ARC Grants announced: $38 million to Sydney researchers

27 October 2009

University of Sydney researchers will receive a total of $38,164,052 for 102 projects in the latest round of Discovery projects announced today by the Australian Research Council.

Successful grants range from projects into the needs of people with epilepsy and the history of slavery and human trafficking, to a project that will develop new instruments to help scientists in their search for new planets, including those that could support life.

A number of projects focus on developing environmentally sustainable technologies, while numerous others look into the causes and treatment of cancers. In addition, Yolŋu Elder Dr Joe Gumbula was awarded an inaugural Indigenous Australian Research Fellowship for his work on the Digital futures for the international diaspora of early ethnographic collections from Arnhem Land.

Other projects include:

  • A project to create new software tools that can reduce the amount of energy used by computer systems to create more environmentally-friendly systems ($930,000)
  • A project looking at the complex interaction between the taxation system, family policy and pension system in order to make policy recommendations to ensure the well being of millions of tax payers ($580,000).
  • Using IT in a novel way to help personalised diagnosis for lung cancer and lymphomas. By providing new information on how cancer spreads and resists usual treatments, the project hopes to help the one in four Australians who will be affected by cancer in their lifetimes ($610,000).
  • A project promoting the harmonisation of international tax treatment of permits in carbon emission trading schemes as well as a uniform price for carbon in order to support global initiatives to reduce emissions ($217,000).
  • A project investigating how climate change affects the diversity of Australian species ($510,000).
  • Use of optics made from silk and potential applications in healthcare, medical diagnosis and emergency medicine ($445,000).
  • An investigation into the World Heritage site of Greater Angkor ($907,493).
  • A project developing Australia's first major body of knowledge on the socio-economic factors affecting health and health inequalities ($565,000).
  • Optimising private and government investment to promote human rightsglobally ($278,000).
  • Developing termite control methods through a better understanding of termite worker and royal castes, thereby helping combat the estimated billion dollars of damage caused by termites each year ($810,000).
  • Developing cleaner and more efficient combustion technologies to help reduce carbon footprints ($653,545).
  • A historical analysis comparing Australian artistic responses to the Middle East with those of the USA, Britain and continental Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries ($229,000).
  • A team will look at the growth of classical Greek theatre outside Athens; with the insights gained shedding light on contemporary Australian concerns ($830,000).
  • A project analysing the link between pay level and pay structures and the performance of firms ($174,000).
  • A project investigating the 1948 American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land, providing access to cultural property now held in remote archives ($570,000).
  • An investigation into the climate and geo-biological changes that have affected the Great Barrier Reef over the past 20,000 years ($372,000)

Professor Jill Trewhella, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) said: "I am delighted that we got funding for so many new projects - it really shows the depth of our intellectual strength." She said she was also looking forward to a strong performance by the University in the NHMRC grants awarded later this week.

Further information about these projects, and additional successful University of Sydney projects, is available on the ARC website here. Or download a PDF.

To interview researchers, contact the University of Sydney Media office:

Jacob O'Shaughnessy
Phone: +61 2 9351 4312 or Mobile: 0421 617 861
Kath Kenny
Phone: +61 2 9351 2261 or Mobile: 0434 606 100