Sydney researchers awarded ARC funding for 78 research projects

12 January 2022
$36m research funding
The University of Sydney has received more than $36 million from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to fund 78 research projects.

Acting Minister for Education and Youth, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, has announced $258.6 million for 587 Discovery Projects, with University of Sydney researchers leading the country by securing more than $30 million in funding for 67 Discovery Projects. The University also received $6.6 million in funding for six Linkage Projects and five Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grants.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Mark Scott, congratulated the researchers on their funding success.

“Our success in the latest ARC funding rounds, particularly in the Discovery Projects scheme where we lead the nation in outcomes, is outstanding and testament to the quality of our researchers across the university,” he said.

“I am also delighted to see our researchers collaborating with industry partners on important projects that will help improve the lives of Australians, for example our partnership with Cochlear Limited where we are working on revolutionary changes in implantable bionics."

Some highlights of projects awarded funding in the latest round include:

  • Professor Mikhail Prokopenko from the Faculty of Engineering and his team were awarded a $412,000 grant to explore high-resolution multiscale modelling of pandemics which will leverage demographic, genomic and epidemiological data to predict outcomes and potentially provide significant economic and social impact.
  • Associate Professor Ana Vila Concejo from the Faculty of Science and her team were awarded $524,000 to research fundamental geormorphic questions about the future of coral reefs and develop a gamechanger tool for the future management of the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Associate Professor Elizabeth Hill from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and her team were awarded $281,227 to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the working future of young people in advanced market economies.
  • Associate Professor Myfany Turpin from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and her team were awarded $442,000 to research the role of music in retaining Indigenous ecological and ceremonial knowledge in Central Australian Kaytete and Walpiri languages.
  • Professor Martin Tomitsch from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning and his team were awarded $468,525 to investigate if human understanding of autonomous vehicles in urban settings can improve safe behaviour and accelerate the uptake of autonomous vehicle systems in Australian cities.
  • Professor Kirrie Ballard from the Faculty of Medicine and Health and her team were awarded $417,516 to investigate how tongue control for speech is impacted by factors such as growth and foreign accent using physiological data to investigate how different speakers’ vocal tracts change to reshape their speech.
  • Professor John Nelson from the University of Sydney Business School and his team secured a $282,298 Linkage grant to explore ways to promote sustainable active travel as part of an integrated travel strategy for business partners, Transport for NSW.
  • Professor Marcela Bilek from the Faculty of ScienceFaculty of Engineering and Sydney Analytical and her team secured a $1,040,375 LIEF grant to develop an advanced materials synthesis and environmental characterisation facility to study materials’ structure and composition when exposed to a range of environments. The facility will be the first of its kind in Australia.

“While we celebrate our successes, we are also dismayed for our researchers who submitted grant applications that were recommended for funding through a rigorous peer review process only to be cancelled at the final stage by the acting minister for education," Professor Scott added.

“This action must be considered political interference and unacceptable for a process that relies on peer review to ensure academic integrity. We are calling for legislation to ensure the ARC can operate free from any such political interference in future.”

Discovery Projects

The Discovery Projects scheme provides grant funding to support research projects that may be undertaken by individual researchers or research teams.

