Results indicate that the ARC Future Fellowships scheme is achieving its objective of ensuring that outstanding mid-career researchers are being retained in Australia.

 The Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowships scheme was introduced in 2009 with one of its key objectives being to ensure that outstanding mid-career researchers are recruited and retained in the Australian higher education and research sector.

  • In 2014, the Government secured the ongoing future of the ARC Future Fellowships scheme, committing to funding 100 four-year fellowships each year.
  • Since its inception, 1204 researchers were awarded an ARC Future Fellowship, including 74 returning Australians and 146 foreign nationals.*
  • To date, 441 researchers have completed their ARC Future Fellowship and of these, 387 (or 88 per cent) were retained within the Australian higher education and research sector after their Future Fellowship.*
  • Of the 31 returning Australians who have completed an ARC Future Fellowship, at least 24 (or 77 per cent) have remained in the Australian higher education and research sector, while of the 48 foreign nationals who have completed a Fellowship, 29 (or 60 per cent) were retained in Australia after their Future Fellowship.*


*Data as at August 2017

Current and previous Future Fellowship recipients are making a significant contribution to Australian science and innovation.

The following examples are of international researchers who have received an ARC Future Fellowship and are continuing to contribute to Australian research.

Professor Francesca Iacopi headshot  Professor Francesca Iacopi is a materials scientist and nanoelectronics expert with nearly 20 years’ experience in semiconductor industry and academia. Originally from Italy, Professor Iacopi took up an ARC Future Fellowship at Griffith University in 2012, and developed a process that harnesses the properties of graphene. This process could enable the mass-production of graphene micro-devices. Professor Iacopi has also been the recipient of a Global Innovation Award (2014), was a foundation member of the Advance Queensland Expert Panel (2015), and now leads the Integrated Nano Systems Lab at the University of Technology Sydney.
Professor Kirill Alexandrov

Professor Kirill Alexandrov is an international leader in Synthetic Biology and protein engineering. Professor Alexandrov studied in Russia and Germany. He is credited with establishing the Dortmund Protein Production Facility in Dortmund, Germany, and co-founded a successful German biotechnology company Jena BIoscence GmbH. He joined the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and The Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at The University of Queensland in 2008 as an ARC Future Fellow. Professor Alexandrov was a recipient of a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Annual Researcher Excellence Award (2015), and co-founded the UK/Australian company Molecular Warehouse Ltd (2015). He is currently developing a biosensor device which detects viruses and diseases and then rapidly conveys this information through electronic devices for a quick diagnosis.


Associate Professor Phillip Cassey headshot

Associate Professor Phillip Cassey is a leading global change biologist who worked in the United Kingdom before returning to Australia in 2010 to take up a Future Fellowship with The University of Adelaide. Associate Professor Cassey now leads the Invasion Science & Wildlife Ecology Group at The University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute. His research is contributing to significant advances in the disciplines of global change biology, invasive species pest management, illegal wildlife trade, and the prioritisation of evidence-based biosecurity decision-making.


Professor Zongping Shao headshot Professor Zongping Shao worked in China, Europe and the United States, before taking up a Future Fellowship with Curtin University. Professor Shao is internationally recognised and respected for his research achievements in chemical engineering, in particular for his work in solid oxide fuel cells and hydrogen energy. He is currently researching how to make more powerful and safer lithium-ion batteries for use in vehicles and energy storage.