Internship programs offer you ways to gain academic credit whilst gaining valuable work experience in your chosen field. We know it is an important stepping stone in your transition from education to employment.

When: Spring 2022
Where: Wollongong
Arrangement: Flexible
Credit Points: 6
Pre-requisites: PSYC231 and PSYC234 and PSYC236 and PSYC241 and PSYC250
Co-requisites: None
Restrictions: Selected students will be enrolled manually by the Coordinator
Contact Hours: N/A

Coordinator: Professor Robert Barry (

Subject Description

This internship subject will provide outstanding students who have an interest in research with the opportunity to learn how research is done by working alongside researchers in an active research group. Emphasis will be on learning practical skills in the selected area, working as part of a team, achieving research objectives in laboratory or field work, accurately recording methods and results, and critically evaluating the research methods of others. Students will participate in ongoing research activities under the supervision of a staff member of the School of Psychology. This may occur on campus in a laboratory context or off-site at an appropriate research location. 150 hours participation in lab work or other approved activities is required.

This subject is graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory based on scheduled student journal submissions and an end-of-project report.
PSYC360 projects for Spring 2022.

There are 10 projects currently on offer, although some projects can take more than 1 student. Please read them carefully and email the coordinator by 5 June with a list of up to 4 projects, in order of preference, that you would be interested in undertaking for the subject.

PSYC360 projects for Spring 2022

There are 10 projects currently on offer, although some projects can take more than 1 student. Please read them carefully and email the coordinator by 5 June with a list of up to 4 projects, in order of preference, that you would be interested in undertaking for the subject.

Project 1: Investigating the perception of hooks in popular music using continuous self-report data

Supervisor: Tim Byron

This project is focused on understanding the way that audiences process the ‘hooks’ which are commonly heard in popular music – the phrases in the music that stand out and are easily remembered. We will be looking at re-analysing previous data which had participants use continuous self-report methodology, to identify which of the hooks identified by musicologists in previous research are most correlated with audience response across several different songs. Additionally, we will be preparing stimuli for future research in this area, exploring the use of algorithmic tools that can portion out different parts of a song to better understand the role of particular hooks in audience perception.

Project 2: Understanding chronic and severe mental health challenges - Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders

Supervisor: Brin Grenyer

This internship involves working alongside a busy lab of active researchers in applied psychological research studies. Personality disorder is a complex mental health challenge and involves a disorder of personality (sense of self identity), interpersonal relations (difficulty understanding the perspective of others accurately) and self-control (impulsivity, self-harm, suicidal ideation and aggression). Project Air conducts applied scientific studies of patients with personality disorders in treatment to both advance basic science and applied therapies.

Project 3: Child mental health and wellbeing in the transition to school

Supervisor: Stuart Johnstone

Our lab is currently looking at factors that affect the transition from pre-school to primary school. We are conducting a systematic review in this area, as well as running a study in pre-schools during 2022, and will be subsequently following these children into primary school (in 2023). We will be considering a range of factors including social, environmental, cognitive, demographic, and EEG. As well as involvement in the research process, there are many interesting questions that could be examined by two PSYC360 students using the 2022 cross-sectional data, with specific questions to be developed with the students.

Project 4: Interference and forgetting in verbal short-term memory

Supervisors: Steven Roodenrys

We have recently demonstrated that interference between words in short-term memory does not occur in the way some theories have assumed, which is that new items entering memory overwrite items already in memory. Instead we showed that saying the first words in recall interferes with the items that are still in memory. We did this by carefully controlling the overlap in the sounds in the words in the lists used to test short-term memory. There are many ways in which we can further investigate how this process happens and how much it contributes to limiting the capacity of short-term memory. The project will involve creating sets of stimuli and conducting an experiment in the lab in which participants are presented with lists of 6 or 7 words to recall in correct order, and the detailed scoring of their responses.

Project 5: Caffeine effects on resting HR measures

Supervisors: Robert Barry, Frances De Blasio, Adele Cave

Barry, Rushby, Wallace, Clarke, Johnstone, and Zlojutro (2005) reported caffeine effects on eyes-closed resting-state psychophysiological measures from a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled repeated-measures cross-over study in university students. Mean cardiovascular measures across a 2 min period some 30 min post-ingestion (the approximate time of maximum caffeine impact) failed to show significant caffeine/placebo differences, although significant electrodermal and EEG results supported caffeine’s expected increase-in-arousal effect.

