Social Sciences

Mapping Transgender Theory


Dr Ciara Cremin


Social Sciences/ Sociology

Project code: ART002


The problems that transgender studies investigates are different enough from gender and queer studies to demand its own set of theories and concepts. The purpose of this scholarship is to map this theoretical terrain, identify key concepts, schools of thought, theoretical influences, issues and trajectories. This will afford opportunities to develop new theories and perspectives relevant to this exciting field with the aim to publish them. As this is a relatively new field of research there is considerable scope for making fresh interventions and advancing the field. Recognising the gaps and potentialities for doing this is a vital part of the project and preparatory work towards publication.

Scholar’s Work: The scholar will be expected to do the following: Quickly identify key texts, scholars, theories and concepts in the field; Conduct a broad literature review of more recent contributions to the field and map these to the above; Provide succinct summaries of those identified in 2 and compile all of the documents cited; Review, compile and summarise more general discourses on trans, such as those found in national newspapers, online journals and so forth; Organise all of the above thematically in respect to theories and discourses; Identify gaps in the field according to already acquired knowledge of theory, especially critical theory as broadly conceived; Contribute towards the organising, writing and editing of a textbook on the theme; Feedback to the supervisor on a regular basis; Depending on the progress made, to contribute towards the writing of a journal article (if the contribution is significant the scholar will be listed as a co-author); Depending on the progress made, contribute towards the presentation and/or present on the research in a seminar and potentially a conference.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: The applicant must demonstrate an aptitude for abstract theory and familiarity with critical theory approaches to capitalism, subjectivity and desire. This will be instrumental to the texts that the applicant is expected to access and summarise. While knowledge of transgender theory and research is not required, evidence of interest in and/or engagement with gender and/or queer theory is helpful. The applicant must also demonstrate the capacity to work independently and diligently, be well organised and able, verbally and in writing, to convey complex ideas in a succinct, accessible and engaging manner. While it is not necessary to have published academic work already, the applicant must demonstrate that they have the potential to do so. They must be self-motivated, personable and comfortable with presenting the research to various audiences. They must be self-reflective of their own conduct and practice, as well as critical of the capitalist hetero-patriarchy. While applicants will not be prioritised on the basis of whether they identify as transgender as broadly conceived, it is essential that they are sensitive and sympathetic to transgender lives, identities and struggles.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship:
29 November 2021 for 10 weeks with a three-week break for Christmas / New Year that begins on Monday 20 December 2021. The project will thereby come to a close on Friday 18 February 2022.

Benefits to Scholar: Weekly meetings either in person or on Zoom as appropriate with additional meetings as necessary. The student will be mentored in how to conduct literature reviews, summarise key points and organise materials in an accessible manner. They will gain extensive knowledge of the field and of the theoretical underpinnings of key works that will help them towards conducting postgraduate work specific to the field or any other that utilises critical theories on capitalism, subjectivity and desire. Depending on the quality of the scholar’s work, there will also be opportunities to develop joint-authored articles with the aim to publish them in high ranking international journals. Regardless of their success, the student will develop skills in writing for academic audiences and knowledge of the process of getting journal articles published.

Expectations: That they are able to apply themselves to the highest possible academic standard reasonable to the stage in their career, conduct the necessary research in a timely fashion which should be possible within a ten-week period and do so with the view to publish the findings in co-authored works.

The History of the New Zealand Election Study 1990-2020: An Annotated Bibliography and Website Revamp


Dr Lara Greaves


Social Science, Politics and International Relations

Project code: ART006


In 2020 the New Zealand Election Study (NZES) turned 30, meaning we now have 30 years of data on New Zealanders’ political attitudes and behaviours. The NZES is a nationally representative survey that aims to assess several thousand New Zealanders’ views after each General Election. It includes measures of ideology, policy attitudes, views on leaders, media use, participation, and so on. The NZES, which has been co-led by staff in Politics at Auckland for this time, has been one of the few consistent sources of quality political data in New Zealand. A number of great political science journal articles, book chapters, books, media articles, and reports have used NZES data.

The aims of this project are

  1. to create an annotated bibliography of the work that has used the NZES over the past three decades.
  2. as the survey enters its fourth decade, the survey resources and website need an update. The summer scholar will work with Dr Lara Greaves, the broader team at the NZES and Public Policy Institute to help create an archive of the NZES work and ensure the NZES effectively communicates its findings to the public, media, and other organisations through its website.

Scholar’s Work: The summer scholar will be based in Policy Inc within the Public Policy Institute (PPI). The summer scholar will gain database searching and knowledge translation skills. They will work alongside the team of academics, other summer scholars, research assistants, and postgraduate students at the PPI. The summer scholar will co-author a document with the team: an annotated bibliography of the work to come out of the study over the past 30 years. This will later be available on the revamped NZES website. Their task will involve drawing on work we have already done, filling in the gaps, and finding other sources. The summer scholar will become more familiar with research on New Zealand politics research published both nationally and internationally. This work will also include searching through media sources, websites, and reports from various organisations. The summer scholar will also help with our knowledge translation work – that is, how do we explain the study to the general public? How do we make sure our website is accurate, informative, and a useful resource for media, organisations, and the public? This work will include collecting short biographies of co-investigators and creating text for information pages. They will also be asked to help develop other content for the website, including investigating what other election studies do for their websites.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: A base level of knowledge in New Zealand politics – having completed POLITICS 107 and/or an upper-level course such as POLITICS 352 or 756 or equivalent. The summer scholar should ideally have a passion for communication and communicating research findings to the public.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship: Any weeks during the time.

Benefits to Scholar: This summer scholarship will help the scholar to gain a number of skills that will aid them in postgraduate study. They will get an idea of what it is like to do real research. The scholar will refine and gain their database and search engine skills. They will be upskilled in being able to find relevant sources. The scholar will also be a co-author on the bibliography document and other associated work. The summer scholar will become more familiar with research on New Zealand politics research published both nationally and internationally. The summer scholar will be based in Policy Inc within the Public Policy Institute (PPI). They will work alongside the team of academics, other summer scholars, research assistants, and postgraduate students at the PPI. This will help them to build relationships with academics and colleagues.

