Commerce professor a standout grant recipient
When the Minister for Innovation, Industry Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, recently announced the 2010 Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Scheme Grants in Canberra, one of the University of Wollongong recipients gained the single highest amount awarded to any of the overall 922 grant proposals.
UOW was awarded 25 Discovery Projects and three Linkage Project Scheme grants worth more than $10.6 million with Professor Sara Dolnicar from the Faculty of Commerce and Director of the Institute for Innovation in Business and Social Research (IIBSoR) being awarded $1.46 million.
Her project will investigate improving market segmentation methodology.
Businesses embrace market segmentation to identify and target clients. However, poor segmentation analysis leads to poor segment choice. “Our project develops tools to improve segmentation analysis,” Professor Dolnicar said.
“We will test the resulting toolbox in tourism, foster care and climate change mitigating behaviours, and produce usable, transferable recommendations.”
As part of the grant, Professor Dolnicar was also awarded a Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Fellowship that provides opportunities for established researchers to undertake research of national and international significance. QEIIs encourage research in Australia by postdoctoral graduates of exceptional promise and proven capacity for original work. No QEII has ever been awarded to a marketing researcher since the ARC Discovery Grant Scheme was introduced in 2002.
“I am very excited to be awarded this grant. It gives me and my research colleagues the opportunity to investigate many of the unresolved problems with market segmentation analysis which seriously threaten the validity of segmentation analysis conducted for businesses and used by businesses to make long-term strategic decisions,” Professor Dolnicar said.
Dean of UOW’s Faculty of Commerce, Professor Trevor Spedding, said the grant was a significant contribution for the Faculty of Commerce and the University.
“This is the biggest grant the faculty has received from the ARC and really puts Australia on the map for business innovation research,” he said.
“The grant is also the only QEII ever won by Commerce and it’s fantastic for the Institute for Innovation in Business and Social Research to be awarded and recognised in its first year of operation.”
Professor Dolnicar and her team plan to begin the research project early in 2011.