The present study will re-examine these cardiac data with the addition of heart rate variability (HRV) measures, and include un-reported data from alternating 2 min eyes-open epochs bracketing the previously-used eyes-closed 2 min epoch.

Project 6 Exploring mind wandering with fNIRS

Supervisors: Robert Barry, Frances De Blasio, Adele Cave

Functional near-infra-red spectroscopy (fNIRS) can estimate the oxygenated status of haemoglobin in the near-underlying cortical vasculature below an emitter-receiver device placed on the scalp, and do so in real time. This exploratory pilot study will examine the stability of such measures from the frontal hemispheres in a mind-wandering task (as used in van Son, De Blasio, Fogarty, Angelidis, Barry, and Putnam, 2019).

You will record your own data in this task using a 20-min breath-counting session, and evaluate the mean fNIRS profile over mind-wandering episodes in that session. You will repeat this weekly for up to 10 weeks.

This project aims to assess how stable is the mean fNIRS profile from each mind-wandering session, and if the frontal fNIRS response is lateralised.

Project 7: "It could have been worse”: Relationship of downward counterfactual thinking with feelings of luck and gratitude

Supervisors: Amy Chan

We are living in neither the best nor the worst possible world. How may people’s circumstances and vantage points (i.e., perspectives) be related to their subject experience and narratives about “silver linings” when living through challenging times (e.g., the COVID pandemic)? How may thoughts about how things could have been worse (downward counterfactual thinking) be associated with feelings such as of luck and gratitude? In this project, you will be guided to gain experience in conducting an online study via Qualtrics to explore this issue.

Project 8: Monocular stereopsis and the hollow face illusion

Supervisors: Harrold Hill

Stereopsis is normally associated with binocular vision and stereograms. However a similarly compelling impression of three-dimensional (3D) solidity can be experienced monocularly, for example with a random dot kinematogram. The hollow face illusion also gives this vivid impression of 3D solidity when viewed monocularly and this project aims to investigate why this is. Parallel screen and 3D object based experiments will investigate what viewing conditions lead to more compelling impressions of 3D shape through forced choice judgments. Results will be interpreted with respect to cue conflict and absolute depth scaling based theories of monocular stereopsis and may have practical implications for 3D displays and face perception.

Reference: Vishwanath, D. (2014). Toward a new theory of stereopsis. Psychological Review, 121(2), 151–178.

Project 9: Neuroimaging: Functional organisation and connectivity in early visual cortex

Supervisors: Mark Schira

This project is the ideal opportunity to learn concepts and tools of cutting edge neuroimaging techniques. Human visual cortex is composed of several large cortical areas, each containing a retinotopic map of the environment. These maps are routinely revealed using function magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and dedicated visual stimuli which is called retinotopic mapping (Schira et al. 2009). While fMRI measures neuronal activity in grey matter, diffusion MRI (dMRI) measures white matter connectivity and is routinely acquired.

This project will use the Human Connectome 7T dataset (Benson et al 2018, combining retinotopic mapping (fMRI) and dMRI, to investigate the functional connectivity in human visual cortex.

Project 10: Presenteeism (working while ill) as adaptive behaviour

Supervisors: Peter Caputi

Presenteeism (working while ill) is associated with health and financial costs. Recently, Karanika-Murray and Biron (2020) have argued that presenteeism can also be seen as purposeful and adaptive. It can be a choice that strives to balance health concerns and job performance. This project explores how presenteeism as an adaptive process is influenced by workplace factors as well as individual psychological variables.

Karanika-Murray, M & Biron C. (2020). The health-performance framework of presenteeism: Towards understanding an adaptive behaviour. Human Relations, 73(2), 242-261.

Download the above information in PDF format (150kb)

This subject provides academic credit to accompany the work placement (internship) which is on occasion organised by students with the permission of the Discipline Leader PAIS, in conjunction with the Head of Students for the School. 

For full subject information, see the subject database.

This subject will enable Politics students to undertake internships in relevant political offices in the Illawarra or Sydney. Students undertaking this subject will be attached to the office of an elected politician, or work within a part of government bureaucracy. They will undertake duties as directed by their supervisor in that institution. Enrolment is conditional of approval being granted by Discipline Leader, PAIS.

