Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee.
Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee.

SCU receives $1.7 million in research grants

SOUTHERN Cross University has received $1.7 million from the Australian Research Council (ARC) for projects including an investigation of carbon burial in mangroves and understanding the use of digital technology in health and physical education programs in schools.

The funding was announced by the Federal Minister for Education Christopher Pyne.

The university has received two Discovery Early Career Research Awards, which support and advance promising early career research; three Discovery Project grants and an ARC Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities scheme grant.

Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee said the result was outstanding.

"Across all Australian universities, we had the highest success rate for our applications for the Discovery Early Career Research Awards. For Discovery Projects our success rate was second only to the Australian National University," Professor Lee said.

"This is an excellent result for our researchers. These are highly competitive grants and the success of our applications is a real testament to the high quality of research we are undertaking at SCU."

The early career awards worth $360,000 each were awarded to Dr Damien Maher, a researcher with the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry Research, for a project to better understand terrestrial-aquatic carbon cycling and Dr Zhaohui Wang, from Southern Cross GeoScience, who will use an innovative geochemical technique to increase our understanding of ozone layer depletion.

The successful Discovery Projects were led by: Dr Bradley Eyre, director of the Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry Research; Dr Christian Sanders, from the School of Environment, Science and Engineering; and Dr Michael Gard, from the School of Education.

Dr Amanda Reichelt-Brushett received funding through the ARC Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (ARC LIEF) scheme, for infrastructure to underpin research within the School of Environment, Science and Engineering and Southern Cross GeoScience.

"These projects will add significantly to our understanding of the changes happening within our natural environment and inform strategies to conserve and restore these environments," Professor Lee said.

"The project led by Dr Gard is focusing on the use of digital technology in school health and physical education, providing new knowledge for both teacher training and the public health role of schools."

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said applicants for the competitive grants went through a rigorous six-month selection process.

"We are concentrating our research in areas where we have high levels of expertise and where we can make a real contribution to both the regions we serve and the global community," Professor Mackenzie said.

In addition, SCU researchers have been successful in a number of research projects administered through other universities.



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