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Parliamentary Internships

The Queensland Parliamentary Research Internship (QPRI)

1. Selection of University Students

The process of selection of students participating in QPRI will be the responsibility of the relevant university. All students who express an interest in the program should indicate at least three broad research areas/topics they wish to pursue.

Ideally the program will cater for third or fourth year undergraduate students or post-graduate students, studying in areas such as politics, public policy, law, economics and commerce, Asian studies, history, environment and agrieconomics.

The University Co-ordinator will submit to the Principal Parliamentary Education Officer a list of preferred student candidates together with each student's preferred research area/topic.

2. Matching Students with potential Parliamentary Supervisors

The student group selected as candidates from the various universities will be given the opportunity to examine the list of Members and Senior Officers willing to take part in the program together with matching topics/issues of research interest to individual Members/Senior Officers. Students will then select an area of interest to them.

3. Discussion of topic

Initial meetings will be arranged between student candidates, Members/Senior Officer's and Academic Supervisors to discuss a proposed project in the Members/Senior Officer's area of interest. The actual topic/issue for the research project may evolve from these discussions, or may be put forward initially by the student or may be a specific topic/issue the Member/Senior Officer wishes to be researched.

4. Internship Agreement

If agreement is reached on a research project then a QPRI agreement will be drawn up outlining the aim of the project, the methodology of research, a timeline for the project and the reporting system. The agreement will also outline undertakings by the student candidate (Intern), the Member/Senior Officer (Parliamentary Supervisor) and the Academic Supervisor. The agreement will be signed by the student/candidate (now designated INTERN), the Member/Senior Officer (now designated PARLIAMENTARY SUPERVISOR) and an academic staff Member (designated ACADEMIC SUPERVISOR).

Administrative Issues

Assessment

The research project will be formally assessed, the evaluation forming part of the student's academic achievements for the semester/semesters. The academic supervisor of the student will be responsible for the assessment process with the parliamentary supervisor being given an opportunity to provide input to the process.

Supervision

Supervision of the student while engaged in the project will be primarily the responsibility of the parliamentary supervisor. However, it is expected that their academic supervisor will ensure the student receives the appropriate academic support when required. Students should meet weekly with both their parliamentary and academic supervisors.

Dispute/Confidentiality

In the event of a dispute arising between the parliamentary supervisor and the student or the academic supervisor, then the Parliamentary Manager of the program will address such matters. Moreover a procedure for conflict resolution will be in place prior to the commencement of the program. Other issues such as confidentiality, will be negotiated between all parties prior to the commencement of the project

QPRI Organisation Chart

Administration of QPRI - Administrative Roles

QPRI Manager

The QPRI Manager is Roylene Mills, Team Leader Education and Liaison.

Role:

  • overall responsibility for the management and administration of the program.
  • regular communication with university co-ordinators.
  • responsibility for initial induction seminars for student participants.
  • construction of a conflict resolution procedure to resolve disputes that may arise.
  • responsibility for co-ordinating the matching of student with parliamentary supervisor.

Contact: Roylene.Mills@parliament.qld.gov.au

University Co-ordinator

Role:

  • responsibility for the selection of student participants in the program from the relevant university.
  • responsibility for co-ordination of the assessment of the student's research project.
  • overall administration of the program within the university environment.
  • responsibility for co-ordination of the academic supervision of the students from their respective universities.

QPRI Participants

Parliamentary Supervisor

Parliamentary supervisors are Members of Parliament or Senior Parliamentary Officers of the Parliament.

Role:

  • regular meetings with their respective interns (e.g. once per week) to give advice and guidance to the student in his/her area of research.
  • provision for the Intern to have a range of practical experiences in political life both at electorate and/or parliamentary level.
  • provision of office facilities (electorate and parliamentary) and office support for the intern.
  • reporting on the intern's performance as part of the overall evaluation of the research project.

Academic Supervisor

Academic supervisors are Members of the academic staff of the universities involved in the internship scheme. They are appointed by the relevant university to supervise individual interns from that university.

Duties of an academic supervisor will include-

  • Provision of appropriate academic support as required by the intern for the research project; regular meetings with the intern;
  • participation with the intern and parliamentary supervisor in formulating a broad outline of the research project, this being the basis for a formal agreement between the three parties;
  • being responsible for the final academic assessment/evaluation of the research project when completed by the intern; and
  • being responsible for liaising with the parliamentary supervisor of the intern as required

Intern

1. Research Project

The parliamentary internship will commit students to pursue a major research project on a part-time basis. This may consist of a full time commitment for approximately three to four weeks or part time over one or two semesters. Ideally the project will be equivalent to a half semester workload for students. Understandably, this could vary according to the year level and the type of course being undertaken by the student.

The format of the report will be determined at the commencement of the research project. These guidelines should be drawn up by the University Supervisor in consultation with the student and Parliamentary Supervisor. As the project is assessed for academic accreditation responsibility for assessment procedures and outcomes must lie with the relevant university.

Brief interim progress reports on the project should be communicated regularly either verbally or in written form to both the academic and parliamentary supervisors.

The Research Project is worth 80% of the final mark.

2. Parliamentary Activities

As part of the parliamentary internship program, parliamentary interns are required to complete a 2000 word assignment on a topic related to the functions and activities of Parliament.

The Parliamentary Activity Assignment will be worth 20% of the final assessment.

The Parliamentary Activity Assignment is as follows:

Choose one of the parliamentary activities listed below. Discuss its application in the current Queensland Parliamentary process and opportunities for reform of this process. Examples may be used to compare the Queensland Legislature with other Westminster legislatures in Australia or overseas.

Activities:

  • Question Time
  • Legislation process
  • Parliamentary Committees
  • Parliamentary Debates
  • Budget Process