Australian Research Council Awards $283.5 million to Nine Centres of Excellence

The Australian Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, has announced that the Australian Research Council (ARC) will fund nine Centres of Excellence which are regarded as being of national importance.

The Research Council has completed a rigorous competitive process in order to determine the institutions that will receive funding.

The acting Chief Executive Officer of the ARC, Ms Leanne Harvey, said

“The ARC Centres of Excellence scheme aims to enhance and develop Australia’s research excellence through highly innovative and collaborative research, as well as build Australia’s human capacity in a range of research areas, including the humanities and social sciences.”

The Centres of Excellence scheme aims to build research capacity and enhance and develop Australia’s research excellence through highly innovative and collaborative research. The recently announced winners, however, all relate to the Australian Government’s priorities in science and research.

The scheme’s objectives are:

  • Highly innovative and potentially transformative research
  • Building on and developing existing strengths in Australian research
  • Develop relationships and build networks with major national and international research centres
  • Build human capacity in Australian research, as well as attracting researchers from abroad
  • Foster and provide high quality postgraduate and postdoctoral training environments to develop the next generation of researchers
  • Provide long term research opportunities for large-scale research problems
  • Encourage centres to have an impact on the wider community by interacting with other institutions

“Seven Australian universities will administer these ARC Centres of Excellence, involving a further 163 participating organisations from across 27 countries—together, they will provide a total of $761.4 million in cash and in-kind support to the Centres.”

The ARC Centres of Excellence awarded funding for 2017 include the following fields of inquiry and institutions:

  • All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions, at The Australian National University – will answer fundamental questions in astrophysics, including the origin of matter and the periodic table of elements, and the origin of ionisation in the Universe.
  • Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, at the University of Wollongong – will establish a world-class, interdisciplinary research programme to understand Australia’s unique biodiversity and heritage.
  • Climate Extremes, at The University of New South Wales – will transform Australia’s capacity to predict future climate extremes through data modelling, research collaboration and researcher training programmes.
  • Engineered Quantum Systems, at The University of Queensland – will harness the quantum world for the future health, economy, environment and security of Australian society.
  • Gravitational Wave Discovery, to be established at the Swinburne University of Technology – will explore the extreme physics of black holes and warped spacetime, inspiring the next generation of Australian scientists and engineers.
  • Exciton Science, to be established at The University of Melbourne – will manipulate the way light energy is absorbed, transported and transformed in advanced molecular materials.
  • Future Low Energy Electronics Technologies, to be established at Monash University – will develop the scientific foundation and intellectual property for new electronics technologies.
  • Population Ageing Research, at The University of New South Wales – will undertake multidisciplinary research that will inform social and economic responses to population ageing.
  • Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, at The University of New South Wales – will develop new technology, expected to provide a strategic advantage in a world where information and security are increasingly important.

More information can be found here.

Photo credit: “”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from the Australian Research Council.


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