ARC major funding outcomes to commence in 2007

Friday, 27 October, 2006

ARC has announced the outcomes of the Australian Research Council's National Competitive Grants Program for 2007.

More than $365 million in funding over the next five years has been set aside to support 1154 new research projects selected in this ARC funding round.

The grants have been awarded through five ARC schemes:

  • The Discovery Projects;
  • The Discovery Indigenous Researchers Development;
  • The Linkage Projects;
  • The Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities;
  • Linkage International Project.

The Australian government has also committed funding for the Australian Research Council. With this funding, the funding overall for ARC in 2007 will be $576 million.

The successful projects came from a pool of over 4800 applications.

Examples of some of the Discovery Projects include:

  • James Cook University, which is studying the implications of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef;
  • ANU research that will increase knowledge about threats to the sustainability of Australian farming land;
  • A Griffith University researcher seeking to develop early-warning systems for airborne disease threats such as SARS and Avian influenza;
  • A University of Melbourne project that will assess military practices in fighting terrorism;
  • Work by a University of Sydney researcher into global activities to combat international money laundering and the acquisition of funds to support terrorism.

Examples of the Linkages Projects include:

  • A team of researchers from the University of Queensland aiming to reduce water consumption through the use of water-efficient native grasses to household lawns and sporting fields;
  • A University of New South Wales project will study the role of tree groups in the carbon cycle and the potential for tree roots to capture carbon from the atmosphere and then bury it in the ground;
  • Queensland University of Technology researchers are partnering with an alternative energy company to develop diesel engines that can also run on alcohol derived from plants.

Also, some of the Discovery Projects indicate a high level of international collaboration.

For example, researchers at the University of Queensland are working with the University of Toronto in Canada to develop a non-invasive diagnostic for melanoma and search for methods of treatment or prevention of melanoma.

Also, researchers at Curtin University of Technology are collaborating with Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands to develop the next generation of global positioning systems. This project aims to develop greater precision to support the work of emergency services, commercial airlines and defence.

Of the 822 Discovery Projects, 523 include almost 1200 incidences of international collaboration with 61 different countries.

Of the $275 million allocated to the Discovery Projects, $98 million will be allocated for projects where at least one participant is five years or less out of their PhD.

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