Innovation Incubations

CREATE’s innovative incubations of both research and researchers are fostered through:

  • proof of concept work via pilot studies
  • undergraduate student research
  • research higher degree cohorts.
Poop It Kit

The Poop it Kit

A Research Innovation to address a real-world problem: The Poop it Kit

Constipation is presenting as a real concern affecting up to 30% of children in Australia and the western world. These alterations in normal bowel functioning can lead to physical and psychosocial issues including learning difficulties. Nurses play a role in developing innovative health promotion activities about this topic for children.

In 2020, a group of CQUniversity nursing researchers (Reid-Searl, Crowley, Blunt, Anderson and Coll) implemented and evaluated an innovation for children relating to healthy bowel functioning. The innovation was The Poop it Kit.

The ‘Poop it Kit’, is geared at children between 4- 8 years of age. The kit includes fun and innovative resources including 6 books, a game, a toilet door poster, a colouring-in book, a user guide and toys. The features of the kit include seven different Poo characters adapted from the Bristol Stool chart.

Poop It Characters

The resources in the kit have a focus on raising awareness about healthy bowel functioning. Topics include;

  • the different types of poo,
  • the anatomy and physiology of bowel functioning,
  • prevention of constipation,
  • diet and healthy bowel functioning,
  • correct positioning on the toilet,
  • ignoring the urge to go and holding on
  • and fears about going to the toilet.
Poop it Kit resources sitting on a table

For more information on the Poop It Kit, contact Professor Kerry Reid-Searl email:

Poop it Kit Information

Creating Research Opportunities Collaborative

Five members of the Australasian Council for Undergraduate Research MoHB Team

The Creating Research Opportunities Collaborative is an initiative of the Motivation of Health Behaviours Lab (MoHB Lab), and CREATE. It builds on earlier work of the Rising Star project for undergraduate research and research mentoring sponsored by CQUniversity from 2016-2018.

Through collaborative research mentoring, the CROCS initiative aims to positively impact:

  1. student retention in undergraduate and postgraduate coursework degree units
  2. pathway enrolments into masters-by-research and doctoral studies
  3. research supervisor support and training via mentoring of undergraduate, postgraduate coursework, and early career researchers.

In 2020, CROC researchers are delivering:

  • Online Conference for Undergraduate Research in Australia (OCURA), ‘Rising to the Challenge’ 17-18 September presented by MoHB Lab
CROC Staff Conference team members manning a booth
  • Impact research project establishing baseline data (secondary data from MoHB Lab students, and evaluation data from the Rising Stars program)
  • A proof of concept virtual and in-person student researcher community hub

For more information on this initiative, contact:

The MoHB Lab

Creative Arts Research Training Academy (CARTA)

CARTA presentation with Dr Charmaine O'Brien

This is a new venture for the Centre, and one which mobilises the strategic development of Research Higher Degree students and supervisory capabilities that may be explored with other Academies during the next triennium of the Centre’s operation.

CARTA’s purpose is to foster a dynamic and targeted research training cohort that draws in disciplinary, methodological and pedagogical expertise to: enhance the quality of students’ research projects; improve the student experience; build capacity for RHD growth (domestic and international); increase the supervision capacity of current staff; and enhance the external profile of creative arts research at CQUniversity.

Launched in September 2018, CARTA sits within the School of Education & the Arts. The leadership team includes Dr Elizabeth Ellison and Professor Craig Batty.

CARTA students and presenters posing extravagantly with each other

What do I need to do?

Students are expected to attend as many of the residentials as possible, and as such are encouraged to factor travel for CARTA events into their research plans and CQU-funded budgets. Students are also encouraged to discuss their involvement with their supervisors. CARTA does not take the place of your supervision panel.

Students are also expected to contribute to the research culture of CARTA. This means presenting work in progress, participating in workshops, and being part of a dynamic cohort of creative arts researchers and practitioners.

CARTA will also actively build its RHD cohort, with a focus on off-shore (fee-paying) enrolments, as well as domestic candidates, building institutional partnerships, and continuing its excellent record of on-time completions. Through targeted supervisor training and professional development, and research outreach, CARTA will also work within CREATE, and with the School of Graduate Research, to expand CARTA’s supervisory capacity.

