Successful applicants from previous years


Dr Yangbin Chen: Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of ASSC

Blessed by the Goddess of the Sea (Mazu 妈祖): An Unspoken History of Chinese Australians’ Folk Religion

Mazu 妈祖, the Goddess of the Sea, has been worshipping by fishermen communities in coastal China since North Song Dynasty in 987. She is the earliest folk icon in ancient Chinese history. Originated from Putian Prefecture in Fujian Province, the culture of Mazu worship extended to the entire coastal regions of mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia and even to North America, Australia and Europe, wherever Chinese immigrants flowed. In Australia, Mazu Temples can be found in Sydney and Melbourne. Over the time with the massive influx of Chinese immigrants, Mazu Temple is not only serving as a venue for the worship of Mazu belief, a place to bind the broader Chinese communities in Australia but also being an iconic symbol of remembering Vietnamese boat people’s tumultuous life experience in a foreign land.

Dr Mei-Tai (Debbie) Chu, Associate Professor, Business School, College of ASSC

How Mobile Payment Innovation Shapes Cashless Life in Greater China

Technology innovation often creates new landscape or disrupts existing pattern of society. With the rapid advancement of e-commerce in China, the technology innovation of mobile payment has shown explosive growth as m-commerce. The emerging mobile payment mechanism is shaping cashless life in both depth and breadth. This study aims to explore why China adopts mobile payment much broader and faster than western countries. This research also unpacks the impact of the mobile payment on customers’ behaviors to clarify whether technology innovation offsets the advantages of traditional payment system. This study adopts case study and interviews in greater China including Mainland China and Taiwan to analyse the major mobile payment systems and their impacts such as opportunity and challenge. This study is influential to reveal the key success factors of Chinese mobile payment development to rethink or confirm the existing theories and practices of conventional innovation.

Dr Hossam Aboel Naga, Associate Professor, School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, College of SHE

Effects of Waste Exothermic Reactions on the Landfill Lining Integrity

Modern Landfill liner systems are expected to control contamination migration into the ground. Recent data indicated that the biological decomposition of waste can cause heat generation and increase the basal liner temperature up to 70oC. Such high temperature could dry out the clay component of landfill liners, and induces shrinkage and cracking, thereby rendering them ineffective as a hydraulic barrier. Currently, little is understood about the temperature effects on landfill liners. Such knowledge is urgently required to control/evaluate its drastic effect. This project will address the fundamental aspects of this process using a combination of highly sophisticated laboratory testing and constitutive modelling.

Dr Travis Beddoe, Senior Lecturer, School of Life Sciences, College of SHE

Identifying the targets of the natural immune response of buffalo to the liver fluke parasite for effective vaccine development

Fasciolosis (liver fluke disease) is a globally widespread parasitic disease with significant impacts on agricultural animal production in both China and Australia. Reports of drug resistance worldwide are increasing and an alternative, sustainable control method is needed, such as a vaccine. Our research focus is on developing a novel anti-parasitic vaccine with global applications. We aim to identify the parasite proteins targeted by buffalo antibody in the early stages of infection with the tropical parasite and compare with the proteins targeted by the Indonesian Thin Tailed sheep, a host resistant to infection with this tropical parasite. This project will foster new collaborations between researchers with expertise on the tropical parasite (China) and the Australian parasite (La Trobe University), leading to further understanding of the host-parasite relationship in the early stages of infection and provide joint funding opportunities between La Trobe University, Guangxi University in China and commercial partner, Virbac (Australia).

Dr Jian Jin, Postdoctoral Research Officer, School of Life Sciences, SHE

Impact of elevated CO2 on carbon and phosphorus transformation in Australian and Chinese farming soils-A collaborated study

The proposed project aims to elucidate the link of elevated CO2-enhaced photosynthetic carbon (C) flow with soil microbial community function on the transformation of soil organic C and phosphorus (P) in Australian and Chinese farming soils. This project will provide opportunities to broaden the international collaboration with Chinese Academy of Sciences on the impact of climate change on nutrient cycling in soils at a global scale. Combining Chinese expertise of microbiologists and Australia expertise of soil scientists at La Trobe will further enhance the La Trobe’s research reputation and capability in understanding the contribution of soil microbes to the soil C/P transformations in response to elevated CO2 environments. This will benefit the future management of P fertilization and strengthen our ability to predict the elevated CO2 impacts on soil productivity.