Investigators Project Funding awarded
Professor Greg Neely; Professor Nicholas Casewell; Associate Professor Eivind Undheim; Dr Daniel Hesselson Using venoms to map critical and evolutionary conserved vulnerabilities $528,000
Associate Professor Ivan Kassal Charge and energy transport in disordered functional materials $381,000
Professor Renae Ryan; Emeritus Professor Trevor Hambley; Dr Amandeep Kaur Biologically inert probes to unravel nutrient directed cellular processing  $552,811
Professor Simon Ho; Professor Nathan Lo; Dr Hervé Sauquet Testing links between genomic and morphological evolutionary rates $461,510
Dr Lauren Monds; Dr Melanie Takarangi; Dr Jason Chin; Dr Mark Montebello; Dr Monica Semrad; Dr Heather Flowe Investigating memory reliability in intoxicated witnesses of crime $525,427
Professor Steven Armfield; Professor Chengwang Lei; Dr Nicholas Williamson Large Scale Natural Convection Boundary Layers with Non-Boussinesq Effects $393,529
Professor Kirrie Ballard; Dr Michael Proctor; Associate Professor Craig Jin; Dr Amelia Gully Developmental trajectory of tongue control for speech with real-time MRI $417,516
Professor Dr Jun Huang; Dr Weibin Liang; Professor Xiaoming Chen Tailoring metal-organic framework catalysts for carbon dioxide conversion $480,000
Associate Professor Ben Thornber; Associate Professor Matthew Cleary; Professor Vincent Wheatley; Dr Alexander Klimenko; Dr Adrian Pudsey; Professor Dr Graham Candler Advanced Combustion Modelling for Scramjets and Rotating Detonation Engines $500,000
Professor Michael Wheatland; Professor Andrew Melatos A Stress-relax Model for Stellar Flares $360,000
Dr Lijun Chang; Professor Jeffrey Yu Directionality-Aware Cohesive Subgraph Search over Directed Graphs $476,344
Professor Balwant Singh; Associate Professor Feike Dijkstra; Professor Georg Guggenberger Unlocking the anchors of soil organic carbon to manage climate change $480,000
Professor Jonathan Bland-Hawthorn; Professor Kenneth Freeman Galactic seismology: a new window on Milky Way's evolution $420,000
Professor Peter Rutledge; Dr Nicholas Coleman Resurrecting Ancient Proteins to Unlock New Catalytic Activity $530,000
Professor Martin Tomitsch; Dr Stewart Worrall; Dr Callum Parker; Professor Judy Kay; Professor Eduardo Nebot; Professor Dr Simon Marvin Shared-space interactions between people and autonomous vehicles $468,525
Professor Peter Tuthill; Dr Barnaby Norris; Professor Michael Withford; Dr Olivier Guyon Life among giants: Jovian exoplanets and the habitable zone $420,000
Dr Mahyar Shirvanimoghaddam; Professor Sarah Johnson; Dr Saeed Reza Khosravirad; Professor Mischa Dohler Channel Coding for Beyond 5G $480,000
Professor Stephen Bartlett; Associate Professor Robert Raussendorf Simulating and verifying quantum circuits $435,092
Professor David Airey; Professor Mark Jaksa Lightly Loaded Energy Farm Foundations in Cracked Desiccated Soil $250,000
Professor Kim Rasmussen; Professor Benjamin Schafer Analysis and design of midrise built-up cold-formed steel structures $390,000
Professor Hala Zreiqat; Dr Gurvinder Singh; Dr ZuFu Lu An anti-senescence nanoplatform and its underlying mechanism $505,000
Dr Tongliang Liu; Professor Dong Xu; Associate Professor Kun Zhang Transfer Learning Handling Causally Bilateral Shift $405,000
Associate Professor Florica Cirstea; Professor Yihong Du Singular solutions for nonlinear elliptic and parabolic equations $427,000
Professor Neal Peres Da Costa; Associate Professor Helen Mitchell; Dr Paul McMahon; Professor Robert Toft; Professor Clive Brown The shock of the old: Rediscovering the sounds of bel canto 1700-1900 $554,000
Associate Professor Cameron Logan; Professor Philip Goad; Dr AnnMarie Brennan; Ms Catherine Lassen; Professor Andrew Leach; Professor Dr Paolo Tombesi; Assistant Professor Denise Costanzo; Mr William Whitaker Locating Giurgola: From Philadelphia School to Global Practice $236,500
Dr Shelley Wickham; Dr Anna Waterhouse; Professor Marcela Bilek; Dr Mark Baldry; Dr Clara Tran Synthetic leukocytes: bio-inspired DNA nanorobots powered by flow $578,178
Dr Jane Andrew; Dr Max Baker Data breaches: A study of organisational disclosures $279,214
Dr Jonathan Spreer; Professor Francisco Santos Triangulations: linking geometry and topology with combinatorics $429,000
Dr Mary Christie; Associate Professor Marcus Heisler; Dr Fabio Zanini; Dr Cherie Gambley Elucidating the molecular basis of plant potyvirus resistance $544,230
Dr Giselle Yeo; Professor Anthony Weiss; Professor Clair Baldock; Professor Dr Janette Burgess Tuning mesenchymal stem cell lifespan, performance, and differentiation $570,000
Professor David Levinson; Professor Michael Bell; Dr Mohsen Ramezani; Professor Dr Kay Axhausen; Professor Dr Hai Yang Design of micro-decisions in automated transport $492,500
Associate Professor Leo Tzou; Dr Justin Tzou Microlocal Analysis - A Unified Approach for Geometric Models in Biology $405,000
Professor Lin Ye; Associate Professor Yixia (Sarah) Zhang; Professor Richard (Chunhui) Yang; Professor Deborah Kane Cleaning of tough paints on advanced composites using laser technologies $660,000
Associate Professor Serigne Lo; Associate Professor Jun Ma; Dr Benoit Liquet; Professor Stephane Heritier High Predictive Performance Models via Semi-Parametric Survival Regression $405,000
