Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies

Undergraduate Research and Mentorship Program

Clark Sholars Conor Danaher and Maureen ClarkLaunched in 2013, the Clark Center’s Undergraduate Research and Mentorship Program offers outstanding juniors and seniors opportunities to gain firsthand research experience.  Students can participate as Clark Scholars or Research Interns.  Clark Scholars begin their terms each fall.  They undertake a two-semester sequence of courses through the Department of Government in which they collect and code data for Clark Center research initiatives with a special focus on the Comparative Agendas Project.  They also design and execute their own individual research projects.  Clark Scholars are required to complete a course on Australian Politics (GOV 365N). Each spring, the Clark Scholars present their research posters at the Longhorn Research Bazaar.  Research Interns volunteer five to ten hours per week to assist the Clark Center in collecting and coding data for its major research projects.  They also participate alongside the Clark Scholars in a weekly meeting during which various issues in data collection and coding are discussed.  

The Clark Scholars traveled to Washington, D.C. In the spring of 2014 and 2015.  During their visits, they met with officials from the Embassy of Australia.  Clark Scholars Conor Danaher and Maureen Clark spent much of July and August 2015 in Australia, spending time in Darwin, Cairns, and Canberra.  In addition to conducting research for their individual projects, they assisted Dr. Evans with data collection for her research on the High Court of Australia. Conor and Maureen also presented their projects at a Workshop for Undergraduate Research organized by Dr. John Uhr, Director of the Center for the Study of Australian Politics at the Australian National University.  They were joined by two honors students from the ANU’s School of Politics and International Relations.

The outstanding efforts of our Clark Scholars have been recognized across the University.  To date, every Scholar has received an Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the College of Liberal Arts to support their individual research projects.  In October 2015, Maureen Clark received the Mr. and Mrs. Marvin K. Collie Endowed Presidential Scholarship for her outstanding thesis work regarding the American and Australian legal systems.  Conor Danaher was named a Highly Commended Entrant in the Undergraduate Awards, an international research competition, and invited to attend a global summit in Dublin, Ireland after his paper was judged to be in the top 10% of the 2015 submissions. Conor was also selected to be an Archer Fellow and will spend the spring 2016 semester in Washington, D.C.