Expectations: Showing up to events at the PPI and meetings with the supervisor and broader team, plus responding to emails. A willingness to learn skills and a passion for New Zealand politics.

Science Fiction or Pandemic Realities? Perspectives on Covid-19 and Past Pandemics in Popular Media and across Aotearoa/New Zealand


Associate Professor Susannah Trnka


Social Science, Anthropology

Project code: ART010


Covid-19 is both a new phenomenon, with never before seen political, economic, and health ramifications, and historically, one of many epidemics and pandemics that have radically reshaped social, political and ethical life. This project will examine representations and understandings of Covid-19 in the Western world within the broader context of the pandemic imaginary. It focuses on exploring two different kinds of popular representations. First, how is Covid-19 depicted in national and international English-language popular literature and media, including film, TV, and social media communication (memes, etc.)? And how does this compare to representations of previous epidemics and pandemics? Second, what are the understandings and perspectives of Covid-19 held by various segments of New Zealand society?

These two research strands will then be drawn together to compare how “contagion” is represented in the media and understood and depicted by members of the general public. What are the connections and discrepancies? Do science fiction visions of global pandemics seep into popular consciousness? Or does popular consciousness exceed the limits of science fiction? What can we learn by juxtaposing these two ways of understanding and representing social, political, and ethical life in the midst of a global pandemic?

Scholar’s Work: The summer scholar will have the opportunity to engage in first-hand research, documenting and examining media and literary representations of Covid-19 with those of other epidemics and pandemics (including various historical plagues, polio epidemics, the Spanish flu, Ebola, etc.). This will involve identifying, collecting, and analysing epidemic and pandemic representations from across a range of popular films, TV shows, social media sites, and popular literature. The scholar’s focus will be on how contagion and illness transmission are represented in these depictions. They will generate summaries of the material contained in these media representations alongside their own analysis of them, using this material to build an Endnote database. A second Endnote database will be developed to compile key social science and humanities texts examining Covid-19. The scholar will also work with previously collected survey and interview data, as well as media reports and recent academic publications, to draw together an understanding of how New Zealanders from a variety of geographic locales, ages, ethnicities, genders and professions view Covid-19, and, more specifically, social, political, and ethical issues related to illness transmission. Key themes will be identified through discourse analysis and coded and compared using NVIVO. The final step of the summer scholar’s work will involve examining how popular media representations of Covid-19 and other pandemics/epidemics compare with New Zealanders’ own understandings of the coronavirus, how it is transmitted, and any possible moral or ethical implications associated with having or passing along the virus. It is anticipated that this analysis will generate the basis of a co-authored journal article between the summer scholar and the supervisor.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: In-depth knowledge of NVIVO qualitative analysis software; Working knowledge of Endnote; Interview experience strongly preferred, but not required; University-level coursework in media studies’ BA or significant coursework in social anthropology, sociology, or related discipline.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship: Start date 1 December 2021.

Benefits to Scholar: The summer scholar will learn how social science research projects are run, from conception and initial planning through to research, analysis, and publication. All of these are skills that are extremely valuable for PG research. They will learn about project conceptualization, assisting the supervisor in delineating the scope and approach of the research into media and literary representations of Covid-19 and other pandemics. Under the supervisor’s oversight, they will conduct original research in this area, collecting materials and comparatively examining them to generate key themes for analysis. They will learn data analysis skills and expand their knowledge of NVIVO by examining previously collected survey data and interview transcripts with New Zealanders about their perspectives of Covid-19. Finally, the summer scholar will have the opportunity to be the second author on a journal article comparing popular and media perspectives of Covid-19 with those of previous pandemics. Under the supervisor’s guidance, the scholar will pull together the article materials, collaborate on a general outline, and draft specific sections. The article will be submitted to a local or regional journal, such as Sites: A Journal of Social Anthropology or Cultural Studies or TAJA (The Australian Journal of Anthropology), both of which promote anthropological scholarship in the Pacific.

Expectations: They will attend weekly meetings, be well organized, and have the capacity to work both independently and as part of a team.

Climate Migration and Climate Mobility Justice


Prof Andreas Neef


Social Sciences / Development Studies

Project code: ART012


This project builds on ongoing work in 2020 and 2021 under a collaborative research project on “Climate-Induced Migration: Global Scope, Regional Impacts and National Policy Frameworks” that aims to define the new field of climate migration and climate mobility justice. The project is funded by the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) and brings together more than 30 academics from 15 research institutions across five continents. A major output of the project will be a “Handbook on Climate Migration and Climate Mobility Justice” commissioned by De Gruyter Publisher. Co-editors of the handbook are A/Prof Bukola Salami (University of Alberta) and Dr Natasha Pauli (University of Western Australia). The Handbook will provide a comprehensive and accessible collection of scholarly contributions on key issues, novel theories and empirical studies in the field of human migration and climate change and examine how the nexus of migration and climate change is likely to transform the future of societies in various world regions. The Handbook aims to contribute to this rapidly evolving field by inviting work on new conceptual frameworks and empirical studies on climate im/mobilities from a variety of disciplines. Scholar’s Work: The summer scholar will help the supervisor editing various book chapters from authors who do not have English as their first language. Draft chapters for the Handbook are expected in November 2021, hence the timing of the summer scholarship is ideal. The summer scholar will also be able to develop a topic of their own choice and turn it into a chapter co-authored by the supervisor. The summer scholar is expected to conduct an extensive literature review on the topic of their choice and collate secondary data (e.g. from media reports, migration databases, government reports, development blogs) as a basis for the book chapter. The summer scholar will do a thematic analysis of the secondary data. If the material is rich enough, a co-authored journal article may a second research output from the summer scholarship.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: The summer scholar should have excellent academic writing skills and be proficient in the use of academic referencing software systems, such as Endnotes or RefWorks. The scholar should be familiar with the wider field of Development Studies, Human Geography and/or Migration Studies and have firm grounding in the social sciences. A background and/or interest in climate change, migration and mobility justice is preferable. Applicants who are familiar with these topics, either through intensive prior engagement with the relevant literature or through their own travel, volunteer or activist experience, will be given priority.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship: The supervisor(s) is available in Auckland all summer. With advance planning, the schedule can be adjusted to meet the summer scholar’s co-location preference (e.g. accommodate the holiday season, etc).

