QUT has launched a ‘participate in research‘ platform to invite people to take part in projects that will help address real-world challenges in areas including health, sustainability, road safety, education, ageing and new technologies, including automated vehicles and better beds.
Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik, QUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Research), said public involvement in research projects was a crucial step in finding innovative solutions to challenges faced in Australia and worldwide.
“It’s an important tool for our QUT researchers but also a one stop shop for citizen scientists who want to participate in ground-breaking research of national and international significance,” said Professor Barner-Kowollik.
“So, if you were impacted by this year’s floods in Queensland and New South Wales, you are invited to share your experiences in a large-scale project led by Natural Hazards Research Australia. Community insights will inform future flood preparedness and help reduce future risks which is an increasingly urgent issues considering the forecast is for another wet spring and summer.”
“Other Faculty of Health projects aim to improve health outcomes for young adults seeking to reduce their alcohol consumption; explore the perspective of home care workers on their experience in providing in-home respite care for people with dementia; and understand people’s views about the media portrayal of sports concussion, and how this portrayal affects our perceptions of this injury.
“Meanwhile, the Faculty of Engineering has a project that seeks healthy people aged between 55 and 70-years-old to explore how the biomechanics of lying comfort and sleep quality which will in turn feed into the bedding industry, leading to more supportive and comfortable beds being created and sold.
“Among other things, participants will complete home mattress trials, sleep with smart watches, complete professional sleep assessments.”
Professor Barner-Kowollik also highlighted a study from the Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice looking for parents of children aged between three to five years old to help understand how they engage in active play with digital toys.
Other projects include ‘How smartphone cameras are impacting contemporary Western visual culture and literacy’ (Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice), and ‘Designing behaviour change programs for selfie use to improve women’s wellbeing – classifying photos as either conservative or provocative’ (Faculty of Business and Law).
“All of these projects, and many others, need people to take part in them. Some offer a degree of compensation but in the end, individuals can also feel they are playing a role in important data gathering, something that is crucial to all research,” said professor Barner-Kowollik.