CARTA workshop attendees sitting around conference table with Dr Lee McGowan

I’m interested in studying at CQU in CARTA. What do I do?

In the first instance, interested students are encouraged to visit the Research Higher Degrees website for general information about RHDs, including possible project topics, fees, eligibility requirements, and scholarships. If you are considering studying a Master of Arts (Research) or a Doctor of Philosophy in the creative arts, please then contact the CARTA team via email: with a rough overview of your intended topic. The team will then provide you with more information including potential supervisors and capacity, as well as the appropriate paperwork for submitting an application.

Identifying Teaching Strategies to Engage School-aged Distance Students in Regional Australia – Seed Grant Project 2017


Dr Lois Harris, Dr Jo Dargusch, Corey Bloomfield, Professor Kate Ames


Limited attention had been paid in Australia to distance education in compulsory school contexts, particularly in relation to diverse cohorts. This pilot project aimed to identify engagement strategies teachers at a regional school of distance education used to support the engagement and learning of school-aged students. This study has shed light on how teachers adapt teaching strategies to cater for a diverse student body via online learning platforms.

Two publications have come from this study and the researchers are continuing discussions with the Queensland Department of Education to determine the scalability and relevance of this project to future collaborative endeavours:

  1. Ames, K., Dargusch, J., Harris, L., & Bloomfield, C. (2020). ‘So you can make it fast or make it up’: K-12 teacher perspectives on challenges and innovation when engaging diverse students studying by distance educationThe Australian Educational Researcher. doi:10.1007/s13384-020-00395-8
  2. Harris, L., Dargusch, J., Ames, K., & Bloomfield, C. (2020). Catering for ‘very different kids’: distance education teachers’ understandings of and strategies for student engagement. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 1-17. doi:10.1080/13603116.2020.1735543

Doctoral Supervision project – Seed grant project


Professor Donna Brien, Professor Craig Batty, Dr Elizabeth Ellison, Associate Professor Alison Owens (ACU + adjunct)


This project investigated student experiences of the doctoral journey in the creative arts and humanities. Using a workshop and collaborative editing process, this project culminated in an edited collection featuring student voices – something less common in publications of this type.


  1. Brien, Donna, Batty, Craig, Ellison, Elizabeth and Alison Owens (eds) (2019). 'The Doctoral Experience: Student Stories from the Creative Arts and Humanities'. Palgrave Macmillan.
  2. Owens, A., Brien, D. L., Ellison, L., & Batty, C. (2020). 'Student reflections on doctoral learning: challenges and breakthroughs'. Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, 11(1): 107-122.
  3. Brien, Donna, Owens, Alison, Batty, Craig, and Elizabeth Ellison (2019). ‘Investigating candidates’ research experience beyond the thesis: the peripheral world of the doctorate’. In TEXT: journal of writing and writing courses, spec iss 57. [open access].

STEM pie chart

The Silo Project

SILO is an acronym for Scientifically Integrated Learning Outcomes. A design-based research methodology is used to construct 28 STEM projects which can embody learning throughout the primary school years. The two research questions for the SILO project are about the translation of research to bridge the gap between theory and practice:

  1. How can co-design of research between research and education agencies be effectively undertaken to improve quality and usability of project findings and recommendations?
  2. How does evaluation and translation of research best occur in classrooms and schools?

These questions have been identified as priority research areas by the Queensland Department of Education under the priority research theme ‘Empowered learners’.

Four colourful robot cartoons

Digital Scholarship

Digital scholarship is about the creation of multimodal theses and dissertations at the Masters and PhD level. The affordances of multimodality at this level have been shown to improve both the quality and visibility of the research findings.


  1. Jacobs, B. (2020). A transdisciplinary protocol for digital scholarship. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities. Advance online publication.
  2. Jacobs, B. (2018, September). In search of the multimodal thesis. In Eighth Annual Conference of the United States Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Association (USETDA). Denver, CO.
  3. Examples from a multimodal PhD dissertation can be seen in a video presentation titled The future of digital scholarship.

For more information on the Silo Project or Digital Scholarship, contact Dr Brendan Jacobs, email: