5 June 2017

Prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowships boosting Australia’s research capacity

The Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, has today announced 17 outstanding recipients of new Australian Laureate Fellowships, who will receive a total of $47.0 million in funding through the Australian Research Council (ARC), to lead Australia’s research endeavours.

These prestigious fellowships, which are highly coveted in the Australian research sector, are part of a total $170.6 million in funding awarded across a number of ARC funding schemes announced by Minister Birmingham today.

Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ARC, Ms Leanne Harvey, said the Australian Laureate Fellowships are essential to expanding Australia’s knowledge base and research capability.

“The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme is an integral part of the ARC’s Discovery Program, which supports high quality research, essential to Australia’s innovation system,” Ms Harvey said.

“The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme attracts and retains outstanding researchers and research leaders of international repute so they can undertake ground-breaking, internationally competitive research in Australia. Australian Laureate Fellows also perform a valuable role nurturing excellent research training environments, where early-career researchers are developed and mentored.”

In 2010, the ARC also introduced two special female Australia Laureate Fellowships—the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship awarded to a highly ranked female candidate from the humanities, arts and social science disciplines and the Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship awarded to a highly ranked female candidate from the science and technology disciplines. Recipients of these awards undertake an ambassadorial role to promote women in research and to mentor early career researchers, particularly women, to encourage them to enter and establish careers in research in Australia.

The 2017 awardees are:

  • Professor Michelle Coote—Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship—will investigate establishing a new approach to catalysis using the electrostatic effects of pH-switchable, charged functional groups by utilising simple homogeneous catalysts and polymer-supported enzyme-mimicking catalysts to accelerate and control the chemical reactions used in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and materials which will have significant practical benefits to industry.
  • Professor Ann McGrath—Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship—will conduct research in rediscovering the deep human past by analysing Australia's epic Indigenous narratives alongside relevant new scientific evidence in order to develop future-oriented transdisciplinary techniques for researching the deep human past.

A full list of the new Australian Laureate Fellows is available below and further details are available from the ARC website.
Media contact:
ARC Stakeholder Relations                
0412 623 056 or communications@arc.gov.au