About

The School offers undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in the UQ Summer & Winter Research Scholarship Programs over the summer and winter vacation periods. 

This experience provides students with the opportunity to work with a researcher in a formal research environment so that they may experience the research process and discover what research is being undertaken in their field of interest at the School.

How to apply

Read the detailed information guide on how to apply for a research program.  The closing date for applications for the Summer 2022-23 program is 18 September 2022.

Winter research program

Applications for the 2022 Winter Research program are now closed. Please check back in August 2022 for more information.

Summer research program 2022-23

Exploring trends in biotechnology patent drafting

Project duration and engagement

  • 8 weeks
  • Hours of engagement will be between 20-36 hours per week.
  • COVID-19 considerations: The project can be completed under remote working conditions if required.

Description

This project will analyse the strategic drafting of biotechnology patents, and explore how subject matter may be conceptualised and claimed in a variety of different ways. This will entail the development of a methodology for searching, analysing, and classifying biotechnology patents.

Understanding the different ways that an invention can be described and claimed is critical for understanding the practical operation of the patent system. Developing a typology of biotechnology patents will be a valuable theoretical contribution, and a useful foundation for future research.

The scope of this project may be narrowed to focus on specific biotechnological industries or inventions, depending on preliminary findings and the preferences of the student.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

Students will gain practical skills in legal research, data collection and analysis, and conducting patent searches. They will have the opportunity to co-design and manage the project, and to direct it towards their specific research interests.

The output of this research will an article, to be submitted for publication in a peer review reviewed journal.

Suitable for:

This project is suitable for students in the third year of law or beyond. A background or demonstrated interest in biotechnology or a related scientific field is helpful, but not required.

Primary supervisor

Hamish MacDonald. If you have any further questions about this project, please contact h.macdonald1@uq.edu.au.

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Constituent Power, Sovereignty and Federalism

Project duration and engagement

  • 8 weeks, 27 November - 17 Feburary
  • 36 hours per week.
  • The project can be completed under a remote working arrangement required.

Description

This project will undertake an investigation of the concept of constituent power (and the related concept of sovereignty) as it manifests in federations and multi-level systems of government. The project will involve both theoretical inquiry and comparative investigation of a selected group of such systems. The federal and multi-level systems to be compared will depend partly on any particular language and background knowledge and skills that the selected student can bring to the project.

Expected outcome and deliverables

The student will develop skills in data collection, legal analysis and theorisation in the general field of comparative constitutional law, with particular attention to issues in federalism. The research will contribute to the development of publications in the field. Publication with the student is possible, but this will depend on the results of the research. The training provided to the student will enable them to understand the methods and standards required for publishable research and RHD study. Benefits to the school will include training of the student in advanced research methods and contribution to publications in highest quality law journals in the field.

Suitable for:

The research project is suitable for students who have successfully completed Constitutional Law and have relevant experience and language skills (eg, personal knowledge of a particular federal country or fluency in its language). Students who have studied political theory, legal theory, political science or government, especially comparative government and constitutional theory, will be especially suited to the project, but this is not essential.

Primary supervisor

Professor Nicholas Aroney. Students are welcome to contact Professor Aroney at n.aroney@uq.edu.au if they have any particular questions.

 

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Addressing inequality in regional, rural, and remote locations through Health Justice Partnerships

Project duration and engagement

  • 8 weeks 
  • Hours of engagement: approximately 20 hours per week
  • COVID-19 considerations: The project can be undertaken either in-person or remotely.

Description

The project is concerned with understanding the use and effectiveness of Health Justice Partnerships and similar mechanisms as a means of addressing legal, health, and social inequalities in RRR regions of Australia. The project would involve research assistance in compiling a literature review, some data analysis of secondary materials, and attendance/administrative support at project coordination meetings with the research team and/or external stakeholders.

Expected outcome and deliverables

An excepted outcome for the Summer Scholar project is the completion of a thorough literature review on the use and effectiveness of Health Justice Partnerships and to develop skills and knowledge in the area of socio-legal research and methodologies. There may also be an opportunity to engage with/present to project stakeholders from the health sector and/or community legal sector, together with the research team.

Suitable for:

This project is open to advanced level law students. Applicants enrolled in dual degree programs in social science or related areas, and/or with existing skills in the conduct of literature reviews would be favourably considered.

Primary supervisor

Rebecca Wallis

Further information

I am happy to answer questions about the project from interested applicants prior to submission of an application. Email is the preferred means of contact - r.wallis1@uq.edu.au.

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Human rights complaints in Australia

Project duration and engagement

  • 8 weeks
  • At least 20 hours per week, to be negotiated
  • COVID-19 considerations: The applicant will be able to work remotely. The applicant will be required to attend regular Zoom meetings with Tamara Walsh (and co-investigator Dominique Allen).

Description

The student will work with Walsh and Allen on their ARC Linkage Project: Human Rights Complaints in Australia. This study is investigating the nature of human rights complaints and assessing the effectiveness of human rights complaint mechanisms in Australia. Each Australian jurisdiction with a Human Rights Act imposes different mechanisms for dealing with complaints. Some require litigation, whilst others rely on conciliation conferencing. We are working with industry partners from the legal sector and four human rights commissions to investigate the nature of human rights complaints and identify which complaint resolution mechanisms are most effective.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

Students will gain skills in documentary research and academic writing. They will be expected to produce a report at the end of their project.

Students will undertake:

  • Literature searches on human rights complaints in Australian law;
  • Case law searches involving human rights litigation;
  • Statistical analysis of human rights complaints based on the Annual Reports of Australian human rights commissions.

 Suitable for:

Students may have an opportunity to meet with representatives from the human rights commissions and our community legal centre partners. If the students’ work is of high quality, we will invite the student to give an oral presentation outlining their findings to the Australian human rights commissioners.

This project is open to all law students. Applicants should be entering into their fourth, fifth or sixth year of study in 2023. Students in lower years will be considered on merit.

Primary supervisor

Professor Tamara Walsh. Please contact Tamara Walsh by email with any queries.

Completion of the law elective Human Rights Law is preferred but not essential. Students with high GPAs and an interest in domestic human rights issues will be preferred.

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Organised Crime, Criminal Procedure, and Prisons

Project duration and engagement

  • 8 weeks
  • 20 hours per week
  • COVID-19 considerations: The project can be completed under a remote working arrangement; on-site attendance is not required.

Description

Organised crime poses particular challenges to the criminal justice system.  While much of the attention of policy makers, legislators, law enforcement, and the media is on criminalisation and investigation, much less attention, including academic analysis, has been devoted to the unique problems posed by organised crime to criminal procedure and to the prison system.

This project explores a range of topics relating to the prosecution, trial, and sentencing of organised crime, the punishment, especially imprisonment, of members or organised criminal groups, and the existence, modi operandi, and recruitment of these groups in prisons.  Particular attention is given to the role and powers of prosecutors and the judiciary, measures relating to criminal proceedings, international cooperation, sentencing, and the situations in prisons.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

Students will acquire enhanced research skills and gain some familiarity with the research topic, relevant sources and have some interaction with experts and stakeholder.

The main task of the research student will be to collect, store, and organise a great rang of primary and secondary sources, set up and maintain an online directory and communication platform, and liaise with other researchers and stakeholders involved in this project.

Suitable for:

Applicants must have completed LAWS2700 or LAWS2708 (Criminal Law) with an overall grade of 6 or higher.  Applicants must have advances MS Word and MS Excel skills.

It is desirable if applicants have some grasp of a foreign language, especially Italian, French, or German.

It is desirable if applicants are interested in undertaking LAWS5231 the Transnational Organised Crime Working Group in Semester 1, 2023.

Primary supervisor

Andreas Schloenhardt at a.schloenhardt@uq.edu.au.

 

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Prudence, the Autonomy & Artificial Intelligence Legal Database

Project duration and engagement

  • 8 weeks
  • Hours of engagement must be 20-36 hours per week
  • COVID-19 considerations: This project can be completed under a remote working arrangement.

Description

There are a wide variety of autonomous technologies in use today that may be the subject of civil or criminal proceedings, such as issues relating to self-driving vehicles, autopilot systems in aircraft, and software programs that direct machines, or create reports or outputs that are relied upon by users. This has implications for numerous areas of law, such as negligence, product liability, personal injury and intellectual property rights. 

As part of a previous project, the Law and Future of War Research Group established a database of significant cases across various jurisdictions dealing with case law relating to autonomy (“Prudence”). This project will involve updating and expanding the Prudence database, particularly with records from non-English speaking jurisdictions.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

Review and update the Prudence case law database with any appeals of domestic law cases dealing with autonomous systems (of any kind), as well as including decisions from foreign jurisdictions.

The research output is expected to be an updated database of cases, case summaries, and if relevant, a comparative analysis of how States have approached autonomy in administrative, criminal and civil jurisdictions.   

Primary supervisor

Dr Brendan Walker-Munro

Further info

Dr Brendan Walker-Munro
Senior Research Fellow, Law and the Future of War
b.walkermunro@uq.edu.au
+61 475 016 692

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