Potential projects for graduate students
Below is a list of potential student research projects (PhD, Master, Hons) identified by SGEES staff and in some cases developed in conjunction with other institutions. If you are particularly interested in one of these topics, click in the link title and contact the VUW academic staff member listed for further information. These are just suggestions, so if you have a good idea or interest in a specific discipline, contact one of the academic staff to discuss.
Geographies of wellbeing
Hons/Master's/PhD Any topic addressing cities Professor Philip Morrison
Labour, employment and work
Hons/Master's/PhD Any topic addressing labour, employment and work esp. in connection with local labour markets Professor Philip Morrison
- Hons/Master'/PhD Refugee Resettlement & Development in NZ A/ Prof Sara Kindon
- Hons/Master's/PhD Vision, Voice and Politics: Placing Participatory Video A/ Prof Sara Kindon
- Hons/Master's/PhD Participatory Learning and Action in Neoliberal Universities A/ Prof Sara Kindon
- Master's Unpacking experiences of Indigenous tourism: Identity, resistance and development - Ideally based on Aotearoa New Zealand and/or Latin America, but open to other parts of the world as well Dr. Marcela Palomino-Schalscha
- Master's Exploring economic initiatives beyond capitalism: Diverse and solidarity economies in action Ideally based on Aotearoa New Zealand and/or Latin America, but open to other parts of the world as well Dr Marcela Palomino-Schalscha
- Master's Other ways of knowing/relating to nature: Political ecology and decolonisation in a neoliberal era. Ideally based on Aotearoa New Zealand and/or Latin America, but open to other parts of the world as well Dr Marcela Palomino-Schalscha
- Master's/PhD Fictive place: The making of place in the food and beverage industries Professor John Overton
- Agrarian/migration transitions in Sarawak, Malaysia PhD Any topic addressing contemporary developments in rural Sarawak, Malaysia Professor Philip Morrison
Subject: Population geography
Summary: This project involves a comparison of the dynamics of population change across countries in given regions of the world. It will involve a quantitative analysis of trends based on data available from the UN Population Data base.
Skills involved: Students will have had to have completed Geog320 to at least a B+ level and a first year statistics course as required for the BSc.
Subject: Geographies of wellbeing
Summary: This project would involve comparing models of wellbeing across either several different populations (e.g. the young vs older citizens) or income groups or ethnicities or even countries in order to capture differences in the factors which influence subjective wellbeing. The analysis itself would involve analysis of files downloaded from either the World Values Survey or relevant General Social Surveys.
Skills involved: Experience with surveys and with relevant software an advantage but not essential. Students should have at least a first year statistics course in their degree, be familiar with social science methods and ideally have an undergraduate degree with one or more social science subjects.
Subject: Insecure work
Summary: This project would form part of a team approach to better understanding insecure work in New Zealand. Much such work is temporary or part-time or casual. Micro (individual level) data from the Survey of Working Life would form the primary data for the study. The essential question is how the distribution of insecure work varies across the country and especially by size of local labour market. The proposition is that the characteristics of workers and where they work has a great deal of influence on the degree to which the work is insecure and/or perceived as such.
Skills involved: Students should have at least a first year statistics course in their degree, be familiar with social science methods and ideally have an undergraduate degree with one or more social science subjects.
Subject: Youth geographies
Summary: This project involves ascertaining the role of place in the connections youth develop with their family and community. It will be based on a pre-existing longitudinal survey developed in psychology. The analysis will involve conceptualising attachment to place, the way social relations are embedded in place and the extent to which location is associated with the differentiation of networks and qualities of connectedness of surveyed youth.
Skills involved: Students should have at least a first year statistics course in their degree, be familiar with social science methods and ideally have an undergraduate degree with one or more social science subjects. For background to the host project please see Connectedness in Youth