Australian Research Council awards University of Newcastle $8.8 million and seven research fellowships.

$8.8M ARC funding

08 November 2013

The Australian Research Council (ARC) has today awarded $8.8 million in Discovery Project research funding to the University of Newcastle. The funding will extend across 19 projects, an increase of 6 projects and $4.2 million since last year.

New South Wales Scientist of the Year and inventor of the Jameson Cell, Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson, was awarded $1.2 million to progress his research on a Fluidised Bed Flotation Device to halve mining industry energy requirements. Professor Jameson works closely with the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) and the University's Priority Research Centre for Advanced Particle Processing and Transport.

Civil Engineering researcher Professor Robert Melchers was awarded $1.1 million to further his investigations into marine corrosion.

Dr Mark LockUniversity of Newcastle research fellow Dr Mark Lock attracted the largest Discovery Indigenous grant awarded by the ARC for research into Indigenous health. Dr Lock, who is descended from the Ngiyaampaa tribe, will spend three years and three-quarters of a million dollars investigating the integration of Aboriginal voices in the governance of public health services.

"It is a common assumption that improving Aboriginal access to health services will improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people, but there is no rigorous scientific evidence that the current integration reforms are effective. My research will use innovative mathematical, visual and vocal methods to model the most effective ways to integrate Aboriginal voices," said Dr Lock.

The ARC also announced today that it would provide funding to four University of Newcastle mid-career researchers and three early-career researchers to work locally in areas of "critical national importance".

  • Dr Andrew Fleming has been awarded a fellowship of $750,000 to develop his research into miniaturising piezoelectric sensors at the University's Priority Research Centre for Complex Dynamic Systems and Control.
  • Dr Pradeep Tanwar was also awarded $750,000 to progress his research into ovarian cancer, which he is developing as part of HMRI's Hunter Cancer Research Alliance.
  • Dr Sonar Prashant, working in the field of macromolecular and materials chemistry, will use his $755,000 fellowship to explore dyes and pigments suitable for organic electronics.
  • Historian, Professor Hans Kieser, awarded $790,000, will investigate the Ottoman Empire's Young Turk Revolution of 1908 in order to shed light on contemporary issues such as the Kurdish conflict, the Armenian question and Palestinian independence.
  • Dr Bronwyn Hemsley's research helps people with severe speech disabilities communicate their needs more effectively. Her $400,000 ARC grant will allow her to investigate the benefits of social media platform Twitter for information exchange in people with little or no speech.
  • Dr Michael Coons, working with the University's Priority Research Centre for Computer Assisted Research Mathematics and its Applications, will use his $386,000 grant to advance our knowledge of the nature of randomness in mathematical sequences.
  • Dr Caragh Brosnan will explore the impact of complementary and alternative medicine degrees on the professional status of these health providers and their relationship to biomedicine, utilising her $370,000 ARC grant.

"We have an enormous depth and breadth of research talent at the University of Newcastle," said Deputy Vice Chancellor – Research, Professor Nick Talley.

"We are fortunate to have some of the finest researchers in the world contributing to Newcastle's ranking in the top three percent of universities internationally. I am delighted to see their work given such strong support from the ARC.

"We also foster early career researchers here and value our mid-career researchers highly. The ARC fellowships and early career awards are testament to the quality of researchers we have coming up through the ranks," he said.

Contact: Carmen Swadling, Media and Public Relations
Contact Phone: +61 2 4985 4276 or 0429 038 477.