Summer research scholarships

Summer Research Scholarships offer a unique opportunity for organisations, academics, and students to work together in research over the summer trimester.

If you’re a student in at least your third year of study and are interested and skilled in research, you could spend the summer trimester supporting a research project—gaining valuable skills and a scholarship in the process.

Summer Research Scholarships offer a unique opportunity for students to gain experience in research and get an insight into what studying for a research degree involves. Each scholarship gives you the experience of working with established researchers under the supervision of an academic staff member or a research team.

Summer Research Scholarships 2019–2020

If you have questions or need more information, email summer-research@vuw.ac.nz.

Leveraging New Zealand's diaspora—learning from other countries

  • Scholarship code: 508
  • Sponsored by: Victoria University of Wellington and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
  • Location: To be advised
  • Contact: siahhwee.ang@vuw.ac.nz

It is estimated that there may be as many as 1 million New Zealanders overseas. Countries often look to their overseas populations (diasporas) as a source of value, in terms of networks and the development of skills that may be exported back to New Zealand at a later date. MBIE is keen to understand what other countries have done to work with their diasporas to deliver economic benefits to the home country, and how effective such measures have been.

Understanding our trade profile over distance

  • Scholarship code: 509
  • Sponsored by: Victoria University of Wellington and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
  • Location: Wellington
  • Contact: siahhwee.ang@vuw.ac.nz

New Zealand's distance from markets is often regarded as a handbrake on our economic fortunes. MBIE is looking to better understand what New Zealand trades with other countries, with an emphasis on how this trade profile changes with distance from New Zealand, and whether this has any implications for trade policy and trade facilitation.

The impacts for New Zealand of greater international economic integration and regulatory cooperation

  • Scholarship code: 510
  • Sponsored by: Victoria University of Wellington and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
  • Location: Wellington (with some flexibility)
  • Contact: siahhwee.ang@vuw.ac.nz

Greater congruence between countries' economic and regulatory settings should make it easier to trade. MBIE is looking to better understand the size and nature of the impacts of different sorts of approaches to aligning economic and regulatory settings, from large-scale integration (such as the EU or CER) through to narrow bilateral product-specific arrangements. This will help us to prioritise where we should seek to negotiate such arrangements with other countries.

Evaluating trade and trade policy

  • Scholarship code: 502
  • Sponsored by: Victoria University of Wellington and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)
  • Location: Wellington
  • Contact: siahhwee.ang@vuw.ac.nz

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) is undertaking research aimed at developing a better understanding of the ex-post impact of trade at both an economy-wide level and across various dimensions (productivity, sustainability, inclusiveness), that will help to inform and improve future policy development and trade negotiations.

MFAT is seeking a summer scholar to contribute to this research with a literature review and short analytical piece focused on one sub-topic within this area. The scholar will also help establish a dashboard of key metrics.

The contributing urban form and social factors in successful Wellington apartment communities

  • Scholarship code: 511
  • Sponsored by: Victoria University of Wellington and Wellington City Council (WCC)
  • Location: Wellington
  • Contact: jonathan.barrett@vuw.ac.nz

Help to identify how urban form and social factors contribute to community formation in Wellington apartments! Wellington City Council (WCC) is searching for a Summer Research Scholar to help us better understand and communicate the diverse factors that help foster apartment communities and confer wellbeing benefits.

The Summer Research Scholar will be housed within WCC’s Community Services team and will work closely with Inner City Wellington, one of Wellington’s most active residents’ associations. Key components of the project work will include: conducting a literature review, conducting interviews with central city residents and groups, and crafting creative ways to communicate the research findings.

Healthy lifestyle behaviour change interventions—recommendations for community-based interventions

  • Scholarship code: 501
  • Sponsored by: Victoria University of Wellington and Sport Wellington
  • Location: Wellington
  • Contact: janet.davey@vuw.ac.nz

Sport Wellington is the Green Prescription (GRx) provider in the Wellington region. A GRx is a health professional’s written advice to a patient to be physically active, as part of the patient’s health management. Under the current format, Sport Wellington has faced issues with referred patients not being ready for change and not wanting to engage, the stigmatisation linked to the referral, and individuals in need not being referred through the pathway. We would like to shift to a community outreach approach.

