Research Edge

December 2015 - Issue 7
UniSA School of Marketing PhD student Patricia Williamson

China’s taste for Australian red wine

With a value estimated at over $1.7 billion China’s wine import market is growing rapidly.

Finding out what Chinese consumers like in a glass of red is UniSA School of Marketing PhD student and Senior Sensory Scientist at The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI), Patricia Williamson.

Patricia has been working out the most important factors that influence Chinese consumers’ purchasing choice of red wine with some interesting results.

“After doing my literature review I discovered that cultural differences and competition from other wine-producing countries are barriers to overcome,” Patricia says.

“Wine is generally not considered an everyday beverage like in Australia.

 “It’s associated with sophistication and is not so accessible to the total population because of the high costs.

“Research has also shown that health concerns are an important factor in Chinese consumers’ decision to drink red wine and that Australian wine is a reliable choice for everyday drinking for some Chinese consumers, but for special occasions French wine is the choice.

“So we decided to investigate how to improve the image of Australian wine compared to more established French wines.

“So far I have found that information about Australia has a considerable impact on choice.

“Buyers’ reviews are the most important attribute influencing choice of wine and messages about the environment and taste of wine are most effective to increasing the choice of Australian wine compared to French, Italian or Chinese wine.”

The project aims to help Australian wine producers break into China’s growing wine import market said to be worth over $1.7 billion.

Led by The Australian Wine Research Institute, Research Manager - Sensory and Flavour, Dr Leigh Francis, in collaboration with UniSA Ehrenberg Bass Institute for Marketing Science, Dr. Larry Lockshin and Geisenheim University, Institute for Business and Market Research, Simone Mueller-Loose, Patricia presented phase one of her studies in a webinar earlier this year revealing the influence of advertorial-type articles about Australia on Chinese consumers.

“Working with Wine Australia, an industry advisory group and a Chinese wine consultant, we prepared five different short advertorial-type articles and tested them online with over 1600 imported red wine consumers in China,” Patricia says.

“The article about Australia’s clean environment and the article about Chinese consumers preferring the taste of Australian wine were the most effective.

For eight years Patricia has been coordinating sensory studies and running consumer research projects after developing an interest in the work that the AWRI was doing with the UniSA Ehrenberg Bass Institute for Marketing Science.

Recently Patricia conducted a tasting of wines from France, China and Australia in both blind (not knowing the label) and informed conditions (with picture of label and price) for the project.

“When tasting wines with label and price information, price was the most important factor related to liking, but some sensory attributes (specific appearance, aroma and taste characteristics) also contributed to the model,” Patricia says.

“For example, consumers were driven negatively by unbalanced wines in terms of sour and sweetness.

“Sweetness was actually a negative driver for most of consumers in the informed condition, but when tasting the wines blind, most of them preferred slightly sweeter wines.

“One group of consumers (30% of the total) was not influenced by price. These consumers liked wines with a glossy appearance, sweet aftertaste and blackcurrant flavour,” she says.

Under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement tariffs on Australian wine imports will be eliminated within four years, which is good news for Australia’s third largest export market for wine.

Thanks to the research of people like Patricia into the purchasing preferences of Chinese consumers of red wine, Australian producers are sure to find the right blend.

UniSA PhD student Wesley McTernan

Fighting mental illness in remote Australia

A unique mateship between fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) mining workers is helping to combat mental illness.

Wesley McTernan, a PhD student with the School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy is investigating the social supports that are becoming increasingly vital between co-workers.

Earlier this year at the International Congress of Occupational Health in Seoul, South Korea, Wes presented the “buffering effect” of co-workers among Australian mining workers.

“What our research supported is that there is a mutual relationship of causality between work-family conflict, i.e. difficulty meeting family responsibilities because of demands at work, and experiences of depression,” Wes says.

“That is to say that sometimes work gets in the way of our family lives, which elicits stress, and decreases our mood.

“What we see is that experiences of depression hinder our ability to handle conflict between the work and family domain.

“When we are depressed we withdraw socially and experience lethargy, which exacerbates this conflict.

“What we observed however was that this relationship was buffered by social support between co-workers.

