A girl if juggling on a beach wearing a hoodie

Juggling Research

I’m currently managing three large research projects, plus our media. I’ve had two big weeks preparing for our public health trial, planning an ethics application, delivering a workshop, finalising results of a project that’s been scaled across the state, and managing our public communications under less than ideal timing.

Public health and safety

Last week, I had an extra long weekend, as Friday and Monday were public holidays, and I had last Tuesday off. It was a well-earned break, because last week, I led our field work for our public health study. Given COVID-19, we had to do research very differently than we would have otherwise. I’m conducting phone interviews with health professionals about their observations and expertise on how to best encourage the public to follow public health direction. They also identify what they see as the barriers and enablers to following public health advice.

I am also progressing scoping a couple of different trials on cybersecurity. There’s potential for us to test behavioural messages on how to increase cyber safety.


Last week, and this week, another focus has been our primary and secondary outcome results for our scaling project (stopping students from dropping out of their qualifications). I’m super stoked this is now completed!

Now we have quite a lot of negotiation with our partner agency, about additional supplementary analysis and subgroup analysis, however it’s a timing and resourcing issue. We have a set of recommendations for the governance group, so it will be up to them to decide if we carry that work forward.


Another big task last week is that I published our newsletter. Unfortunately, it was not at the most ideal time. We had to delay it for an unforeseen reason,. This impacted our readership and click rates.

As some hardcore readers of Social Science Insights would know, I was previously a research and social media manager. Data and analytics really drives the way that I manage professional social media accounts.

For our team now, our best time to publish our newsletter is Wednesdays at 10:00am. Last week, I had to publish at our second best time; Thursday 2:00pm. We lost 10 percentage points in our readership. This impacts people reading the newsletter, as well as people clicking from our newsletter to our website, to read our research.


This week, another big task is our public health trial. I have spent most of my time preparing for codesign, which is where we speak with stakeholders across health, so they shape our behavioural intervention. This is what we will subsequently test in our randomised control trial.

We spent a lot of time preparing ethics clearance for the next phase of research. We already obtained ethics to do our fieldwork, now we need ethics to run our randomised control trial.

It’s always tricky because we have to navigate many partnerships with multiple agencies. We follow the standards of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research Ethics. Requirements for a trial are even more complex than for fieldwork.


The other major task for the week is delivering our capability building on how to use behavioural insights in cybersecurity. We’re teaching another agency how to identify behavioural problems and how to use evidence from the social and behavioural sciences to test a solution.

This is our fifth capability building workshop with the team. It’s always heaps fun and we’re getting closer to identifying a couple of key outcome measures and potentially two trials we could run.

Next, we will seek approval of the two options, and then we can narrow down further.

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