8 November 2013

The Australian Research Council today has awarded $62 million to The University of Queensland — pushing UQ ahead of all other Australian universities and research bodies in attracting ARC funding this year.

The announcement brings to $92 million the amount the ARC has awarded to UQ in 2013.

The University's successful proposals in today's funding round are across five ARC schemes:

UQ President and Vice-Chancellor Peter Høj, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Max Lu congratulated all the successful UQ researchers, and the professional staff who helped achieve these outstanding results for UQ research.

“UQ's top billing for total funding reflects on our researchers' proven potential to deliver tremendous returns on investments made in people and infrastructure,” Professor Høj said.

“The new ARC funding will enable UQ to continue turning raw research power into fantastic outcomes for society, the environment and the economy.

“These will be the true measures of research success – the positive impacts that will be felt through areas ranging from Indigenous housing, to sustainable energy sources and prevention of common infections.”

Professor Lu said it had been “a great year for UQ research”, following a series of successes, including increased health and medical research funding, important philanthropic donations, new industry partnerships and significant commercialisation deals.

“This new ARC funding will enable UQ researchers to build on this momentum, and – very importantly – will help Australia and Queensland retain and attract outstanding researchers.

“It is money well-directed, an excellent investment in our global future,” Professor Lu said.

Professor Paul Meredith in the School of Mathematics and Physics was awarded UQ's highest individual Discovery Project grant: $1.06 million over three years.

Professor Meredith's award included a prestigious Level 3 Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA), for his research proposal that ultimately seeks to create a simple and generic transducing element for cellular-level electrical communication.

Professor Brian Head (Institute of Social Science Research) and Professor Mandyam Srinivasan (Queensland Brain Institute) were UQ's other successful DORA applicants.

Of UQ's 30 DECRAs, awards went to:

  • Dr Amelia Brown from UQ's School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics for her project on maritime religion in ancient Greece.
  • The School of Nursing and Midwifery's Dr Andrea Petriwskyj, for her project that aims to develop service user engagement practice in Australian aged care.

Through the Future Fellowships scheme, two international researchers have been attracted to Australia and UQ:

  • Dr Philip Stevenson seeks to establish a basis for preventing herpes virus infection in humans. Herpes infects almost everyone, persists lifelong and causes much disease, which can be avoided if initial infection can be avoided. He comes from the University of Cambridge to UQ's School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences.
  • Dr David Evans will seek to identify genes and biological pathways which predispose individuals to ankylosing spondylitis, a devastating type of auto-immune arthritis, using a new statistical framework. He is currently at the University of Bristol and will return to UQ, where he completed his BSc, Honours, and PhD, to work at the UQ Diamantina Institute.

In the Discovery Indigenous scheme, a team led by UQ researcher Carroll Go-Sam was awarded research funding and a Discovery Indigenous Award.

Ms Go-Sam's project aims to bring improved housing management, housing design, health and well-being in Indigenous communities and a reduction in crowding and homelessness.

Contact: Fiona Cameron, Senior Communications Officer (Research), +61 7 3346 7086, f.cameron2@uq.edu.au