CASPR once again welcomed research interns in February 2022. CASPR’s internship program gives undergraduate and Honours students the opportunity to hone their research skills and have a taste of academic life at Flinders. Maya, Abby and Henry undertook project specific research with Cassandra Star and Beverley Clarke and share their experiences with us.
“Participating in CASPR’s 2022 Summer Internship program provided me with valuable insights into Australian sustainability research and the work of university-based research centres. I worked with Cassandra to map and compare South Australian and Australia-wide university research outputs in the field of sustainability. By comparing the two groups, I was able to identify local research gaps and hence, inform the strategic research direction of CASPR in the future. I appreciated the opportunity to practice the qualitative research skills I had garnered through my university studies and to collaborate with the CASPR team who were all very knowledgeable and supportive.” – Maya Tlauka
“I was privileged to work with Professor Beverley Clarke on the preliminary stages of research for a new publication. The focus was on the effectiveness of review in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Beverley tasked me with gathering publications on academic peer review. This was to help determine if the review process occurring in EIA can be considered peer review, and if not, whether academic peer review is a model that would be effective in the EIA review process. I feel that the research and results of this publication could be impactful in the execution of EIA, and it is amazing to be part of something so exciting.
By the end of the internship, I was well acquainted with science databases and Endnote software. I gathered over 200 papers relating to academic peer review and refined them to a reference list of approximately 30 papers. I then synthesised the arguments of authors under different thematic headings, helping Beverley to understand where there is consensus, disagreement, and gaps in the literature on the subject. At the tail end of the internship, I was able to research more into EIA and the review process and helped in gathering papers in this area too. My contribution to this publication will mean I will receive authorship if/when it’s published, which honestly feels surreal.
I think undertaking an internship for CASPR is a great opportunity to expand and improve upon your research skills and is perfect for anyone interested in postgraduate study or academia. After this internship I feel better equipped to tackle research-based university assignments and feel capable of applying these skills eventually in the workforce. While the internship itself was quite independent, the CASPR staff were very lovely, supportive, and flexible whenever I had any questions or concerns. I’d highly encourage anyone remotely intrigued by the internship program to apply in the next round”. – Aberdeen Oakey
“It is easy to feel helpless as young person facing a lifetime of living with the consequences of climate change inaction from past generations. However, CASPR has given me the power, no matter how small, to contribute to the mobilisation of climate change awareness and action. Enhancing and developing my research skills was fundamental in this as it equipped with me with both facts and figures to engage interlockers with but more importantly perspective. My project being the erosion of coastal caravan parks induced by climate change effects, I was able to grasp why some live in climate change denial; wanting to retain family tradition of a holiday destination but refusing to take up the necessary edits and added costs to adapt that environment from fear of the park becoming unrecognisable or unaffordable. Until undertaking this project, I never realised this meeting of socio-economics, geography and climate change perspective.” – Henry Thiele-Swift
Cassandra and Beverley have been well-aided in their respective research projects by the contributions made by Maya, Abby and Henry. The CASPR group anticipates offering another round of funded internships in 2023 – contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be notified by email when applications open.
Photos by Catherine Leo