Vacation Research Scholarships




Are you an undergraduate student curious about research? Do you want to find out whether doing research in your field of study is your future career direction?

 

If you are in your second, third or honours year and have a strong academic record, a Vacation Research Scholarship may be for you. 

The aims of the Vacation Research Scholarship are to:

  • encourage outstanding UniSA students who may be interested in exploring or wish to pursue a higher degree by research
  • provide the platform to learn about the principles and practices of undertaking research

  • stimulate students’ interest in research and interaction with students and staff who are actively involved in research

  • gauge the research aptitude of the successful applicants

These scholarships give you the opportunity to earn $300 a week for up to 8 weeks as you undertake research with experienced researchers, usually between November and February, in a recognised research institute or centre within the University. The scholarships are offered annually, and applications close 13 September 2019.

  

How to find a placement

Think about areas in which you would like to research.

View the projects available for 2019/2020 and contact the person listed for the project(s) of your choice to find out more and to discuss your application.

 

How do I apply?

 

Refer to the Graduate Research vacation scholarship website for full details. 

Vacation Research Project Descriptions

 

School of Commerce

Project Title

Project Description

Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosures as a Reputation Risk Management tool post the Banking Royal Commission

Project summary: This project will explore the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Disclosures of the Big Four banks post the Banking Royal commission. The recent Banking Royal commission highlighted the deficiencies in banking practices and neglect of customer welfare, leading to a loss of reputational risk in the banking sector. The Big 4 banks (Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and ANZ) were one of the most criticised groups, given their dominance of the Australian banking sector. According to prior CSR literature, organisations often disclose their social and environmental performance in order to manage their reputational risk. This study will investigate how the Big 4 banks have sought to repair their reputational loss arising from the banking royal commission through disclosure of CSR information in their annual and sustainability reports. The reputation risk management perspective will provide the theoretical basis for this research, establishing the type of CSR information disclosed in response to the banking royal commission and assessing whether such disclosure seeks to manage reputational risk.

Contact person: Prof Sumit Lodhia / Ph: 8302 7379

Determinants of Job Searching Success Among Mature Aged Job Seekers

Project summary: Utilising a dataset of job seekers registered with a job agency in Adelaide, Australia, this project aims to identify factors contributing to job searching success of mature aged job seekers. Personal traits, human capital, situational constraints, economic need for work, individual qualities and target job will be explored as potential determinants. We wish to find whether there is a systematic difference in job searching success rate across different demographic cohorts and job categories, and how human capital and job hunting success.

Contact person: Dr Xin Deng / Ph: 8302 0743

Sustaining Sustainability: A Case Study of Tata

Project summary: The Indian company Tata Group is renowned for its corporate social and environmental responsibility (CSER). Tata Group was established in 1868 and its name has been synonymous with CSER for nearly 150 years. This study will examine how despite increasing distrust in business, some organisations manage to successfully create “islands of excellence” through sustaining CSER over long periods of time. This project examines how organisations maintain and sustain their commitment to social and environmental responsibility (“sustaining sustainability”). We will do this through employing Tata as a case study. In this project we will conduct a longitudinal analysis of Tata’s sustainability reports and triangulate this against other publicly available information. We will also explore governance mechanisms and organisational structures that enable longevity of sustainability initiatives.

The student will have an opportunity to be trained in collecting and analysing secondary data from annual reports and publicly available information (such as media reports).

Contact person: Prof. Sumit Lodhia / Ph: 8302 7379 and Dr Sukhbir Sandhu / Ph: 8302 0735

 

School of Management

Project Title

Project Description

The role of personality and gender in negotiation effectiveness

Project summary: The goal of this project is to analyse data on negotiation dyads to better understand how personality and gender interact to influence negotiation outcomes. In this ongoing project, we have data on over 100 pairs of respondents who engaged in a negotiation role play. The person who is selected to work on this project will engage in the following tasks during the 8 weeks:

  • Prepare the negotiation data for analysis on statistical software like Nvivo and SPSS. The person will be provided background training on how to do this task.
  • Review and summarize the latest research on the topic of personality, gender and negotiation.
  • Conduct some preliminary qualitative themes analysis on the recording data of the actual negotiation role play. Qualitative theme analysis training will be given.
  • Develop individualised feedback reports for the participants in the negotiation role plays.

