Poche Summer Research Scholarship Program

The UQ Poche Centre facilitates a range of research opportunities for undergraduate, honours and masters by coursework students through the UQ Summer Research Program.

The Centre brings together Indigenous and health expertise across the University, and works collaboratively with Indigenous community organisations and health providers. A core objective of the Centre is the development of a skilled, culturally responsive health workforce.

The UQ Summer Research Program provides you with an opportunity to gain research experience working alongside some of the university’s leading academics and researchers and is coordinated by the UQ Student Employability Centre. All Summer Research scholars are eligible to apply for a scholarship for the duration of their research (between 6-10 weeks). 

Broad requirements for the Poche Centre Summer Research Scholarships

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are especially encouraged to apply.
  • Students must be currently enrolled at UQ at the time of application.
  • Students must be studying for a degree relevent to the research discipline.
  • Students must have a high level of academic achievement.

Further information for applicants is available on the UQ Student Employability Centre website.

Applications for 2018-19 are now open.

It is expected that scholars will work a minimum of 20 hours per week in each week of the research program. Please note that some positions require scholars to work on a full-time basis (up to 36 hours per week), and the expected workload is set by each supervisor. The scholar and the supervisor are able to negotiate the duration of the project and the workload requirements. 

A list of available Poche Centre projects is below. Please keep checking this page as more projects will be added.

Inter-cultural practice for health professionals

Project title:

Inter-cultural practice for health professionals

Project duration: 10 weeks, with expectation of approximately 30 hours 
Preferred commencement date: 19 November 2018
Background:

Are you interested in cultural responsiveness in health settings?

This project involves the student in research that relates to culturally responsive practice. You will be involved in data management, analysis, and writing related to cultural responsiveness research projects with health professionals in hospital and community settings. The research is being carried out with speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists.

If you are interested in cultural responsiveness for health professionals and would like to be involved in research that has real-world applications – this is the project for you.

Expected outcomes & deliverables: 

Outcomes for students:

  • Developing research skills (especially literature reviewing skills, writing skills, analysis skills)
  • Learning about cultural responsiveness
  • Working with a multidisciplinary team (taking on the student-researcher role)
  • Health research experience
  • Possibility of co-authorship of a peer-reviewed publication depending on student contributions to the project

Planned project outcomes:

  • Literature reviewing
  • Data analysis
  • Write-up of methods and findings from analysis
  • Possible write-up of introduction and discussion
  • Handover of all files on a USB stick (provided by supervisors) at end of project
Suitable for:

Proactive, interested, students with good communication skills and an ability to work in a team are encouraged to apply. Existing research skills (especially in qualitative analysis), literature searching and writing experience would be beneficial – but are not necessary (part of doing the summer research project is so that you can learn some new skills too!). Students enrolled in any field are welcome to apply – students with a health background will be prioritized.

Primary supervisor: Dr Emma Crawford
Further information:

Prospective scholars may wish to contact Dr Emma Crawford for further details.

Indigenous Birthing in an Urban Setting (IBUS) Study

 

Project title:

Indigenous Birthing in an Urban Setting (IBUS) Study

Project duration:

6-10 weeks, with a minimum of 20 hours per week

Preferred commencement date:

26 November 2018

Background:

The IBUS Study is evaluating best practice maternity care to improve maternal and infant health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in South East Queensland. We are interested in understanding how Birthing on Country principles can best be implemented into maternity services in an urban setting. This study is done in partnership between the Mater Mothers Hospital, the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service. We conduct surveys at 4 time points with women having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies at the Mater Mothers Hospital and also at the Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospitals. So far we have over 200 women in the study, with almost 500 surveys completed. We also have several IBUS substudies ranging from workforce cultural competence, smoking cessation and health record information sharing.


The successful applicant will be trained in research methods to undertake research related tasks such as assisting with literature reviews, data collection and/or analysis, and stakeholder engagement.

Expected outcomes & deliverables: 

The student may gain skills on how to conduct a literature review, data collection and analysis, as well as liaising with staff from different models of maternity care, Aboriginal Medical Services, and community based programs. They will gain experience working in a multidisciplinary multiagency partnership, through a study that uses collaborative action-based research to make positive change in service delivery and planning.

The scholar may be invited to present their findings and/or experiences at the conclusion of their project.

Suitable for:

This would suit students with backgrounds including but not limited to Midwifery, Nursing, Social Work, Community Services, Medicine, Public Health, Social Science and Indigenous Studies.

Primary supervisor:

Dr Sophie Hickey

Further information:

Prospective scholars may wish to contact Dr Sophie Hickey for further details.    

 

Chronic Pain Management in Indigenous Health Settings – a scoping review

Project title: 

Chronic Pain Management in Indigenous Health Settings – a scoping review

 

Project duration:

8-6 weeks (approx. 30 hours per week)

 

Description:

While an estimate that approximately 30% of the general Australian population has chronic non-specific musculoskeletal pain is widely accepted, a study of a rural Aboriginal community found that the prevalence was as high as 95% of the population (Benson, Wilson, Stocks & Moulding, 2006). The prevalence in urban First Australian populations has not yet been studied. Other research points to lower rates of reporting pain by First Australians, and suggests the potential for underrepresentation of First Australian’s pain experiences (Fenwick & Stevents, 2004; McGrath, 2006; Strong et. al., 2011)

At current there is little published regarding pain management programs specific to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander populations. However, there is evidence that the experience of pain (Strong et al., 2011; Lin et. al., 2013) as well as the responsiveness to various treatment modalities (Campbell & Edwards, 2012) is unique and distinctive for First Australians. It follows then, that therapy should be context specific and culturally responsive for First Australian groups.