Benefits to Scholar: The summer scholar will have the opportunity to get involved in a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional publication project, thereby getting exposure to a global academic network. They will substantially improve their writing and editing skills. The scholar will be involved in a major academic writing project, leading to one co-authored chapter in the Handbook on Climate Migration and Climate Mobility Justice, commissioned by De Gruyter Publisher. While working toward these objectives, the summer scholar will receive training on conducting desk-based research and a systematic literature review on a topic of their own choice in the wider field of climate migration and climate mobility justice.

Expectations: The summer scholar will help editing various book chapters from authors who do not have English as their first language. The summer scholar will add value to the Handbook on Climate Migration and Climate Mobility Justice by developing a topic of their own choice and turning it into a co-authored chapter.

Measuring Success: Neo-liberalism’s impact on Academic CVs


Dr Sereana Naepi



Project code: ART014

Project Description

Early career researchers have protested loudly that the expectations to get an entry level job have shifted significantly over time within universities. However, there remains little evidence of this beyond listed expectations on job searches. This project aims to create evidence of this shift in expectations within the Humanities and Social Sciences by tracking the shift in publication number, i10 and H index scores since ‘PhD awarded’ in the last 30 years in Aotearoa New Zealand. This data will enable us to interrogate the ‘publish or perish’ narrative that has been constructed within the neo-liberal boundaries of the university imaginary. It will also enable us to trace the impacts of key neo-liberal drivers on the New Zealand university sector such as PBRF and user-pays policies. This significant project within critical university studies will provide the evidence needed for casual conversations about workload and expectations for early-career researchers both in New Zealand and internationally. Dr Naepi hopes that this publication will become a marker for a national conversation about the purposes of universities and our investment patterns.

Scholar’s Work: The Summer Scholar will work with Dr Naepi to create a database (using code) of publications, h-index and i10 indexes over time to measure publication output since time of PhD within New Zealand’s Humanities and Social Sciences research sector. Once the data has been obtained from a public database the Summer Scholar will work with Dr Naepi to create a publication output that shows if there has been a growth in publications since ‘PhD awarded’ that aligns with significant moments of neoliberal policy in New Zealand Universities.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: An ideal candidate will have strong writing skills and an interest in engaging with the literature around neo-liberalism and New Zealand’s universities. The ideal candidate will have basic programming knowledge and be willing to learn data analysis skills.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship:
01 December – 23 February
BREAK – 20 December – 10 January.

Benefits to Scholar: This project enables a Summer Scholar to experience a full research project from design to publication. The Summer scholar will learn how to utilise their coding skills to create significant higher education data points that can then be used to create narratives using critical university studies literature. There will be one co-authored paper so that the scholar will learn more about the publishing process and also contribute to the scholar’s CV making them a stronger candidate for graduate studies. There may be an opportunity for conference attendance to present the work at a later stage.

Expectations: I expect to meet with my Summer Scholar at least once a week to discuss research plans and outputs for that week. I expect my Summer Scholar to commit to co-authoring a publication with me.

Mental health in Asian Immigrants


Dr Stephanie D’Souza


Quantitative Social Science – COMPASS, School of Social Sciences

Project code: ART015

Project Description

Despite the Asian New Zealand population being the third largest and fastest growing ethnic group in the country, little attention is given to the mental health outcomes and influences within this group. International literature on Asian immigrants in other Western countries has indicated that immigration and acculturation experiences can influence psychological wellbeing. This can be further exacerbated by the stigma around mental illness and a lack of culturally sensitive treatment options. This project will involve conducting a literature review to understand what is known about the following questions: What is known about the mental health outcomes in Asian New Zealanders and Asian immigrants more; broadly? What is known about the risk and protective factors associated with mental health within this community? The aim of this review is to help understand what is and is not known about mental health in Asian New Zealanders. We are interested in determining whether New Zealand literature on the topic aligns with what is observed in other Western countries. We also want to understand whether there are gaps in our knowledge on the mental health needs of Asian Kiwis. The review will ideally serve as a first step in determining whether there are unmet health needs in the Asian New Zealand community and how this could be addressed.

Scholar’s Work: The scholar’s work will involve the following tasks: A literature review on the mental health outcomes in Asian New Zealanders and Asian immigrants in other Western countries, including whether this has been investigated within major Asian NZ ethnic groups or for the Asian population overall; A write up of findings, in a similar format to a systematic review article; A presentation to COMPASS; The skills gained from these tasks will be valuable for students hoping to go into postgraduate study or a health policy/wellbeing-focused industry.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: Scholars will need to have excellent oral and written communication skills and knowledge on how to conduct a literature review and use research databases (e.g. PsychInfo, Scopus, Google Scholar).

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship: The project duration can include any ten weeks between 22nd Nov 2021 – 18th Feb 2022.

Benefits to Scholar: The scholar will learn several important skills for postgraduate study and research. These skills include: Conducting a literature review; Writing a research report and journal article; Working within a research team environment (the scholar will have access to a desk in an open plan office with postgraduate students, research assistants and analysts); Ideally, the results of the project will be written up as a journal article and submitted for publication. A successful publication will enable the scholar to get a head start on their research career.

Expectations: The summer scholar will need to be organised, diligent, a strong critical thinker, and have excellent written skills. I will generally hold fortnightly meetings to check in on progress and goals that need to be achieved, but I also expect the student to work independently and show initiative. I do not have strong expectations as to where or when the student works, and I am happy for them to work to a schedule that is best for them, as long as effective progress is being made on the project.