In the process of completing the above mentioned research tasks, the candidate will gain knowledge about research method and the process of problem formulation, analysis and reporting scientific findings. This could be a valuable experience for those who are interested in pursuing a higher degree by research program in the near future. If you are keen and want to know more, you can reach me via email. Please make sure you send your CV, academic transcripts and a short statement of purpose that covers why you would like to take on this opportunity and what your career goals look like.

Contact person: Dr Ruchi Sinha / Ph: 0428433413

Using technology to enhance experiences at tourism attractions

Project summary:  Conduct a literature review on the role of technology in augmenting and enriching tourism experiences. Identification of examples of tourism attractions in Adelaide (e.g. Zoo, museum, MOD) that use technology to enhance tourism experiences.

Contact person: Professor Marianna Sigala / Ph: 8302 0353

 

School of Marketing

Project Title

Project Description

A systematic review of literature regarding food/product recalls in Australia

Project summary: Food/product recalls are important in order to ensure the health and wellbeing of Australian consumers. In order to better understand how to develop effective recall notices, it is first necessary to determine how is the current state of research or knowledge in this area, including:

  • Statistics on recalls in Australia for food versus non-food, such as how many recall notices were posted in Australia over past 5 years; what was the most recalled product under both food and non-food category; what is the rate of return of the recalled products
  • Statistics on the types of Recall, such as the reasons for recalls (eg., contamination, misleading packaging, manufacturing default, etc.)
  • Advertising literature on recall: how to make recall advertising more effective? What medium of advertising to use? What cues (textual or visual) are effective? The outcome of these studies (such as product was returned, ad was noticed, ad likability, etc.)

Contact person: A/Prof Richard Lee / Ph: 8302 7120

At the crossroad of consumerism and culture: A case study of North Asia

Project summary: Consumerism refers to a social or economic order that encourages people to purchase things in ever increasing quantity. While consumerism undoubtedly drives economic growth, the downsides include wasteful consumption, harmful materialism and environment degradation. Is consumerism simply an outcome of a nation’s economic progress and prosperity? In North Asian countries like China, Japan and Korea, where Confucianism philosophy is engrained in the culture, what has culture got to do with consumerism? As Western popular culture makes inroad into these countries, to what extent does Western culture play a role in shaping North Asian consumerism? The purpose of the vacation scholarship is to shed more light on these questions through a systematic literature review.

Tasks to be undertaken by scholar: Literature Review

Contact person: A/Prof Richard Lee / Ph: 8302 7120

Buying high, buying low: loyalty to price tiers in consumer goods categories

Project summary: Consumers buy from a repertoire of brands – not only are they making selections based on quality, but they are making selections based on price. While over fifty years of consumer goods research has demonstrated the way in which brands are purchased, there has been limited research into consumers buying across multiple price-tiers. The current knowledge suggests that consumers do buy across price tiers within the same category – but are they just buying the same brand on and off price promotion? As a result, marketers cannot be entirely sure if a consumer of a low-price tier brand may also be a consumer of a premium-price tier. For example, does a consumer of low price Brand X also buy high price Brand Y? Or, are consumers of price promoted Brand X also buying regular price Brand X?

Tasks to be undertaken by scholar:

  • Conduct a literature review on consumer good buying behaviour (Sharp, 2010; Romaniuk and Sharp, 2015) with a focus on price-tier consumption (Romaniuk and Dawes, 2005)
  • Extract price-tier consumption data from TNS/Kantar's Powerview
  • Analyse the Dirichlet patterns including Double Jeopardy (McPhee, 1963) and Duplication of Purchase (Ehrenberg, 1988)

The project aims to:

  • Complete a draft of a literature overview
  • Extract relevant price-tier buying behaviour information
  • Analyse and report on the results for a minimum of one year and ten consumer goods categories

There is a potential for co-authorship on an ANZMAC (Australian & New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference) paper and a marketing journal publication (dependent on student contribution). This project will suit a student with interest in how brands compete on price and have a keen eye for detail and quantitative analysis.

