Image: Screenshot of ‘Fireballs in the Sky’ app. Image courtesy: Professor Phil Bland and Curtin University.
28 February 2014

Astronomers at Curtin University are gathering valuable information about meteorites from amateur sky-spotters through a new (free) smart phone application.

The ‘Fireballs in the Sky’ app allows enthusiasts—if they spot what they believe to be a meteorite from their tell-tale fiery flashes—to report a sighting on their iphone or Android, document its location and help work out where it came from in the solar system. At the same time, the field observations and data about the meteorites is being added to an important shared online database.

Image: Lynnette Wanganeen with Dr Chris Morton and copy of an 1867 photograph of her ancestor. Image courtesy: Pauline Cockrill and History SA.
28 February 2014

Family portraits are valued items that give us a unique snapshot of a moment in time and through those image memories that can be cherished for years to come. Such images can also become an important historical record. But not everyone in the community has access to such images and there may be pieces of one’s past that are unknown due to a loss of photographs, which also becomes a gap in the historical records.

Trying to obtain images from previous generations can be difficult, but one researcher is doing all she can to use the past to change the future. Professor Jane Lydon, an ARC Future Fellow and the new Wesfarmers Chair of Australian History at the University of Western Australia, wants to establish visual history as a key aspect of Australian and Indigenous historiography.

ARC Excellence in Research for Australia 2015 logo
28 February 2014

Preparations for the third round of Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) are well and truly underway.

ERA aims to identify and promote excellence across the full spectrum of research activity in Australia’s higher education institutions. It evaluates the quality of the research undertaken in Australian universities against national and international benchmarks.

This is the third ERA, with previous rounds in 2010 and 2012.

Professor Aidan Byrne
28 February 2014

The Australian Research Council (ARC) plays an important role in the provision of Government support for research in Australia. As a grants agency we support the sector though our competitive peer reviewed funding schemes, and this year we will deliver over $800 million to the most dynamic researchers in Australia.

Our grants are competitively awarded to individuals, research teams and large scale centres through two broad arms: the Discovery Program, with a primary focus on pure research endeavour; and the Linkage Program, which creates links outside universities, with industry and other partners and stimulates research impact.

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: © / 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: © / 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.