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ECU receives $5.6 million for closer research ties with Australian universities

Wednesday, 01 June 2011


Edith Cowan University’s (ECU’s) research capabilities will be boosted with the University receiving more than $5.6 million as part of the Federal Government’s Collaborative Research Networks (CRN) program.

The CRN allows selected universities to team up with other institutions to increase their research capacity through appointing additional research staff, sharing knowledge and developing inter-institutional exchange programs for research students and staff.

ECU is the only WA university to receive the funding. It will collaborate with researchers from the Universities of Adelaide, Melbourne, Queensland, South Australia, Sydney and Western Australia, Deakin University, Flinders University, and Queensland University of Technology.

They will work on issues including the promotion of health and wellbeing in young people; exercise as medicine; community-based health care; nano-photonics and nano-electronics; protection of marine and coastal ecosystems; and education technologies.

ECU is already committed to expanding its research capacity, having increased its annual strategic research budget from $5 million in 2008 to over $9 million in 2011.

The CRN funding will benefit over 250 ECU research staff. It will create new research staff positions, facilitate visiting fellowships and support exchanges of co-supervisors of research students.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Advancement) Professor John Finlay-Jones welcomed the funding announcement.

“This is a significant opportunity for ECU to build on its commitment to research by sharing expertise with some of Australia’s eminent universities. It’s also a great chance for our staff and students, who will benefit from collaborations and supervision with researchers from around the country,” Professor Finlay-Jones said.

“I see the funding allocation as reflecting both the quality of our proposed partners and the potential for ECU to deliver good outcomes in those partnerships.”

In one of the six projects, Foundation Professor of Exercise & Sports Science Rob Newton and his team will work with researchers at the Universities of Queensland, Sydney and Western Australia to expand their understanding of the critical role of exercise as medicine for prevention and management of chronic diseases.

“Appropriate exercise prescription has proven to be as effective as drug interventions for prevention and management of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. The CRN funding will draw together Australia’s leading exercise scientists to collaboratively tackle these leading causes of illness and death in our society.” Professor Newton said.

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