Sixteen new Australian Laureate Fellowships will receive nearly $50 million for their five-year research projects to explore areas like galactic winds, advanced 3D printing, colonial justice systems, air quality and how old stars are.
Recipients for the highly competitive and prestigious funding were announced Monday by the Australian Research Council in the first 2022 round of the Australian Laureate Fellowships program.
Just 10 per cent of applications were approved, with $48.6 million awarded to the 16 recipients from a total request of $557 million by 160 applicants.
Advanced manufacturing was the most successful science and research priority category – the nine areas the Australian government has targeted as the nation’s most important challenges – although six of the approved projects did not specify one.
Physical sciences was the field of research to receive the most fellowships, followed by psychology.
Monash University was the institution with the most successful applicants for the latest round of Australian Laureate Fellowships, with the University of Queensland, Australian National University and University of Western Australia each landing two.
Funding for each of the 16 five-year projects ranges from $2.5 million to $3.5 million.
University of Technology Sydney professor Larissa Behrendt was awarded $3.5 million to “fundamentally re-make” Australia’s colonial legal institutions to remove the harm they do to Indigenous people and communities.
The leading legal academic’s project aims to develop a coherent strengths-based self-determination model that is applicable across legal and regulatory sectors.
Other recipients include Queensland University of Technology professor Lidia Morawska’s study on air quality improvement, University of Tasmania professor David Bowman for a bushfire project to produce optimal preventive and mitigation strategies, and University of Sydney professor Timothy Bedding, who will investigate the age of stars with asteroseismology – the study of ‘starquakes’.
Australian Laureate Fellowships include two fellowships allocated to women researchers who will undertake an ambassadorial role to promote women in research and to encourage female early-career researchers to pursue their careers in Australia.
Professor Behrendt was awarded one (the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship for studies in humanities, arts and social sciences), while professor Joanne Etheridge was awarded the other (the Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship for research in science and technologies).
Professor Etheridge’s project aims to develop new ways to measure the structure of by reimagining the fundamental concepts behind an electron microscope.
ARC chief executive Judi Zielke said Laureate Fellows are at the forefront of Australian research.
“The Australian Laureate Fellowship scheme is fundamental to the ARC’s Discovery Program, which supports ground-breaking contributions to a researcher’s field, from biotechnology to social science” Ms Zielke said in a statement.
“The scheme allows researchers to establish strong connections with research counterparts and industry partners, which is an integral part of providing an excellent research training environment and high-quality mentorship for early-career researchers.”
The full list of Australian Laureate Fellowships 2022 round one is available here.
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