$38.6 million in new ARC grants supercharge UQ research

Developing thermal protection systems to enable Mars return missions, creating more efficient solar energy conversion, and improving invasive pest management are some of the 95 University of Queensland projects that have netted $38.6 million in Australian Government funding.

The Australian Research Council has announced more than $380 million in grants as part of the latest round of Discovery Projects, Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRAs), Linkage Projects and Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grants.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said UQ was awarded 67 Discovery Project grants totalling $27.62 million, 25 DECRAs amounting to $9.63 million, two LIEFs totalling $1.18 million and one Linkage Project for $236,852.

“UQ claimed the second highest number of Discovery Project grants awarded to universities across Australia, and ranked number one in both funds and number of grants in DECRAs,” Professor Høj said.

“When coupled with the August announcement of Laureate and Future Fellowships, UQ has been awarded more funding across the ARC Discovery Program than any other Australian university, securing more than $60.5 million.

“It’s an emphatic result that underscores that you can find the nation’s best researchers at UQ.

“Congratulations to all UQ researchers who were successful in obtaining funding in these highly competitive schemes, and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of their vital research.”

UQ’s largest Discovery Project was awarded to Institute for Molecular Bioscience researcher Professor Alpha Yap who secured $746,400 to investigate how cells communicate with each other.

Other ARC grants awarded to UQ include:

  • $364,000 to Dr Steven Lewis of the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering for a DECRA to advance thermal protection systems to enable Mars return missions.
  • $357,000 for a DECRA to Dr Jiwon Kim, School of Civil Engineering, to reduce traffic congestion by developing a low-cost, data-driven traffic simulation model to better inform decisions by urban planners and traffic operators.
  • $406,000 to the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology’s Dr Yang Bai for a DECRA to design new perovskite quantum dots for efficient solar energy conversion.
  • $705,000 to a team led by the Institute for Social Science Research’s Professor Karen Thorpe to study the developmental significance of sleep transition in early childhood.
  • $236,852 for a Linkage Project led by Dr Eve McDonald-Madden to improve management of invasive species by assisting pest mitigation agencies to work together.

A full list of UQ projects to receive ARC Discovery Projects funding is here, the DECRAs are here, Linkage Program is here, and LIEF here.

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