Ideas for research projects

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Ideas for research projects


The following are research project ideas that potential students might like to undertake at honours, master or doctoral level.

The faculty has experienced researchers interested in supervising students on the following topics:

  • Computer games research, play and learning environments, digital media and interaction design (Associate Professor Christian Jones)
  • Emotion research and technology mediated communications such as iPhones and social networking (Associate Professor Christian Jones)
  • Contemporary Fiction, Fiction in General (English/ American Canon), Young Adult Fiction, The Illustrated Book for Older Readers and The Graphic Novel (Professor Gary Crew)
  • Twenty First Century interpretations of the Australian landscape in Literature, new / fresh directions in Post Colonial Studies (Professor Gary Crew)
  • Cognition and health, in particular biased attention and memory for body image information (Dr Kate Mulgrew)
  • All aspects of visual communication, including: art and design history; graphic arts, design and technology; contemporary and traditional typography; digital and traditional illustration; digital media and user interaction; digital video and audio; stereoscopic video in education and training; the future of design and design education; and online learning within the creative domain (Dr Ian White)
  • Postmodern fiction, the novel, creative non-fiction, particularly in relation to memoir/autobiography and post-colonial world literature (Dr Paul Williams)
  • Science fiction, particularly in relation to influence and impact on contemporary and future society, fantasy, particularly in relation to influence and impact on contemporary and future society, the use of history in the construction of contemporary and futuristic fiction, the role of science fiction and fantasy in the development of contemporary society (Dr Greg Nash)
  • Migration history, football history; football and society, Popular culture in Italy, France and Spain (especially studies based on queer theory, gender studies and postcolonial studies), Italian history (especially the role of emotions, the body and sexuality), Historiography (especially oral history, postmodern history, and interdisciplinary approaches to history) (Dr Francesco Ricatti)
  • Postmodern fiction, particularly in relation to experimental narrative devices, visual narrative, including illustrated books for older readers and graphic novels creative non-fiction, particularly in relation to travel writing, concepts including melancholy, loss, mourning, depression and/or nostalgia the use of objects and explorations of object-related theory in narrative, contemporary representations of masculinity in narrative scientific and poetic representations of the ‘body’ in narrative (Dr Ross Watkins)
  • Building resilience through governance and community awareness and action in relation to climate change impacts on the coastal zone, social / economic impacts of water allocation planning in Australia, visual methods in action research such as using GIS, photovoice, charrettes to investigate values, social change, and awareness. Planning with under-represented groups (seniors, disabled) to better match needs to the built environment outcomes and trialling and evaluating approaches to community engagement and conflict resolution.(Associate Professor Claudia Baldwin)
  • Children and young people’s geographies, Children and development in Asia and the Pacific, participatory research with children and young people, Community development in international contexts, gender and society and gendered childhoods (Dr Harriot Beazley)
  • Futures Studies including: Educational Futures;Transformative Pedagogies; Strategic Foresight; Social Learning and Cultural Addiction; Sustainable Futures; Hope and Embodied Social Action; Creativity and Culture; Poststructural Encounters; Practical Spirituality; Causal Layered Analysis; Proutist Futures and Neohumanist Futures (Dr Marcus Bussey)
  • World History including: Macrohistory and Macrohistorians; Social Cycles; World Historical Processes; Civilisation and Paradigm Shift; Historiography; Hegemony and Social Change; Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar; and Art/Music History (Dr Marcus Bussey)
  • Trauma, Anxiety Disorders and Clinical Psychology (Dr Lee Kannis-Dymand)
  • Mental health and well-being amongst early childhood education and care workers: what motivates staff to stay, despite lower pay and conditions? What does it mean to say you love to work with children, in a healthy, positive way? (Dr Prudence Millear)
  • Parents and their children: at what age do children become a resource for their parents and less of a demand? How does children’s sport offer a focus for parental life? How does the parent-child relationship change and evolve as parents become elderly or frail?
    Successful aging in non-urban areas: what are the differences to retiring on the coast, rather than staying where you have always lived? (Dr Prudence Millear)
  • Seachange or stay where you are: what drives the desire for career change and migration for families and why do they choose the Sunshine Coast? (Dr Prudence Millear)
  • Investigating how work engagement becomes employee burnout: what personal resources and workplace conditions are important to keeping employees satisfied with their work? (Dr Prudence Millear)
  • Personality in the workplace: how do optimism and resilience act as buffers for work demands and interpersonal conflict? (Dr Prudence Millear)
  • Child and adolescent development (delays, disorders, health behaviours and physical activity);and biological bases of behaviours (Dr Rachael Sharman)
  • Mood disorders, anxiety disorders, obesity, substance misuse and health psychology (Dr Dixie Statham)

Priority areas identified by the Department of Communities:

  • understanding homeless young people and their support needs
  • how the justice system addresses the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people
  • how the justice system addresses the needs of young people with mental health, intellectual impairment
  • understanding socially isolated populations: who, where and how should they be supported?
  • understanding the different needs of vulnerable groups in regional and remote areas, eg childcare and early years
  • what are the needs of homeless families with children?
  • understanding the incidence and prevalence of elder abuse, including financial and legal fraud in Queensland
  • examining the social issues associated with rapid growth in Queensland
  • understanding the increase in young women offenders and the increasing violence of their offences: what are the causal factors?
  • what are the needs of baby boomers?

Priority areas in education:

  • investigations into industry retention and ongoing practice post-training in arts disciplines
  • how schools systems increase engagement in the arts - the professional arts experiences delivered to schools by external parties
  • new media and changing patterns of consumption, participation and learning in education, training, and the arts
  • the impact of training in specialist arts practice on employment, with particular focus on post-training transition programs
  • factors affecting student retention in primary, secondary and/or tertiary institutions
  • environmental education for sustainability as a whole school approach: The advantages and challenges, barriers and incentives
  • comparative analysis of Indigenous and non-Indigenous parent engagement with classroom teachers
  • factors influencing higher education participation in regional areas
  • Indigenous students’ participation in higher education, further training and employment
  • what are the influences on Queensland school students’ participation and retention in higher education, in particular considering school sector and region? 

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