Potential PhD Projects for 2011

Visit the Research Students page to find out how to apply.

Project: Mapping Twitter-Based Discussion Networks
Supervisors: Assoc. Prof. Axel Bruns (a.bruns@qut.edu.au) and Dr Jean Burgess (je.burgess@qut.edu.au)

Building on the early work outlined at http://mappingonlinepublics.net/, you will research patterns of interaction on Twitter - for example around specific major events or recurring themes, as negotiated with your supervisors. This will involve further methodological innovation, large-scale quantitative work including automated textual analysis, network mapping and visualisation, as well as in-depth qualitative study of content. Applicants may require some statistics knowledge, software and programming skills relevant to the research, and/or training in media, cultural, and communication studies.

Project: Media Ecologies and Methodological Innovation
Supervisors: Assoc. Prof. Axel Bruns (a.bruns@qut.edu.au) and Dr Jean Burgess (je.burgess@qut.edu.au)

As the Australian and international media environment changes, from one dominated by the mass media to a more complex media ecology interweaving mass, social, and personal media, new scholarly approaches to understanding that media ecology are necessary. Applicants may wish to focus on specific media themes or events (for example, current societal or political themes, media use during crises, or the specific approaches to new media phenomena that are being pursued by public or commercial media organisations), and propose innovative methodological approaches for their projects. Relevant research skills outside of the media, cultural, and communication studies domain (e.g. in statistics, computer science, and/or network mapping and visualisation) are particularly welcome.

Project: The Interactive Skills Integration Scheme
Supervisor: Professor Greg Hearn (g.hearn@qut.edu.au)

The Interactive Skills Integration Scheme (ISIS) addresses workforce skills and business sustainability with the aim of improved preparation for professional practice in undergraduate education programs, leading to ‘work-ready’ graduates in interactive media, and improved management/business model skills of leading industry practitioners. This PhD project will investigate the human resource development issues for Australia's interactive media industry and work with leading Australian companies in the games and mobile entertainment industry.

Applicants for this project should have an an Honours or Masters degree in human resources, adult education, psychology or associated fields.

Project: Australian film industry futures & human capital
Supervisor: Dr Mark Ryan (m.ryan@qut.edu.au)

What will cinema and the Australian film industry look like in the next five to ten years, and how does this shape filmmaking careers? This PhD project will explore how traditional ‘filmmaking’ or ‘screen’ practice – feature film and television production and distribution – is transforming within an interactive, transmedia (content produced for multi-platforms), social media driven, and online environment, and the implications for filmmaking careers and pathways.

Applicants for this project should have an Honours or Masters degree in film studies, media and communications, new media, or related disciplines, and ideally will have skills in industry or policy research, and/or practical experience in the film or new media industries.

Project: Career trajectories, pathways and experiences of emerging creative workers

Supervisor: Dr Ruth Bridgstock (r.bridgstock@qut.edu.au)

What happens to students of arts and creative industries university courses after they graduate? What are their experiences of the world of work, and how do they navigate their careers? What skills, characteristics and external influences are important to creative graduate outcomes? What value does a creative education offer?

Applicants for this project should have an Honours or Masters degree in psychology, sociology, education, career development, or a similar field. They will be involved in either quantitative (survey-based) tracking of creative graduate career pathways, or will pursue a qualitative line of enquiry into the early career stories of creative professionals.

Project: Entrepreneurship and enterprise education for the Creative Industries

Supervisor: Dr Ruth Bridgstock (r.bridgstock@qut.edu.au)

How do creative workers need to be enterprising/ entrepreneurial, and what skills and knowledge are required for this? To what extent are arts and creative industries courses meeting this need at present? What pedagogical models of entrepreneurship/enterprise education are most effective for creative professionals?

Applicants for this project should have an Honours or Masters degree in education, business (particularly entrepreneurship or small business management), psychology, or sociology. This project will be a mixed-methods study.

Project: Human Capital in the Creative Industries Innovation System – a comparative study of national systems
Supervisor: Dr Sandra Haukka (s.haukka@qut.edu.au) - two scholarships

These PhD projects will be part of a large study that will establish new benchmarks for the types, networks, and flows of human capital in a Creative Industries Innovation System needed to achieve higher levels of innovation in the Creative Industries. The larger study aims to compare the features of Creative Industries Innovation Systems in Australia, Singapore and other relevant nations, and recommend strategies and policy directives to enhance the contribution of human capital to Australia’s Creative Industries Innovation System in order to achieve higher levels of strategic innovation, R&D based innovation, and non-R&D innovation in its Creative Industries.

Applicants for this project should have an Honours or Masters degree in education (preferably adult education) or business. Ideally, the application will have skills in industry or policy research, and/or practical experience in the creative industries.

Project: Practice-led research and creative career development
Supervisor: Professor Greg Hearn (g.hearn@qut.edu.au)

How can undertaking a practice-led research project influence a practitioner’s career development – through learning (reflective and reflexive processes), the development of professional identity, and the performative artefact? How do practice-led researchers situate their research in the context of their careers during the various phases of the project and afterwards?

Applicants for this project should have an Honours or Masters degree in psychology, sociology, education, career development, or a similar field. An additional background in the arts will be well regarded. This project will involve qualitative case studies.

Project: Asian Media Capitals
Supervisor: Professor Terry Flew (t.flew@qut.edu.au)

This project involves a comparative analysis of media developments in major cities of the Asian region, including Los Angeles, Vancouver, Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Brisbane and Sydney. Using methodologies developed from cultural economic geography as well as institutional analysis, the project will apply the “media capitals” framework first developed by Michael Curtin to critically evaluate the scope for such media capitals to develop sustainable growth dynamics that can reshape global media. Applicants with backgrounds in cultural geography, economic geography, institutional economics and the applied social sciences, as well as cultural, media and communication studies, are encouraged to apply.