“This buffering effect was unique to mining workers,” he says.

A key part of Wes’ research is investigating the impact that FIFO work has on family and friends.

With input from some Australian mining companies and a support group, Mining Families Matter, Wes ran a survey for mining partners.

“It’s important not to overlook the families,” he says.

“People think of the mining industry as quite a tough industry to work in but it has knock-on effects as well.

“The survey tool had questions relating to physical health and mental health, such as symptoms of depression and anxiety and questions that measure the conflict between work and personal life.

“For mining partners we actually asked how their partners work conflicts with their home lives.

“This included questions like maintaining family duties as well as maintaining social lives outside of work.

“One thing to think about is a lot of couples have social lives together, and that can be quite difficult to maintain when one partner’s always away,” he says.

Wes’ research findings has indicated high rates of depression, twice as high as the average person, anxiety, sleep problems and other health problems like headaches and gastrological issues.

Wes says the buffering effect is presenting a phenomenon to capitalise on.

“Miners I interviewed described each other as family,” he says.

“Remote mining workers live, eat, and work together – in fact they tend to see more of each other than their friends and family.

“This leads to increased social interaction and cohesion among the workers, and ultimately, a typically greater social support.

“It was a really interesting thing to see, and we could expect to see it among other types of remote workers as well, e.g. off-shore oil and gas workers.”

Wes moved from the rural town of Naracoorte, South Australia to Adelaide as a teenager to complete his tertiary education before studying psychology at the University of South Australia.

Although he lives in the city, Wes says his rural background keeps finding a way back into his research.

“I think growing up in a rural area contributed to my interest in studying what is a very rural industry,” Wes says.

“Mining work is typically in very remote and isolated regions, staffed by FIFO workers from major cities.

“As someone from a rural area working in the city, I could relate to people from urban areas working in the country.”

The ICOH conference in South Korea has shown Wes how the research fits the broader field of occupational health “by seeing what is happening on the other side of the world” he says.

“Psychological health is becoming an increasing area of interest at work, on a global scale.”

“I spoke with researchers from developing regions, many of which come from areas with much poorer safety standards – but we are seeing a positive change.

“It wasn’t all work though. We found time to visit the markets, temples, and climb Mt Bukhansen.”

Mr Wes McTernan is a doctoral student at the Asia Pacific Centre for Work Health and Safety at the University of South Australia.

Recent publications include:
The effects of proximity on work and home relationships: Empirical research with remote miners (conference paper)
Co-worker social support in isolated work groups: and it’s mitigating role on the work-family conflict-depression loss spiral (Conference Paper)

Erin McGillick

Travel with the Maurice de Rohan International Scholarship

How does $17,500 towards travel and research in the US or UK sound?

The Maurice de Rohan International Scholarship offers Australian PhD students at the University of South Australia the opportunity to gain an international perspective and improve their thesis through research, data collection or work with institutional or industry partners.

The scholarship covers associated expenses, and provides a living allowance for your time overseas.

Applications for the 2016 scholarship open January 1, and will be accepted until 15 April.

See the Maurice de Rohan International Scholarship webpage for details on eligibility and how to apply.

Lanoi Maloiy

International Travel Grants: up to $5,000 for travel and living expenses

Are you in your second or early third year of candidacy (or equivalent for part-time)? Are you planning an overseas visit between July and December 2016 to enhance your research experience and improve your thesis? Start your application to win one of the International Travel Grants now.

These grants provide funding towards:

  • gaining industry or academic experience at world-class institutions or industry partners
  • overseas field trips for the purpose of data collection that enhances the thesis (eg. produces a paper as a result)
  • presenting a refereed conference paper
  • collaborating for the purpose of research partnerships, such as co-authoring a refereed journal article.

Deadline for applications is 15 February 2016.

Full eligibility criteria and instructions to apply can be found on the Research degree International Travel Grants webpage.

Register now for the Quality in Postgraduate Research (QPR) Conference

The Quality in Postgraduate Research (QPR) conference has been held biennially in Adelaide since 1994. It is the world’s largest and longest standing conference on doctoral education.

