Funding success for world-leading projects

More than $3 million has been awarded to Western Sydney University by the Australian Research Council (ARC). The grants will support world-leading research projects that embody the University’s commitment to research excellence and impact.

Drought, gender equity, green construction, adult music education and alien microbiota are just some of the diverse areas funded by the $3.8 million received.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Deborah Sweeney says Western is extremely pleased to receive this significant funding, and congratulates recipients of the 10 Discovery Projects (DP) and one ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA). A further five Discovery Projects involving Western academics, submitted via other institutions, received an additional $1.9 million.

“All projects funded reflect the core of Western’s research ethos; a commitment to positive change and making an impact in the communities we serve across western Sydney, Australia and the world.”

“Western has a growing international reputation for academic excellence and impact-driven research – this funding success reflects this. On behalf of the University I congratulate all funding recipients, and look forward to seeing the evolution of their work and its impact.”

ARC Discovery Projects grants

Discovery Projects grants are awarded to support excellence and expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability. These awards encourage research and training in high-quality research environments and improve international collaborations, to enhance the international competitiveness of Australian research.

Congratulations to the following researchers on their ARC Discovery Projects grant success:

Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment

  • Professor Brajesh Singh and Professor Peter Reich  ($500,000), ‘Colonisation by alien microbiota: identifying key ecological processes’
  • Professor Ian Anderson and Dr Jonathan Plett  ($431,000), ‘Factors controlling ectomycorrhizal contributions to plant N nutrition’
  • Dr Uffe Nielsen, Dr Thomas Jeffries and Dr Yolima Carrillo  ($421,500), ‘Causes and consequences of biogeochemical mismatches during drought’

MARCS Institute

  • Dr Mark Antoniou and Professor Anne Cutler ($421,000), ‘Language typology and cognitive effects of language learning’
  • Dr Jennifer MacRitchie, Professor Roger Dean and Professor Kate Stevens  ($408,000), ‘Maintaining active minds and bodies through adult music education’

School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics

  • Dr Khoa Le and Professor Vivian Tam  ($390,000), ‘Novel multiple-constraint model for green buildings and life-cycle analyses’

School of Education

  • Associate Professor Susanne Gannon and Professor Kerry Robinson
($262,000), ‘Gender Matters: Changing Gender Equity Policies and Practices’

School of Humanities and Communication Arts

  • Dr Jennifer Mensch  ($150,821), ‘Philosophical influences on anthropology’
  • Dr Alison Moore  ($148,000), ‘Sexual Ageing in the History of Medicine 1774-2018’
  • Dr Anna Cristina Pertierra  ($235,000), ‘New consumer cultures in the Global South’

ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards

DECRAs are awarded to promising early career researchers (ECRs) who have been awarded a PhD within five years, or longer if combined with periods of significant career interruption. The award gives ECRs an opportunity for diverse career pathways in both teaching and research, and in research-only positions in high quality and supportive environments with a broadened aim to expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability.

Congratulations to the following researcher on their ARC DECRA success:

Centre for Infrastructure Engineering

  • Dr Pejman Sharafi ($420,437), ‘Interactions between volumetric units in modular buildings’


Full details are available on the ARC Funding Outcomes webpage.