Griffith University: Early career researchers secure more than $1.7m in ARC funding

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Griffith University has received more than $1.7 million in funding for four Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA) announced by the Federal Minister for Education and Youth, the Hon Jason Clare MP this week.

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said the awards illustrated the impact of Griffith’s research in providing solutions that expanded human knowledge and understanding of complex issues.

“This is an outstanding achievement and these researchers are to be congratulated,” Professor Evans said.

“Their diverse projects will produce high-impact research for the betterment of Australia and the world.”

Dr Dominique de Andrade (Griffith Criminology Institute, AEL) awarded $442,723 for the project: Violent offenders in the night-time economy: Building the evidence. Alcohol-related violence in entertainment precincts is a significant community safety problem. This project aims to improve knowledge on individuals that are violent in entertainment precincts. It is expected to be the first study globally to use linked data to develop multi-system informed offending trajectories of violent offenders in these settings, examine the impact of patrons bans on offending trajectories, and apply situational action theory to alcohol-related violence. Results are expected to inform a critical knowledge gap and assist in the development of targeted violence preventive responses which reduce harm and make communities safer.

Dr Christopher Ndehedehe (Australian Rivers Institute, Sciences) awarded $428,000 for the project: Assessing the impacts of droughts and water extraction on groundwater. This project aims to develop a novel framework that uses big data from satellites to assess the impacts of droughts and water extraction on groundwater resources in Australia, currently poorly understood and difficult to monitor. This project expects to generate new insights into the mechanisms driving changes in groundwater availability and identify risks from sustained groundwater extraction. Expected outcomes include a new national capability to assess and monitor groundwater resources from space and providing data for government, farmers, communities and traditional owners to better prepare for future droughts, increase disaster preparedness, and sustainably manage groundwater resources in a changing climate.

Dr Fiona Foley (Creative Arts Research Institute, AEL) awarded $454,705 for the project: Investigating the agency of Aboriginal Frontier War memorials. This project aims to unite conflicting versions of Australian history by investigating the impact and effectiveness of Australian Aboriginal Frontier War memorials. It will expand our understanding of the shared sacrifices by First Nation and settler Australians during the frontier war and demonstrate the reconciliatory potential of memorialising art informed by Indigenous oral history and creative arts research and practice. The social and cultural benefits include developing a new understanding of the historical construction of Australian national identity and the potential of Indigenous art to transform the function of Australian military monuments as well as a permanent archive of short documentary films and publication.

Dr Fan Zhang (Cities Research Institute, Sciences) awarded $435,232 for the project: Quantifying thermal environmental impact on office productivity. This project aims to quantify thermal environmental impacts on office productivity. It expects to firmly dismiss the prevailing misbelief that an indoor temperature of 22 °C leads to maximum workplace productivity, and create a paradigm shift in building management practice in commercial buildings. Expected outcomes of this project include a novel productivity metric, a standard measurement protocol for assessing thermal environmental impacts on office productivity, and world first indoor thermal environmental control guidelines tailored to diverse cognitive activities in the workplaces of different industries. This should provide cost-effective solutions to reduce building energy use while maintaining optimum workforce productivity.

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