Geoarchaeological analysis of Waitetoke garden sediments (Natalie Blair Memorial Summer Scholarship in Archaeology)


Prof Thegn Ladefoged


SoSS, Anthropology

Project code: ART017

Project Description

Excavations at Waitetoke on Ahuahu Great Mercury Island have documented a series of raised-bed taro gardens with associated areas for dryland kumara. Initial micro and macro botanical analyses coupled with radiocarbon dating indicate the people initially settled the island some 700 years ago and created a highly productive horticultural landscape. During the excavations at Waitetoke a series of sediment cores and samples were recovered. The geoarchaeological analysis of these will provide insights into the pre-human palaeoenvironment and how the area was transformed through the intentional and unintentional actions of people. The focus of the summer scholarship project will be on identifying depositional processes, the creation of gardening matrixes via additives such as charcoal, shells, and fire cracked rock, and the ecodynamic relationships associated with niche construction.

Scholar’s Work: The scholar will conduct geoarchaeological and palaeoenvironmental analysis of the Waitetoke sediment samples. This will involve a range of laboratory techniques including assessing total organic carbon, grain size distributions, and XRF (X-Ray fluorescence) and XRD (X-ray diffraction) of sediments. Soil micromorphology profiles will be obtained using thin-sections and micro-analysis (microscopy and electron microprobe) to determine soil development processes. Analyses will be conducted in the Roger C. Green Archaeological Laboratory and in the School of Environment laboratories under the guidance and supervision of Associate Professor Paul Augustinus. The scholar will conduct analyses and statistically assess the results. They will write a report on their work which will form the basis for a journal article on the geoarchaeological processes of Waitetoke.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: Applicants should have coursework and/or research experience in geoarchaeological and palaeoenvironmental analysis. They should be familiar with statistical techniques and the use of appropriate software. They should be organized and able to work by themselves in a laboratory setting.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship: I am available during the entire 12-week period and through discussion with the scholar will determine the 10-week period when we will be co-located in Auckland.

Benefits to Scholar: The scholar will be a member of an active interdisciplinary research group investigating the ecodynamics of Ahuahu. This project involves a range of scientists including archaeologists from UoA (Ladefoged, Holdaway, Phillipps), and environmental scientists at UoA (Paul Augustinus) and the University of Canterbury (Maitu Prebble). The scholar will be supported and integrated into this group and will develop a range of technical skills and an understanding of the research process. The supervisor will act as a direct mentor, with other academics and students involved in the project contributing to the scholar’s education and experience. The scholar will learn how to conduct original research and produce empirical results that will be interpreted and written up into a report.

Expectations: I expect the scholar to be able to work on their own in a laboratory, adhering to lab protocols and procedures. The student must be self-motivated and proactive, with a desire to learn new techniques and problem-solve. The scholar must acknowledge that all data generated in the study is controlled by the Ahuahu Great Mercury Island Archaeological Project, including its use in any future research, study, or publications.

Coastal erosion and archaeological formation processes (Natalie Blair Memorial Summer Scholarship in Archaeology)


Dr Rebecca Phillipps


Social Sciences, Anthropology

Project code: ART018

Project Description 

The majority of pre-European Māori archaeological sites are situated on the coastlines of Aotearoa New Zealand. Large scale modelling indicates that as much as 12% of approximately 60,000 sites will be lost in the coming years through sea level rise and coastal erosion associated with climate change. This represents a significant amount of New Zealand’s archaeological heritage. While broad landscape scale studies have been undertaken in the past and are currently underway, there are no studies of the small-scale impacts of coastal processes on the formation of the archaeological record in Aotearoa. This is critical to understanding the impact of coastal processes at the small-scale site level for future planning and protection. This project focuses on one aspect of coastal impacts as a starting point, that is the fragmentation of shell in archaeological midden and the structure of the archaeological record. This project focuses on one location on Ahuahu Great Mercury Island, which is analogous for many coastal midden sites across the Coromandel and Aotearoa more broadly. This location was excavated over several seasons and very detailed spatial data was recorded as part of this. All archaeological materials are housed in the University of Auckland archaeology lab.

Scholar’s Work:The scholar’s work will consist of two principle tasks. The first is to sort the shellfish remains from one location on Ahuahu, to the level of species where possible, from piece provenanced samples and bulk faunal samples. This may require primary sorting of faunal materials from the sample location. The second will be to quantify size and fragmentation of all shell. Fragmentation will then be compared by species to gain more insight into how different species fragment in this particular depositional context. If time is available, a small spatial analysis may also be undertaken. The student will write a report summarising these results with the intent of using these data to write an article on shell fragmentation, but also contribute to additional work on spatial analysis and formation.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: Basic familiarity with lab protocol is required, and/or experience working in the field/lab. Experience working with faunal assemblages and quantitative analysis would be an asset but not critical.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship: I will be available for the entire period so am flexible dependent on the scholar.

Benefits to Scholar: The scholar will gain knowledge of faunal analysis in Aotearoa and globally, including quantification of fragmentation and species identification. The scholar with gain experience in lab analysis and quantitative analysis. I expect that as part of the research they will contribute to and be a co-author on a manuscript which will be submitted for publication. It is also possible they could extend this research into a Masters or BAHons project. This will be a useful addition to their curriculum vitae, in addition to above skills, which are broadly applicable in the heritage industry.

Expectations: I expect the student to be available to work in the lab for the majority of the duration of the scholarship; this is not work that can be undertaken off campus. I am flexible on work hours. The scholar must also adhere to lab protocols outlined in the lab induction at the beginning of the summer. The scholar must acknowledge that all data generated in the study is controlled by the Ahuahu Great Mercury Island Archaeological Project, including its use in any future research/study.

New Zealand Youth Safety Study


Dr Susann Wiedlitzka


School of Social Sciences/Criminology

Project code: ART019

Project Description 

This project replicates the Australian Youth Safety Survey (AYSS) in New Zealand and aims to enhance the evidence-base on youth hate crime in the global south. This online survey focuses on young people aged 14–25, exploring their experiences of identity, diversity, and safety. Survey items include personal histories of victimization and offending, as well as attitudes to ethnicity, immigration, police, family, peers, schools, and neighbourhoods. This project proposes to collect data from 2000 participants in New Zealand in 2021.The project aims to determine the incidence of youth hate crime victimization and perpetration in New Zealand. The AYSS provides the first Australian data on youth hate crime victimization and perpetration, and New Zealand has no equivalent data collection. Data on hate crime incidence is general lacking internationally, particularly with relation to youth hate crime, and official statistics have been demonstrated to vastly underreport the number of hate crime incidents. Given the low reporting rates of hate crime in general, and youth hate crime in particular, coupled with the increased harms that are known to derive from hate crime victimization, rich and representative survey data is needed to understand the incidence and experiences of youth hate crime in New Zealand.

