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:

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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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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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.

Bioethics in the Antipodes: A history of Australian bioethics since 1980

This project aims to provide a comprehensive account of bioethics in Australia. Since the 1980s, bioethics sought to address the medical, legal and social implications of Australian research in reproductive medicine. Australian bioethics is often assumed to share a similar history to American bioethics, but the debate about reproduction, euthanasia and the nature of moral authority in secular liberal democracy is distinctly Australian. To date, the history of these developments has not been examined. The project will use archival sources, interviews, and theoretical analysis. Potential benefits include a deeper understanding of the distinctive local and global contributions of Australian bioethics.

Find out more about Dr Chris Mayes's work

Labour, race and belonging: strengthening Rural Workforces and Communities

This project aims to strengthen understandings of race and labour relations in Australia’s horticultural industry. Horticulture is Australia’s third largest agricultural industry and the seasonal nature of work in this industry poses challenges for workforce recruitment and development. Such challenges are often framed in terms of economic and policy considerations, but debates about the ‘backpacker tax’ and exploitation suggest that there are also complex racial dimensions associated with the industry. Using an innovative historical-anthropological approach, this project will generate new insights into race and labour relations that can improve the equity and sustainability of horticultural industry workforces, and strengthen belonging within rural communities.

Find out more about Dr Victoria Stead's work

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

Find out more about this work

The role pre-Islamic heritage plays in contemporary Iran and its potential to create a more stable Middle East

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

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.

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.