schools to form networks and industry connections and aims to evaluate how different approaches to STEM within these networks can contribute to enthusing the next generation of students to study “science, maths and computing in schools”. The project is a flagship project for Department for Education in SA and is operating in five networks, each of which comprises 1 High School and 4-5 Primary Schools. Each network is co- designing and implement innovative STEM learning over a two year period. The central question guiding this project is What impacts on students’ understandings and dispositions around STEM are evident from their involvement in the project?

The Research Scholarship candidate would be involved in the data analysis phase of the project, working with the project team on both quantitative and qualitative data analysis of student and teacher data (survey, observation, interview, and video).

Contact person: Dr Lisa O’Keeffe / Ph:8302 6474

Organise your own project

Name and contact

School

Areas of interest

Dr Ning Gu

School of Art, Architecture and Design 

Digital Design; Interaction Design; Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Design; BIM; Smart Cities

 

Ms Louise Haselton

School of Art, Architecture and Design 

Contemporary Art, Sculpture

 

Dr Hannah Soong

School of Education

Intercultural understanding; lived experiences; teacher education; East-meets-West curriculum and identity work

 

Dr Garth Stahl

School of Education

gender, social class, masculinities, first-in-family student experience

 

Areas of study and research

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