Australian Research Council grants

The Australian Research Council is one way the Australian Government delivers its goal to advance Australian research and innovation globally and benefit the community. Explore the issues and questions it felt were important enough to back in a nationally competitive process for funding.

Future Fellowships

Future Fellowships promote research in areas of critical national importance by giving outstanding researchers incentives to conduct their research in Australia.

The aim of Future Fellowships is to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers. Projects include:

Place and displacement in Aboriginal Australia: A Warlpiri visual cultural enquiry

At a time of social turbulence and hyper-mobility, this project examines Aboriginal people’s transforming relationships to place. From ancestral places, to the nation and beyond, it analyses how Warlpiri people of central Australia have pictured themselves in a changing world. 

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Enhancing our understanding of, and capacity to address, racism in Australia

Despite the well-recognised need to understand and address racism, it remains a globally significant issue.

Encompassing a range of internationally novel research, this project aims to enhance conceptual understandings of racism and anti-racism and investigate empirical data on the health and social effects of racism.

Funding period: 2014–2017
Investigator: Professor Yin Paradies
Administering organisation: Deakin University

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Heritage diplomacy and One Belt One Road

This project conceived by Professor Tim Winter from the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI), looks at the use of history and culture to advance 21st Century Silk Roads' trade and diplomatic ties across Eurasia and the Indian Ocean Region and then link to Tim's story.

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20th century biological research in Indigenous Australia

Professor Kowal’s Future Fellowship will investigate how biological knowledge about Australia’s First Nation’s peoples was produced across the 20th Century.  

The project has implications for the role of biology in Aboriginal studies and investigates what has happened to the biological samples – blood, bone and hair - on which that knowledge was created.

This project will look at the biological specimens, blood, bone and hair that were collected by scientists in the early 20th century and how they were used to create knowledge about Aboriginal people. It will also look at what has happened to those samples over time as many of them still persist today.

DECRA Fellowships

DECRA Fellowships support and advance promising early career researchers in areas of national importance.

They enhance opportunities for diverse career pathways, enabling research and research training in high-quality and supportive environments.

Navigating difference: Children’s experiences of an Australia – South Korea school partnership

International and intercultural education are globally recognised as critical to students’ development as global citizens. However, to date there is limited research about how primary school students engage in international education activities, including international school partnerships, also known as ‘sister school’ partnerships.

This project aims to develop a greater understanding of how students on both sides of a global partnership in Australia and South Korea experience racial, ethnic and cultural diversity in daily life and how participation in their schools’ partnership activities might help encourage positive relations between people from diverse backgrounds.

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The Chaotic Transition from War to Peace in Soviet-Occupied Europe, 1945–53

Historians are struggling to understand the complexities of the chaotic and violent transition from war to peace in Soviet-occupied Europe after World War II.

Our project seeks to apply an innovative methodology to newly declassified archival data comparing the experiences of social collapse, famine and reconstruction across this region.

Funding period: 2015–2018
Investigator: Dr Filip Slaveski
Administering organisation: Deakin University

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Religion and Urban Development in India: Planning Sustainable Cities

Our project argues that religion influences urban development in India and must inform policy.

India's scale and speed of urbanisation makes its sustainable urban development critical globally, yet modernist urban planning has failed to address slum growth, poverty, gender inequality and ecological crises.

Using interviews, archival research and fieldwork in six walled cities that clearly display the interactions of religion and modernity, this project will show how religion also shapes these issues and must be part of their solution.

Funding period: 2014–2017
Investigator: Dr Yamini Narayanan
Administering organisation: Deakin University

Shared Belonging in Australia: Public Space and Intercultural Relations in Suburban Darwin

This project aims to develop a multi-layered and multi-dimensional understanding of public spaces in suburban Darwin, a Larrakian city.

Our researchers seek to respect and value insights from people who have experienced dispossession and displacement, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and racialised migrants.

Funding period: 2013–2015
Investigator: Dr Michele Lobo
Administering organisation: Deakin University

Measuring the Destruction of Heritage and Spikes of Violence in Iraq

We address the relationship between heritage destruction and violence in Iraq since 2003.

Employing an innovative methodological approach, our project generates new understandings of the complex inter-relationship that exists between the destruction of cultural heritage and sharp upsurges in terror and violence.

Funding period: 2012–2014
Investigator: Dr Benjamin Isakhan
Administering organisation: Deakin University

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Discovery Projects

The Discovery Projects scheme supports excellent basic and applied research and expands Australia's knowledge base and research capability.

Discovery Projects enhance international collaboration in research by fostering international competitiveness of Australian research.

A Buddhist Debate and Its Contemporary Relevance

This project is concerned with one of the central debates in Tibetan philosophy concerning truth, realism and epistemic justification. It begins with Daktsang Lotsawa's charge that Tsongkhapa, one of Tibet's most influential philosophers, was guilty of "18 great contradictions" in his presentation of the two truths (conventional and ultimate), and it then explores the responses by Tsongkhapa's followers up to the present day.

