Funding boost for early career researchers at ACU

Three ACU researchers have been awarded Australian Research Council funding in the highly competitive Discovery Early Career Research Awards (DECRA) - the largest DECRA pool ever awarded at the University.

The recipients are among 200 early career academics to benefit from the $85 million scheme.

DECRAs support Australia’s next generation of researchers working in key priority areas, giving them time and resources to pursue their work.

Each recipient receives salary support for three years and up to $50,000 in additional funding each year for other costs associated with their project.

The trio of projects from ACU will receive more than $1 million for innovative research over the next three years.

Dr Jessica Lake, Research Fellow in the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, received $371,875 for an interdisciplinary study on sexual slander law reform in the 19th century and its relationship to ideas of race and gender. The DECRA project, one of four named in the ARC’s media release, aims to inform policy and legislation to improve women’s ability to redress sexual abuse.

Dr Michael Hanaghan, Research Fellow in the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, received $429,000 to study classical traditions and future thinking in Late Antiquity. The research will examine how future thinking is critical to politics and religion, especially in periods of sustained uncertainty.

Associate Professor Jiesi Guo, Leader of Graduate Research Programs in the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, received $392,877 for research into the best ways to boost school students’ interest in STEM. As part of the project, Assoc. Prof. Guo aims to develop and test an online motivation intervention.

Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor James McLaren said the grants reflected ACU’s sustained investment in research excellence.

“These projects, which address a range of vital contemporary issues, are examples of ACU’s commitment to fundamental, impact-focused research that benefits society,” Professor McLaren said.

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