ANU wins more than $44 million in ARC funding

30 October 2015

The Australian National University (ANU) has won more than $44 million for 83 projects in the latest Australian Research Council (ARC) funding round, winning more funding than any other university.

In the latest ARC funding announced by Education Minister the Hon Simon Birmingham, ANU won 21 Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRAs) worth more than $7.5 million, 60 Discovery Projects worth more than $23.6 million, and two Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grants worth $13 million.

The LIEF grants highlight the University's national leadership on major projects, with $3 million for the National Computational Infrastructure, which is based at ANU, and $10 million for the International Ocean Discovery Project (IODP), which explores the global ocean changes and the formation of the Earth's crust.

ANU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Margaret Harding said the funding underlined the University's role as a national institution with world-class research.

"The latest ARC round is an excellent outcome for ANU and will help ensure our researchers can continue to work on the key issues facing the nation and the world," Professor Harding said.

"The University is particularly proud of its success rate for the prestigious Discovery Programme, which reinforces the depth and breadth of our research and our role as an intellectual resource for the nation.

"We are especially pleased to see such a strong cohort of early career researchers awarded DECRAs."

Professor Richard Arculus from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences is the biggest winner, winning LIEF funding of $2 million a year for five years for the IODP.

"This is wonderful news. The IODP is the world's largest collaborative earth science research endeavour," Professor Arculus said.

"This grant enables ANU to continue to perform a leadership role for the nation and gives our scientists the opportunity to play critical roles in research into some of the most important global issues."

Chemist Professor Michael Sherburn won $804,000 in the Discovery Programme for his research into faster and more efficient ways to create organic molecules, which he hopes will lead to new and better medicines.

"I'm thrilled. It is a win for fundamental science," Professor Sherburn said.

In the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award scheme, Dr Sophie Lewis, who has been named the joint ACT Tall Poppy of the Year, won $390,000 for a project to study rainfall extremes in Australia.

Dr John Carty was one of seven DECRA awardees in the humanities and social sciences, awarded $380,009 for a project examining Aboriginal desert art.