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Islamic Religiosity and Challenge of Political Engagement and National Belonging in Multicultural Western Cities

This is an Australian Research Council funded project conducted by researchers at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Australia, and City University of New York (CUNY), United States.

The project illustrates the role that Islamic religious beliefs, rituals and faith-based community practices play in shaping experiences of belonging and citizenship in multicultural, western cities.

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Let the Dead speak: Social Engagement in Spiritualism

This is a unique, three-year investigation of the sociological, anthropological, and historical dimensions of Spiritualism in Australia, a small but highly influential religious movement.

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The Civic Life of Young Australian Muslims: Active Citizenship, Community Belonging and Social Inclusion

Enhancing the engagement of marginalised youth in civic life is critical for a healthy democracy and community cohesion. Unlike the more common focus on exclusion and disadvantage, this project investigates the range of ways young Australian Muslims actively participate in civic life and establish belonging in community.

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The Effects of Transnational Mobility on Youth Transitions

Young people increasingly migrate abroad for work and education, and Australia is a significant hub for sending and receiving. Migration and education policies encourage this mobility, which is expected to provide youth with enhanced life chances and competitive skills. However, very little research examines its effects on young people’s transitions: that is, its impact on their establishment of ongoing social and familial ties, capacity for engaged citizenship and sustained belonging, and efforts to make adult identities and imagine and enact longer term plans and life trajectories.

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Young Australians' perspectives on religions and non-religious worldviews

Australia’s religious profile has altered dramatically in recent decades. The proportion of the population who identify as Christians has fallen markedly. Together, followers of the Buddhist, Hindu and Jewish faiths now represent about six per cent of the population.

By systematically eliciting young people’s understandings about religion and belief, this project will inform public debate about how education can assist or impede intercultural understanding and processes of social inclusion and countering extremism.

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Reconciling Biological and Social Indigeneity in the Genomic Era

Our Indigenous and non-Indigenous investigators examine biological and social influences on Indigeneity.

We use multidisciplinary expertise in narratives of self presentation and in two fields currently being transformed by genomics: ancestry testing and repatriation.

We will develop and test a biosocial model of Indigeneity that enhances existing knowledge of Indigenous identification as a critical factor in monitoring and improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people.

Funding period: 2015–2018

  • Associate Professor Emma Kowal
  • Professor Yin Paradies
  • Professor Cressida Fforde.

Administering organisation: Deakin University

Laws, Structures and Strategies in China and its ASEAN Neighbours

We explore the discourses in UNESCO, WIPO and other international organisations regarding intangible cultural heritage, the different interpretations of related 'rights', and cross-border conflicts about heritage.

We're analysing the legal, institutional, political and cultural reasons for such conflicts, and developing practical proposals for promoting international reconciliation and enhanced international cooperation in heritage protection.

Funding period: 2013–2015

  • Professor Christoph Antons
  • Emeritus Professor William Logan
  • Associate Professor Carol Warren
  • Professor Jianfu Chen
  • Dr Alexandra Denes
  • Dr Abeba Gebreselassie.

Administering organisation: Deakin University

Investigating the Dynamics of Migration and Health in Australia: A Longitudinal Study

Our project investigates the dynamics of changes in health and the factors that influence those changes over time among immigrants relative to non-immigrants in Australia.

This understanding will contribute to several areas of policy formulation, in turn allowing the question 'how can we best intervene' to be answered.

Funding period: 2012–2014
Investigator: Associate Professor Santosh Jatrana
Administering organisation: Deakin University

The Crisis in International Heritage Conservation in an Age of Shifting Global Power

We focus on four iconic sites, Abu Simbel, Angkor, Bagan and Sumatran Rainforests, and the world heritage system.

We reveal how pressures have grown and shifted since World War II, how they operate at multiple scales and what new expertise might be introduced.

We will produce a report for UNESCO and publications that include recommendations for solving challenges that threaten international heritage conservation today.

Funding period: 2014–2016

  • Professor Tim Winter
  • Dr Brett Bennett
  • Professor Lynn Meskell.

Administering organisation: Deakin University

Reinventing philosophy as a way of life

The aim of this project is to examine modern reinventions of the classical ideal of philosophy as a way of life.

We will investigate the reanimation of this idea in post-Kantian philosophy, including well-known figures such as Nietzsche, but also neglected figures such as Jean-Marie Guyau.

The research will be significant in providing the first sustained study of how 19th and 20th century European philosophy transformed ancient philosophical schools, such as Epicureanism and Stoicism.

Funding period: 2014–2016

  • Dr Michael Ure
  • Professor Keith Ansell-Pearson
  • Dr Matthew Sharpe.

Administering organisation: Monash University

Linkage Projects

The Linkage Projects scheme promotes the development of long-term strategic alliances between higher education organisations, industry and end users, in order to apply advanced knowledge towards national economic, social or cultural benefits.

Intercultural Understanding in Primary and Secondary Schools

This project aims to answer the following questions: What facilitates or impedes intercultural understanding in children, adolescents and schools?

