ACU researchers win over $2 million in grants

ACU researchers have been awarded more than $2 million in Australian Research Council grants.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor James McLaren said these significant grants were an endorsement of ACU’s research excellence.

“These projects, drawing on community and industry expertise, will lead to real impact on education and health outcomes for all,” Professor McLaren said.

At the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, a team led by director Professor Rhonda Craven is partnering with the Wonnarua Nation Aboriginal Corporation on a Linkage project to evaluate the effectiveness of literacy and numeracy interventions for Aboriginal preschool and young children.

The project was awarded $777,000 in ARC funding.

The Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research has been awarded $554,000 to understand how fat molecules influence cell metabolism, growth, and development.

Researchers will collaborate with St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research (SVI) on the Discovery project. The research will further expand the collaboration between ACU and SVI which last year received funding from the Victorian government for a health precinct on the Melbourne Campus.

Professor Vince Geiger from the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education was awarded $382,715. He is leading a research team that will generate new knowledge about critical mathematical thinking.

The Discovery project involves teachers as well as representatives from national curriculum and teacher professional bodies to deliver improved learning outcomes for all students.

ACU researchers have also been successful on grants led by other universities.

They include Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick from the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences who is co-investigator on a Discovery project led the University of New South Wales on Russian immigration and anti-communism in Australia during the Cold War.

Associate Professor Michael Champion and Dr Michael Hanaghan from the Institute for Critical Religion and Inquiry are each collaborating on Discovery projects with the Universities of Western Australia and Sydney on ancient and classical literatures.

The successful Linkage and Discovery outcomes follow the earlier success of two Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards for projects in health humanities and gender based in the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry.

Dr Kylie Crabbe was awarded $385,023 to study disability in early Christianity with research impact on issues arising from the Disability Royal Commission and Covid-19 measures.

Dr Dawn LaValle Norman was awarded $380,204 to explore the role women played in the intellectual life in the ancient world and the long history of modern gender representation.


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