Bernie Goldie

ARC research grants success across the disciplines

Australian Research Council (ARC) funding of more than $10.6 million will allow University of Wollongong researchers to tackle a range of projects ranging from mapping climate change in Antarctica, investigating the next generation of solar cells to developing antibacterial agents.

The Minister for Innovation, Industry Science and Research, Senator Kim Car, announced the ARC National Competitive Grants Program in Canberra yesterday (25 October) which saw UOW awarded 25 Discovery Projects and three Linkage Project Scheme grants. Linkage grants involve universities working with external partners.

UOW’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Judy Raper, who was in Canberra for the announcement, said Wollongong had achieved an excellent result with the grants spread across most of the University’s faculties and areas of research strength.

The Faculty of Science did particularly well, having been awarded almost $4.8 million for eight Discovery grants and two of the three Linkage grants. This includes researchers from the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute (IPRI) winning more than $2.1 million in funding for three Discovery grants, including two Australian Research Fellowships, an Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship and one Linkage grant.

Engineering was awarded a total of $2.3 million for five Discovery grants and one Linkage grant. Informatics was awarded a total of $1.38 million for five Discovery grants. Arts was awarded a total of $222,000 for two Discovery grants.

The following fellowships were awarded as part of the Discovery Projects:

Australian Professorial Fellowship (APF) awarded to:

• Professor Geoff Spinks (Engineering)

Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship (QEII) awarded to:

• Professor Sara Dolnicar (Commerce)

Australian Research Fellowships (ARF) awarded to:

• Dr Michael Higgins (Science)

• Dr Attila Mozer (Science)

Australian Postdoctoral Fellowships (APD) awarded to:

• Mr Shulei Chou (Engineering)

• Dr Tracey Clarke (Science)

In the Linkage grants an Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship was awarded to Dr Mark Ooi (Science).

Professor Raper said that particular congratulations should go to Professor Dolnicar (Director of the Institute for Innovation in Business and Social Research) who was awarded a total of $1.46 million for a QEII Fellowship to develop market segmentation tools that allow businesses to better identify and target clients both in the commercial and non-profit sectors --including in tourism, foster care and climate change. This is the first QEII fellowship awarded to a UOW marketing researcher.

She noted also that Professor Spinks (Engineering) received $800,000 for an Australian Professorial Fellowship to develop artificial muscles for micro-machines (e.g. digital cameras), as well as medical prosthetics and robots.

And Professor Raper highlighted that Professor Sharon Robinson (Science) was awarded a total of $690,000 for a Discovery grant to determine the extent to which climate change is affecting Antarctica using polar mosses.

A list of successful UOW researchers and funded projects is available at here