QPR is a vibrant meeting place for research degree supervisors, postgraduate students, academic developers, decision makers, administrators, members of government agencies and those who conduct research in postgraduate education and associated areas.

The next QPR, Society, Economy & Communities: 21st Century Innovations in Doctoral Education, will take place on 20-22 April 2016 at the National Wine Centre.

Early bird registrations close 17 February 2016.

More information, including registration details and past conference’s materials, is available on the QPR website.

Applications now open for the HDA & Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation PhD (top-up) Scholarships 2016

Healthy Development Adelaide (HDA) is calling for applications to HDA & Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation PhD Scholarships, valued at $5,000 per annum for up to 3 years.

Domestic and international students who are commencing a PhD in 2016 in the areas of Healthy Development and holding a competitive postgraduate scholarship, are invited to apply. Disciplines include, but are not restricted to, biochemistry, biomedical engineering, biostatistics, demography, dentistry, economics, education, endocrinology, epidemiology, ethics, genetics, indigenous health, law, nutrition, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, pharmacology, physiology, politics, psychiatry, psychology, public health and sociology.

Applications are due by no later than Friday 29 January 2016.

More information about eligibility, conditions of funding and how to apply is available on the HDA Scholars page.

The Australian Federation of University Women-South Australia 2016 Bursaries

The Australian Federation of University Women – South Australia (AFUW-SA) Inc. Trust Fund provides bursaries to assist tertiary students at South Australian universities.

There have been some changes in 2016 offerings, including the offering for the first time a bursary named for Graduate Women SA’s Centenary. The Trustees are also offering one bursary specifically for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander women in 2016, and commemorating the late Maria Lane.

The following bursaries are available for research degree students in 2016. Applications close 31 March 2016:

  • Graduate Women SA Centenary Bursary - $9000 (up to three of $3000)
  • Maria Lane Postgraduate Bursary - $1500
  • Winifred E. Preedy Bursary - $2500
  • Trish Ryan Bursary - $2000

Further information including eligibility criteria and application forms is available on the AFUW-SA Inc. Trust Fund website.

Library research guides

Did you know that the Library has an extensive suite of online research guides which you can access 24 x 7. These guides can be accessed from the Researchers > Research Guides page or from the Ask Research portal. Available guides include:

Use the Research Quick Guides to find your h-index, most cited articles, journal impact factors, and journal metrics.

The online research guides complement the on campus workshops, which will be running again in 2016. Check the online calendar for details in 2016

Updated Academic Regulations for Higher Degrees by Research

You may be interested to know that the Academic Regulations for Higher Degrees by Research have been updated. The key changes involve incorporating elements of the strategic initiative Transforming the PhD, which aims to deliver a more structured PhD at UniSA. For those not familiar with this initiative its key elements are:

  • Suitable coursework and transferable skills components
  • Supervisory Panels; and
  • A video defence of the thesis.

In the Regulations the timing and composition of supervisory panels has been clarified. Establishing panels will broaden the support available to research degree students, contribute to greater exposure to different approaches to research and an understanding of the challenges faced by end-users of research.

All students who commence a PhD from 1 January 2016 will participate in a defence of their thesis as part of their examination procedure. The defence gives students an opportunity to interact with leading researchers in their field, internationally. If you are a current research degree student you can choose to participate in an oral defence of your thesis and you should discuss this option further with your supervisor.

The time limit for submission of the research proposal has been extended from six months to a maximum of twelve months, depending on the academic discipline. Students commencing from January 2016 will be advised of when their research proposal is due.

Other important changes to the Regulations reflect process and system changes, including the transition to the new research degree student administration system and moves toward an online thesis examination process.

You may also notice that the Regulations have been streamlined by removing several appendices involving the presentation of research statements, proposals and theses, and replacing them with guidelines.

The updated Regulations will take effect from 1 January 2016.

You can access the current Regulations and a summary of the changes to be applied from January 2016 here.

Moving paperless with Research Administration in Medici

UniSA is moving research administration into Medici to enable more effective, efficient and accurate student administration and service delivery.

