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PACE Research Internships

Like all PACE activities, PACE research internships are mutually beneficial for students, supervisors and Macquarie University. The Faculty of Business and Economics PACE research internships are designed to connect highly motivated and capable students with current research projects in the Faculty of Business and Economics or industry partners.

PROGRAM INFORMATION
* Students who undertake a research internship must ensure they have elective space to enrol in FOBE300 Student leadership in community engagement
* You must have a minimum GPA of 3.5
* You will be required to complete assessment tasks to receive academic credit. 
* Your research supervisor will support you in your placement. You may work independently and/or as part of a team
* Internships are 60-150 hours, depending on the project and your supervisor’s requirements. 
* Research internships are unpaid.

NEED MORE INFORMATION?
Contact the FBE PACE team at pace.business@mq.edu.au
 
HOW TO APPLY
Email your expression of interest for the project you would like to apply to pace.business@mq.edu.au and attach your internal academic transcript. Expressions of interest must include the following information:

* Your name and contact details
* The project you are applying for
* A statement that addresses the selection criteria for the project that you are applying. Indicate why you are the best candidate for the project and explain how participating in the project will benefit you. 

If you are applying for more than one project then submit a separate expression of interest for each project. In your email, list the projects you are applying for in order of preference.
 
APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MIDNIGHT SUNDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2017


PROJECT LIST FOR FIRST SEMESTER 2017 
 
ACCOUNTING EDUCATION VIA VIRTUAL REALITY – WHERE TO START?
Supervisor: Dr James Hazelton (Marketing and Management)

Project description: Virtual reality technology has the potential to provide rich educational experiences via an immersive digital environment. As the development costs are high, however, it is important to identify the areas of greatest educational need that can be best addressed by a VR experience. This project is to examine the emerging VR education literature to determine success factors, review the accounting curriculum to identify promising areas and identify relevant content and funding partners to facilitate development.     
 
Proposed student tasks:
* Review of VR education literature
* Review of accounting curriculum
* Identification of internal and external funding sources and delivery partners
* Creation of proposal and working paper

Approximate timeline: 1 March – 30 June 2017 (earlier start / finish is possible)

Selection criteria: 
* Strong writing and analytic ability
* Self-motivated
* Able to work independently
* Creative 

Number of students on project:  1 – 2 depending on student interest

Other details:  This project whilst practical in its organizational focus is for someone passionate about critically interrogating best practice diversity policy. There is scope in the project to develop the project in several ways – for example, looking at ethnicity, LGBTI, gender, disability. If you may be interested and not sure, please come and discuss with me. 

 
DIVERSITY IN ORGANIZATIONS: A REVIEW OF BEST PRACTICE 
Supervisor: Professor Alison Pullen (Marketing and Management)

Project description: Large organizations have sophisticated diversity policies. The aim of this project is to collect these policies and identify emerging themes. This project reviews publicly available diversity policies in best practice diversity employers. A discourse analysis of the data will be conducted. A critical evaluation of ‘best practice for who?’ is aimed for.

Proposed student tasks:
* Collect and analyse diversity policies
* Develop themes
* Conduct a discourse analysis of selected materials

Approximate timeline: Session 1, 2017. Hours per week to be negotiated with student

Selection criteria: 
* Interested in diversity
* Ability to review organisational websites
* Interested in working with text data

Number of students on project:  1 – 2 depending on student interest

Other details:  This project whilst practical in its organizational focus is for someone passionate about critically interrogating best practice diversity policy. There is scope in the project to develop the project in several ways – for example, looking at ethnicity, LGBTI, gender, disability. If you may be interested and not sure, please come and discuss with me.

INTERNATIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION 
Supervisor: Dr Frances Chang

Project description: This is an international comparative research project on the impact of entrepreneurship education on students’ entrepreneurial intentions (hypothesizing that these could increase but also decrease), self-awareness and inspiration. So far, 8 international institutions are on board and MQ is one of them. I am the Chief Investigator for MQ.
There is ethics approval for this project. Project involves quantitative survey and qualitative interviews.

Proposed student tasks:
* Literature review/annotated bibliography on entrepreneurship education
* If possible, we would also like to involve the student in discussion/brainstorming for ideas and interesting angles to position the project’s findings

Approximate timeline: First stage of the study is in progress. Data collection for first stage is completed and analysis on going. We are planning for the second stage which will start mid to late March. We anticipate literature review/annotated bibliography should start early April and end in May/June 2017. 

