The UQ Summer Research Scholarship Program offers scholarships to UQ coursework students wishing to undertake a research internship over the summer vacation period. 

Find out more about Summer Research Scholarships and how to apply.

We have 2 research projects on offer for Summer 2022/23:

The social value of healthy ageing: contribution to childcare, informal care, and volunteer work in old age

Project duration

The project will run for 10 weeks during the UQ summer vacation and 1 day a week during semester 1, 2023. Hours of engagement will be between 20-36 hrs per week, depending on the scholar’s availability. A hot desk setup will be available in Sir Llew Edwards Building (14) at UQ, St Lucia. In the case of any COVID disruptions, the project can be completed under a remote working arrangement. 


Background: Along with many developed countries, Australia is currently facing a range of challenges associated with population ageing. These challenges are all too often defined as a social and economic crisis that will burden future generations. Ageing is seen as a problem because of economic pressures associated with declining labour market participation, and social concerns about intergenerational equity. However, in contrast with this rather negative approach to ageing, there are many opportunities associated with an ageing population. An important question is how can we value ageing differently in society?

Aim: The research project aims to assess the value of older people’s unpaid work to society.

Method: Using longitudinal data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey (HILDA) survey, this project will investigate the contribution of older Australians to the care of their grandchildren, unpaid care for people with disability, and their contribution through volunteer work.

Using multivariate regression analysis, this project will estimate the number of hours older Australians contribute to the care of their grandchildren, informal care hours for people with disability as well as any volunteering work. The scholar will utilize the proxy good method to value these unpaid services in order to estimate the total economic value to society.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

Scholars will gain skills in handling longitudinal data, including merging and cleaning data as well as analysing data. Depending on the scholar’s skill level, simple to more advanced regression analyses will be performed. Access to the statistic software STATA will be provided and scholars have the option to work at a hot desk in the office of the Centre for the Business and Economics of Health (CBEH).

Scholars will also have the opportunity to generate publications from their research as well as present their research at the end of the project at the CBEH seminar series.

Suitable for:

This project is open to applications from students with an interest in Health Economics/Applied Economics and basic to advanced knowledge of STATA as well as Econometric techniques.

Primary supervisor

Dr Sabrina Lenzen

For further information please contact Dr Sabrina Lenzen at

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The rise of working more than one job: determinants and impacts

Project duration

10 weeks (25-30 hours per week). Most tasks of the project can be completed under a remote working arrangement. On-site attendance for weekly meetings will be required.


In 2021, Australian Bureau of Statistics reported the record number of employed workers working more than one job (e.g. often referred as multiple job holding (MJH) or moonlighting) and the proportion of these workers reached 6.5% in the total workforce. Why do workers engage in moonlighting? Is it because of financial pressure, job insecurity, underemployment at the primary job, or the desire for heterogeneous jobs? Surprisingly, there has been limited attention in the literature examining the determinants of MJH and even less on its impact on health and wellbeing outcomes.  

This project aims to examine the determinants of MJH in Australia and characterise its impact on health and wellbeing outcome measures.

The study plans to examine the following questions:

  1. What are the differences between moonlighters and non-moonlighters with respect to their socio-economic and demographic characteristics and job types, attributes, occupation and satisfaction?
  2. What are the main drivers for workers to get an additional job? What are the primary job attributes and personal/family characteristics that increase the propensity for MJH?
  3. Does MJH have an impact on the worker’s health and mental wellbeing outcomes?

Data for analysis: The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey – panel dataset, 20 waves available.

The project involves completing some or all of the following:

  • processing HILDA data collection and selecting relevant variables for analysis;
  • generating descriptive statistics and analysing MJH trends across different cohorts;
  • econometric analysis of the panel dataset to estimate causal effects
  • a literature review of the MJH and its impacts on health and wellbeing;

Expected outcomes and deliverables

Students may gain skills in the data analysis of large panel dataset, including managing, processing, and analysing the data. Data analysis will be predominantly done in Stata, so students will have an opportunity to improve their Stata skills. Students may also be involved in literature review tasks and improve their research skills. Students have the opportunity to use the project as a foundation for a future research project (e.g. thesis).

Suitable for:

This project is open to applications from Business and Economics Bachelor and Masters students, as well as Honours students. Successful completion of some courses on data analysis and applied microeconometrics is desirable. Experience with the collection and preparation of datasets is desirable, as is the experience in Stata.

Primary supervisor

Dr Anton Pak. For further information, please contact DR Anton Pak at

Secondary supervisor

Professor Brenda Gannon

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