Scholar’s Work: As the plan currently stands, we will be working on a technical report in December 2021, which will be based on the by then collected dataset in New Zealand. The technical report details the survey and methodology and summarises the responses collected within the New Zealand context. The AYSS technical report provides a good example of the information that we need to compile and which the scholar can help us with: We would also be interested in using te reo Māori within the technical report and would welcome applications from te reo Māori speakers to help us with translating certain aspects of the report. After the technical report is finished, we are planning to work on a comparative empirical paper, where the scholar can help us with a literature search and literature review.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: Good writing and referencing skills; Familiarity with Microsoft Word; An interest in criminology and, more specifically, the topic of hate crime; Te reo Māori speaker (would be a plus).

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship: Between the last week of November 2021 and the 22nd of February, with a 2-week break over Christmas/New Year while the University is closed.

Benefits to Scholar: The scholar will gain experience compiling a technical report and in turn learn about survey design and the specific dataset we have collected. We will provide any training necessary should we need to use software to compile the technical report. The student will gain networking opportunities with Australian colleagues, and there may be possibilities to co-present the research or even co-author a paper. I also plan to discuss postgraduate opportunities with the scholar, which also includes the possibility of using such datasets for postgraduate dissertations/theses in the future.

Expectations: I am expecting a motivated and diligent scholar, who is able to work with us as a team but is also willing to work on their own (with direction from us). Another expectation would be to check in with us to let us know how they are getting along with their work and to let us know if any additional information is necessary to complete their tasks. We are also keen to create a space where the scholar can learn from us as much as we can learn from the scholar.

The Global Diffusion of Gender Budgeting and Lessons for Aotearoa New Zealand


Dr Sarah Hendrica Bickerton
Prof Jennifer Curtin


School of Social Sciences / Public Policy Institute

Project code: ART023

Project Description 

Numerous international reports and scholarly literature indicates there has been a diffusion of gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting globally. Yet there has been limited take up of these approaches in Aotearoa New Zealand. Gender mainstreaming involves a systemic institutionalisation of gender analysis of public policy to ensure that the impact on gender equality is taken into account not just in policies explicitly targeting those who identify as women, but rather all policy initiatives. Gender Budgeting is a specific gender mainstreaming tool that is applied to public sector budgets, to identify the differential impacts of tax, transfer, and expenditure decisions on different groups of women and men.

This project aims to examine, in detail, the factors that have enabled the global diffusion of gender responsive budgeting (GRB) at the national level, to identify explanations for why Aotearoa New Zealand is laggard in this space. We will undertake the following: a) a systematic analysis of a range of reports and literature that have documented the take-up of GRB, b) process tracing and a form of sequence and event history analysis, to elaborate the nature of policy transfer, and c) apply the findings to the case of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Scholar’s Work: The scholar will work with Sarah Hendrica Bickerton and Jennifer Curtin to undertake the following: Search for and summarise relevant second order literature to perform a stocktake on the current global situation for gender budgeting, and factors that matter to the global diffusion of gender responsive budgeting (GRB); Work with supervisors to develop a process tracing exercise to map the sequence and events leading to the adoption of GRB across countries and over time; Synthesise findings from the global diffusion study and evaluate what might be required for take-up of GRB in Aotearoa New Zealand; Co-author a background paper leading to a conference paper and possible publication in 2022; Work with us on a commentary piece for publication in a newspaper or on a website.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: The scholar should demonstrate the following: A broad knowledge of gender politics and a demonstrated interest in New Zealand politics and policy and comparative political institutions; Have excellent research, writing, analytical and communication skills; A capacity to work independently and as part of a team; Be open to learning new methodological techniques.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship: The scholar and the supervisors will be co-located in Auckland throughout the scholarship, and will involve the following weeks:22-26 Nov; 29 Nov-3 Dec; 6-10 Dec; 13-17 Dec; 20-23 Dec (short week, Xmas Eve); 10-14 Jan; 17-21 Jan; 24- 28 Jan; 1-4 Feb (short week, Auckland Anniversary Day 31 Jan); 8-12 Feb (short week, Waitangi Day 7 Feb); 14-18 Feb; Final submission of report: 22 February 2022.

Jennifer Curtin and Sarah Hendrica Bickerton are available as per the dates listed above. They will provide the summer scholar with a half day induction, organise meetings with relevant librarians, organise training sessions on writing literature reviews, process tracing methods, and synthesising data. The supervisors will meet with the scholar once a week, will be in email contact between times, and will be available for additional face-to-face meetings on request. The scholar will be hosted by the Public Policy Institute and will be able to learn from the other researchers based there, as well as being part of a research cohort. The Public Policy Institute provides a programme of support for all its scholars, which involves training, peer activities and social as well as intellectual engagement.

Benefits to Scholar: The scholar will gain skills through involvement in all stages of the research process, from data gathering to knowledge mobilisation. In particular, the scholar will gain the following benefits: Become familiar with a range of different primary source materials; Gain additional skills in critical analysis and the writing of literature reviews; Learn to build electronic libraries/bibliographies and databases using relevant software including RefWorks and Excel; Learn new methodological approaches for cross-national analysis; Learn to write for academic publication, other audiences, and undertake editorial work. In addition, the research experience will add value to the student’s CV and will improve their career opportunities and confidence about undertaking postgraduate studies.

