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Research Project

Welcome to the Research Project

In the Research Project, you will have the opportunity to study an area of interest in depth.

It will require you to use your creativity and initiative while developing the research and presentation skills you will need in further study or work.



Video: The SACE Board of SA

2021 Nazareth Research Projects

The Research Project was once again a great success for the 2021 Nazareth students. Although circumstances meant that there were many restrictions placed on the students in regard to interacting with the community, many used creative and imaginative ways to conduct authentic research. This included using various technology platforms to connect with experts overseas, observational data collection and focus groups conducted within the College. The students displayed their ability to be analytical thinkers and imaginative problem solvers.

The Nazareth students conducted their projects in a wide variety of interest areas. This included medical topics, environmental and social issues, sporting themes, historical and political issues along with many practical projects.

Students built their ability to apply research and communication techniques as well as being able to synthesise diverse material. They displayed well-developed skills in interacting with experts in their chosen area and were also proactive in distributing their findings, gaining much acclaim from the professionals they engaged with.


Click the topics below to read more about these students' individual Research Projects:

Research Question: To what extent does Chinese funding in Australian education, specifically Australian universities, affect Chinese cultural and political issues and the way in which they are dealt with?

“I quickly discovered that there was a lot of information around my topic on the internet and that one challenge for me in this project would be deciphering what information was opinion versus fact and what was bias versus credible. For my research, I was able to interview anti-China activist Drew Pavlou, who was suspended from the University of Queensland for holding rallies against human rights abuses in China.

I also read a book by Clive Hamilton titled “The Truth about China”, which lead me to interview him, and this interview provided me with a great depth of information for my project. Other interviews I secured were with Dr Gerry Groot, Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Adelaide, and Dr Glen Stafford, Director of Internationalisation Strategy at the University of Adelaide.

Conducting interviews was my favourite part of the Research Project. I found it very enjoyable to cross-examine information and delve deeper into the biases that surround this sensitive topic. This helped me to learn skills in gathering answers from interviewees without overstepping the line.

Towards the end of my time studying the Research Project, I was wishing I had more time to look further into Confucius Institutes and how they are maintained globally and reasons for scrutiny.

After graduating I hope to study humanities, law, history and languages – perhaps to become a teacher. The Research Project was most definitely a beneficial learning experience! It was motivating to choose whatever we wanted to do, to be independent and not to rely on teachers.”

Research Question: Is it ethical to bet on the failure of others by short selling stocks?

"Short selling is the act of borrowing a stock, then selling it at its market price, and then buying it back later at a lower price so that short-sellers collect the profit. When short sellers start borrowing shares, the rest of the market identifies this and sells their shares to avoid a loss. This can then lead to a significant decrease in those shares' market price and highly affect the companies involved.  The stock market is a highly volatile place, and many people will do anything to create a positive outcome for themselves.

Over the past few months, short selling has been a popular topic due to the rapid rise of multiple stocks that many people believe are highly overvalued. Many people believe that short selling should be banned, as they think it harms companies and is an unethical practice.

I became interested in this topic when I came across a Reddit forum of people who got together to short-sell stocks in GameStop, making significant profits that many were not able to withdraw due to 'Robinhood Markets' restricting trading declaring ‘market manipulation’. Elon Musk weighed in on the event and voiced his strong opinions publicly criticising the short-selling of stocks.

In my Research Project, I aimed to discover the impact that shorting stocks can have on a company, whether short selling should be regulated anywhere in the world and what the ethical arguments for and against shorting selling are.

I used financial websites and YouTube videos as sources of information, as well as conducted three interviews: Dr Robert Bianchi, a Professor of Finance at Griffith University; Dr Angel Zhong, Senior Lecturer of finance at RMIT University and Natasha Gillezeau, marketing reporter at the Australian Financial Review.

I really enjoyed the interview process and listening to the different views and opinions on the information I was researching. I found doing my Outcome valuable as I definitely want to pursue a career in finance after school."

Research Question: How does the menstrual cycle impact anaphylaxis during bee venom immunotherapy and how might this information contribute to a change in processes and documentation?

“My choice to study this topic was largely based on personal experience. It’s a very niche topic, which at times made it extra difficult to find articles and information. After much thorough research, I found a significant primary source of information – a woman in Poland who had also investigated and written about this question. I also interviewed Professor James Botten, Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Associate Lecturer at Adelaide University and Sasha Palmer, Senior Nurse Practitioner of Allergy and Immunology at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Conversations with my own doctors and GPs were also valuable sources of information, although it was interesting to note the differing opinions between the various professionals I spoke with.

The conclusion I came to in my study was that there is much more research to be undertaken, but unfortunately, there is a lack of funding for research within this niche.

Overall, the Research Project has led me to be more interested in pursuing a career in the medical field, and in particular immunology. I would love to do more research into bee venom immunotherapy and the menstrual cycle to better understand myself or to become a doctor one day and help other people who have an experience similar to me with this condition.”

Research Question: How effective is the use of a Memory Palace to support study in senior secondary education?

"The science of memory has been thoroughly researched and harnessed by a select few to perform remarkable feats of memorisation through the emerging sport of memory competitions. In my Research Project, I investigated the effectiveness of memorisation and its application in a senior secondary educational environment, by considering the role and importance of memory in twenty-first-century education.

This topic was something of personal interest to me, as I really enjoy memorising information and am fascinated by the process of practising and training one-self for memory competitions.

I interviewed eight-time World Memory Champion Dominic O’Brien, as well as several secondary teachers to determine if their teaching of exam preparation was in line with my research.

Action research was also undertaken, to test the effectiveness of the ‘Memory Palace’ and gain insight into its suitability to student learning. In this experiment, I was successful at memorising a deck of cards in 13 minutes!

My interview with Dominic O’Brien helped me to make connections between ‘Memory Palace’ and normal memory, organising information and problem-solving skills.

In conclusion, I determined that study habits and strategies are more important than cram learning, note writing and memorisation.

It took me a while to fine-tune my topic, but once I did, I thoroughly enjoyed doing the Research Project. In this subject, you really must use research learning for personal development to problem-solve and apply all the information you gather.

My advice to other students doing the research project would be: find something that you are passionate about, it makes the whole project worth it!"

Research Question: What are the psychological challenges of individuals who have experienced an abduction upon their return to “normal life” and their strategies to overcome them?

"Abduction is a significantly distressing experience, which consequently has a considerable psychological effect. The psychological damage that abduction survivors experience through their capture can affect their daily life upon their return home, influencing mental health and relationships. This strain can leave survivors struggling with unresolved emotions, memories and fear.

For my Research Project, I wanted to investigate the psychological impacts of abduction on survivors as they reintegrate back into “normal life”.

I collected information from a range of sources, including websites, articles and interviews. A significant source of information was accumulated from abduction survivors, Kerry Jane Wilson and anonymous ‘Interviewee A’, who provided me with a greater understanding and insight into their experience of such psychological distress. I also spoke with an anonymous clinical psychologist, whose research is focused on complex trauma and post-traumatic growth.

I was first made aware of Kerry Jane Wilson’s story when I saw her on an SBS Insight segment. This prompted me to try and contact her, and I was lucky to secure an interview.

I’m interested by crime, and doing my Research Project in this area has opened up my perspective and influenced my decision for the future.

I learned that crime is a very delicate area of learning and studying, and there are many ethics to consider around these sensitive topics, including respecting the anonymity and requests of interviewees.

My favourite part of the Research Project was the interviewing process and how this led to finding interesting information. The Research Project is an opportunity to be moved beyond your normal world at schools and gain skills in being speaking to people you wouldn’t normally."