$30m for critical research that benefits all Australians

1 November 2016

The Australian Research Council (ARC) today announced University of Sydney researchers would receive $31.4 million for 79 projects in 2017, including 54 Discovery Projects and 13 Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said Sydney would also receive and seven Future Fellowships, four Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grants and one Discovery Indigenous grant.

“This funding represents a significant investment in a wide variety of fundamental and applied research projects, growing Australia’s research capacity and infrastructure, and supporting the next generation of researchers,” Minister Birmingham said.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Duncan Ivison said the results were an outstanding achievement that reflected the diverse nature of research being conducted at the University.

“From improving our understanding of stars and planets and designing the clean energy highway, to understanding how we maintain vitamin D levels in winter and examining the human rights abuses of migrant workers – the diverse range of Sydney-led projects announced by the ARC in the latest round of funding will further knowledge and improve technologies that benefit the Australian community and the world.”

The ARC grants awarded to University of Sydney researchers include:

  • Discovery Project to Dr Michael Harre and his team to determine whether the Australian housing market is at risk of a collapse. This project is expected to provide an unprecedented ability to economically zoom in and out on different suburbs, cities and regions across Australia to predict, measure and mitigate systemic risks.
  • Discovery Project to Dr Kieron Rooney and his team to understand whether removing sugar from the diet is enough to reverse the damage caused by excess consumption.
  • Discovery Project to Professor Fariba Dehghani and her team to design a new wound healing device that mimics human skin.
  • Discovery Project to Professor Nicholas Enfield and his team will use language to study the causes and effects of ethnic diversity, focusing on a Southeast Asian case study.
  • Discovery Project to Dr Catherine Grueber and her team will provide environmental policymakers with a new framework for protecting threatened species in Australia and around the world.
  • Discovery Indigenous grant to contemporary musician Mr Clint Bracknell to explore how song can preserve vanishing Indigenous languages.
  • Discovery Early Career Researcher Award to Dr Amol Choudhary to advance optical frequency comb technology, which will improve our ability to detect Earth-like planets as well as dramatically improve internet capacity and global positioning systems (GPS).
  • Future Fellowship to Dr Anna Hickey-Moody to strengthen interfaith relationships through youth arts workshops that generate positive images of Muslim and non-Muslim Australian youth belonging together.
  • $1 million Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grant to Dr Stefano Palomba and his team to establish a powerful multiple ion beam system that will help scientists observe and manipulate the structure of materials at the nanometre scale.

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