The Political Uses of Cultural Diversity: the critique and persistence of multiculturalism: UK case study


A/Prof Katherine Smits


School of Social Sciences; Politics and International Relations

Project code: ART024

Project Description 

I am writing a book on the comparative uses of cultural diversity policy and rhetoric in selected Anglophone democracies. I examine the ways in which despite public critiques of multiculturalism since the turn of the century, cultural diversity policies and programs have continued to be implemented, and the rhetoric of cultural membership and value deployed. I argue that cultural diversity policy serves a range of purposes for modern states in reinforcing other policy projects and supporting national identity projects both domestically and globally. My case studies for the project are Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Canada. I have finished the first 2 of these, and later this year will begin work on the UK case study. In this chapter, I will examine the emergence of cultural pluralism in the UK in a postcolonial context, legislation on race relations and shifts towards the protection of religious minorities. The chapter will focus on policy documents, political leaders’ public statements and media releases over the past two decades, to explore contemporary controversies over integration and assimilation, and civic identity. This will include discussion of the impact of counter-terrorism policies.

Scholar’s Work: The Scholar will be responsible for collecting primary data on the UK case study, categorizing it, and working with me to analyze it. This will involve: Identifying and collecting policy documents addressing cultural diversity and recognition across a range of ministerial areas, at the level of national government in the UK; devolved government in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and local government (county, district, borough and city councils). This will involve research online, including in the range of documents and materials produced by governments and councils and available online; Searching government sites (at all levels) for media releases which address cultural diversity and recognition. This material will all be available online; Searching selected press, national and regional, for government and official statements that address cultural diversity and recognition. This will involve identifying selected press organs and searching them online; Searching the records of parliaments for statements addressing cultural diversity and recognition (Hansard, UK; Scottish Parliament records through the National Library of Scotland; Record of Proceedings of the Welsh Parliament; Hansard, Northern Ireland Assembly); Analyzing and categorizing this data (above) to identify trends in the recognition and representation of cultural diversity, on the basis of prior discussion with me; Discussing the findings of the research and its relationship to the theoretical framework of the project, with me.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: Interest in, and some familiarity with public and academic debates around multiculturalism; Interest in British politics and willingness to learn about it; Familiarity with structures of government in a Westminster system (a Politics student is preferred.); Familiarity with reading and understanding policy documents; Ability to apply theoretical frameworks to politics and policy.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship: I will be in Auckland and working from late November until February, except for a period of annual leave over Christmas while the University is closed, and a period of a week or 10 days in late January, when I will take annual leave. I will work with the Summer Scholar to plan their work program during this short period.

Benefits to Scholar: The Scholar will learn how to conduct primary research in documents – a primary requirement for much research in Politics; The Scholar will learn how to identify and analyze policy statements: a key requirement of much research in Politics, and particularly relevant to students interested in the BA Hons, the MPP or the MA; Multiculturalism/cultural diversity is an important policy area in the UK (this case study) but also of course in New Zealand and other countries. Working on the project should help students develop ideas of their own for graduate research; This project is part of my larger book project (see description, above.) A successful Summer Scholar would be a good candidate for later Research Assistant and GTA roles working with me.

Expectations: I expect my Summer Scholar to be interested in and enthusiastic about this project. I don’t require any specific technical skills, but I expect them to have some experience in studying Politics, and a willingness to learn and to talk about ideas. I expect them to be able to produce good quality work in a timely manner, and to attend regular meetings with me.

Historical touchstones during COVID-19 in Aotearoa New Zealand


Dr Heather Battles


School of Social Sciences, Anthropology

Project code: ART025

Project Description 

Researchers who study disease in the past often hope that their work will inform understandings of events today and in the future. Furthermore, there is broad interest in understanding which particular histories come to serve as touchstones and why, as these may shape people’s understandings and responses with consequences for official policy, community action, and public behaviour. This research asks: What past epidemics have been invoked in New Zealand’s public media during COVID-19? And what aspects of those epidemics, in what contexts? Can analysis of the media stories from 2020 suggest reasons as to why certain past epidemics are invoked, and can any ‘lessons’ be gleaned from this? These questions are address via a content and thematic analysis of media stories (articles and radio segments with associated text) in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) over the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020).

Scholar’s Work: Using qualitative research methods and software, the Summer Scholar will (with guidance) analyse the content and themes present in media stories (articles and radio segments with associated text) in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) over the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020), building on preliminary analysis conducted last year after an initial round of data collection. These stories were gathered via the Google News search engine and the Newztext database, and the Scholar will conduct additional systematic searches to complete this collection of stories for analysis, selecting stories based on specific inclusion criteria. The Scholar will work with the supervisor to generate a formal summary of the analysis results and, time allowing, to draft a manuscript for potential publication.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: None required; however, previous experience with qualitative analysis methods and/or qualitative software such as NVivo would be an asset.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship: 22 Nov - 17 Dec (4 weeks) + 10 Jan - 18 Feb (6 weeks).

Benefits to Scholar: The scholar will gain experience in the use of qualitative analysis software (NVivo) and in conducting systematic data collection and analysis, as well as summarizing results. The end goal of this work is submission of an article for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, on which the Scholar would be a co-author; thus, the student will also have the opportunity to gain experience in preparing a manuscript for publication.

Expectations: I expect my Summer Scholar to have a genuine interest in the research project and to be confident in working independently (yet under general supervision), with good time-management skills.

Prospects for Economic Transformation in Aotearoa New Zealand


A/ Prof Campbell Jones


Sociology, School of Social Sciences

Project code: ART026

Project Description 

This summer scholarship is in support of a research project studying the Prospects for Economic Transformation in Aotearoa New Zealand. This research project investigates the prospects and pathways for a transition beyond the current economic forms of neoliberal capitalism that prevail at present.

It is comprised of three parts:

  1. a detailed assessment of the current economic situation in Aotearoa New Zealand and how this came into being
  2. a systematic analysis of the currently existing proposals for future economic arrangements, from totalitarian corporate command to full communisation
  3. out of a critical analysis of these first two parts, a critical appraisal of these alternatives on the basis of the promises of democracy and Mātauranga Māori. While the broader research project will run over several years, the summer scholar will work as a research assistant in finalising the conception of the project, a survey of the literature in this area, and a funding bid that draws these strands together.

Scholar’s Work: This project through the summer of 2021-22 involves the preparation of a literature review and support in preparing a research funding application. Through the summer that scholar will work under the supervision of Associate Professor Campbell Jones, the Principal Investigator on this project.