Dr Kim Johnson, Senior Research Fellow, School of Life Sciences, SHE

Optimizing stem traits in crop and forest species

Plant biomass is the major food source for the 7.4 billion people and 11.4 billion livestock on our planet. With an increasing population, finite and diminishing resources, understanding how plant growth is regulated is of major importance to our future sustainability. In plants, stems make an important link between roots, that take up water and nutrients, and the shoots and reproductive organs that provide biomass and seeds. The strength of the stems to support upright growth of the plant and their efficiency in transporting water and nutrients therefore has a significant impact on crop yield and the many uses of stems in plant-based products such as textiles and construction. Key to regulation of stem properties are plant cell walls that provide strength and control growth. This project will combine expertise from research groups in Australia and China to investigate key regulators of cell walls in stems.


Dr Brooke Wilmsen, Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, ASSC

Inside China and Going Out: Demystifying the social risks and responsibilities of China’s Belt Road Initiative

When President Xi announced the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013, it was portrayed as an infrastructure investment project that would better connect China to Asia and Europe.

In the intervening years, the variety of projects captured under the BRI banner has blossomed, as have the actors involved.

There is also growing interest in the implications of BRI for China, its partners and the region; with a particular interest in the geostrategic consequences, the debt it will generate for fragile economies and its challenge to the Bretton Woods institutions.

Others are concerned that BRI projects may lead to civil unrest and reignite historical conflicts.

While apprehension is warranted, whether these risks materialise will depend, in large part, on the quality of projects; whether they ‘pay for themselves’ by increasing productivity and bring benefits to local populations.

With this in mind, this project aims to investigate a specific subset of risks, namely, the risk that BRI projects will cause harm to local populations due to inadequate social and environmental protection standards.

Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh, Early Career Development Fellow, Business School, ASSC

An Exploratory Study of Employment Perceptions of International Students in China

China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) international trade with 64 countries initiative has significant implications on the country’s international education agenda.

In 2016, there were around 442,773 international students studying in China where nearly half of the international student population is from these Belt and Road countries.

However, little is known on international students’ employment plans upon graduation and how are these international students enhancing their employability skills while studying at China best universities such as Tsinghua and Wuhan Universities.

Therefore, this project seeks to understand and explore international students’ employment perceptions with a particular focus on how human capital (knowledge, skills and know-how) acquired at Tsinghua University and Wuhan University will be applied at their future workplaces and how international students are navigating their international networks (social capital) in obtaining employment opportunities in China or elsewhere.

This project will contribute theoretically and empirical understanding of these employment trends, while also providing recommendations on enhancing and strengthening employability skills of international students in China to match with the needs of employment practices and policies.

Dr Yangbin Chen, Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, ASSC

Contemporary China Studies Journal Special Issue: The Constrained Connectivity: Geopolitics, Culture and Migration in Xinjiang and beyond under the New Silk Road Initiative

This project is an integral process for organising a special issue on Journal of Contemporary China (JCC) in 2018 or 2019, with a tentative theme as “The Constrained Connectivity: Geopolitics, Culture and Migration in Xinjiang and beyond under the New Silk Road Initiative”.

The purpose of this funding application will enable the editor of JCC, Professor Suisheng Zhao’s visit to Centre for China Studies, LTU, who has expressed interest in this publication proposal.

Suisheng Zhao is a Professor of Chinese politics and foreign policy at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies, an internationally well-known political scientist on contemporary China studies.

During his visit at China Centre from 2-3 August 2018, he will attend the New Silk Road publication symposium and will be invited to deliver a keynote speech on China Model and the One Belt and One Road Initiative.

Dr Premnadh M Kurup, Lecturer, School of Education, SHE

STEAM Education practice in China: seeking collaboration, partnership and possible exchange for our pre-service teachers

This proposal is to visit and develop a potential collaboration and partnership aimed at understanding and researching STEAM education practices in China.

The visit will include observations of current STEAM education practices. The proposed research study will be conducted amongst preservice teachers in South China.

This study is allied and mirrors current funded research projects being conducted by this interdisciplinary team of academics and teacher educators (Dr Prem Kurup, Dr Xia Li, Dr Mike Brown and Dr Greg Powell).

As visitors the La Trobe team will offer seminars to academics and teachers at Guangzhou on STEAM education in Australia.

