Celebrating research wins
12 April 2012
Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence and Dr Nicole Gurran from the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning.
Academics across the University of Sydney are starting to explore new ways to tackle some of the big issues of the 21st century thanks to their success in attracting external research funding throughout 2011.
Their work will make a difference across our lives, from developing new ways to battle cardiovascular disease and concerns about food security, to probing how we can harness nanomaterials in the push towards more efficient energy systems. They will also analyse how the world is changing around us, including by improving our understanding of modern China and the impact of the internet on our work and life.
Researchers from across the University submitted successful grant applications in 2011, positioning the University as one of the highest recipients of competitive funding in Australia. New South Wales Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor Mary O'Kane is visiting the University this week to celebrate their success and to meet some of the researchers involved.
"Our strength across many academic disciplines is borne out by the range of successful applications submitted in 2011," said Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence, who will welcome Professor O'Kane to this afternoon's event in the New Law Building Foyer, Camperdown Campus.
"Their success is already having a positive impact, with colleagues working in teams across the University to generate cutting-edge ideas and outcomes that will influence how we live our lives and understand society around us.
"I am looking forward to getting together to help support and celebrate our success as an institution."
Universities and other organisations compete for research income from funds that are listed on the federal government's Australian Competitive Grants Register. The primary sources of national competitive funding for the University of Sydney are grants awarded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
Professor Kathryn North from Sydney Medical School, and Professor Anthony Weiss from the Faculty of Science.
Our researchers submitted 346 applications for ARC Discovery Projects in 2011, with 89 securing funding starting in 2012 - a success rate of 26 percent against the national average of 21.9 percent.
The University's early-career researchers did particularly well in the inaugural ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Scheme (DECRA): 36 academics (almost a fifth of our 194 applications) were among the 277 successful grant recipients nationwide - the highest number of any university and well ahead of the national average success rate of 12.8 percent.
Researchers from across the University (including in the faculties of Dentistry, Engineering and Information Technologies, Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Pharmacy, and Science) were awarded 99 NHMRC project grants, a success rate of 21 percent.
"Our researchers' success is good news for the University of Sydney and for Australia more widely," said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Jill Trewhella. "Their achievement indicates that we are realising our aims to identify and nurture the best research talent across the University, and to make a difference to the future of the nation thanks to their work across a wide range of disciplines."
Further information on grant funding outcomes for the University can be found on the Research Support website.