Griffith researchers receive record funding to tackle global issues

Griffith University has received more than $11 million for new research projects, as part of the Australian Research Council’s major grants for 2017.

The grants were announced by the Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, this morning.

Research into the origins of the human race, the geo-political security of the Asia-Pacific and the impact of climate change and development on our coastlines are among 30 projects to receive funding.

Many of the Griffith projects involve collaboration with researchers at the world’s most prestigious universities, including Oxford University, Yale, Columbia, The University of California, Berkeley and the Max Planck Institute.

The grants confirm Griffith’s position among Australia’s leading research-focused universities, and is recognition of the work being done at Griffith to foster the next generation of top researchers.

Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Ned Pankhurst said the funding would support world-class research at Griffith.

“Our success in securing this funding recognises the researchers at Griffith and the impact of their work in tackling the most pressing issues facing humanity in the 21st century,” he said.

“As a result of this new funding, a whole range of research projects will get off the ground in areas such as science, engineering, criminology, international politics and sociology.

“This remarkable research will advance humankind.”

Strong research culture

Professor Pankhurst said Griffith had developed a strong research culture over the past decade.

“This drives our commitment to higher learning and boosts our capacity to attract the world’s leading researchers across a range of disciplines.”

Griffith University has received more than double the funding secured last year. Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor has congratulated all of the grant recipients.

Significant highlights of today’s funding announcement include:

  • In Griffith’s largest grant, Associate Professor Kai He secured $910,000, to investigate the geo-politics of the Asia-Pacific. This project will help inform Australian foreign policy in the region.
  • Dr Adam Brumm secured $833,000 to improve our understanding of the origins of the human race. The project will explore the earliest traces of habitation on the remote Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
  • Dr Julian Louys secured $652,000 to identify the land routes used by ancient people as they moved through Asia to Australia, using new fossil remains found in Sumatra.
  • Professor Rodger Tomlinson led a team that secured $600,000 to establish a Coastal Engineering Research Field Station that will identify the impact of climate change, extreme weather and development on our coastlines.
  • Professor Michael Jennings, from the Institute For Glycomics, receives almost $900,000 in total for two separate projects. One focuses on triggers for reactions of regulators within bacteria and the other looks at interactions between cellular level carbohydrates.

A full list of Griffith University projects funded can be found on the Australian Research Council website. Click on the link for more detailed articles on Griffith research with impact.