8 November 2012

The University of Queensland’s Dr Nicole George and Dr Andrew Phillips from the School of Political Science and International Studies have received awards in the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Scheme.

The scheme, introduced two years ago by the Australian Research Council, provides more focused support and opportunities for early career researchers.

The award funds research in a specific area for three years.

Head of School Professor Gillian Whitehouse said he was delighted to see Dr George and Dr Phillips receive the award.

“These awards are a boost for them individually and also a testament to the quality of research within the school,” Professor Whitehouse said.

Dr George received the award for her project - Gender violence, women's empowerment and human rights in Melanesia: exploring the French connection.

“This award will allow me to have the time and funding to pursue an innovative research agenda that I hope will promote new thinking on gender and security issues in our region,” Dr George said.

Dr Phillip’s research title is Understanding Asia's fragile giants: empire, sovereignty and Chinese and Indian security perceptions and strategies in the Asian century.

“I’m both humbled and excited to receive this award,” Dr Phillips said.

“The rise of China and India constitutes a ‘game changer’ of truly seismic proportions for Australia.

“This DECRA will enable me to investigate how international orders have historically developed in East and South Asia from the seventeenth century to the present.

“In so doing, it will significantly strengthen our understanding of how long-term historical legacies continue to shape Chinese and Indian security strategies in the contemporary period.”

These awards round off a successful year for Dr Phillips and Dr George.

In September Dr Phillips was awarded the Crisp Prize for his first book ‘War, Religion and Empire' and Dr George’s first book ‘Situating Women: Gender Politics and Circumstance in Fiji’, was recently published by ANU e-Press.

The University of Queensland has led the nation in the latest round of funding from the Australian Research Council and achieved a number one placement in the DECRA scheme, based on dollars awarded and the success rate of proposals submitted.