Selection criteria: 
* Good communication skills
* Interest in learning more about research approaches and methods
* Patience, conscientiousness, inquisitive and results-oriented
* Able to use one or two data analytical tools such as SPSS or STATA desirable not essential (only basic level of knowledge required)
* Ability to use NVivo is desirable but not essential
 
Number of students on project: 1

Other details: The research intern will work very closely with me but there might be times that I can involve the student in Skype conversations with the international Chief Investigator (who is based in Spain) and my co-investigator and author in MQ. The student’s contribution will be appreciated but only if and when the student feels at ease and comfortable to join online discussions.


MANAGEMENT SKILLS AND CAPABILITIES REQUIRED TO SUCCESSFULLY MANAGE ANYWHERE WORKING (TELEWORK/TELECOMMUTING) 
Supervisor: Yvette Blount (Accounting and Corporate Governance)

Project description: This study will investigate how to build the management skills and capabilities for managing a complex workforce where workers may be working from any location (e.g. working in the office, from home two days a week, a freelancer who may never have met the manager or any team members face-to-face).

Proposed student tasks:
* Update the literature review 
* Update survey questions
* Develop contact database for distributing survey  Approximate timeline: February 2017 to June 2017

Selection criteria: 
* Ability to access and use library research databases
* Ability to use software to develop surveys
* Ability to use software to develop a contact database

Number of students on project: 1

 
PRIVACY ISSUES IN VIRTUAL REALITY 
Supervisor: Dr James Hazelton (Accounting and Corporate Governance)

Project description: Virtual reality is a technology with a wide range of applications and promises to transform a range of activities. A key ethical issue surrounding this technology is privacy, however, given the additional information that is possible to track in VR environments, The project is to explore this issue in greater depth in order to both critique and extend existing studies, and in particular the VR code of ethics proposed by Madary and Metzinger (2016).

Proposed student tasks:
* Review of VR ethics literature and online privacy literature
* Creation of VR privacy principles. Interview relevant stakeholders
* Write up findings

Approximate timeline: 1 March – 30 June 2017 (earlier start/finish is possible)

Selection criteria: 
* Strong writing and analytic ability
* Self-motivated
* Able to work independently
* Creative

Number of students on project: 1  

 
THE RAPID INTERNATIONALISATION OF BUSINESS TO BUSINESS FIRMS: THE ROLE OF ENTREPRENEURS
Supervisor: Dr Murray Taylor (Marketing and Management)

Project description: The role of entrepreneurs and business to business firms has become one of the most significant changes to business in the last 20 years but entrepreneurs’ impact on strategic decision making remains largely unknown. Current entrepreneurship theory is inadequate to explain why and how rapidly internationalising business to business firms internationalise. The innovation of this study is to develop a theoretical framework explaining how entrepreneurs manage a rapidly internationalising firm within its early development. In other words we will be asking: 

* How do entrepreneurs deploy staff internationally? 
* Do they have a strong personal network that they rely on? 
* Do they have strong previous international experience that they rely on? 

Our findings will show the impact of entrepreneurial motivations and networks on early internationalisation and identify the relationship between rapid internationalisation decisions and entrepreneurs.

Proposed student tasks:

You will participate in identifying study participants (firms, managing directors etc) as well as assist in conducting of interviews with business leaders. You will work with me directly to help articulate questions as well as with transcription and early analysis of the interviews. If suitable, you will then assist in the early writing up of the research project. Based on your own skill set I am happy to tailor aspects of the project that best suit you. 

Approximate timeline: 6-10 hours per week for 10 weeks

Selection Criteria: 
* Entrepreneurial and international business knowledge would be a benefit!
* You will be smart and organised with the ability to analyse information. We will be doing this collaboratively so it is also important that you share ideas
* You will be motivated and adaptable – research can change quickly based on new ideas and insights! If you have those two attributes you are well on the way!

Number of students on project: 1

Other details: The most important thing with any research project is to be excited about it. I can’t wait to get this project underway with you! 

 
RFBI WORKFORCE RESEARCH PROGRAM, YEAR 3 REPORTING 
Supervisor: Associate Professor Denise Jepsen (Marketing and Management)

Project description: I have conducted an employee survey of this organisation’s workforce for three years now, and use the data for my own research. This project is the client’s feedback report on the 2016 survey responses. The report enables the organisation to see how its employees are feeling about many different aspects of the workplace and prioritise how and where to intervene with training and development and other activities to improve the working conditions.