The work will involve bibliographic work assisting the Principal Investigator in locating, recording and coding publications on

  1. the economic history and current situation of Aotearoa New Zealand
  2. current prospects for economic transformation in Aotearoa New Zealand,
  3. local and international programmes for economic transformation. The summer scholar will work on reading and summarising works from the identified literature, and in doing so working with the Principal Investigator in preparing a preliminary literature review.

From this, the scholar will support the preparation of a first draft of a full research grant application, from which a one page summary will be extracted and submitted to the Marsden Fund in February 2022.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: The scholar for this project will ideally have a combination of three skill sets: First, training in social science research methods and an understanding of social scientific research and the process of preparing research proposals. Ideally this would involve completion of social sciences research methods courses at third year undergraduate level. Second, expertise in economic sociology and/or the critique of political economy. By preference applicants would have an interest in and knowledge of social change, political organisation and transitions beyond capitalism. Third, training and expertise in the social and economic history and context of Aotearoa New Zealand and the specificity of this country. Applicants must demonstrate familiarity with the principles of Mātauranga Māori and/or kaupapa Māori research and an understanding and appreciation of the history of colonisation and the struggle for tino rangatiratanga.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship: By preference the summer scholar and supervisor would be co-located over the ten weeks from, for example, Monday 22 November to Friday 18 December 2020 (4 weeks) and from Thursday 6 January to Friday 18 February 2021 (6 weeks, taking into account public holidays), but the supervisor is able to be flexible with this timing, depending on the availability of the summer scholar.

Benefits to Scholar : The scholar will be involved in the early stages of the development of a major long-term research project. The scholar will benefit by learning how a major project of this kind is conceived, which will develop skills transferrable to the conception of other major research projects (such as an MA or PhD thesis). In addition to learning about the research process, the scholar will learn valuable subject knowledge and practical skills regarding time management and how to write a comprehensive literature review. This will all be done under supervision from an active publishing social scientist.

Burials at risk in Northland


Prof Judith Littleton


School of Social Science, Anthropology

Project code: ART033

Project Description 

Rising sea levels, increasing coastal erosion and development is threatening New Zealand’s archaeological sites. In particular, burial sites in coastal areas are at threat and the effects have been observed in the field as kōiwi have been accidentally uncovered or disturbed by water and other forms of erosion. In Northland, however, relatively few burial sites have been recorded on the New Zealand Archaeological site recording database. This is making it difficult to identify areas at risk or to propose preventive or remedial action. In collaboration with Dr James Robinson, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, and affected iwi, we have been responding when requested with technical assistance. However, we are tied by the lack of background information on burial location.

Our aim therefore in this project is to use existing information to identify and map the location of burials. Given the lack of formally registered sites, we propose a systematic search of Papers Past (the National library website of digitised New Zealand and Pacific newspapers) to identify any places where burials have been previously uncovered in Northland. The report of this work will go to Northland NZHPT and to interested iwi as well as contribute to work on past burial patterns.

Scholar’s Work: The summer scholar will work with Littleton and Robinson to identify the boundaries of the area to study; the appropriate keywords and ways of creating a database to record findings from a systematic search. We will also have at least one visit to Northland to talk to interested parties about the work and any other sources that should be focussed upon. The summer scholar will also develop resources that make the information accessible to relevant end users and which can serve as a focus for discussion on preventative or remedial actions.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: Preference will be given to Maori applicants. Required skills: 2nd year or above study in archaeology or related discipline; Ability to work independently and consistently; Ability to use and undertake systematic searches of databases; Clear communication skills; Familiarity with the geography of Northland, New Zealand; Ability to work as part of a team.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship: Project to run (subject to negotiation) 22 November – 19 December (4 weeks); 11 Jan-20 Feb (6 weeks).

Benefits to Scholar: There is an active group of Masters and PhD students working on related issues and it is expected that the summer scholar will become an active member of this group including attending our regular writing group meetings. The student and I will be collocated at Building 529 Grafton and apart from regular formal meetings will collaborate when and where as needed. The student will also gain the experience of working collaboratively with external organisations, attending meetings and formulating plans. In terms of practical skills, it is expected that the summer scholarship will help enhance the scholar’s research skills and provide the opportunity to experiment with ways of effectively presenting information to a range of groups. There will be at least one co-authored report from the project.

Expectations: Commitment, coming physically into work and working with the team, and enthusiasm (at least some times!).

Care and biological anthropology


Prof Judith Littleton
Dr Heather Battles


School of Social Sciences, Anthropology

Project code: ART034

Project Description 

In bioarchaeology, a framework termed the Bioarchaeology of Care has become widely used. This has prompted discussion by the biological anthropologists at Auckland (Littleton, Malone and Battles) on the nature of care and disability in apes and humans. From our collective perspectives of primatology, medical anthropology and bioarchaeology, we propose to write a review paper on the framework centred around broader understandings of care and disability: care as a primate characteristic, care as a relationship between agents (rather than simply a provision), disability as a constructed category, and care beyond a model of conscious decision. In order to undertake this writing, we need to systematically review work on care and disability in bioarchaeology and also search for work explicitly on care as a concept in medical anthropology and aspects of care among the apes. The goal of the summer scholarship is to develop a draft of the review paper which will proceed to submission in Semester 1, 2022.

Scholar’s Work: The scholar will work with the biological anthropologists to define the limits of the research, identify keywords for systematic research and strategise about the key databases. The scholar will create and maintain a reference database with annotations of relevant sources. As the research continues, we will meet regularly to identify new directions and key themes emerging from the work for the scholar to follow. When we are happy with the depth of research, the scholar will work with the group to frame out a publication and assist with the writing, drafting and editing. The goal is that the scholar will be a co-author on the final publication. The student will also participate in the Australasian Society of Human Biology conference hosted by the biological anthropologists in early December.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: Preference will be given to students with a disability; Preferably 3rd year or honours/PGDip level student in biological anthropology, anthropological science or medical anthropology; Familiarity with databases and database searches and reference software; Good written communication skills; Happy to work as part of a team.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship: (To be negotiated) Preferably 22 November to 19 December (4 weeks) 11 Jan to 20 February (6 weeks).