This scoping review aims to investigate chronic pain management programs, services, and treatment strategies in Indigenous health contexts in Australia.

The project will involve literature searching (working with the librarian to refine search terms and search a range of databases), selecting and rejecting articles from the search based on criteria set by the supervising researchers, reading the selected articles and working with supervisors to engage in an analysis of the literature, writing a paper (with the intention of publication) including an introduction/background, methods section, findings and a discussion of the findings to place the research in the wider context of service delivery, policy and funding.

Students may have the opportunity to visit (and even contribute to the running of) a chronic pain group program delivered by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, which could inform their understanding of the topic. They may also work with/discuss their project and receive guidance from clinicians managing and delivering the chronic pain program.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Outcomes for students:

  • Developing research skills (especially literature reviewing skills, writing skills, analysis skills)
  • Learning about chronic pain
  • Working with a multidisciplinary team (taking on the student-researcher role)
  • Possible observation/practice experience in a chronic pain group program
  • Indigenous health research experience
  • Possibility of co-authorship of a peer-reviewed publication depending on student contributions to the project
  • You may also have the opportunity to be involved in other related research activities related to the pain program.

 

Planned project outcomes:

  • Literature search
  • Record of search terms and databases
  • Entering of articles into Covidence (review software)
  • Selecting articles based on selection criteria (including meetings to discuss selection)
  • Analysis of selected articles
  • Write-up of methods and findings from analysis
  • Possible write-up of introduction and discussion
  • Presentation to IUIH staff regarding project
  • Handover of all files on a USB stick (provided by supervisors) at end of project

 

 

Suitable for:

Proactive, interested, students with good communication skills and an ability to work in a team are encouraged to apply. Existing research skills (especially in qualitative analysis), literature searching and writing experience would be beneficial – but are not necessary (part of doing the summer research project is so that you can learn some new skills too!). Students enrolled in any field are welcome to apply – students with a health background will be prioritized.

Primary Supervisor:

 

Emma Crawford

Further info:

It is not necessary to make contact prior to submitting an application, but if you have any questions you can email emma.crawford@uq.edu.au

This project will be supervised by two UQ researchers and will be run in partnership with the Institute or Urban Indigenous Health.

 

References

NACCHO: National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. (2015). Definitions. Accessed online on 28 January 2015 at http://www.naccho.org.au/aboriginal-health/definitions/

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008) The Health and Welfare of Australia’s First Australianss, 2008, cat. No. 4704.0, viewed at: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/8E40EF9673146251CA2574390014B662?opendocument

Barnett, L. & Kendall, E. (2011). Culturally appropriate methods for enhancing the participation of Aboriginal Australians in health-promoting programs. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 22 (1), 27-32.

Benson, J., Wilson, A., Stocks, N. & Moulding, N. (2006). Muscle pain as an indicator of Vitamin D deficiency in an urban Australian Aboriginal population. The Medical Journal of Australia, 185, (2), 76-77.

Butler, D.S. & Moseley, G.L. (2013). Explaining Pain. Noigroup Publications: Adelaide

Campbell, C. & Edwards, R. (2012). Ethnic differences in pain and pain management. Pain Management, 2 (3), 219-230.

Fenwick, C. (2006). Assessing pain across the cultural gap: Central Australian Indigenous peoples' pain assessment. Contemporary Nurse: A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession, 22(2), 218-27.

Fenwick, C & Stevens, J (2004). Post operative pain experiences of central Australia Aboriginal women. What do we understand? Australian Journal of Rural Health 12, 22-27.

Lin, I., O’Sullivan, P., Coffin, J., Mak, D., Toussaint, S. & Straker, L. (2012). “I am absolutely shattered.” The impact of chronic low back pain on Australian Aboriginal people. European Journal of Pain, 16, 1331-1341.

Lin, K., O’Sullivan, P. Coffin, J., Mak, D., Toussaint, S. & Straker, L. (2013). Disabling chronic lower back pain as an iatrogenic disorder: a qualitative study in Aboriginal Australians. BMJ Open, 3, 1-8.

McGrath, P. (2006). 'The biggest worry.’: Research findings on pain management for Aboriginal peoples in northern territory, australia. Rural and Remote Health, 6(3), 549.

Moseley, G. L. (2007). Painful yarns: Metaphors & stories to help understand the biology of pain. Canberra: Dancing Giraffe Press

, J., Williams, M., Huggins, J., Susses, R., Nielsen, M. (2011). Pain talk in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people: beyond the Encounter. Australian Pain Society Scientific Meeitng. The Frontiers of Pain. Darwin, NT, Australia.

Ward, N., Jowsey, T., Haora, P., Aspin, C. & Yen, L. (2011). With good intentions: complexity in unsolicited informal support for First Australianss. A qualitative study. Biomed Central Public Health, 11, 686-694.

Jordan Cory
As part of her Summer Research Project, Jordan evaluated and redeveloped a tool for occupational and speech therapists working with Indigenous school children on a range of difficulties that make learning or school participation challenging.