Sydney researchers awarded ARC funding for 78 research projects

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 Science, Faculty 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.”


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