Contact person: Dr Zachary Anesbury / Ph: 8302 0984

Do price promotions help or hinder category growth? 

Project summary: Product categories can grow in two main ways – volume changes and value changes. Increases in volume can come about through attracting more buyers or getting current buyers to purchase more. Increases in value occur through consumers paying higher prices per volume purchased. 

Price promotions are a common tactic available to manufacturers and retailers to increase brand and category sales. Price promotions have been studied thoroughly in the context brands, which has identified no longer-term brand growth benefits from promotions. However, far less is known about the impacts of price promotions on long-term growth at a category level. If price promotions are to help categories grow, it is likely to come through volume as opposed to value changes. Price promotions by their nature require selling volume at discounted prices per volume to increase total sales volume. High levels of price promotions in a category may further train consumers to expect lower prices, thereby be more resistant to any price increases. 

Recent research has identified a product category’s household penetration level to be an important indicator of its likely sources of growth. Broadly, lower penetration categories are more likely to grow through changes in volume whereas higher penetration categories are more likely to grow through changes in value. Therefore, if price promotions can impact category growth through volume increases this may be a more effective strategy for lower penetration categories. Promotions may actually hinder category growth for high penetration categories that require value increases. 

  • Do categories with high versus low price promotion intensity differ in their rates of product category volume and value growth?
  • Do these results vary in accordance with category penetration level? 

Contact person: Prof Magda Nenycz-thiel / Ph: 8302 9172

Examining crowdfunding success rate and the product survival rate

Project summary: Technology advancements have provided opportunities for firms to improve their efficiency and to innovate their products. However, new product introductions are risky undertakings, with one in three products fail in the market (Castellion & Markham, 2013; Crawford, 1977; 1987). To minimise these risks, firms often seek to explore alternative routes to develop and market their new products. Some of these routes are facilitated by the growth of the Internet and social media, allowing firms to involve potential end consumers in the product design, through a ‘co-creation’ process. The aim of this strategy is to directly capture a consumer’s point of view in the product development stage through their active participation, and to collect potential innovative ideas for future offerings. This involvement may also include a co-financing arrangement for new product launches known as ‘crowdfunding’.  Before the new products can be produced and launched, project creators will need to secure sufficient funding. This forms one of the important research questions on the role of advertising (e.g. news coverage, online review, any marketing activities online) in the successful funding of the project.

Furthermore, once the project is funded and with a successful product launch, does the product survive longer in the market - compared to the norms of product survival rate as documented in the literature. Other aspects such as advertising support of the crowdfunded products will also be the subject of this research. The research aims to examine data from two biggest crowdfunding platforms: Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Data are available of all projects from 2016-2018 launched in these two platforms.

Tasks to be undertaken by scholar(s): Data collection and analysis, including descriptive analysis. The student is expected to examine successful projects and research on any potential online news coverage or any marketing activities that can be linked to the projects. Another key task is to record how the products performed one to two years after the launch (and production). Although the majority of the literature review has been done, the student is expected to acquaint him/herself to the relevant journal papers and literature.

Contact person: Dr Arry Tanusondjaja / Ph: 8302 7374

Examining new crowdfunded product survival rate

Project summary: Technology advancements have provided opportunities for firms to improve their efficiency and to innovate their products. However, new product introductions are risky undertakings, with one in three products fail in the market (Castellion & Markham, 2013; Crawford, 1977; 1987). To minimise these risks, firms often seek to explore alternative routes to develop and market their new products. Some of these routes are facilitated by the growth of the Internet and social media, allowing firms to involve potential end consumers in the product design, through a ‘co-creation’ process. The aim of this strategy is to directly capture a consumer’s point of view in the product development stage through their active participation, and to collect potential innovative ideas for future offerings. This involvement may also include a co-financing arrangement for new product launches known as ‘crowdfunding’.  Would products that are co-developed with the consumers and co-financed by the consumers survive longer in the market?

The research aims to address this gap by analysing projects launched from two biggest crowdfunding platforms: Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Data are available of all projects from 2016-2018 launched in these two platforms.

Tasks to be undertaken by scholar: Data collection and analysis, including descriptive analysis. The student is expected to
examine successful projects, and record how the products performed one to two years after the launch. Although the literature review has been done, the student is expected to acquaint him/herself to the relevant journal papers and
literature.

Contact person: Dr Arry Tanusondjaja / Ph: 8302 7374

Hello...Is anybody listening?

Project summary: There are more than two million podcasts currently indexed on Google (700,000 of which are active) containing over 29 million episodes. Over half of the US population have listened to a podcast, and the industry revenue is predicted to reach $1.6 billion by 2020. While over fifty years of consumer goods research has demonstrated the way in which brands are purchased, there has been limited research into listening behaviour of podcasts. How many podcasts do listeners listen to? How often are they listening to the podcasts? How predictable are the sharing of listening between podcasts? For example, are Joe Rogan listeners only listening to him? Are they listening to every episode he releases? Do they listen to other podcasts hosts such as Sam Harris?

Tasks to be undertaken by scholar:

  • Conduct a literature review on consumer good buying behaviour (Sharp, 2010; Romaniuk and Sharp, 2015) and the current knowledge on podcast listening behaviour
  • Questionnaire design and data collection with Qualtrics
  • Analyse the Dirichlet patterns including Double Jeopardy (McPhee, 1963) and Duplication of Purchase (Ehrenberg, 1988)

The project aims to:

  • Complete a draft of a literature review
  • Collected relevant podcast consumption behaviour information
  • Analyse and report on the results for the United States market

There is a potential for co-authorship on an ANZMAC (Australian & New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference) paper and a marketing journal publication (dependent on student contribution). This project will suit a student with an interest in podcast listening.

Contact person: Dr Zachary Anesbury / Ph: 8302 0984

How to Grow Wine and Alcohol Brands in China

Project summary: The Chinese market is essential for growth with its enormous population and rapidly increasing wealth. For Australia, the wine industry is a significant contributor to the economy and in 2018 exports of wine to China surpassed the 1-billion-dollar mark. Despite this, there is only a basic understanding of what happens in the China wine market and a lack of evidence regarding strategies to grow.

This vacation scholarship is an opportunity to join an ongoing research project being conducted to benefit the Australian wine industry. You will learn about sustainable brand growth and how to build the Institute's two key pillars, Mental & Physical Availability, in the applied context of China, wine and more broadly alcohol subcategories.

You will be supported in learning how to conduct a literature review, summarise secondary data and develop an understanding of media, the digital landscape and retailing in China. You will learn how to handle data that has already been collected using 'last purchase/consumption occasion' to test the Laws of Growth in this unique market, and report on managerially useful outcomes in the form of both academic and industry outlets.

Tasks to be undertaken by scholar:

  • Literature review of the theories of brand growth related to mental and physical availability and link these to actual data collected in China
  • Descriptive analysis of data collected from an ongoing research program in China
  • Interpretation of results
  • Develop a summary of the 'state of play' of the media, digital and retail landscape in China
  • Either or both (depending on time available and interest in a research degree):
    • Writing a conference paper for the Academy of Wine Business Research Conference or other conference
    • Writing a trade article for Wine & Viticulture Journal

Contact persons: Dr Justin Cohen / Ph: 8302 0074 and Prof Larry Lockshin / Ph: 8302 0261

Investigating long-term cumulative penetration and purchase frequency

Project summary: Household panel data is used to describe the aggregate purchasing of competing brands within fixed time period (e.g., quarter or year). Brand performance metrics such as penetration and purchase frequency tend to remain stationary between periods, however those metrics do not capture the behaviour of the same buyers in each period. If penetration remains stationary from one quarter to the next, but only a proportion of quarter one buyers purchase again in quarter two, then over six months the cumulative customer base has grown but not doubled in size. Therefore, even when quarterly penetration does not change, cumulative penetration will continue to increase. 