Professor Patrick Cullen; Dr Fengwang Li; Dr Renwu Zhou Plasma-catalytic bubbles for sustainable ammonia $462,539
Professor Donald McNeill; Professor Mark Tewdwr-Jones; Dr Dallas Rogers The university and the city $335,104
Associate Professor Archil Kobakhidze; Professor Mikhail Shaposhnikov Scale invariance: A new paradigm for particle physics and cosmology $360,000
Professor Athman Bouguettaya; Dr Hai Dong; Professor Elisa Bertino Adaptive and Ubiquitous Trust Framework for Internet of Things interactions $480,000
Professor Martin Wechselberger A coordinate-independent theory for multi-time-scale dynamical systems $432,000
Professor Joel Mackay; Professor Sandra Hake How does an essential histone variant effect changes in gene expression? $435,000
Associate Professor Charles Warren; Professor Iain Young; Professor Richard Trethowan; Dr Sheikh Mohammad Fazle Rabbi The critical role of rhizosheath biophysics in plant water availability $494,307
Professor Justin Harris; Associate Professor Evan Livesey Extinction and response inhibition $445,378
Professor Mikhail Prokopenko; Professor Vitali Sintchenko; Professor Tania Sorrell; Dr Timothy Germann High-resolution multiscale modelling of pandemics: COVID-19 and beyond $412,000
Associate Professor Thom van Dooren; Dr Emily O'Gorman; Professor Stephen Muecke; Professor Grace Karskens; Professor Matthew Kearnes; Dr Natalie Osborne; Dr Peter Minter Narrative Ecologies of Warragamba Dam $427,000
Professor Dr Thomas Maschmeyer; Dr Shenlong Zhao; Dr Alexander Yuen Electrocatalytic Generation of Ammonia from Air and Water $492,000
Professor Mary Myerscough Space, time and boundary conditions: Mathematics for evolving plaques $421,000
Professor Benjamin Eggleton; Dr Moritz Merklein; Professor Luc Thevenaz Catching the fast waves: high speed RF sensing using Brillouin scattering $480,000
Professor Frank Seebacher; Dr Alexander Little Epigenetic effects of environmental thyroid disruption $443,043
Professor Itai Einav; Dr Francois Guillard; Professor Kenichi Soga Physics-informed hydrodynamic model for clay across scales $489,000
Professor Michele Ford; Dr Wayne Palmer; Dr Dedi Adhuri Employment Relations in Indonesias Commercial Fishing Industry $255,000
Associate Professor Ana Vila Concejo; Dr Tristan Salles; Associate Professor Giovanni Coco; Professor Maria Byrne; Associate Professor Fernando Mendez The Great Barrier Reef in 2100 $524,000
Professor Richard Payne; Dr Anne Conibear Expanding access to modified proteins via a novel semi-synthetic platform $495,000
Professor Warwick Anderson; Professor Jakelin Troy; Professor Anthony Capon; Professor Sverker Sörlin Planetary Health Histories: Developing Concepts $666,897
Professor Georg Gottwald A dynamical systems theory approach to machine learning $356,000
Professor Hak-Kim Chan; Dr Agisilaos Kourmatzis; Associate Professor Shaokoon Cheng Unravelling the mechanics of particle deposition at the micro-scale $495,000
Associate Professor Patrice Rey; Dr Vasileios Chatzaras; Professor Suzanne O'Reilly; Dr Olivier Alard; Dr Huaiyu Yuan; Dr Katherine Selway; Dr Sylvie Demouchy; Mr Marcus Haynes Mapping mineral systems of deep Australia $490,000
Associate Professor Elizabeth Hill; Professor Rae Cooper; Professor Ariadne Vromen; Dr Meraiah Foley; Associate Professor Reiko Ogawa; Professor Mark Stuart; Professor Jennifer Tomlinson Understanding gender inequality in the post-pandemic future of work $281,227
Professor Thinethavone Soutphommasane; Dr David Smith; Dr Jane Park; Dr Gilbert Caluya The ideologies and practices of anti-racism in Australia $357,000
Professor Steven Armfield; Professor Simon Mitrovic; Associate Professor Michael Kirkpatrick; Dr Nicholas Williamson Dynamics of Suppressed Mixing Regimes in Australian Rivers $469,000
Dr Markus Muellner; Professor Travis Klein; Professor Dr Andre Groeschel Biomimetic hydrogels $449,000
Associate Professor Paul Roche; Dr Anne Rogerson; Professor Richard Miles; Dr Michael Hanaghan The Vandal Renaissance: Latin Literature in Post-Roman Africa (435-534CE) $302,000
Professor Muireann Irish; Associate Professor Irina Harris; Professor Andrew Yonelinas Charting age-related changes in the quality of episodic memory $508,250
Professor Terry Flew; Professor Sora Park; Associate Professor Timothy Dwyer; Professor Derek Wilding; Dr Caroline Fisher; Dr Aljosha Karim Schapals; Professor Philip Napoli; Professor Robert Picard Valuing News: Aligning Individual, Institutional and Societal Perspectives $423,769
Professor Rachel Codd; Professor Renae Ryan; Dr Anna Kaksonen Enzyme-Mediated Machining of Chelators to Bind and Recover Valuable Metals $440,000
Associate Professor Myfany Turpin; Dr Georgia Curran; Associate Professor Linda Ford; Professor Linda Barwick; Mr Glenn Wightman; Mrs Rona Glynn-McDonald The role of song in Kaytetye and Warlpiri biocultural knowledge $442,000
Dr Sinan Li; Professor Jian Zhu; Professor Shu Yuen Ron Hui Need for Speed: Towards Controller Design Automation for Power Electronics $495,000
Professor Abbas El-Zein; Professor Abdelmalek Bouazza; Dr Elizabeth Carter; Associate Professor Will Gates; Professor R. Kerry Rowe Microplastics in Landfills and Surrounding Environments $554,500

