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Australia invests $41.5 million to secure world-class researchers.



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Media Release

Australia invests $41.5 million to secure world-class researchers

11 May 2006

The Minister for Education, Science and Training, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, today awarded Australian Research Council (ARC) Federation Fellowships to 25 world-class researchers to retain 18 of our best home-grown researchers, bring five Australian research leaders back home and attract two foreign nationals to continue their cutting edge research in this country.

“This $41.5 million investment over five years will enable Australia to maintain and build its international reputation as a leading research nation,” Minister Bishop said.

“Our support for the innovative work of these researchers, in diverse fields including biomedical engineering, justice and law enforcement, environmental sciences, architecture, the physical sciences and history will help to ensure a brighter future for all Australians.

“The Australian researchers returning to this country have most recently held positions with Harvard University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Oklahoma and Yale University in the USA, and the University of Oxford in the UK. The foreign nationals will come to Australian universities from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Brown University in the USA.”

Research to be undertaken under the Federation Fellowships announced today includes:

z developing new drugs to combat mental illnesses;

z identifying the reasons for the success or failure of peace

building in the Pacific and Asia; z developing a new generation of silicon solar cells that will

reduce the costs of generating electricity from sunlight; z improving our understanding of Islam and terrorism in

Southeast Asia;

z developing new methods of detecting explosives and identifying

types of explosives - technology which has relevance for counter-terrorism, medical sciences, forensics, energy generation, monitoring the environment, and quality control in the food industry; z improving our understanding of Australian climate variability

and our ability to respond to predicted impacts; and z developing polymers (plastic-like materials) that respond to

electrical signals which can improve the quality of life for people with heart implants, neuromuscular disorders and spinal cord injuries.

Recipients announced today will add to the 90 Federation Fellowships taken up since the first awards in 2002. Four are being awarded their second Federation Fellowship.

Federation Fellowships are funded under the ARC’s National Competitive Grants Program, as part of the Government’s 10-year $8.3 billion commitment to innovation-Backing Australia’s Ability.

Further information, including a list of the Federation Fellows announced today, is available at http://www.arc.gov.au/.

Media Contacts: Ms Bishop’s Office: Murray Hansen 0417 886 155 Australian Research Council: Simon Sedgley 0412 623 054

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