Excellence in Research for Australia—Benefits Realisation Review cover graphic
24 December 2013

It is important for taxpayers to know if their money is being invested wisely—all Australians want to know that they are getting a return for the investment made by its Government.

The general community hears a lot about research—research looking into deep space, cancer, coral reefs and climate change, dementia and the nation's groundwater supply, just to name a few—but how can the community be assured that the multi-billion dollar investment in research is justified?

Image: Tanya Monro and Alexandre Francios—Biosenor development. Photo courtesy Jenny Groom
24 December 2013

The Minister for Education, the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, last week approved $285 million over seven years for 12 ARC Centres of Excellence.

The funding was awarded under the ARC Centres of Excellence funding scheme (for funding commencing in 2014), with the Centres establishing their research programs through 2014.

Image: Foundry Industry - Fiery steel. Image courtesy: ©iStockphoto.com / Baoshan Zhang
24 December 2013

More than $26 million has been released for seven new training centres and three new research hubs under the Industrial Transformation Research Programme (ITRP) administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

This is the second round of the ITRP and the priority areas for this round were of a dual focus: food and manufacturing.

mage: Electron micrograph of nano-silver particles. Image courtesy: Dr Erica Donner
24 December 2013

Dr Erica Donner is at the cutting edge of her field in environmental biogeochemistry.

She completed most of her undergraduate training at the University of New South Wales and grew up in Australia, but admits she was blessed to work in the United Kingdom and experience international laboratories.

Now based at the University of South Australia, Dr Erica Donner's interests lie primarily in the field of biogeochemistry, with a major emphasis on soil and water/wastewater chemistry. Her research provides a fundamental basis for environmental risk assessment and risk management.

Image: Word map. Image courtesy: Dr Donell Holloway
24 December 2013

Our children live in a digital world. Items such as smartphones, tablets, lap tops and even smart televisions are now everyday household items, sometimes in multiples. It is a far cry from a home 50 years ago that may have been lucky enough to house one black and white television and a radio.

Our children are also actively using the internet, and on a regular basis. The Australian Bureau of Statistics* found that for the cohort of children aged 5–8 years access to the internet increased from just under 40% in 2006 to 60% three years later in 2009. The same report found that for children (5–14 years) accessing the internet at home in April 2009 that the most common activities were educational activities—at 85%—and playing online games—at 69%.

Image: Children Playing Ball. Image courtesy: ©iStockphoto.com / STEFANOLUNARDI
24 December 2013

Dr Kylie Hesketh is passionate about ensuring our children are physically active and has spent a large part of her research career collecting data on the activities of children.

In a new research project to be conducted at Deakin University, which received funding through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Projects scheme, she hopes to understand more about the development of physical activity and sedentary behaviour.

Image: Dawn Lalara, Angurugu, Groote Eylandt, NT. Image courtesy: AG NTG, Remote Housing NT eNews, June 2012
24 December 2013

A new research project that will improve our understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing needs has been awarded funding under the latest round of the Discovery Indigenous scheme, administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

On 8 November, the Minister for Education, the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, announced ten new research projects funded under the scheme at a total value of $4.8 million.

 Universe Image: Pleiades the Seven Sisters. Image Courtesy: ©iStockphoto.com / Manfred_Konrad
24 December 2013

How fast is our universe expanding? How old is it? How many stars are being formed in distant galaxies? These are all questions that hope to be answered following Australian Government investment in new research infrastructure.

Australian universities recently received almost $32 million for 63 new research projects from the Australian Government for important infrastructure and equipment through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) scheme.

Image courtesy AACC International. L to R: Dr Deborah Rogers, Chair of the AACC International Board, Professor Geoff Fincher and Dr David Hahn, President of AACC International at the award ceremony.
29 October 2013

Professor Geoff Fincher has dedicated his life to gaining a greater understanding of plant cell walls and their biology.

A plant cell wall is the structure surrounding a plant cell that provides a number of functions, including: strength to support the plant, flexibility, water-proofing, a barrier to pests and protection against environmental stress.

Image courtesy: ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology. Alice Trend with a group of children exploring the Bio-Bounce.
29 October 2013

Engaging our future generation of researchers is critical to the innovation of our nation, but how do we ensure that today’s children are interested in becoming tomorrow’s researchers and possibly a Nobel Laureate or Eureka Prize winner?

The ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology has invested in a creative new approach to entice our children to take an interest in research, science and the importance of plant biology.