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Support for research discoveries through ARC Future Fellowships

Support for research discoveries through ARC Future Fellowships


2 August 2018

Support for research discoveries through ARC Future Fellowships

The Australian Research Council (ARC) will provide support for new fundamental research by Australia’s brightest mid-career researchers with $84.7 million to meet critical research challenges.

ARC CEO, Professor Sue Thomas, today welcomed the announcement by Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, of 100 new ARC Future Fellowships under the National Competitive Grants Program to undertake research and make new discoveries in areas of critical national importance.

“Through the ARC Future Fellowships scheme, we are supporting Australia’s next generation of research leaders,” Professor Thomas said.

“These new Future Fellowships are awarded to outstanding mid-career researchers, who will receive funding support for the next four years to undertake their innovative research in Australia.

Some of the 2018 Future Fellows and their projects include:

  • Associate Professor Karin Nordstrom from Flinders University will investigate the neural and behavioural mechanisms that allow insects to efficiently detect moving targets in visual clutter, despite being equipped with small brains and low-resolution eyes. The project will provide significant knowledge about the neural mechanisms underlying sensory selectivity, to develop biomimetic algorithms that can increase the performance of drones or other unmanned vehicles.
  • Dr Fedor Iskhakov from The Australian National University will investigate the interactions between firms over time and how these interactions drive economic markets. The project will develop statistical and computational methods to better understand observed economic behaviour, and support the development of more efficient and better-targeted economic policies.
  • Dr Mary Tolcos from RMIT University will develop novel tools for analysing brain development, to improve our fundamental understanding of the biological mechanisms that drive folding of the cerebral cortex during development of the brain. The project will contribute to improvements in human neurodevelopment and brain health by expanding our understanding of cortical folding abnormalities in babies born preterm, following fetal growth retardation in utero, or when exposed to maternal alcohol.
  • Dr Mirko Lobino from GriffithUniversity will undertake research to address the security vulnerabilities of online data transmission, through cyber attacks and data stealing, to protect the privacy of individuals. The quantum technology developed through this project is expected to lead to intrinsically secure online communication for organisations in the health and defence sectors and private individuals worldwide.
  • Associate Professor Felicity Cox from Macquarie University will generate an integrated and inclusive model of Australian-English, through phonetic analysis of the spoken language used by adolescents from a range of ethnic backgrounds. The project will establish how adolescents from different ethnicities use speech patterns to symbolically express their diverse socio-cultural identities to provide a framework for supporting socio-cultural cohesion in Australia.
  • Dr Raffaella Demichelis from Curtin University will investigate new chemical pathways able to produce clean energy. The project will characterise the rich mineral chemistry observed on ocean floors and in extra-terrestrial environments that naturally produce fuel through harvesting carbon dioxide. The project will generate environmental and economic benefit to Australian and international communities.

A full list of the new 2018 Future Fellows, including a snapshot of funding by state and territory and project summaries, is available from the ARC website.

The ARC Future Fellowships scheme encourages research in areas of national priority, with preference given to researchers who can demonstrate a capacity to build collaboration across industry, with other research institutions and with other disciplines.

Each Future Fellow recipient will receive salary and on-cost support for four years, and up to $50,000 in additional funding per year for other essential costs directly related to their project.

For more information about the ARC Future Fellowships scheme, please visit the ARC website.

Media contact: 
ARC Stakeholder Relations
0412 623 056 or

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