Discovery bonanza: 20 UTS research proposals attract ARC funding

Arid woodland in central Australia (Photo by Derek Eamus) 930x486

Research on water-limited woodlands in current and future climates is one of 20 to win Discovery funding (Photo by Derek Eamus)

In summary: 
  • 20 research projects at UTS will receive funding under the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects scheme announced last Friday
  • The total value of the projects will exceed $7.2 million over the next three years, making it the most successful in the University’s history

Investigating the “coal rush”, examining the impact of climate change on microorganisms in our oceans and looking at how multicultural Australia is represented in our media are just some of the 20 successful research projects at UTS that will receive funding under the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects scheme announced by Minister for Education, Hon Christopher Pyne MP last Friday.

The successful Discovery proposals are funded to a total value exceeding $7.2 million over the next three years, making this round the most successful in the University’s history.

The Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster (C3) had an impressive result, receiving funding grants totalling over $1.8 million for four projects. Their research will advance our understanding of the impact of climate change on the health and function of our oceans and examine the behaviour of water-limited woodlands in current and future climates.

The Centre for Quantum Computation & Intelligent Systems (QCIS) also received over $1.5 million in funding for four projects including research into a new area of data mining enabled by the addition of location information provided by GPS-enabled devices, and into models to tackle the challenge of finding useful information from huge, complex systems of information with constantly evolving user relationships, such as social networks. 

A project to develop new econometric models of choice behaviour which will improve our understanding of human decision making and has impacts on policy making and analysis in the future led by Professor Joffre Swait and his team at the Centre for the Study of Choice received the largest amount of funding for a single proposal this round - $680,000 over three years.

Recipient of this year’s UTS Chancellor's Medal for Exceptional Research Professor Matt Wand was also successful in receiving $375,000 worth of funding for his work in the field of streaming data analysis.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Attila Brungs welcomed the results.

“This is an outstanding result and is great news for UTS researchers, students and the broader community, all of whom stand to benefit from the research these grants have funded,” said Professor Brungs.

“ARC grants are amongst the most competitive in Australia; these results are testament to the quality of our researchers and their projects.”

In addition, Dr Alan Morris has recently arrived at the UTS Centre for Local Government to lead a Discovery-funded project that will investigate the ways in which long-term renting affects people’s wellbeing to gain insights into the long-term effects of housing insecurity.

UTS also received a Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grant worth $284,000 for AustLii to further development of the International Law Library on the World Legal Information Institute. The funding will be used to procure processing, storage and scanning equipment for the benefit of international law research.

The 20 projects which have been funded through the Discovery scheme are:

Prof Joffre Swait, UTS Business School
Improving Choice Models: Multiple Goal Pursuit and Multi-Stage Decision Processes
$680,000

Dr Justin Seymour, Faculty of Science
Social networking in a changing ocean:  Microbial-scale ecological interactions control ocean-scale chemistry
$588,000

Assoc Prof James Goodman, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Coal Rush and Beyond: Climate Change, Coal Reliance and Contested Futures
$588,000

Prof Alfredo Huete, Faculty of Science
Impacts of extreme hydro-meteorological conditions on ecosystem functioning and productivity patterns across Australia
$460,000

Prof Derek Eamus, Faculty of Science
Comparative eco-physiology of two contrasting arid-zone woodlands in Central Australia: hydrological niche separation and ecosystem resilience
$400,000

Prof Dacheng Tao, Faculty of Engineering and IT
Nonlinear Transfer Distance Metric Learning for Gleaning Knowledge from the Crowd
$400,000

Prof Jie Lu, Faculty of Engineering and IT
Fuzzy Transfer Learning for Prediction in Data-Shortage and Rapidly-Changing Environments
$394,000

Prof Chengqi Zhang, Faculty of Engineering and IT
Location-aware Frequent Pattern Mining from Uncertain Spatial Transaction Data
$390,000

Prof Xingquan Zhu, Faculty of Engineering and IT
Enabling User-Centric Wisdom Engines for Big Information Network Search
$382,000

Prof Matt Wand, Faculty of Science
Semiparametric Regression for Streaming Data
$375,000

Dr Martina Doblin, Faculty of Science
Incorporating new knowledge of phytoplankton diversity and nutrient utilisation into an ocean-climate model to improve forecasts of ocean function
$375,000

Prof Jonathan Adams, Faculty of Health
The rise of complementary self-care: A national sociological study of women's strategies for coping and living with chronic illness
$350,000

Prof Geoffrey Smith, Faculty of Science
New generation nanostructured coatings with combined control of spectral and angular emissivity
$350,000

Assoc Prof Stephen Goodall, UTS Business School
Nanny state or good public policy: Do the benefits of mandatory health programs justify the loss of consumer choice?
$350,000

Prof Milos Toth, Faculty of Science
Development of high efficiency nanocatalysts using novel electron beam fabrication and imaging techniques
$270,000

Prof Roderick O'Donnell, UTS Business School
An Edition of the Remaining Unpublished Writings of JM Keynes
$237,000

Dr Mikhail Anufriev, UTS Business School
Heuristic-based behavioural models with an application to macroeconomics
$190,000

Prof John C Wooders, UTS Business School
Strategic Behaviour in Games
$174,000

Prof Nikolas Coupland, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Voice, indexicality and the mediation of diversity on Australian television
$166,000

Dr Hokyong Shon, Faculty of Engineering and IT
Developing an innovative high performance thin-film composite membrane using  functionalized nanofibrous support layers for engineered osmosis
$155,709