For full subject information, see the subject database.

Admission to the Australian National Internship Program (ANIP) is highly competitive and by application to the ANU. If selected students will undertake two months or more full-time work in as a parliamentary intern based in the offices of Members of Parliament and Senators and engaging with a range of activities that shape national policy-making. Placements in the Public Service or other agencies are also possible. UOW will credit the completed ANIP with 12 credit points. Enrolment in POL346 is conditional on being selected for the ANIP.

For full subject information, see the subject database.

Social Science Research Internships available: Spring session 2022

There are 2 (two) research internships available across 1 project through the Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space, School of Geography and Sustainable Communities in Spring session 2022 as part of GEOG292 and GEOG352.

To register your interest please email Dr Laura Hammersley along with an expression of interest (EOI) form and return this to by 5pm Friday 15th July 2022. Please do not email project supervisors directly.

Successful students will be notified at the commencement of Spring session and will receive instructions about enrolling in the relevant subject and next steps. 

Project: Charting the social history of plant introductions in northern Australia

Position: 2 x Research Assistants

Supervisors: Associate Professor Jennifer Atchison and Maddalen Isabella (ACCESS)

The social history of plant introductions in northern Australia is full of intrigue and politics. An extraordinary number of plants were brought to Australia from across the world as part of agricultural and scientific development. Indigenous and migrant labour, often convict and/or poorly paid, assisted in plant trials and experiments to grow new plants. Many of these plants have since become serious weeds and threaten environments and landscapes by changing the nature of fire regimes and local ecologies. In this project the research team is documenting and examining archival records of early plant introductions to better understand how invasive plants became established in Australia and would like to engage up to two interns to assist in cataloguing photographic records and identifying key events, people and places for investigation. 

Content for 80-hour placement agreement

Description of roles and tasks:

  1. Sorting and filing of photographs of archival records.
  2. Entry of archival files into reference manager.
  3. Developing an index and/or key words list for data searching.
  4. Identifying and describing key people, places and plants according to an established index/matrix for the research team to investigate.
  5. Present findings in a chosen output format (e.g. a written report, story map, presentation).

Planned timetable for 80 hours

  1. Initial meeting and project discussion between student and the research team (2 hours)
  2. Entry of archival files into reference manager (20 hours)
  3. Identifying and describing key people, places and plants according to an established index/matrix for the research team to investigate (40 hours).
  4. Present findings in chosen output format. Prepare and present findings (14 hours)
  5. Progress meetings (4 hours).

The project can be completed entirely via Zoom. However, the interns would be encouraged to meet the research on campus (COVID-19 restrictions permitting). This subject would suit a 3rd year student, or students with an eye for detail, and a keen and demonstrated interest in the global history of how environments change. 

Expressions of interest

If you are a hard-working, high performing student committed to progressing to a career in the field of creative arts there may be an opportunity for you in the Creative Arts Internship Program.

Successful students will spend a minimum of 60 hours in an organisation, working on an agreed project with exposure to a fully operational professional environment.

Applicants must be mature, engaging, articulate and willing to serve as ambassadors for the University. You should aspire to benefit from the experience professionally, culturally and personally.

Students are eligible to undertake a placement with an organisation provided they meet the following criteria:

  • current and enrolled student at the University;
  • approval is obtained from the Faculty/Department; and
  • the Faculty/Department confirms that the Placement is related to the student’s studies.

Expression of Interest

Expressions of interest should be made to Grant Ellmers in the first instance.

Students who wish to apply for this subject are required to organise their own internship. This will involve contacting local businesses and liaising with them regarding your start date, hours of availability and what you hope to achieve from the internship. Once the internship has been organised students will need to complete the documentation listed below and send it to TAEM administration.


To complete your enrolment, successful applicants are required to:


Please contact Grant Ellmers for further information or advice

Students enrolled in this subject should contact the Subject Coordinator to discuss internship options. View the subject description for detailed information and session availability.


Applications must be submitted a minimum of five (5) workings days prior to the commencement of your placement. Failure to do so may delay and/or invalidate your placement plans.

Prior to commencing placement, students must complete and submit the following:

The Internship Evaluation Form is to be completed by your supervisor at the placement organisation.