Benefits to Scholar: There is an active group of Masters and PhD students working in biological anthropology and it is expected that the summer scholar will become an active member of this group including attending our regular writing group meetings. The student and staff will be collocated at Building 529 Grafton and apart from regular formal meetings will collaborate when and where as needed. The project will serve to expose the student to the process of undertaking a detailed systematic review including using databases in a targeted fashion and in the writing of annotations and their analysis. These are all skills necessary for undertaking Masters level research in biological anthropology. The student will also actively engage in the formulation and editing of a manuscript and be a co-author on a final piece of writing. Participation at ASHB will expose the student to the breadth of biological anthropology in the Southern Hemisphere and hopefully spark some research ideas for further work.

Expectations: Commitment, coming physically into work and working with the team, and enthusiasm (at least some times!).

Characterising Ancient Life in Island Southeast Asia


A/Prof Ethan Cochrane


Social Sciences, Anthropology

Project code: ART038

Project Description 

The archaeology and ancient history of Island Southeast Asia (ISEA) has been dominated by the narrative of ‘two populations’ or ‘two layers’, that of a ancient hunter-gatherers, and a more recent group of agriculturalists that replaced the hunter-gatherers approximately 4000 years ago. The two-layer narrative frames almost all current research in the region and some analyses of the archaeological record seem to be subjectively made to fit this narrative. However, recent research in human biology, language, and archaeology (inducing the supervisor’s work) challenges this orthodox, two-layer view.

This project involves construction of the Ancient Life in ISEA database characterising relevant variables at archaeological sites in ISEA from 10,000 to 1,000 years ago. These variables will include, for example, subsistence evidence (wild fauna, crops, wild plants), interaction distances (measured by non-local artefacts), social practices (burial variation, ritual artefacts), and material culture (stone tools, pottery). The database will assemble qualitative and quantitative data that will allow us to assess the validity of the two-layer narrative across the region and in specific locations. This database will be the first of its kind and will be the foundation for future research publications by the supervisor (and potentially the summer scholar).

Scholar’s Work: Working from the supervisor’s database of radiocarbon dated archaeological sites for the region, the summer scholar will assemble and summarise the archaeological literature of ISEA to construct the Ancient Life in ISEA database. The work will involve reading primary archaeological excavation reports and publications, extracting relevant data, and constructing the database. Related work will include searching for appropriate literature in the University Library system, initiating inter-library loans, use of special collections, and retrieving work from online repositories of archaeological reports (e.g. TROVE). Each relevant archaeological report/publication will also be briefly summarised (e.g., 4-5 sentences) and entered into bibliographic software (e.g. Endnote).

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: The summer scholar should possess excellent reading, summarising and writing skills; familiarity with quantitative data and its presentation (e.g., tables, summary statistics); familiarity with MS Excel and/or Access. Some familiarity with anthropology or archaeology is desirable.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship: Timing of the project is flexible. The supervisor expects to be in Auckland over the summer period. The project can start anytime between late November and 1 December. Project weeks do not have to be consecutive, i.e., the scholar can take breaks over the holidays and in January-February.

Benefits to Scholar: The scholar will acquire skills in academic literature summarising and data generation that will greatly benefit their potential postgraduate work in any field. As a supervisor I will mentor the scholar so that they appreciate the importance and excitement of discover, of creating data (broadly construed) to produce new knowledge. This is the heart research and what one should learn in postgraduate study. The summer scholar will also gain familiarity with library systems and other data/report repositories. They will learn how to assemble data into manageable form to address a research question.

Expectations: I expect my summer scholar to be detailed orientated and conscientious in their work. When generating a database of this kind, one cannot cut corners or “fudge” the data as that will bring any research produced from the data into question. I expect my summer scholar to have weekly meetings with me an bring up any problems as they arise. I would also expect my summer scholar to engage with me about the research goals for the database, to be interested in the research questions and explore them with me.

Web Series: form and content (Screenwriting and Production research)


A/Prof Shuchi Kothari


SocSci, Screen Production, Media & Communication

Project code: ART039

Project Description 

This project is a study of the form and content of contemporary web series as an independent mode of storytelling for screen. For new creatives breaking into the world of scripted storytelling for screen, the web series is often considered the best format through which to launch oneself. Many American projects that begun as web series (Broad City, High Maintenance, Secret Girlfriend) eventually became television shows. When it comes to “ethnic programming” the pilot of a web series is even more critical in enabling the series to be commissioned for television. In USA shows such as Gentified and Insecure relied on their web presence before finding their place on cable television/international streaming platforms. Here in New Zealand Flat3 began as a web series before it was commissioned on linear television. It is only in the last few years that screenwriting scholars and teachers have turned their attention to the form of the web series and the manner in which they are written and produced. The project aims to generate a report that can help both creative practitioners and the field of creative screen research.

Scholar’s Work: With the help of the supervisor, the scholar will identify internationally successful web series. Using principles of screenwriting, they will analyse story arcs, characters, episodic structures. The scholar will also research marketing and audience-building strategies employed by the series creators that contributed to their success. The scholar will also research books and articles about writing the web-series and synthesize key ways in which this type of writing departs from writing for long-form television.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites: The summer scholar must be familiar with basic screenwriting principles and be interested in watching web series. They also need to be clear communicators with high level of online and off-line library research skills. Since most web-series build an audience via Instagram and other social media platforms access to some of these platforms is required. The summer scholar must be highly methodical and able to organise research material in a user-friendly manner.

Timing/Weeks for Summer Scholarship:
November 22 to December 13 (3 weeks)
January 10 to February 28 (7 weeks)

Benefits to Scholar: This scholarship project is ideal for a student embarking on postgraduate (BA Hons or MA) study in Screen Production or Creative Writing. Furthering their research and analytical skills will aid them produce stronger work at PG level whether or not they become creative practitioners.

Expectations: I expect the summer scholar to do their work in a timely fashion. I expect them to maintain regular communication. And I expect them to have fun during this process.