Linkage Projects

The Linkage Projects scheme supports academics to work with government and industry partners to tackle complex problems and fast-track solutions to benefit end-users.

Investigators Project Partner 
Dr Behnam Akhavan; Professor Marcela Bilek; Dr Giselle Yeo; Professor David McKenzie; Dr Daniel Garcia In-situ biofunctionalisation for additive manufacturing Regenhu Ltd
Professor Cameron Kepert; Associate Professor Neeraj Sharma; Dr Martina Lessio; Dr Lauren Macreadie; Dr Samuel Duyker; Dr Jehan Kanga; Dr Marlene Kanga AM Advanced Molecular Frameworks for Sodium Battery Electrode Applications Rux Energy Pty Ltd
Dr Elisabeth Kramer; Professor Parisa Aslani; Professor Simon Butt; Professor Kirsty Foster OAM; Professor Paul Glare; Associate Professor Barbara Mintzes; Professor Johannes Pols; Dr Agnes Vitry; Professor Dr Sri Suryawati Socio-cultural Factors and the Use of Therapeutic Opioids in Indonesia International Pharmaceutical Federation
Professor John Nelson; Professor Sotiris Vardoulakis; Dr Jennifer Kent Promoting active travel and public transport for a post-pandemic world Transport for NSW
Professor Dietmar Muller; Professor Brent McInnes; Dr Maria Seton; Dr Sabin Zahirovic; Dr Fabian Kohlmann New digital deep-time exploration tools for a low-emissions economy Lithodat Pty Ltd
Professor Gregg Suaning; Mr Charles Leigh; Dr Martin Svehla; Mrs Irene Diolaso; Dr Anthony Powell; Dr Nicholas Pawsey Breakthrough technologies in implantable bionics Cochlear Limited

LIEF Grants

The Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) scheme provides critical funding for the tools required for universities to conduct vital research in our national priority areas

Investigators Project Funding awarded
Professor Anna Paradowska; Professor Simon Ringer; Professor Lin Ye; Professor Kim Rasmussen; Associate Professor Hao Zhang; Professor Michael Preuss; Associate Professor Ralph Abrahams; Professor Nick Birbilis; Professor Dr Rachel Li; Associate Professor Fidelis Mashiri; Associate Professor Christopher Wensrich; Mr Stefan Gulizia; Dr Philip Bendeich Metallurgical Facility for Solid-State Additive Manufacturing $851,607
Professor Mark Molloy; Professor Glenda Halliday; Professor Hala Zreiqat; Professor Jean Yang; Professor Carolyn Sue; Professor Nicolle Packer; Professor Paul Haynes Investigating biological processes in tissues by spatial profiling $535,000
Professor Anita Ho-Baillie; Professor Marcela Bilek; Associate Professor Koushik Venkatesan; Associate Professor Shujuan Huang; Professor Lin Ye; Associate Professor Stephen Bremner; Professor Benjamin Eggleton; Associate Professor Nicholas Ekins-Daukes Versatile laser processing system for multi-disciplinary research $480,000
Professor Marcela Bilek; Dr Behnam Akhavan; Professor Sean Li; Professor Dr Volker Hessel; Professor David Moss; Professor Martin Green; Associate Professor Xiaojing Hao; Dr Yao Zheng; Associate Professor Danyang Wang; Professor Cameron Kepert; Professor Vincent Bulone; Professor Chiara Neto; Professor Fariba Dehghani; Professor Sally McArthur; Professor Peter Kingshott Advanced materials synthesis and environmental characterisation facility $1,040,375
Professor Richard Payne; Dr Toby Passioura; Professor Joel Mackay; Dr Lara Malins; Professor Margaret Sunde; Professor Glenn King; Dr Anne Conibear; Professor Colin Jackson; Professor Jonathan Baell; Dr April Hastwell; Professor Philip Gale; Dr Christoph Nitsche; Professor Raymond Norton; Dr Hung Pham Australian Peptide Display Facility





All successful grant recipients and project details are listed on the ARC website.

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