Researchers at Australian Catholic
University (ACU) are celebrating after receiving seven Australian Research
Council (ARC) grants – making it the University’s best year for funding
Six of the grants are awarded to
researchers from the Institute of Positive Psychology and Education (IPPE) and the
Learning Sciences Institute Australia (LSIA) and include two grants to
An additional grant was awarded to
Professor Sandra Jones, formerly of the University of Wollongong, now of ACU’s
Centre for Health and Social Research, part of The Mary MacKillop Institute for
Health Research. Professor Jones was
awarded a Discovery Grant for her research Drunk
on confidence, glamour, and fun: Alcohol advertising to women in Australia.
The news comes as ACU reflects on its
first year of research intensification – a strategy which was developed in
response to changes in the Australian Higher Education sector. The strategy aims for better performance in
priority research areas, improved reputation, ERA results and overall research
The initial phase of research
intensification has included the establishment of seven new research
institutes, which have brought together world-class researchers who are
committed to developing research expertise in ACU’s priority areas of
education, health, theology and philosophy and social justice.
Professor Wayne McKenna, Deputy
Vice-Chancellor (Research), said that ACU’s success this year is evidence that the
strategy is already paying off.
“These results demonstrate that ACU is
positioning itself to become a leading research university and highlight our
commitment to supporting and developing excellence in research,” he said.
Professor McKenna said that he was
particularly pleased that Indigenous researchers from the IPPE in ACU’s Faculty
of Health Sciences received two awards.
Professor Janet Mooney was awarded an
Indigenous Grant for her research Triumphing
in the new Indigenous Australia: Explicating key psychosocial determinants of
successful Indigenous professionals’ socio-economic wellbeing.
Dr Fabri Blacklock was awarded an
Indigenous Grant for her research Keeping
culture: Utilising Koori Elders wisdom and knowledge in education.
“The IPPE’s success builds on the $1.2
million in ARC Linkage funding that they received earlier this year and
demonstrates our commitment to supporting a strong Indigenous research
culture,” Professor McKenna said.
The other grants were awarded to
researchers from LSIA, part of the Faculty of Education and Arts.
LSIA Program Director, Professor Joy
Cumming, was awarded a Discovery Grant for her research Effective
teacher-based assessments for students with disability.
Program Director, Professor Morag McArthur,
from the Institute of Child Protection Studies, part of LSIA, was awarded a
Discovery Grant for her research Involving
children in social research: balancing the risks and benefits.
Associate Professor Susan Edwards was
awarded a Discovery Grant for her researchNew play pedagogies for
teaching and learning in the early years.
Associate Professor Vince Geiger was
awarded a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award for his research Designing and implementing effective
cross-curricular numeracy tasks.
Professor McKenna said that these grants
demonstrated the strength of ACU’s research in education which focused on
improving the learning outcomes, wellbeing and life chances of children and
“Our research in education aims to remove
the barriers to learning that some young people face and make a difference to
their futures,” he said.