ARC success for ACU researchers

ACU researchers are celebrating after receiving four Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grants.

Two of the grants are focused on educational research, one on psychological research and one on historical research.

The news comes as ACU reflects on its second successful year of research intensification – a five-year strategy which was developed in response to changes in the Australian Higher Education sector.  The strategy aims for better performance in priority research areas, improved reputation, ERA results and overall research rankings.

The initial phase of research intensification has included the establishment of seven research institutes, which have brought together world-class researchers who are committed to developing research expertise in ACU’s priority areas of education, health, theology and philosophy and social justice.

Professor Wayne McKenna, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), said that ACU’s success this year is evidence that the strategy is continuing to bear fruit.

“These results demonstrate that ACU is positioning itself to become a leading research university and highlight our commitment to supporting and developing excellence in research,” he said.

Professor McKenna said that he was particularly pleased that one of the Awards was an Indigenous Discovery Grant.

Dr Anthony Dillon, Professor Phil Riley and Professor Robert Vallerand from the Institute of Positive Psychology and Education (IPPE) were awarded a Discovery Grant for their research Characteristics of successful schools for Indigenous students' achievement.

“IPPE’s success builds on the $1.2 million in ARC Linkage funding and the two Indigenous Discovery Grants that they received last year.  It also demonstrates our commitment to supporting a strong Indigenous research culture,” Professor McKenna said.

Dr Dillon, together with Professor Rhonda Craven, IPPE Director, attended the ARC Major Grants Announcement at the University of Adelaide last week.  Dr Dillon spoke about his Discovery Grant at the Announcement.

Dr Peter Koval and Professor John Gleeson from ACU’s School of Psychology were awarded a Discovery Grant for their research Emotion regulation in daily life: Capturing context and flexibility.

Professor McKenna said the award demonstrated ACU’s strengths in health research which benefits mental health.

Associate Professor Chris Lonsdale (IPPE), Professor Alex Yeung (IPPE), Professor Richard Ryan (IPPE) and Professor Carmel Diezmann (Learning Sciences Institute Australia) were awarded a Discovery Grant for their research Engaging Students during the Early Years of Secondary School.

Professor McKenna said that this grant demonstrated the quality of ACU’s research in education which focuses on improving the learning outcomes, wellbeing and life chances of children and young people.

“Our research in education aims to remove the barriers to learning that some young people face and make a difference to their futures,” he said.

Dr Noah Riseman, from the of School of Arts and Historical Studies Research Concentration, was awarded a Discovery Grant for his research, Serving in Silence? Australian LGBTI Military Service since 1945.

Professor McKenna said the grant demonstrated how ACU’s research and was evidence of ACU’s established strength in social history research reaches out into the community to make a difference.

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