10/11/2017 - 14:50

Feds provide $334m for university research

10/11/2017 - 14:50

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Western Australian universities will receive 8 per cent of the $333.5 million in federal government funding announced today to support new research projects nation-wide.

Curtin University will put about $250,000 of its funding towards improving STEM outcomes in schools. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Western Australian universities will receive 8 per cent of the $333.5 million in federal government funding announced today to support new research projects nation-wide.

The funding stemmed from Australian Research Council’s (ARC) National Competitive Grants Programme and will be used to support 859 projects.

The projects will cover everything from developing a miniaturised cochlear implant to more secure cloud data to new ways to support small businesses, according to Universities Australia.

WA’s 8 per cent of total funding represents about $102 per capita, compared with a national average of $138.

Of WA’s portion, The University of Western Australia will receive 56 per cent, Curtin University 39.7 per cent, Edith Cowan University 2.8 per cent, and Murdoch 1.5 per cent.

About $255,000 of Curtin’s funding will be put towards a Discovery project to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outcomes in schools by compiling practical and research-based evidence of best practice teaching methods.

Universities Australia chief executive Belinda Robinson said the university research projects were awarded after a highly competitive, peer-reviewed process.

“The next big ideas, breakthroughs and innovations get their start in the research projects that we invest in today,” she said.

“They will help us solve some of our biggest medical, environmental and social challenges.”

Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham said the research projects were expected to drive social and economic benefits for Australia.

“This round of grants will increase Australia’s research capacity by expanding our research infrastructure and facilities and support Australia’s most outstanding researchers,’’ he said.

"Including our early-career and indigenous researchers, so they can continue to undertake ground-breaking research into the future.” 

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