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Katherine Smith, University Media Unit
T: 03 8344 3845
M: 0402 460 147
E:  k.smith@unimelb..edu.au

More than $42.8 million in funding will flow to University of Melbourne researchers after their successful performance in 2011 Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage and Discovery Grants, announced yesterday by the ARC and Federal Minister for Innovation Senator Kim Carr.

The University of Melbourne is the leading recipient of ARC Discovery funding with $37.6 million in project grants.  The remaining $5.3 million received for Linkage Grants will draw complementary industry support in excess of $20 million.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) for the University of Melbourne Professor Peter Rathjen welcomed the funding for the diverse research projects, saying the funding grants and quality of the projects were testament to the University of Melbourne’s status as Australia’s leading research university, backing up its performance in recent international university rankings schemes.

“Melbourne researchers are partnering with some significant industry players in the innovation and R&D sector on Linkage research, and the projects in both Discovery and Linkage areas represent work at the forefront of issues affecting our nation’s livelihood, from environmental reparation and conservation, infrastructure security, and cutting edge medical research, as well as social and cultural innovations,” Professor Rathjen said.

“I look forward to following the progress of these outstanding researchers as their projects come to fruition over the next few years.”

Some of the most successful Discovery Projects and their principal University of Melbourne researchers are:
•    An exploration of free radical generation and reactions in ultrasound assisted processes, led by Professor Franz Grieser (Chemistry)
•    An investigation of optimal control with decentralised information, led by Dr Michael Rotkowitz (Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
•    Knowledge building in schooling and higher education: policy strategies and effects, led by Professor Prof Lyn Yates (MGSE)
•    Land and life: Aborigines, convicts and immigrants in Victoria, 1835-1985: an interdisciplinary history, led by Professor Janet McCalman (History & Philosophy of Science / Centre for Health and Society)
•    Music as bridge between strengths and difficulties: preventing mental ill-health through early identification and early intervention in adolescence, led by Dr Katrina McFerran (Melbourne Conservatorium of Music).

Selected Linkage projects and their industry partners included:
•    A scheme to effectively restore Australia’s degraded river ecosystems, led by Dr Rosemary Elith (Botany) with Department of Sustainability and Environment Victoria (DSE), Parks Victoria, Trust for Nature and Victorian National Parks Association
•    Efforts to harness the genomics revolution to develop radically new approaches to the control of neglected parasites, a major cause of devastating disease in animals and humans worldwide, led by Professor Robin Gasser (Vet Science) with Beijing Genomics Institute
•    Applying social networking technologies to ‘ambivalent socialisers’ in support of smoking cessation, led by Dr Wally Smith (Information Systems) with the Cancer Council of Victoria
•    Profitable plantations of blue mallee for essential oil production, led by Professor Ian Woodrow (Botany) with Felton, Grimwade and Bosisto’s Pty Ltd.

A full list of the University of Melbourne’s ARC funded Discovery and Linkage Grants 2011 is at:
http://www.arc.gov.au/