ARC funding boost for UQ researchers


Dozens of mid and early-career University of Queensland researchers have been awarded funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Ten mid-career researchers will benefit from the Future Fellowships scheme while 16 early-career researchers will begin projects with support from a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award.

Future Fellowships

The 10 UQ Future Fellowships recipients are among 100 researchers benefitting from a $94 million scheme to find solutions for key industry challenges, while training the next generation of researchers.

They have close to $1 million to support innovative research for the next four years.

Associate Professor Victor Anggono’s project at the Queensland Brain Institute seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms of neuronal communication for sensory and motor processing, learning, memory and cognition.

Professor Antje Blumenthal will work on defining immune system responses to environmental cues while fostering international collaboration and training future scientists at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute.

Dr Joel Carpenter from the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering has a project to improve optical instrumentation for applications including biomedical imaging and telecommunications.

Associate Professor Coral Gartner at the School of Public Health will develop new regulatory options for legal tobacco which minimise transferring demand to illegal products.

Associate Professor Lee Hickey’s project at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is to optimise the root systems of food crops by overcoming genetic constraints.

Dr Ruth Knibbe from the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering aims to improve understanding of the processes in zinc-ion batteries and high temperature electrolysis systems to facilitate new materials design.

Associate Professor Timothy Mercer of the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology has a project to engineer synthetic genes to allow standardisation and optimisation of biomanufacturing processes.

Dr Conan Wang of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience has funding to develop a platform to design bioactive peptides and proteins to fight pests while protecting biodiversity.

Dr Loic Yengo of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience will develop statistical methods and software tools to analyse large genomic datasets and identify variants in humans and other species.

Assistant Professor Rowan Young at the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences will look for new processing methods for fluorocarbons for agrochemicals and other applications which prevent environmental release.


Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards

UQ has 16 early-career researchers who have received awards in this $85 million scheme to develop and apply their skills in a supportive environment.

Their projects will commence in 2023.

Dr Seth Cheetham in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology aims to develop novel single-cell genomic technologies to explain the origins of different cell types.

Dr Tong Chen in the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering will work with machine learning on an auto-deployment platform for personalised recommendation services to replace existing cloud-based services.

Dr Peng Chen will work in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology  on a project to design materials for high-performance and durable solar energy conversion devices to assist the green hydrogen industry.

Dr Itia Favre-Bulle has a project in the Queensland Brain Institute to develop technologies to construct a microscope able to make sense of neuronal activity and investigate the brain region that influences sensory processing.

Dr Lachlan Harris will work in the School of Biomedical Sciences on a project to define the molecular playbook controlling quiescence (sleep) and explain why brain stem cells progress into deeper states of quiescence during aging.

Dr Jessica Harrison in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences will assess the biodiversity of viruses in the Australian mosquito population to identify pathways to control and prevent arboviral disease.

Dr Andrew Letten has a project in the  School of Biological Sciences to investigate the impact of modified nutrient regimes on the structure and stability of microbial communities.

Dr Rijia Lin will work in the School of Chemical Engineering  on a project to develop a new class of glassy metal-organic framework membranes for CO2 separation and conversion.

Dr Haijiao Lu from the  School of Chemical Engineering  will use solar energy to convert carbon dioxide, which drives global climate change, into valuable chemicals via catalytic reduction.

Dr Cheneal Puljevic will undertake a project at the School of Public Health which aims to generate new knowledge about the drivers and deterrents of demand for illicit tobacco.

Dr Sally Staton will test the hypothesis that social mechanisms underpin developing sleep patterns and problems in children with diverse care arrangements in a project at the Queensland Brain Institute.

Dr Julian Steele’s project in the School of Mathematics and Physics will work towards next-generation solar cells and light emitting diodes by developing deep structure-property relationships and strain engineering protocols for stable forms of inorganic halide perovskite semiconductors.

Dr Xianyu Wang will work in the  Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences to establish the first Australian indoor air monitoring program that identifies hazardous chemicals, their sources and trends under a changing climate.

Dr Miao Xu in the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering will develop data analytics techniques to aid better decision making in high-stake scenarios when data are less-trustable.

Dr Zhe Yang will work in the School of Chemical Engineering on a project to develop high-performance membranes to allow efficient separation processes with reduced energy consumption.

Dr Cheng Zhang has funding to advance the development of safe rechargeable all-solid-state batteries by fabricating unique ionic conduction channels and stabilising electrode-electrolyte interfaces at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology.