ARC Grants

Project title: Allegiance and Citizenship in Australian Law and History
Researcher: Irving, H
Grant type:  ARC Discovery Project
Duration:  2017-2019
Funding:  $153,000
Project summary: This project aims to identify a coherent and stable concept of allegiance in Australian law. Allegiance lies at the heart of Australia’s citizenship law, but Australia does not have a clear legal definition of allegiance. It is the historical key to holding or losing citizenship, and the constitutional criterion for distinguishing between citizens and aliens. Conceptions of allegiance can affect individuals, conceptions of the national community, and policies of multiculturalism and minority rights. This project will trace and interpret references to allegiance and citizenship in Australian jurisprudence, case law, legislation, executive decisions and policy. The project aims to help the public understand the rules governing membership of the Australian community.
Project title: Evaluating consumer product regulatory responses to improve child safety
Researcher: Vallmuur, K; Ivers, R; Harrison, J; Nottage, L; Barker, R
Grant type:  ARC Discovery Project
Duration:  2017-2019
Funding:  $403,000
Project summary: This project aims to quantify the level of similarity between consumer product regulatory practices and child injuries, and compare national approaches. Consumer product safety regulation operates in a global and ‘virtual’ market. Online purchasing, limited border protection and distance between suppliers and consumers make monitoring and enforcing product safety more difficult for regulators, putting consumers at risk. A rapid responsive product safety system that operates across sectors and borders is an international priority. This project expects to close gaps in consumer regulatory practice and safety policy.
Project title: Legal and Social Dynamics of eBook Lending in Australia’s Public Libraries
Researcher: Giblin, R; Weatherall, K; Thomas, J; Webb, G
Grant type:  ARC Linkage Project
Duration:  2016-2019
Funding:  $252,000
Project summary: This project aims to develop an evidence base of quantitative and qualitative data about how eBooks are used in libraries. EBooks have tremendous beneficial potential, particularly for Australians in remote areas and those with impaired mobility or vision. However, libraries’ rights to acquire and lend them are more restricted than for physical books. Libraries and legal, social and data science researchers will investigate eBook lending practices and understand their social impacts. The project will identify ways of reforming policy, law, and practice to help libraries fulfil their public interest missions. This project is expected to enable libraries to extract more value from existing public investments.
Project title: Indonesia's Anti-Corruption Courts: Making or Breaking Governance Reform?
Researcher: Butt, S
Grant type:  ARC Future Fellowship
Duration:  2016-2019
Funding:  $888,015
Project summary: This project plans to help policy-makers and the community to understand Indonesia's new regional anti-corruption courts. Indonesia has notoriously high levels of public-sector corruption which are undermining Indonesia's post-Soeharto governance reforms, eroding support for democracy and decentralisation, and threatening stability. Regional anti-corruption courts were established from 2011, ostensibly to help curb corruption. This project plans to examine how these courts operate and assess their effectiveness. Their performance is critical to the success of Indonesia's broader governance reforms, including democratisation and decentralisation, which in turn help Indonesia sustain political stability and economic development, both of which affect the economic and security interests of Australia and the region.
Project title: Threshold Decisions in Determining Whether to Prosecute Child Sexual Abuse
Researcher: Cashmore, J; Shackel, R; Goodman-Delahunty, J; Powell, M; Parkinson, P; Cowdery, N
Grant type:  ARC Discovery Project
Duration:  2016-2019
Funding:  $585,000
Project summary: The objective of this project is new knowledge about the way police and prosecutors make decisions about the prosecution of child sexual assault that could be used to influence policy and practice. Few cases of child sexual abuse reported to the police ever go to court but recent research in New South Wales for the Royal Commission indicates that the proportion has declined sharply over the last decade or so. This project aims to examine how police and prosecutors decide which cases proceed and why, and how they confer with each other as well as when and how they consult with complainants and their families. This project plans to also develop and test practice tools and principles for police and prosecutors with expected benefits for both them and the families involved.
Project title: Conditional Citizenship? Revocation's Implications for Australians
Researcher: Thwaites, R
Grant type:  ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)
Duration:  2016-2018
Funding:  $375,000
