Dr Short has undertaken sociological research in a range of fields including impacts of natural disasters, health behaviour, formal and informal welfare relations, public-private partnerships, vulnerability, gender and development. Increasingly, her research has been focused upon household vulnerabilities and the political economy of livelihoods – around housing access in the Australian context, and microcredit and migration as major livelihood strategies in the developing world. Her recent research highlights the importance of understanding the impacts of shifting market-state-community relations in changing policy environments of the first world and globalising contexts of the developing world.
Dr Short has led a number of Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) projects, focused principally upon the housing experiences of vulnerable households in the private rental sector in Australia, and, working with postgraduate and research higher degree students, has supervised a range of projects focused upon gender, vulnerability and economic change in development contexts. These include, for example, studies of ethnic minority women’s participation in development projects in Central Vietnam, graduate transitions to new work environments in post Doi Moi Vietnam, the impacts of microcredit upon women’s empowerment and poverty in Bangladesh, and a study of the drivers and outcomes of international migration and remittances in two villages in Bangladesh.
Throughout her career, Dr Short has engaged in applied research with a policy focus, including major studies commissioned by the Commonwealth Government Social Welfare Commission, the Queensland Department of Transport, the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), and for the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). She has a wealth of experience in supervising and mentoring early career academics, including research higher degree candidates, and in managing teams of junior and mid-career research staff in multi-site projects.