How can this be addressed? How can we know what makes a difference?

Our researchers will look at individual, school and national levels using a novel cultural systems approach and methodological and technological innovations.

Funding period: 2012–2015

  • Professor Christine Halse
  • Professor Fethi Mansouri
  • Associate Professor Colin Arrowsmith
  • Dr Julianne Moss
  • Dr Ruth Arber
  • Dr Nida Denson
  • Dr Naomi Priest
  • Dr Joanne O'Mara.

Administering organisation: Deakin University
Partner organisations:

  • Together for Humanity Foundation Ltd
  • Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • Pukunui Technology
  • Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
  • RMIT University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • The University of Western Sydney.

For more information see the Intercultural Understanding Project website

Using Museums to Counter Racism and Increase Acceptance of Diversity Among Young People

Although little is known about the topic, racism is a significant issue for young Australians. Our project reveals how high school students and their teachers understand racism, diversity and identity.

It also studies how museum programs can reduce racism and increase acceptance of diversity among high school students and their teachers.

Funding period: 2012–2014

  • Professor Yin Paradies
  • Dr Naomi Priest
  • Associate Professor Emma Kowal
  • Associate Professor Margaret Kelaher
  • Professor Fethi Mansouri
  • Dr Moya McFadzean
  • Ms Carolyn Meehan
  • Ms Linda Sproul.

Administering organisation: Deakin University
Partner organisations:

  • Museum of Victoria
  • Victorian Health Promotion Foundation.

Supporting Pacific Development

The research looks at the extent to which 22 of the world's richest countries support development in the Pacific Islands region through their efforts with respect to aid, trade, migration, private investment, security, technology and environmental sustainability.

It will develop an index that will rank these countries on the basis of these efforts.

Funding period: 2011–2014

  • Professor Mark McGillivray
  • Dr David Carpenter.

Administering organisation: Deakin University

Partner organisation: Sustineo Pty Limited

Innovative partnerships for youth engagement in education and work

The project will examine how collaboration between schools system, employers and other providers can enhance applied learning in secondary schools and build youth engagement with education and work.

The project is a partnership between two universities and eight school system agencies across three states.

Funding period: 2012–2015

  • Professor John Polesel
  • Professor Jack Keating
  • Professor Karen Starr
  • Dr Damien Blake
  • Dr David Gallagher
  • Dr David Michaels.

Administering organisation: The University of Melbourne
Partner organisations:

  • Catholic Education Office (SA)
  • Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
  • Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • Catholic Education Commission of Victoria
  • Catholic Education Commission of NSW
  • SA Department of Education and Children's Services
  • NSW Department of Education and Communities
  • Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales.

Reconstructing Australia's pre-European genetic and cultural past

Our project's aim is to reconstruct Australia's pre-European genetic and cultural past.

In order to do this, researchers use historic hair samples collected by anthropological expeditions in the early 20th century to generate the first genetic map of Aboriginal Australia.

The map and the detailed contextual and genealogical information from museum archives will assist Aboriginal communities and individuals to reconstruct their personal and family history and trace ancestry and augment oral or written records.

The combination of cutting-edge science, detailed archival research, and a comprehensive family outreach and reporting program will be a step change in assisting Australia's reconciliation process, the Stolen Generation and repatriation of Indigenous remains.

Funding period: 2014–2017

  • Professor Alan Cooper
  • Dr Wolfgang Haak
  • Associate Professor Robert Mitchell
  • Associate Professor Emma Kowal 
  • Dr Keryn Walshe
  • Professor Peter Sutton
  • Professor David Reich
  • Professor Simon Easteal
  • Dr John Stephen
  • Dr Miguel Vilar
  • Dr Chris Tyler-Smith.

Administering organisation: The University of Adelaide
Partner organisations:

  • South Australian Museum
  • Australian Genome Research Facility
  • National Geographic Society, USA.

Standing up to racism and racial bullying among Australian school students

This project aims to substantially increase understandings of bystander responses (including their extent, nature, potential, merits, benefits, and constraints) as a means of countering racism and racial bullying among Australian school students.

The project researchers will achieve this through:

  • examining the experiences of, attitudes towards, and responses to, racism and racial bullying among school students
  • identifying health, wellbeing, education and social outcomes of racism and racial bullying for individuals, schools and communities
  • exploring the enablers and obstacles associated with bystander responses to racism and racial bullying
  • developing and piloting a school-based program to foster bystander responses to racism and racial bullying.

Funding period: 2014–2017

  • Dr Naomi Priest
  • Professor Kevin Dunn
  • Professor Yin Paradies
  • Dr Jacqueline Nelson
  • Associate Professor Anne Pedersen
  • Assistant Professor Philip Curry
  • Ms Eveline Mouglalis
  • Ms Marica Stipanovic
  • Mr Christopher Thompson
  • Ms Rivkah Nissim.

Administering organisation: The Australian National University
Partner organisations:

  • Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • NSW Department of Education and Communities
  • Australian Human Rights Commission.