Project summary: This project aims to study the implications of the proposed citizenship changes in Australia. Spurred by a potential terrorist threat from citizens, the government has proposed expanded powers to strip a person of their Australian citizenship. Proposed as an instrument of counter-terrorism policy, the expansion of powers over citizenship also has significant implications for fundamental principles of Australian law and for the very nature of Australian citizenship, which is a key legal link between individual and state. The project plans to draw on the experience of countries comparable with Australia and relevant theory. It aims to provide guidelines for policy makers and to benefit debate on the legal constitution and nature of the Australian community.
Project title: Regulating Autologous Stem Cell Therapies in Australia
Researcher: Stewart, C; Kerridge, I; Waldby, C; Minsie, M; Lipworth, W; Lysaght, T
Grant type:  ARC Linkage Project
Duration:  2015-2018
Funding:  $450,000
Project summary: This project aims to develop an ethical and regulatory framework for the use of autologous adult stem cell therapies in Australia. These therapies are increasingly being offered to patients for diseases and conditions that lack scientific evidence of safety and efficacy. This study aims to address this problem using a mixed methods approach to generate empirical data and theoretical, ethical and legal insights that will guide the responsible development, translation and regulation of innovative stem cell therapies in Australia and internationally. Anticipated outcomes will improve patient advocacy and public knowledge about adult stem cell therapies, and facilitate better relationships between patients, researchers and clinicians.
Project title:  Effective Decision Making Support for People with Cognitive Disability
Researcher: Bigby, C; Douglas, J; Carney, T; Wiesel, I; Then, S; Chesterman, J; Cook, J; Dodds, I
Grant type:  ARC Linkage Project
Duration:  2015-2019
Funding:  $495,700
Project summary: This project aims to produce and test evidence-based education resources that boost the ability of supporters of people with cognitive disability to put the supported person's own desires and values at the centre of decisions, as required by treaty obligations and best practice. The project aims to develop innovative education resources, and then to investigate the impact of the resources on the practices of decision-making supporters and the person being supported in a randomised control trial in three jurisdictions. The anticipated outcome is a demonstrably effective capacity-building tool, able to cater for all types of cognitive disabilities and the full spectrum of support contexts from guardianship to informal support.
Project title:  International Obligations in IP Enforcement
Researcher: Weatherall, K
Grant type:  ARC Discovery Project
Duration:  2015-2017
Funding:  $179,728
Project summary: Intellectual property (IP) enforcement can make websites disappear, cause businesses or individuals to lose internet access, plant and equipment, stop imports or freeze technological innovation. The impact of IP on businesses and individuals depends critically on how we frame remedies and enforcement processes. These legal processes are increasingly dictated by treaty. This project aims to produce a first-of-its-kind legal analysis and conceptual synthesis of recent international and domestic developments in enforcement of patent, trade mark, copyright and other similar rights. The project intends to bring analytical rigour to highly polarised academic and policy discussions around the growth of international and domestic rules about IP enforcement.
Project title:  The Response of Australian Family law to Islamic community processes
Researcher:  Ahmed, F; Evans, C; Rhoades, H; Krayem, G
Grant type:  ARC Discovery Project
Duration:  2015-2017
Funding:  $329,900
Project summary: The question of whether the Australian legal system should recognise Islamic family law processes has attracted increasing debate in recent years, reflecting similar developments in other countries. Underpinning opposition to legal recognition are concerns that such processes disadvantage Muslim women. Despite these claims, little is presently known about the impact of these processes or about the experiences of Muslim women who use them. This project, which combines expertise in law and religion and family law, aims to provide the first detailed empirical and normative examination of this question in Australia, offering a unique evidence base to inform future policy developments.
Project title: International Law and the Anthropocene
Researcher: Stephens, T
Grant type:  ARC Future Fellowship
Duration: 2014-2018
Funding: $711,995
Project summary: This project aims to examine how international law deals with environmental systems in the Anthropocene: the current geological epoch defined by human interference with Earth's biophysical systems. It will assess whether and how international law takes a systemic approach in controlling human impacts upon key environmental spheres (in particular the atmosphere, cryosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere). The project also aims to assess whether environmental regimes are capable of further development to ensure the continued existence of a safe operating space for humanity.
Project title: Improving wellbeing through student participation at school

Graham, A; Bessell, S; Cashmore, J; Thomas, N; Thornton, P; Gardon, L; Habgood, R

Grant type:  ARC Linkage Project
Duration:  2014-2017
Funding: $320,000
Project summary: Current evidence suggests child and youth participation in matters affecting their lives has many benefits, but little is known about how this is perceived and practiced in education. This research aims to improve knowledge about processes and outcomes of student participation at school, particularly in relation to improving wellbeing. The project is timely and significant because recent reforms in education now require a greater emphasis on engaging students more directly in decisions about their education, including those with special needs. Schools urgently require knowledge about the key elements of participation that impact on wellbeing and a tool for measuring and monitoring their performance in facilitating these elements.
Project title: Protected action ballots and protected industrial action under the Fair Work Act: The impact of ballot procedures on enterprise bargaining processes
Researcher: McCrystal, S
Grant type:  ARC Discovery Project
Duration:  2014-2016
Funding: $318,000
Project summary: This project will examine the process by which employees and their bargaining representatives choose to take lawful industrial action under the Fair Work Act. It will explore the effect of the statutory processes on bargaining representative decision-making and bargaining behaviour, and the effect on employee access to lawful industrial action.
Project title: The fundamental importance of foreign direct investment to Australia in the 21st century: Reforming treaty and dispute resolution practice
Researcher: Trakman, L; Nottage, L; Kurtz,J; Armstrong, S
Grant type: ARC Discovery Project
Duration: 2014-2016
Funding: $260,000
Project summary: This project will evaluate the economic and legal risks associated with the Australian Government's current policy investor-state dispute settlement through multidisciplinary research, namely econometric modeling, empirical research through stakeholder surveys and interviews, as well as critical analysis of case law, treaties and regulatory approaches. The aim of this project is to identify optimal methods of investor-state dispute prevention, avoidance and resolution that efficiently cater to inbound investors as well as Australia as a whole. The goal is to promote a positive climate for investment inflows and outflows, while maintaining Australia's ability to take sovereign decisions on matters of public policy.
Project title: How are decisions made in Children's Court care matters and what are the outcomes for children?
Researcher: Cashmore, J
Grant type:  ARC Discovery Project
Duration:  2013-2015
Funding: $265,401
Project summary: How are decisions made in Children's Court child protection cases and what are the outcomes for children? This research will examine, for the first time in Australia, the evidence provided to the courts, how it is used and viewed by legal and non-legal professionals, and how these link with children's experiences and their developmental outcomes.
Project title: Responsibility in criminal law
Researcher: Loughnan, A
Grant type: ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
Duration: 2013-2015
Funding: $374,906
Project Summary: The principle of criminal responsibility lies at the heart of our criminal justice systems. This project provides a systematic analysis of criminal responsibility in the context of the NSW criminal law. It engages Australian scholarship in, and enhances Australia's contribution to, an important and growing field.
Project title: Comparing immigration policy in the ‘Group of Five’: Developing an evidence base for evaluating the role of policy in international migration
Researchers: Crock, M,  Castles, S, Hiscox, M, Thielemann, E and Cully, M
Grant type:  ARC Linkage Project
Duration:  July 2012-June 2015
Funding: $320,000
Project summary: Testing the impact of immigration policy is an interdisciplinary, multi-national study evaluating the policy management of immigration movements over 50 years and across the five countries Australia uses as comparators. It includes a detailed study of measures to deter and otherwise control irregular migration.
Project title: Cyber-racism and community resilience
Researchers: Jakubowicz, M, Mason, G,  Bliuc, A-M, Paradies, Y, Nasya, B, Dunn, K, Erlichster, V & Henry, A
Grant type: ARC Linkage Project
Duration: July 2012-June 2015
Funding: $173,224
Project summary: Racism has become a significant source of social stress, facilitated through the internet, undermining community cohesion. This project will document perpetrators’ creation of racist content, internet users’ exposure to cyber-racism, the capacity of regulation to manage the impact, and how social media can help communities to resist cyber-racism.
Project title: Evidence-informed legal strategies for preventing cancer, heart disease and diabetes: what can Australia learn from the United States? 
Researchers: Magnusson, R & Gostin, L
Grant type: ARC Discovery Project
Duration: January 2012-December 2014  
Funding: $212,000 
Project summary: Tobacco use, poor diet, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are the leading, preventable causes of death and disability in Australia. Achieving improvements in these lifestyle risk factors across the population could significantly boost healthy life expectancy and reduce mortality from heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes and tobacco-related diseases. By reviewing evidence of the effectiveness of laws for addressing these risk factors, and considering the experience of jurisdictions in the United States, this project will strengthen the capacity of policy-makers in Australia to make evidence-informed decisions about legal initiatives to prevent these diseases. 
Project title: Testing trade mark law's image of the consumer
Researchers: Burrell, R, Humphreys, M, Weatherall, K,  Kelly,S, Burt, J & Richardson, M
Grant type: ARC Linkage Project
Duration: January 2012-December 2014
Funding: $250,000
Project summary: An effective trade mark law is vital both to protect consumers and to allow businesses to build brand recognition. This project seeks to put Australian trade mark law on a firmer empirical footing by bringing together experts from psychology, law and marketing to test the law's assumptions against actual consumer responses.

