ARC grants recognise high-impact, multidisciplinary research at Western

The Australian Research Council (ARC) has announced more than $3 million in funding for Western Sydney University research projects.

Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Scott Holmes, has congratulated the recipients of eight Discovery Projects and one ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA).

“Discovery Projects are awarded to support projects that will expand Australia’s knowledge base and ensure that the international competitiveness of Australian research is maintained,” says Professor Holmes.

“Discovery Project grants have been awarded to researchers in diverse fields – including education, environmental science, the arts and humanities, social sciences and psychology – demonstrating the range of high-impact, multidisciplinary research and expertise at Western Sydney University.”

ARC Discovery Project grants have been awarded to:

Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment

  • Belinda Medlyn ($485,949.00), ‘Grassland response to variable rainfall regimes’
  • John Hunt ($432,608.00), ‘Sexual conflict and the evolution of nuptial gifts’

Institute for Culture and Society

  • Deborah Stevenson ($435,599.00), ‘UNESCO and the Making of Global Cultural Policy: Culture, Economy, Development'


  • Andre Van Schaik ($402,984.00), ‘Auditory Perception in Silicon’


Centre for Educational Research

  • Tania Ferfolja ($340,076.00), ‘Gender and Sexuality Diversities in Schools: Parental Experiences’

Humanities and Communication Arts

Writing and Society

  • Chris Andrews ($114,913.00), ‘Potential Literatures: The Oulipo and Literary Invention’

Digital Humanities

  • Rachel Hendry ($228,509.00), ‘Waves of words: mapping and modelling Australia’s Pacific ties’

Social Sciences and Psychology

Humanitarian and Development Studies Initiative

  • Andre Renzaho ($448, 472.00), ‘Settlement service literacy and cultural integration in three states that have added more migrants relative to their population in the last 5 years: a multi-site study’

The prestigious ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) has been awarded to:

Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment

  • Kate Umbers ($365,058.00), ‘Startle displays: a new route to resolving the aposematism paradox’

The DECRA is presented to promising early career researchers (ECRs) and caps off a stellar year for Dr Kate Umbers, who in July was named as one of 30 Superstars of STEM by Science & Technology Australia.

Professor Holmes says the DECRA is a significant and notable achievement, which will provide Dr Umbers with the opportunity to pursue diverse career pathways in both teaching and research.

The ARC grants awarded to Western Sydney University amount to a funding total of $3,254,168.00. Full details of each project, including co-investigators, visit the ARC Funding Outcomes page.


10 November 2017

Media Unit