Proposed student tasks:
1. Survey data preparation: The survey was distributed both on paper and online. Paper surveys will need to be scanned and verified online, and data checked and cleaned where needed. Online and paper data sets need to be merged into SPSS and Excel formats.
2. Client report: The client report will be based on two past reports, so a broad template exists. The report will include an executive overview, an introduction to the methodology and the survey scales used, item-level data in Excel format, graphs, appropriate reporting of narrative survey responses, and a trend analysis of repeated survey items.
a. New this year: A summary Excel employee feedback report will require scale-level reporting of the data.
b. New this year: Reporting on supervisor/manager survey results.
3. Administration: Report construction and assembly is also required, given the multiple parts of the report. 
4. Presentation: Depending on availability, the student/s may be able to attend the presentation of the results to the client.

Approximate timeline: ASAP. The work is ready to be started and finished as soon as possible

Selection criteria: 
* A high level of accuracy and attention to detail is required, not just with working with data, but also in report writing, presentation and layout
* Word, Excel skills are required
* SPSS skill is preferred
* Reliability is needed to ensure appropriate project management and timely reporting

Number of students on project: 1 - 2

Other details: I would prefer to work directly with the student/s rather than remotely, to enable close supervision and ample training opportunity.

VOCAL QUALITIES FOR EFFECTIVE RADIO ADVERTISING
Supervisors: Associate Professor Lawrence Ang (Marketing and Management) and Dr Janise Farrell (FBE Learning & Teaching)

Project description: The aim of this project is to investigate the persuasiveness of different vocal characteristics in radio advertising, such as accent, pitch, vocal quality and speech rate. Varying the characteristics or modulation of an announcer’s voice may be a viable creative strategy for advertisers and increase the attractiveness of radio as a medium.  

The successful applicant will be involved in conducting experiments to investigate consumer perceptions of different versions of radio advertisements.  The student will also contribute to data analysis and a literature review.  The project will provide an opportunity to learn about the principles of marketing, consumer psychology, and speech production and perception.  This opportunity would suit a student majoring in one or a combination of the following subject areas: marketing, media, psychology, linguistics.

Proposed student tasks: 
* Contribute to design of experimental materials
* Run experiments to collect data
* Contribute to data analysis
* Contribute to literature review

Approximate timeline: Early March to mid-June

Selection Criteria:
* Initiative
* Confidence to approach and speak with unfamiliar people
* Presentable appearance

Number of students on project: 1

SMES’ PURSUIT OF GROWTH AND INNOVATION: AN INVESTIGATION OF OPPORTUNITIES AND BARRIERS
Supervisor: Dr Frances Chang (Marketing and Management)

Project description: With a view to improve SMEs innovative products and processes, this project's key research questions are: (1) “What are the internal and external barriers that impede SMEs' pursuit of innovation and internationalization opportunities and (2) What are the types of innovative entrepreneurial networks that provide critical links to different types of resources. To address these two research questions, the project aims are: (1) to investigate innovation processes embedded in SMEs' current practices, (2) to examine SMEs resource-seeking behaviour, specifically focusing on collaborations as a means to achieve innovation outcomes and (3) to test relationships between innovation processes and collaboration networks to SMEs' venture growth. This project is important for government policies and industry outcomes. If we are to contribute to the national agenda of focusing on SMEs to drive economic and sustainable growth, then we must understand the drivers and barriers for SMEs as they embrace this national agenda. This project is at proposal stage. The research approach is to involve industry partners (eg. Industry and professional associations) for inputs, data sourcing and part funding. We also aim to apply for government grants and university’s enterprise grants in view of the project’s relevance to the current government focus on SMEs.

Proposed student tasks: 
* Literature review/annotated bibliography on different types of innovation and innovative behaviour.
* Desk-research of current Australian funding sources for SMEs, for example, government grants, banks, venture capitalists, angel investors, crowd funding, industry associations/chambers of commerce.
* If possible, we would also like to involve the student in discussion and brainstorming for ideas on research methods and data collection methods.

Approximate timeline: We anticipate literature review/annotated bibliography should start in March and end in May. This is done concurrent to finalization of the research proposal.

Selection criteria
* Good communication skills
* Interest in learning more about research approaches and methods
* Patience, conscientiousness, inquisitive and results-oriented
* Able to use one or two data analytical tools such as SPSS or STATA desirable not essential (only basic level of knowledge required)
* Skills in online survey questionnaire design (e.g. Qualtrics) are desirable but not essential

Number of students on project: 1 - 2

Other details: The research intern will work very closely with me but there might be times that I can involve the student with other academics on this project.


THE PERSUASIVE POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHS INCLUDED IN ANNUAL REPORTS
Supervisor: Dr Andreas Hellmann (Accounting and Corporate Governance)

Project description: The objective of financial reporting is to provide decision-useful information to a wide range of existing and potential stakeholders. However, the lack of regulation regarding design elements, such as the use of photographs, may enable management to opportunistically engage in impression management through strategic disclosure and presentation. In this context, the objective of this project is to examine the number and nature of photographs included in annual reports. 

