Dr Jason Ferris

Senior Research Fellow

Institute for Social Science Research
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Affiliate Academic

School of Social Science
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
j.ferris@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 56070

Overview

Dr Jason Ferris is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) at The University of Queensland and holds an NHMRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. He leads the Drug Alcohol Crime Research (DACR) Program and works within the Research Methods and Social Statistics (ReMASS) Program. He is an Affiliate Senior Research Fellow with the School of Social Science, UQ, and is the chief biostatistician for the Global Drug Survey. He is involved in a number of key projects: including the evaluation of ProjectSTOP (a decision-making national database for pharmacists aimed at preventing the use of pseudoephedrine based products as a precursor in the manufacture of methamphetamine), the Queensland evaluation of the 'Lockout' laws, and a national review of the links between random breath testing and alcohol-related road traffic accidents. Jason has almost 15 years of social science and public health research experience. He has a well-established publication record with a strong focus on alcohol and drug research and public health. With a Master degree in biostatistics he has well developed and expansive quantitative methods skills and a broad range of experience in many of the facets of both social science and medical research. In July 2014 his PhD on alcohol epidemiology was conferred.

As a senior statistician with ReMASS he develops and teaches training models in research methods and statistical analysis. The Institute for Social Science Research has been running these training courses since 2012: Methods for Social Analysis and Statistics (MFSAS). Since its inception in 2012 he has been course coordinator and trainer for a number of these training modules (see below). In 2016 he became the Director of MFSAS. Between 2016-2017 he was also the ISSR Co-postgraduate Coordinator.

MFSAS courses: -- Understanding Data -- Recognising Differences -- Understanding Differences -- Recognising Change -- Quantifying Relationships -- Stata: An introduction -- Stata: Code and graphics

In September, 2015, Dr Ferris received the University of Queenland, Early Career Researcher Award within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science. In September, 2014, Dr Ferris received a highly commended Early Career Researcher Award within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science.

Finally, Dr Ferris is an external consultant for ISSR providing expert advice in statistical analysis and quantitative methods.

Research Interests

  • Drug and alcohol research
  • Biostatistics and applied statistics research, design and methods
  • Longitudinal data analysis
  • Time series data analysis
  • Multi-level modelling
  • Global Drug Survey

Qualifications

  • PhD, The University of Queensland
  • Master of Biostatistics, University of Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), James Cook University

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • The Global Drug Survey (GDS) is the largest survey of drug users around the world. The GDS commenced in 2012 with data from 15,000 people representing 8 countries. In 2015 almost 102,000 people from over 30 countries completed a survey of their drug use: ever, last 12 months and recent use. We have data on over 100 different types of drugs: on the less typical drugs for example GHB, ketamine, and many Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) and the more common drugs for example cocaine, methamphetamines, cannabis and synthetic cannabis, and alcohol. If you are interested in change in patterns over time we also have GDS data from 2014 (72,000 people) and 2013 (25,000 people) and 2012 (15,000). The GDS team is international with chief and associated investigators from England, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, and here in Australia.

  • Strong evidence exists of an association between alcohol and drug consumption and violence. In 2014 the Queensland Government released the ‘Safe Night Out Strategy’ outlining its approach for dealing with alcohol and drug related violence, for example, the establishment of Safe Night Precincts, new laws for violent behaviour and police empowerment to respond quickly to alcohol and drug related violence. Our recent analysis of alcohol-related assaults in Queensland (January 1st 2004 to June 30th 2014) identified a stable and flat trend between January 2004 and December 2006. For the first nine months of 2007 there was a marked drop in the percentage of alcohol-related assaults and following the 3rd quarter of 2007 to June 30th 2014, the percentage of alcohol-related results continued to decline.

    This project will provide an analysis of trends over time (10 years) and the variations by time of day, day of week and location of the assault for three alcohol-related assault series: all assaults, domestic violence related assaults and assaults on Queensland Police. Among other areas the research will focus on: time of day, day of week and geographic location. This research will provide QLD police and policy makers with current information about alcohol related assault trends in Queensland to assist them to more effectively target resources and responses to alcohol related violence.

  • ProjectSTOP is a real time recording (RTR) system designed to reduce the diversion of pseudoephedrine-based products used in the production of methamphetamine. We are the only researchers in Australia to be given access to the ProjectSTOP transaction data by GuildLink. Our study aims to assess whether the RTR system, ProjectSTOP, has reduced the diversion of pseudoephedrine-based products into illicit drug manufacture in Queensland. To quantify the impact of ProjectSTOP we will analyse pseudoephedrine sales data (ProjectSTOP) and data from Queensland Police (offences related to the possession, production, or supply of methamphetamine as well as clandestine laboratory detections).

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Book

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • The Global Drug Survey (GDS) is the largest survey of drug users around the world. The GDS commenced in 2012 with data from 15,000 people representing 8 countries. In 2015 almost 102,000 people from over 30 countries completed a survey of their drug use: ever, last 12 months and recent use. We have data on over 100 different types of drugs: on the less typical drugs for example GHB, ketamine, and many Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) and the more common drugs for example cocaine, methamphetamines, cannabis and synthetic cannabis, and alcohol. If you are interested in change in patterns over time we also have GDS data from 2014 (72,000 people) and 2013 (25,000 people) and 2012 (15,000). The GDS team is international with chief and associated investigators from England, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, and here in Australia.

  • Strong evidence exists of an association between alcohol and drug consumption and violence. In 2014 the Queensland Government released the ‘Safe Night Out Strategy’ outlining its approach for dealing with alcohol and drug related violence, for example, the establishment of Safe Night Precincts, new laws for violent behaviour and police empowerment to respond quickly to alcohol and drug related violence. Our recent analysis of alcohol-related assaults in Queensland (January 1st 2004 to June 30th 2014) identified a stable and flat trend between January 2004 and December 2006. For the first nine months of 2007 there was a marked drop in the percentage of alcohol-related assaults and following the 3rd quarter of 2007 to June 30th 2014, the percentage of alcohol-related results continued to decline.

    This project will provide an analysis of trends over time (10 years) and the variations by time of day, day of week and location of the assault for three alcohol-related assault series: all assaults, domestic violence related assaults and assaults on Queensland Police. Among other areas the research will focus on: time of day, day of week and geographic location. This research will provide QLD police and policy makers with current information about alcohol related assault trends in Queensland to assist them to more effectively target resources and responses to alcohol related violence.

  • ProjectSTOP is a real time recording (RTR) system designed to reduce the diversion of pseudoephedrine-based products used in the production of methamphetamine. We are the only researchers in Australia to be given access to the ProjectSTOP transaction data by GuildLink. Our study aims to assess whether the RTR system, ProjectSTOP, has reduced the diversion of pseudoephedrine-based products into illicit drug manufacture in Queensland. To quantify the impact of ProjectSTOP we will analyse pseudoephedrine sales data (ProjectSTOP) and data from Queensland Police (offences related to the possession, production, or supply of methamphetamine as well as clandestine laboratory detections).

  • The Drug Alcohol and Crime Research Program currently has access to nationwide administrative data from 2000-2012 capturing random breath tests data, traffic crash data and licenced driver data. We are currently looking for RHD students interested in using these data sources to examine the links between RBTs and alcohol related traffic crashes.