Emerging research pioneers championed under University fellowship

30 January 2018





2018 Sydney Research Accelerator (SOAR) fellows announced


Twenty-two gifted early and mid-career researchers have been named as our 2018 Sydney Research Accelerator (SOAR) fellows, two of which are our very own Associate Professor Chiara Neto and Associate Professor Liz New who are featured below. In 2016 Professor Chris Ling and Associate Professor Deanna D'Alessandro were awarded the inaugural SOARs fellowships. Catch up with what Chris and Deanna are doing here.

The SOAR fellowships, a key initiative in the 2016-20 Strategic Plan, support outstanding up-and-coming research stars to fulfil their potential.

As part of the two-year program, fellows are awarded $50,000 per year to support their research, innovation and development plans. They also benefit from a personalised program of research development support and structured mentoring.

Dr Andrew Black, Director of Research Development and Collaboration in the Research Portfolio, said SOAR is an important part of the University’s strategy to nurture outstanding researchers and spearhead our broader researcher development ambitions.

“SOAR supports our best and most promising researchers to fast-track their career development and position themselves as pioneers in new fields. It helps them build key leadership skills and aids the development of new partnerships with industry, government and community organisations, and other leading academics around the world.”

This year, 60 percent of the fellowships were awarded to women.

From designing the zoos of 2050 to uncovering the genetics of dementia, the fellows and their projects span diverse disciplines.


Associate Professor Chiara Neto

A/Prof Chiara Neto


Congratulations to Associate Professor Chiara Neto who has been named a 2018 Sydney Research Accelerator (SOAR) fellow for mid-career researchers. The SOAR fellowships, a key initiative in the 2016-20 Strategic Plan, support outstanding up-and-coming research stars to fulfil their potential.

Chiara’s research takes inspiration from nature to design slippery nanostructured surface coatings that have a variety of applications, from increasing the energy efficiency of commercial shipping to alleviating water scarcity in arid climates. The fellowship will expand her leadership at Sydney Nano and enable face-to-face collaborations with leading global experts in her field and industry.


Associate Professor Liz New

A/Prof Liz New

Congratulations to Associate Professor Liz New who has been named a 2018 Sydney Research Accelerator (SOAR) fellow for early-career researchers. The SOAR fellowships, a key initiative in the 2016-20 Strategic Plan, support outstanding up-and-coming research stars to fulfil their potential.

Liz’s develops fluorescent chemical sensors that help visualise biological processes to better understand Alzheimer’s, obesity and cancer, as well as find toxic metals in soils to improve agriculture in remote communities. Already a leader at the forefront of chemical probe development within Australia, the fellowship will assist with the commercialisation of her research.