UWS receives over $3.8 million in prestigious ARC funding


Date: 26/10/2009

The University of Western Sydney's reputation as a modern and innovative research institution has had another significant boost, with UWS receiving over $3.8 million in funding in the latest round of research grants announced by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

A total of 14 projects received highly sought-after ARC grants that will be vital to the long-term prosperity of the nation.

These projects will tackle a number of priority issues, including arguably the most critical of all - climate change. A number of different UWS studies have received ARC funding to investigate the impact of climate change on everything from insects, to marine life, to corporate Australia.

In further good news, UWS has received three out of the nine ARC Discovery Indigenous Researchers Development (DIRD) grants awarded nationally for 2010 - the most by any Australian university.

These three Discovery Indigenous Research Development grants, worth $669,750, will address priority areas, including closing the education gap for Indigenous students and combating racism toward Indigenous youth in high schools.

This latest ARC funding result ensures the University of Western Sydney continues to hold its own amongst Australia's top universities.

Just some of the diverse UWS projects to receive funding across the various ARC categories include:

* Developing a national approach to child and family health services.

* Investigating how corporate Australia is preparing for the introduction of Australia's first national emissions trading scheme.

* Revolutionising the design of tall buildings and delivering a new generation of skyscrapers that can withstand wind-induced vibration and provide comfortable living and working environments.

* Developing education policies and practices that will help teachers develop social cohesion and meet the needs of students from ethnically and socio-economically diverse backgrounds.

* Investigating how climate change is contributing to ocean acidification and temperature changes, and its impact on the reproduction and development of Sydney rock oysters and Australia's $1 billion oyster industry.

* Recovering and rebuilding a 'language' for understanding the role of infrastructure in Australian cities, and devising better criteria to help governments to deliver large infrastructure projects.

* Carrying out cutting-edge research in computational algebra. Combining theoretical methods from pure mathematics with computational experiments will lead to new knowledge that's set to have applications across many fields including data security and online banking.

* Understanding the impact of climate change on the insect community associated with the eucalypts in Australian forests. These insect communities are essential for ecological biodiversity. Climate change is expected to cause biodiversity shifts and possible insect extinctions in eucalypt forests. Just one outcome of this shift includes accumulation of leaf litter and increased bush fire activity in the future.

* Studying fungal communities in our soils, and how it relates to plant health. This has significant implications for carbon sequestration and sustainable ecosystems.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Andrew Cheetham, says UWS research continues to be a major driver of new knowledge and innovation that is highly relevant to people's lives.

"UWS has continued its strong research position again this year, which points to our growing research performance nationally," says Professor Cheetham.

"The successful UWS projects are in priority areas such as science, mathematics, engineering, economics and business, education, and public health. These are areas of vital importance not only to the Greater Western Sydney region but to the nation.

"On behalf of the University community, I congratulate all our successful ARC researchers as well as the UWS Research Development Team within the Office of Research Services and research support staff across the University for their hard work and dedication to bring about this excellent result."

For more information about the ARC Discovery grants see:
http://www.arc.gov.au/ncgp/dp/DP10_orglist.htm

For more information about the ARC Linkage grants see:
http://www.arc.gov.au/ncgp/lp/LP10_rd1_orglist.htm

Ends

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