Some of the exciting changes include:

  • New research portals for staff and students
  • Online processing of Review of Progress
  • Online thesis submission

In particular, from 2016, a number of processes will partly or fully become online workflows. You will be able to view more information and keep track of the progress in your research portal.

  1. You, your supervisor, Research Education Portfolio Leader (REPL) or equivalent will access, fill in and submit your Review of Progress in the research portals.
  2. All theses will be submitted electronically through the portals. No submission forms will be required. You will only need to provide hard copies of your thesis where an examiner requests one.
  3. You will be able to view scholarship information and scholarship payments in the student portal.

The following changes in enrolments and fees administration also become effective from 2016:

  • Research students will always be enrolled while you are active in a program. This includes while on leave, and during thesis submission, examination and corrections. Enrolment will only end when you complete, withdraw or are suspended from your program.
  • Fees will be based on the actual number of days a student is ‘active’ in candidature, i.e. enrolled days less leave, adjusted for load and up until thesis submission. If you are receiving the Research Training Scheme (RTS), a tuition fee scholarship or sponsorship, you will not be liable for fees until your RTS or scholarship has expired. Once the RTS or scholarship has expired, you will be liable for fees for each day that you consume load until you submit your thesis for examination.

Further information, including answers to commonly asked questions, is available on the research degree websites for students and staff.

Update for Supervisors - UN & Australian Autonomous Sanctions

Sanctions prohibit the University from dealing with specific individuals and entities, or providing those individuals, entities and specified countries with access to specific types of training, services and resources.

All University staff and students are required to take reasonable precautions and exercise due diligence to prevent conduct that may breach United Nations (UN) and Australian Autonomous Sanctions.

Sanctions could affect your ability to recruit research degree students, invite visiting students and academics or to collaborate internationally. Further information on how sanctions could affect you is available at

This site contains lots of useful information including risk assessments and training material to help you in understanding sanctions and complying with them.

It is also recommended to regularly check the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website as sanctions are updated on a regular basis.

Update for Administrators - e-Grad School - online workshops for research administration professionals

Registration is open for the online Developing Your Career for Professionals module designed specifically for research administration professionals. This 5 week online course will run from 12 March to 22 April 2016. There will be a break for Easter from 26 March to 1 April.

The modules are designed to develop and advance core professional skills for all research administrators and research training professionals.

This module requires a time commitment of approximately 3 hours per week and is facilitated by an expert teacher skilled in the subject area and the research environment. The online discussion forum which is part of the module, allows participants to interact regularly and develop broader networks in their field. All participants who complete the module requirements will receive a Certificate of Completion.

The module aims to provide participants with:

  • A better understanding of their current skill set and their future training needs
  • Improved knowledge base of the job market and career building strategies
  • Good grasp of the development and use of Career Portfolios in setting goals and seeking new employment or promotion

The discounted cost per UniSA participant is $308 incl. GST.

Registrations close Friday 26 February 2016. For further information contact the e-Grad School Coordinator at

UN & Australian Autonomous Sanctions

Sanctions prohibit the University from dealing with specific individuals and entities, or providing those individuals, entities and specified countries with access to specific types of training, services and resources.

All University staff and students are required to take reasonable precautions and exercise due diligence to prevent conduct that may breach United Nations (UN) and Australian Autonomous Sanctions.

Sanctions could affect recruitment of research degree students, invitations to visiting students and academics and international collaborate. Further information on sanctions is available at

This site contains lots of useful information including risk assessments and training material to help you in understanding sanctions and complying with them.

It is also recommended to regularly check the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website as sanctions are updated on a regular basis.

Demi Gao

Quick facts

> Graduation ceremonies for onshore international students will be held on 22 December at Adelaide Convention Centre. Don’t forget to confirm your attendance preferences on myGraduation by Saturday 12 December.

> Submit your SP5 review of progress paperwork to Graduate Research office now and get ready to do everything online from 2016.

> A reminder of the Graduate Research Christmas closure dates: the office will be closed from 5pm on 23 December and reopen at 9am on 4 January

> Library resources and services over the Christmas New Year period. The Library will be closing on Wednesday 23rd of December, reopening on Monday the 4th of January 2016. Many Library resources are available 24x7 from the Library website.

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