Proposed student tasks:
* Review selected annual reports and conduct a content analysis
* Identify the number of photographs included and their content

Approximate timeline: Weeks 1 to 4

Selection criteria: 
* Must have strong analytical and Excel skills

Number of students on project: 1 - 2

STRESS IN LOVE: UNDERSTANDING TECHNO-STRESS OF DATING SITE USERS
Supervisor: Dr Mauricio Marrone (Accounting and Corporate Governance)

Project description: Dating portals such as Tinder, RSVP, or Match.com have garnered increasing popularity with users spending more and more time plugged into their computers trying to find a perfect match. A recent survey suggests that around 15% of adults use dating sites or mobile apps to find a relationship. Of those, a large number of adults use multiple dating sites. Although many singles appreciate online dating portals to meet new people, users can be drawn into exhausting social situations that may lead them to switch to other dating portals or even to discontinue the usage of online dating portals at all. The aim of the project is to understand the reasons why users wish to terminate the usage of one dating site and the causes for their willingness to switch to another dating site.

Proposed student tasks:
* Literature review 
* Questionnaire design 

Approximate timeline: March 2017 to May 2017

Selection criteria: 
* Demonstrated ability to do a basic literature review
* Strong writing and analytic ability
* Self-motivated; able to work independently; creative
* Desirable: experience using dating sites

Number of students on project: 1

 
WRITING ON THE SKIN: THE IDENTITY WORK OF TATTOOISTS
Supervisor: Professor Alison Pullen (Marketing and Management)

Project description: This is a qualitative data analysis project aimed at writing a conference/journal paper. This project is part of an ongoing research with a collaborator in London. The project collated interview data from Sydney based tattoo parlours on the nature of tattoo work.

Proposed student tasks:
* Analyse collected data
* Conduct multi-disciplinary literature review
* Possibly contribute to writing a journal/conference paper

Approximate timeline: Session 1, 2017. Hours per week to be negotiated with student

Selection criteria: 
* Interested in analysing qualitative interview data
* Able to review databases
* Interested in multi-disciplinary research
* Ability to write and learn how to write a conference paper/journal paper

Number of students on project:  1

Other details:  One paper has been submitted to the journal of Work, Employment and Society on deviant work. One key issue that emerged during the project to date is the role of the skin in tattoo work and the cultural and symbolic meaning attached to the work. As an identity and embodiment scholar, this project aims to analyse the data around skin, identity and tattoo work. The project will write a conference proposal and draft a paper. Whilst the main role of this project is to conduct a literature review and analyse the data, for the right student a research paper can be developed. If you are interested in quirky research this project is for you. 


SUSTAINABILITY IN THE HUNTER VALLEY WINE REGION – A “TERROIR” STUDY OF THE THREE CAPITALS
Supervisor: Dr Andrea Chareunsy (Economics) 

Project description: The focus of the Hunter Valley Wine Project is to build a “terroir-based” economic model that can assess the impact of government policies on the economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects of a wine region. The profitability and sustainability of the region relies on the interaction of these four components and their reaction to change. This sustainability project forms the essence of that larger Hunter Valley Wine Project. 
 
The sustainability of wine can be examined along three intersecting paths that track the essential Capitals – natural, cultural and institutional. Natural capital, that includes land and soil quality, and climatic features such as atmosphere and rainfall, is a critical factor not only of wine production but for attracting tourists. Cultural capital – the cultural valueadded embodied in assets – provides additional worth to regional products and enhances the tourist experience. Institutional capital is that intangible asset arising from a governing structure that reduces uncertainty and facilitates future production and consumption efficiency. Governance that impacts on institutional capital includes legality surrounding the ownership and branding of wine, property rights and the wine tax and rebates. The inclusion of the three intertwining Capitals into a “terroir” model of the Hunter Valley Wine region will provide greater clarity and coverage for forecasting policy implications on regional development.  

Proposed student tasks:
Student 1: Literature search on the three capital aspects of wine regions around the world (especially in Australia); construct a table of references and overview; write a summary of literature of each type of capital.
Student 2: Collate data of the three capital from provided sources (as well as research collected by Student 1); construct a dataset of the above secondary data; run preliminary tests of hypothesis.    

Approximate timeline: Feb 2017 – June 2017 (Session 1)

Selection criteria: 
Student 1: 
* Must be majoring in Economics
* Good oral and written communication skills
* Good knowledge of word and excel
 
Student 2: 
* Must have completed at least 2 econometric units 
* Good oral communication skills
* Good knowledge of SPSS or Gretl and excel.
 
Number of students on project:  2

Email: