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. 

Applications for the 2022 Global Change Youth Research Program are now open.

Open Trismus: Open-Sourcing a Medical Device for 3D Printing is a project being offered by our school.

Project details

Project title:

Open Trismus: Open-Sourcing a Medical Device for 3D Printing

Project duration:

4 weeks during Winter Vacation (20-36 hours per week) and 1 day/week during Semester 2, 2022.

COVID-19 considerations: The majority of this project could be completed off-site and virtual meetings can be arranged with the supervisory team as required. Please note: this project is located at the Herston Health Precinct (Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital) where COVID-19 restrictions are different to those of the general community.


The project team of designers, engineers and clinicians have developed a novel device for treating trismus that can be 3D printed on a low-cost desktop 3D printer. This device serves as an alternative to current market options which are unaffordable for some patients. To improve accessibility for all, the team plans to share the files and information for 3D printing this device online for anyone around the world to download and 3D print.

The student would be required to evaluate the current medical device/legal framework, particularly in relation to providing freely available files and information for 3D printing, and contribute to setting up the documentation for the online system.

This research project will be co-supervised through a collaboration between the University of Queensland Law School and the Herston Biofabrication Institute.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

This is a real industry project that will improve the lives of patients. It is expected that the student will gain confidence in leadership as they play a vital role in informing the future directions of our open-source medical device strategy. It is also expected that they will gain real-world insight into medical device regulations in Australia and globally, as well as the unique challenges associated with open-source file sharing and manufacturing. Finally students will have the opportunity to develop their legal research skills in a practical and useful context.

The student will be providing research outputs, not legal advice. They are expected to:

  1. Assess current medical device regulations and provide a report for the team to review, which may be submitted to the Metro North Hospital and Health System legal team for their feedback.
  2. Contribute to documentation of the device appropriate for sharing online.

Suitable for:

This project is suitable for 3rd-4th year law students

Primary Supervisor:

Mr Hamish MacDonald

Further info:

Please contact the primary supervisor, Haminsh MacDonald, prior to applying to organise a meeting with the project team.


Visit Research Experience Programs for information about how to apply and a link to the application form.


Applications for the 2021 Summer Research Program are now closed.


Three projects are offered in the 2021/22 Summer Research Program. 

Project title: 

Constituent Power, Sovereignty and Federalism

Project duration & delivery

8 weeks
29 November – 18 Feb (includes a break)
6 hours per week

The project can be completed under a remote working arrangement if required. 


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 outcomes 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​

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

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Project title

Autonomous Technologies Case Law Compendium

Project duration & delivery

Negotiable: 6–10 weeks between 28 November 2021 and 18 February 2022 at 20–36 hours per week.
The project can be completed under a remote working arrangement but on-campus attendance at least one day a week is desirable.


A wide variety of autonomous technologies are in use today, including self-driving vehicles, autopilot systems in aircraft, and software that directs machines, or creates reports or outputs that are relied upon by users. The use of such technologies may give rise to civil or criminal proceedings, with implications across numerous areas of law, such as negligence, product liability, personal injury and intellectual property rights.

Although there has been significant interest and academic scholarship on discrete issues relating to autonomy, artificial intelligence (AI) and the law, judicial practice is only gradually emerging. There has not, to date, been an overview of significant cases across various jurisdictions dealing with case law (in both civil and criminal matters) relating to autonomy.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

Create a compendium of domestic law cases from different jurisdictions dealing with autonomous systems (of any kind), from a civil and criminal law perspective. The research output is expected to be a list of cases, case summaries, and if relevant, a comparative analysis of how different jurisdictions have approached autonomy in criminal and civil proceedings.

The TRIAL Universal Jurisdiction Database and Annual Report on cases dealing with universal jurisdiction is an example of the kind of product that would be expected at the completion of the Summer Research Project.

The student researcher will gain a good understanding of legal challenges posed by autonomous technologies, will develop practical comparative research skills, and will participate in the work of a legal research group with a high level of engagement with industry and government.

Suitable for:

This project is open to applications from students who will have completed, by the time this project commences, the following courses or their equivalents:

  • LAWS1701 and LAWS1702 (Law of Contract),
  • LAWS2702 and LAWS2703 (Law of Torts), and
  • LAWS2700 and LAWS2701 (Criminal Law).

Primary Supervisor

Associate Professor Rain Liivoja

Further info

Please indicate in the application your preferred time commitment to this project within the limits outlined above.

Please contact A/Prof Rain Liivoja (r.liivoja@uq.edu.au) with any questions.

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Project title

The Criminalisation of Threats: Theory and Practice

Project duration & delivery

The project will run for 8 weeks, between 1 December 2021 and 15 February 2022 (excluding the two weeks covering the Christmas period). The applicant will be expected to be available for work for approximately 20-25 hours each week and attend team meetings as required.

Given potential COVID-19 restrictions, the project may be completed remotely. The ability to work on-campus at least once a week will be preferred in the absence of such restrictions.


The supervisors (Dr Lelliott and Ms Wallis) are currently conducting a project investigating dousing threats as a form of criminal conduct and domestic and family violence (DFV). This project, which stemmed initially from pro bono work, is currently in the process of interviewing DFV service providers and persons with lived experiences of dousing threats. It has already generated a publication in the Alternative Law Journal.

A preliminary finding of the dousing threats project is the substantial lack of attention to threats as a form of criminal conduct. It appears that threat offences are often poorly (or vaguely) articulated, not well understood, and not often charged or prosecuted (especially in the DFV context). Initial searches of the literature further indicate a lack of scholarly attention to threats in a criminal context and, furthermore, a lack of theorisation around legal responses to threats in general.

On this background, the supervisors are keen to expand their current project on dousing threats into a more general exploration of the criminalisation of threats. In turn, this will feed into a broader project on legal responses to threats across a range of contexts (such as private, labour, and international law). Given the dearth of current research on threats as criminal conduct, the applicant will be required to undertake an in-depth and comprehensive literature review of the criminalisation of threats. This research will include, inter alia, examination of material concerning typologies of threats (and psychological underpinnings), socio- and criminological rationales and impacts of threat-making, as well as legal responses.

The aim of the project is to produce a literature review to inform the supervisors’ research on threats going forward, as well as providing important context to their work on dousing threats. It will contribute to publications and a book proposal.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

The main deliverable from the project will be a comprehensive literature review of relevant law and literature concerning the criminalisation of threats. The student will be asked to present this literature review in a well-organised and clear format.

The student will gain significant experience in legal and socio-legal research, including the ability to synthesise large quantities of information and assess for relevance. The student will also gain experience working in a team of researchers comprising multiple academics, honours and undergraduate students. The literature review will inform an ongoing project that is expected to lead to numerous journal publications and a book proposal.  

Suitable for:

Applicants should be in the 4th year or onwards of study. Given the socio-legal nature of the project, interest in non-law areas such as criminology, sociology, and psychology would be beneficial (including experience conducting research in these fields).

Primary Supervisor

Dr Joseph Lelliott and Ms Rebecca Wallis

Further info

Students wanting further information about the project may contact Dr Lelliott by email at j.lelliott1@uq.edu.au

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