Students

We facilitate opportunities for postgraduate and undergraduate students to contribute to next horizon applied research. We engage students, research fellows and senior academics in a team-based approach to solving complex business and economics challenges. 

To register your interest in future student opportunities with AIBE, please contact us at enquiries@aibe.uq.edu.au.

Current opportunities

Summer 2022/23 research projects

The UQ Summer Research Scholarship Program offers scholarships to coursework students wishing to undertake a research internship over the summer vacation period. 

Find out more about Summer Research Scholarhips and how to apply.

We have 2 research projects on offer for Summer 2022/23:


Assessing retail competition in the National Electricity Market

Project duration

6 weeks from 28 November 2022, 20 hours per week

Initial briefing and weekly meetings via Zoom or in person. Work will be done remotely.

Description

The focus of the 1990s reform of Australia’s electricity sector was on market integration and competition. We had a centralized, synchronous, electricity system based on variable cost technology (coal, gas) and an objective of optimising the existing network infrastructure. The NEM was designed for that context and based on the notion that a workably competitive market would yield prices equal to the short run marginal cost when there were no constraints combined with scarcity pricing during periods of high demand. Under such conditions, prices were expected to converge over time to the long run marginal cost, allowing investors to recover their costs. Retail competition was the mechanism chosen to ensure pass-through of workably competitive wholesale prices to final consumers who were passive in terms of their load. Financial (contract) markets worked in tandem with the physical wholesale market so that retailers could hedge their price risk. Importantly, revenues from hedging and ancillary services were priced by generators when bidding in the NEM

This project aims at assessing the competitiveness of Australian electricity retail markets in the NEM jurisdictions. As it is not possible to measure competitiveness directly, indirect measures include market concentration, entry, price dispersion, innovation, cost reflectiveness, and the easiness of switching suppliers. While there are ongoing assessments of competition by various Australian regulators based on ‘casual evidence’, our analysis will use econometric techniques. Here are some useful references:

  • Goncalves, R. and F. Menezes, ‘Market-Wide Impact of Renewables on Electricity Prices in Australia,’ Economic Record, 98(320), pp. 1-21. (https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/ecorec/v98y2022i320p1-21.html).
  • Goncalves, R. and F. Menezes, ‘The price impacts of the exit of the Hazelwood coal power plant,’ Discussion paper, April 2022.
Expected outcomes and deliverables

Scholars will gain skills in data collection and analysis and will be involved in specific tasks. Expected outcomes include preliminary and final presentations, and a written report.

Suitable for:

This project is open to applications from students who have completed ECON2030 and ECON2300. Preference will be given to those with web-based programming skills (e.g. web scraping for information).

Primary supervisor

Professor Flavio Menezes. Please feel free to contact Professor Menezes at f.menezes@uq.edu.au prior to applying.


 

The economics of hydrogen

Project duration

6 weeks from 28 November 2022, 20 hours per week

Initial briefing and weekly meetings via Zoom or in person. Work will be done remotely.

Description

There is great hope that a green hydrogen industry will emerge in Australia as we pursue net zero by 2050. We have hydrogen strategies at the federal government level (https://www.industry.gov.au/data-and-publications/australias-national-hydrogen-strategy) and also at the level of states (e.g., https://www.industry.gov.au/data-and-publications/australias-national-hydrogen-strategy and https://www.epw.qld.gov.au/about/initiatives/hydrogen/qld).

Yet, we are still very far from the $2 per kilogram for hydrogen production goal that would allow it to become a competitive fuel. The aim of this project two-fold. The first goal is to map out the existing initiatives around Australia to promote the green hydrogen industry. The second goal consists of reviewing the recent academic and industry literature on the economics of hydrogen.

Expected outcomes and deliverables

Scholars will gain skills in preparing a literature review, collecting data, undertaking analysis, and will be involved in specific tasks. Expected outcomes include preliminary and final presentations, and a written report.

Suitable for:

This project is open to applications from students who have completed ECON2030 and ECON2300. Preference will be given to those with web-based programming skills (e.g. web scraping for information).

Primary supervisor

Professor Flavio Menezes. Please feel free to contact Professor Menezes at f.menezes@uq.edu.au prior to applying.

 

Australian Institute for Business and Economics

Contact


 Phone: +61 7 334 69250
 Email: enquiries@aibe.uq.edu.au

Level 5, Sir Llew Edwards Building (#14)
The University of Queensland
St Lucia QLD 4072