We are looking for a review of the evidence supporting healthy lifestyle interventions in communities to address health inequities and maximise potential positive outcomes—including a literature review and discussions with health professionals and community groups.

Public library services for home education in Aotearoa

  • Scholarship code: 505
  • Sponsored by: Wellington School of Business and Government and Victoria University of Wellington
  • Location: Wellington
  • Contact: anne.goulding@vuw.ac.nz

This project will identify how public libraries in Aotearoa serve the needs of home-educated children and their caregivers.  Although the numbers of home-educated children in Aotearoa is increasing, we know little about their use of public libraries to access information and resources and how public libraries support their learning.

A questionnaire survey of public library services and an analysis of public library websites will gather data on the nature and extent of public library services for home education.  The results will provide an understanding of how public libraries support home-educated children and their caregivers, with the aim of guiding the future development of services and programmes.

Tasks

  • Finalise survey questions (a draft has already been prepared).
  • Prepare survey in Qualtrics.
  • Distribute link to Qualtrics survey to public library services.
  • Analyse questionnaire data and present the findings in tables and figures.
  • Analyse public library website for information about home-education services and resources and present the findings.

Skills required

  • Questionnaire design skills and experience.
  • Strong data analysis and presentation skills.
  • Good web-searching and analysis skills.

Review of expectations of Utilities Disputes services

  • Scholarship code: 507
  • Sponsored by: Victoria University of Wellington and Utilities Disputes Ltd
  • Location: Wellington
  • Contact:  bronwyn.howell@vuw.ac.nz

A Summer Research Scholar is sought for a customer feedback project that would collect and analyse feedback from our scheme member companies and consumers who use our services. Applicants will need to be able construct a valid survey and analyse results through a database.

This may suit an applicant with a methodical approach from the areas of marketing or other commerce, or someone with a particular interest in data. Knowledge of alternative dispute resolution would be an advantage. A successful applicant will show initiative, drive, and be relatively outgoing—you will literally be making hundreds of phone calls.

Instagram my food

  • Scholarship code: 500
  • Sponsored by: Victoria University of Wellington and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
  • Location: Wellington
  • Contact: jayne.krisjanous@vuw.ac.nz

As digital connectivity grows, so does the reach of social media and social media influencers using the internet to connect with consumers. The Ministry for Primary Industries is looking for a scholar to investigate the impact and effectiveness of social media and social influencers as a marketing tool, and how this can affect food, beverage, and fibre consumption.

Operational risks, bank capital, and the real economy

  • Scholarship code: 504
  • Sponsored by: Wellington School of Business and Government and Victoria University of Wellington
  • Location: Wellington
  • Contact: martien.lubberink@vuw.ac.nz

The project aims to examine the effectiveness of bank capital requirements for operational risk. It is an important project, because operational risk has become much more prevalent recently. For example, our Reserve Bank recently revoked ANZ Bank’s accreditation to model its own operational risk capital requirements. The Australian Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking Industry was all about operational risk (OpRisk).

The scholar is expected to review the literature on the effects of bank capital regulation on the real economy, with a specific focus on the effects of OpRisk requirements. The scholar will also summarise the current state of OpRisk regulation.

Tasks

  • Review the literature on the effects of bank capital regulation on the real economy, with a specific focus on the effects of capital requirements for operational risks.
  • Summarise the current state of OpRisk regulation, specifically for Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Develop a presentation of the review and the current state either via PowerPoint or a poster.

Skills required

A background in law and finance, economics, or accounting.

Rotary New Zealand at 100—How does a network of the Industrial Age transform itself in the Digital Age?

  • Scholarship code: 503
  • Sponsored by: Victoria University of Wellington and Rotary Club of Wellington
  • Location: Wellington
  • Contact: richard.norman@vuw.ac.nz

Research examples of strategy for renewal of Rotary New Zealand, a ‘service club' established in 1921 which has 8,000 members in more than 250 clubs—part of an international network of 1.2 million members. This work will contribute to a major chapter "Looking Around, Looking Forward" as part of a history being written for the centennial year of 2021. This work will build on previous Summer Scholarship work focusing on the history of Rotary New Zealand.