From research to exchange: how the Summer Research Program set me up for success

4 March 2020

Originally, I chose to study at UQ due to the numerous Asian-related opportunities and programs offered to undergraduates. The chance to be involved in the research of Dr Lucy Fraser (who was awarded The 13th Inoue Yasushi Award for outstanding research) through the Summer Research Program turned out to be the academic pinnacle of my degree at UQ. 

In 2017, I joined Lucy on her project Japanese Girl Studies Across Borders, investigating the cross-cultural dimensions of Japanese ‘Shojo’ culture. I constructed an extensive literature review on the topic, and collaboratively we translated an article titled Beyond Borders: Shōjo Manga and Gender by eminent Japanese scholar Fusami Ogi, which has now been published in a special edition of the peer-reviewed US – Japan Women’s Journal.

Working on this project gave me the chance to engage in high-level academic research and authentic collaboration, while also improving my Japanese language skills and deepen my cultural understanding. Prior to starting the project, I had been worried that my level of Japanese language knowledge would not be good enough for translation, but I really surprised myself with what I was able to achieve.

The self-confidence and support network I have gained through the Summer Research Program at UQ are also valuable outcomes. It equipped me with the right skillset and mindset for diving into my exchange to Tokyo, Japan, and has led to more opportunities in translation and research since, such as the Asian Studies Research Camp.

I found my program with Dr Fraser so rewarding that I returned to collaborate with her again, on a project titled Bird Stories across Cultures. This time, I was able to merge my passion for history and ecology with focused research into the oral traditions of the Ainu people in northern Japan, and again collaborate on a translation intended for publication.

My advice for current undergraduates considering a Summer or Winter Research Program is not to hesitate. Grasp every opportunity you can and embrace a challenge as an invaluable chance to upgrade your skills.

Winter Research Program applications open from 16 March to 12 April 2020.


Find out more and review the advertised projects