The continuous repeat, drop-out and attraction rates underlying the stationarity can be estimated by the NBD-Dirichlet model. Close fits with the model estimates have been observed with annual data but fits of the model for long-run observations (e.g., 5+ years) have not been reported, partly due to the lack of suitable long-term datasets. Large consumer panels covering purchases from the same households for periods up to ten years now exist. Initial research with such datasets indicate that the NBD-Dirichlet model may in fact underpredict the level of cumulative penetration (i.e., new buyers) a brand needs to attain in order to just remain stable over the long-term.

  • What are the expected patterns of cumulative penetration and purchase frequency growth for brands and categories over the long-term (5+ years)?
  • How well do the actual observations of cumulative penetration and purchase frequency fit the predictions of the NBD-Dirichlet model?

Contact person: Prof Magda Nenycz-thiel / Ph: 8302 9172

Mind the Gap - Understanding why people say they'll give to charity but don't

Project summary: It is widely, yet blindly, believed that an individual's intention to perform a specific behaviour accurately predicts their future behaviour (e.g. Helen intends to buy a Cornetto on Friday. Friday arrives and Helen buys a Cornetto). However, this assumption is largely misleading. The evidence shows a considerable gap between what people say they will do and what they actually do. Despite this inaccuracy, marketers and researchers continuously capture consumer intentions, hoping and implicitly assuming that such measures reflect future actions.

This project investigates the intention-behaviour gap in a new context: charity giving. The project aims to benchmark the size of the 'gap' and to identify the underlying reasons why donation intentions in particular are expressed at higher levels than actual donation behaviour.

We collected data on people's intention to give time/money/goods to charity. Three months later, we followed up with the same respondents to examine the proportion of people who initially had very high intentions but did not end up giving, or very low intentions but ended up giving. More importantly, we are wanting to understand the reasons to explain why there is a gap between intention and behaviour. We also have data collected on people's intention and behaviour related to gift giving towards family/friends that can be used as a base of comparison.

The ideal long-term outcome of this research is to strengthen the non-profit sector so that it can meet unmet needs of society.

Tasks to be undertaken by scholar:

  • Literature search and critique on the topic of intentions around charity and gift giving. We already have some papers that the candidate can start with!
  • The student undertaking this project will be trained to conduct thematic analysis, whereby qualitative responses are coded and organised into key themes.
  • Some basic quantitative descriptive analysis will also be included.
  • Writing of literature review, method and results for a conference paper on the topic.

The project aims to provide an opportunity for a student to gain new research skills and co-author a conference paper.

Contact person: Dr Cathy Nguyen / Ph: 8302 0529

Physical availability:  In the mind or in the store?

Project Summary, Part 1 & 2: There are three core aspects to physical availability:  presence, prominence and portfolio. The brand’s performance on this is underpinned by its retail actions - how widely it is distributed, how easily it is found in retail environments and the range it offers. This project is about determining if consumer perceptions on a brand’s performance in physical availability match the brands actions. This multi category study will identify if consumers correctly identify the best performing brands on different aspects of physical availability, and where any major discrepancies occur.  The results will feed into understanding what are useful key performance indicators for brands wanting to measure physical availability.  The student will help design and implement a questionnaire for data collection, as well as conduct objective measurement of physical availability dimensions.  Therefore they will gain hands on experience in learning about one of the most important parts of brand strategy.

There are two projects available for this topic.

Contact person: Prof Magda Nenycz-thiel / Ph: 8302 0706