Our Voice is a practical model for improving the care and support of the older person Citizen Scientist. Our Voice is a citizen science-driven community model for health promotion and for addressing health inequity. Our Voice active@home conceptualises citizen science by the people whereby they document their physical and social environments, code and synthesize their data, and use the findings to advocate for new developments and improvements to the program.

Our Voice active@home is part of a larger project. The aim of this larger project is to evaluate a model of care which has a preventative focus and will enable long-term exercise delivery and support within existing in-home care funding. The primary aim of the larger work, is to improve the functional capacity of participants thereby increasing their ability to engage in activities of daily living.

As part of this larger study, one participating organisation will be invited to have their clients participate in this citizen science study of the active@home program. The citizen science study will take place as part of the ‘early or ‘soft launch’ of the active@home program and once participants have experienced it as delivered by their personal care worker who has been trained as an active@home coach.

Data from the active@home citizen science study will be discussed, analysed, and interpreted by the clients themselves following the cycle of ‘discover, discuss, activate and change’ as posited by Stanford University in their Our Voice Global Initiative.  This represents client driven thematic analysis with a unique end point – the clients themselves generate solutions and recommendations for improving the design and delivery of active@home. Details of this method are described in this video.

Expected outcome and deliverables:

The student will be exposed to all aspects of the research process and be expected to undertake a small literature review, be instructed on and manage: an online ‘Smartsheet’; (potentially) the Stanford University Data Portal; early data; plan and assist with community meetings (e.g. mentoring citizen scientists on power point development and public speaking) The student will also keep detailed field notes, running sheets and documentation associated with this process (Our Voice). The student will manage any of the older persons’ capture of digital images/recordings of active@home features. A short report will be made of the immediate outcomes, however it should be noted that our Summer Scholars in previous years have also authored publication/s.

Suitable for:

This is an ambitious amount of work to do in a relatively short period of time. The successful applicant will be extremely motivated to both undertake research and learn about the research process.

Given the location for the work is likely to be Chermside, the successful applicant will need a driver’s licence and a car; and be willing to co-facilitate group work with the Citizen Scientists as they analyse their data; and be willing to co-facilitate a meeting of the Citizen Scientists with the CEO, Burnie Brae, Senior Executives of the Brisbane North PHN (research network) and other professional scientists.

PLEASE NOTE: A very successful and now completed Our Voice Summer Research Project 2017/18 was managed by a Year 2 BN/BMid Undergraduate Student.

Strong English language and communication skills will be essential.

Project members

Dr Sharon Hetherington (Burnie Brae): http://www.burniebrae.org.au/

Dr Anthony Tuckett

Honorary Associate Professor
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work