NHMRC Grants

Project title: Can One Health strategies be more effectively implemented through prior identification of public values?
Researchers: Degeling, C; Gilbert, G; Wilson, A; Keridge, I; Ward, M; Stewart, C
Grant type: NHMRC Project Grant  
Duration: 2015-2017
Funding: $565,105
Project summary:

Animals are the source of 75% of emerging infectious diseases (EID) affecting humans. Australia is vulnerable to EIDs because of our diverse ecosystems, highly urbanized, mobile population, residential and agricultural expansion into wild-life habitats and the unregulated use of antimicrobials by many of our Asia-Pacific neighbours. One Health approaches, which emphasize inter-disciplinary co-operation and the importance of regulating the context of disease emergence and expression, are necessary for EID control and prevention. The effectiveness of public policy often depends its alignment with stakeholder and public values. Experience indicates that effective responses to EIDs will be delayed or precluded unless the ethical, legal and socio-political implications are articulated, publicly debated and, as far as possible, resolved in advance. In this project we will examine the ethical and political issues raised by EIDs in Australia. Our aims are to: i) identify socio-political and ethical barriers to effective EID risk governance and the implementation of the new Australian Biosecurity legislation within the One Health paradigm; ii) establish the principles and priorities that communities believe should underpin policy responses to EIDs and EID risks; iii) generate a One Health statement of principles and values to support decision-making and communication around EIDs, and facilitate policy and legislative approaches to EID control. We will combine case study analysis, quantitative and deliberative methods to explore the public's values and preferences, so as to generate a practical understanding of what is required for One Health approaches to work. Through a formal process of community, stakeholder and expert consultation, these conceptual and empirical data will form the basis of a statement of One Health principles and values to support the articulation of EID risk management policies and practices through the new Australian Biosecurity legislation.

Project title: Biobank Networks, Medical Research and the Challenge of Globalisation
Researchers: Kerridge, I; Stewart, C; Cumming, R; Easteal, S; Kowal, E; Waldby, C; Lipworth, W; Critchely, C; Anderson, W; Marlton, P
Grant type: NHMRC Project Grant 
Duration: 2015-2017
Funding: $763,644
Project summary: Biomedical and public health research has historically privileged clinical trials and epidemiological analysis of defined study populations. Increasingly, however, research in medicine and public health relies on large-scale biobanks (biorepositories) that store data and samples from healthy donors or patients. Over the past decade, international networks of biobanks have been established in order to maximise their utility and sustainability. But while biobank networks offer considerable scientific promise, the globalization of research raises numerous and difficult technical, governance, legal and ethical challenges, principally because research is less constrained by institutional, academic, cultural or national boundaries. These include diffculties relating to consent, commercialisation, privacy, treatment of tissue, return of results, benefit sharing, "ownership", funding arrangements, technical standardization, quality control, scientific ownership, intellectual property, and regulatory harmonisation. Unless these challenges are addressed, they may undermine donor communities' commitment to biobanks in Australia and elsewhere, and limit the benefits that may accrue from these networks. Using a variety of methods including surveys, interviews and citizens juries with diverse communities, including Indigenous Australians, this research will provide evidence to inform the development of ethically rigorous and culturally sensitive strategies to ensure that Australian donors and biobanks contribute to, and benefit from, international biobank networks.
Project title: Addressing conflicts of interest in public health and biomedicine: enhancing professional integrity and safeguarding the public’s health
Researchers: Lipworth, W, Kerridge, I, Komesaroff, P, Stewart, C & Olver, I 
Grant type: NHMRC Project Grant 
Duration: January 2014-December 2016
Funding: $564,553 
Project summary: It is common for health researchers, clinicians and policymakers to have "conflicts of interest" due, for example, to relationships with private industry. It is widely accepted that conflicts of interest can at times distort research, policymaking and practice, but there is no consensus as to how they should be conceptualised, assessed or managed. In this project we will explore the causes and impacts of conflict of interest, and devise a sophisticated framework for managing them. 

Other Competitive Grants

Project title: Evaluating smallholder livelihoods and sustainability in Indonesian coffee and cocoa value chains
Researchers: Neilson, J, Butt, S, Toth, R
Grant type: Research and Development Programs (R&D Programs), Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Duration: 2014-2017
Funding: $1,125,353
Project summary:

The livelihood and sustainability benefits of value chain interventions, enacted by development agencies, the public sector and government actors, are inconclusive and continue to be debated in the literature. Despite this, numerous interventions have already been introduced in the Indonesian coffee and cocoa industries, including:

  1. Certification and verification schemes for sustainable production, such as Rainforest Alliance, Utz Certified, the Common Code for the Coffee Community and the Starbucks Café Practices Scheme (Certification Schemes);
  2. Facilitating closer vertical relationships between producers and lead firms (in both domestic and international markets) through enhanced buyer linkage programs (Buyer Linkages);
  3. The protection of regional brand assets as place-based intellectual property with subsequent enforcement through the value chain (Geographical Indications);
  4. Industrial policies that support domestic upgrading into new value chain functions through the downstream processing of coffee and cocoa beans (Downstream Processing).
This proposed research will ascertain the social, economic and environmental impacts of these specific value chain interventions, with a primary focus on sites of farm production, using internationally-recognised indicators and methodologies of impact evaluation.