Australian Government emblem

Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham
Minister for Education and Training
Senator for South Australia

Media release

10 November 2017 

Turnbull Government backs new research projects

 Protecting the environment, medical advances, initiatives to support small business and creating employment opportunities for Australians are central to 859 new research projects the Turnbull Government is backing.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham today announced the $333.5 million of funding as part of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) National Competitive Grants Programme.

The schemes covered under this latest round of grants include:

  • Discovery Projects (DP) funding of $225.6 million for 594 projects
  • Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) funding of $70.9 million for 197 projects
  • Discovery Indigenous (IN) funding of $7.2 million for 13 projects
  • Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) funding of $28.6 million for 50 projects
  • Linkage Learned Academies Special Projects (LASP) funding of $1.1 million for 5 projects Minister Birmingham said the funding would reach across key research areas and that many of the projects would help deliver real outcomes that benefit Australians.

“The Turnbull Government continues to invest in a wide variety of fundamental and applied research projects that are focused on making a difference to Australia and real social and economic benefits,” Minister Birmingham said. “This round of grants will increase Australia’s research capacity by expanding our research infrastructure and facilities and support Australia’s most outstanding researchers, including our early-career and Indigenous researchers, so they can continue to undertake ground-breaking research into the future.”

Highlights include:

  • $392,650 to an early career researcher at Southern Cross University to further explore the potential benefits of the nutrients in groundwater on water quality within the Great Barrier Reef.
  • $443,270 to The Australian National University for a Discovery Project that will work to improve solar cell stability for future large-scale production of cheap, clean electricity.
  • $336,446 to an early career researcher at Macquarie University to develop a miniaturised cochlear implant using advanced microfabrication techniques, to enable low-cost production.
  • $320,249 to a discovery Indigenous researcher at Griffith University who will compare the level of financial and commercial literacy, support and resources for Indigenous and non-Indigenous small business owners in Australia to promote financial health and sustainability of Indigenous businesses.
  • $255,260 to a Discovery project at Curtin University to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outcomes in schools by compiling practical and research-based evidence of best practice teaching methods.

For more information about the funding outcomes, including statistics and full project details please visit the ARC website or view the ARC media announcement kit.

Minister Birmingham’s media contact: Benn Ayre 0428 342 325
ARC Media Contact: communications@arc.gov.au, 0412 623 056