What is expected from the summer scholars?
The summer scholars work on a research project for 8 weeks with an academic supervisor or research team. During the 8 weeks the summer scholars will also attend research skills workshops. At the end of the program they present their research at the Kungullanji Summer Research Conference in the form of a 10min seminar presentation and present a poster in the poster session.
What type of work/research will the summer scholars be working on?
The aim of the program is to provide the summer scholars with a taste of research by working on a real research project, learning new skills and consequently encouraging them to pursue further studies and a research career. Some summer scholars are currently working on literature reviews, analysing data and conducting surveys, completing lab/field work and observational projects. The work that the summer scholars complete during the 8 week placement varies depending on the research area. The topic does not have to be an Indigenous topic or looking at Indigenous data, it can be anything that the supervisor is able to provide supervision for and interests the summer scholar. However, many of the summer scholars do often work on Indigenous topics or expand an existing study to focus on an Indigenous perspective or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander population or people. The type of work/research is often decided based on a discussion about potential project goals/research questions/interests between the supervisor and summer scholar. Often the research is also publishable, and some summer scholars have published their research in journals and community publications. If the work has the potential for publication make sure to discuss this with the summer scholars and encourage them to do so. Extra training can be provided for these students to develop a journal article.
Where will the Summer Scholars be based?
The research placement can be based at any of the Griffith Campuses but research workshops for the summer scholars are held primarily on Gold Coast and Nathan campus. The summer scholar may work from a different campus to the supervisor, however it is preferred that they are on the same campus. If possible, supervisors often arrange for a desk for the Summer Scholars to be based in the research centre/institute but this is not essential as the Summer Scholars can also work from the GUMURRII Student Support Unit facilities, library or computer labs. If agreed to by the supervisor the Summer Scholars may also work from home. This should be discussed in the initial weeks of the placement.
When do the Summer Scholars start and finish?
The program starts November but the dates of the 8 Week research placement depends on the supervisor and summer scholar availability. Some Summer Scholars start later or earlier depending on their supervisors leave arrangements, the project requirements, summer course load and other factors. The program is also flexible around work and travel plans.
How many hours/days per week should the Summer Scholars be working?
The summer scholars are required to produce a significant project during their placement and to achieve this the expectation is that Summer Scholars work approx. 25-35 hours a week. The days and times depend on the nature of the research. For example, some summer scholars complete longer days due to field work and only work a few days a week. Many of the Summer Scholars still have part-time work/ casual work during the summer and may need to work around these times. This should be discussed in the initial weeks of the placement and times/days agreed to by the supervisor and summer scholar. What is expected from the supervisor? The Supervisor/s and host research centre/institute/school will be expected to provide quality supervision and resources. The supervisor is responsible for providing discipline specific training and ensuring any workplace health and safety requirements are met by the summer scholar. Summer scholars will require guidance and mentoring from the supervisor and other research staff. The supervisor should be meeting with the summer scholar regularly and make sure the summer scholar is making adequate progress on the project. As the students are undergraduate level, the supervisors often play an academic mentor role for the students, introduce them to other people in the area, give advice and encouragement. Supervisors and other support staff are also strongly encouraged to attend the Kungullanji Summer Research Conference at the end of the program to support their summer scholar and to network with other researchers from interdisciplinary fields.
How often should summer scholars and supervisors meet during the program?
It is expected that the summer scholars and supervisors meet at least once a week to check in on progress, discuss any issues with the project and answer questions. For some projects this may need to be more frequent (e.g. If the summer scholar is working in the lab/field/clinic). This might be face to face on campus, over the phone or by email/skype as determined by the supervisor. This may not be possible every week due to leave arrangements etc. There should also be an alternative contact for the summer scholars during the placement for when the supervisor is on leave or unavailable, for example a post doc, PhD candidate, research fellow or another academic in the area.
What is the Kungullanji Summer Research Conference?
The Kungullanji Summer Research Conference is an opportunity for Summer Scholars to present their research to other students, supervisors and a general audience. The summer scholars are required to present a 10 minute seminar presentation in the allocated seminar session and create a poster to be presented in the poster session. The conference normally consists of seminar sessions most of the day followed by the poster/networking session in the afternoon. Following the poster/networking session there will be a keynote address and awards for best research presentations (poster and seminar). Usually supervisors and other invited guests attend at least the poster/networking session and keynote, but anyone is welcome to attend all sessions. More details and an official invite will be sent closer to the date.
Are there any funds available to cover research costs, to purchase software, pay for field trips, laboratory consumables etc?
Unfortunately, the program budget is very limited and there may not be funds available to pay for things associated with the research itself. The funding for the program is used mostly to cover administration costs and the summer research scholarships specifically. If the summer scholar will be required to cover ‘out of pocket’ expenses to complete the research (fuel costs to travel to research site etc.) and the supervisor is unable to cover these costs there is sometimes potential sources of funding the Summer Scholars can access. These requests are assessed case by case and the Summer Scholar should contact the program coordinator to discuss options for further support.
When will the scholarship be paid to the Summer Scholars?
The Summer Research Scholarship is usually paid in 2 instalments during the 8 week placement. As many of the Summer Scholars give up work to come and do the program, this scholarship is intended to assist with living expenses and act as an incentive for students to apply for the program. The scholarship is not paid as a stipend or salary and is also not intended to cover costs associated with the research itself. The first payment is normally received in the first half of the program and the second payment will be received after the completion of the program, if the following conditions are met:
- A completed scholarship form was submitted before the payment deadline;
- The Summer scholar has attended the research skills workshops;
- The Summer scholar has completed an 8-week placement to the satisfaction of the supervisor and program coordinator; and
- The Summer scholar has presented their research at the Kungullanji Summer Research Conference
What if I have other questions?
If you would like to know more please contact the Program Coordinator, Ms Jennifer Campbell via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 373 54732.