This visit will allow the La Trobe academics to develop an exchange training program for the Chinese teachers to visit Australia and undertake tailored short term STEAM professional development and apply Columbo Plan funding for exchanges of pre-service teachers and a larger scale proposal on bi-lateral research on STEM teacher education.

Dr Dianhui (Justin) Wang, Reader and Associate Professor, School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, SHE

Deep stochastic configuration networks for data analytics in process industries

Deep learning as the most popular algorithm in machine learning has received considerable attention due to its power to extract semantic features from the hidden nodes of a deep learner model.

However, there exist several bottleneck issues in this framework to be further explored. For instance, the architecture of deep neural networks (DNNs) and learning parameters cannot be automatically determined by a given dataset through the learning algorithms; and the learning speed is quite slow to meet the real-time requirement for big data analytics.

In this project, we aim to develop a new deep learning framework to overcome these problems mentioned above, and technically contributes to the development of randomized learning techniques for data analytics in process industries.

This project focuses on both theoretical and practical aspects of convolutional stochastic configuration networks (C-SCNs), which are built on our previous studies on the randomized learning for feedforward neural networks.

Dr Gerald Roche, Senior Research Fellow, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, ASSC

Bridging Tongues: Linking Language Revitalization Communities in Australia and China

It is currently estimated that around half the world’s languages will disappear in this century.

Communities around the world, assisted by linguists, anthropologists, and other scholars, have begun addressing this issue through the practice of language revitalization, which aims to bring back languages that are no longer spoken, and to strengthen languages which have declining speaker numbers.

Although language revitalization solutions are always local, global networks that link communities and assist in sharing knowledge have proven to be essential to revitalization efforts around the world.

Compared to Australia, language revitalization is still an emerging field of theory and practice in China.

This project therefore aims to facilitate exchange between language revitalization practitioners and scholars in Australia and China.

On the basis of such exchange, we will pursue funding to establish a language revitalization project in cooperation with counterparts in China.

Dr Peter H Van Der Kamp, Lecturer, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, SHE

Joining Australian and Chinese forces in Discrete Integrable Systems

Discrete Integrable Systems are systems of lattice equations or multi-dimensional maps, which admit special mathematical structures and exact solutions.

Combining the Chinese expertise of researchers in Shanghai (knowledge of exact solutions, discrete integrable boundary) with the Australian expertise at La Trobe (integrals, initial values and periodic reductions of lattice equations to multi-dimensional maps) promises to continue strengthening La Trobe’s research reputation and expertise.

Dr Alexander E Davis, New Generation Network Scholar, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, ASSC

The Diverse Implications of China and India’s Competitive State-Making Projects in the Himalaya

This project examines the transformation of the Himalaya since the region became a site of competitive state-making between China and India in the mid-20th century.

It will trace the border regions’ development from a lightly-populated, high-altitude frontier to its contemporary status as a highly-militarised site of large-scale development projects.

Both the Indian and Chinese states have been gradually increasing their presence in their Himalayan frontiers, particularly since the region was the site of a border war in 1962.

By studying the Himalaya as a site of international politics, this project looks at IR from a bottom-up perspective, shifting the focus from strategic machinations in New Delhi and Beijing to the borderlands.

It seeks to think through the varied implications of state-to-state tensions, and the resultant military and development projects, for local and peoples and cultures, the environment, the watershed, and the border.

Dr Rhonda Hallett, Associate Professor, La Trobe Learning and Teaching

Building the Silk Road of knowledge: Fostering academic dialogue and exchange between China and Australia

The proposed project aligns with the Centre’s mission of promoting and advancing La Trobe University’s strengths in China by establishing a collaborative research partnership with academic developers at La Trobe University and at least one comparable institution in China.

The project will provide opportunities for dialogue about Academic Development (AD) practice and stimulate collaborative research of international significance in the field.

It will builds on existing work investigating the characteristics of academic development (AD) through a two-way exchange of issues and ideas and a series of comparative studies focused on different aspects of AD practice.

The project will identify key AD areas that can inform policies and practices supporting academics to achieve transformative learning and teaching in China and Australia.

This research collaboration directly addresses the University’s strategic goal of forging productive partnerships with its broad aim to improve collaboration in teaching and learning and thus increases the University’s presence in China.


Dr Xianbi Huang, Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, ASSC

Social Networks and Subjective Wellbeing in China: A Qualitative Investigation

Remediating social wellbeing is increasingly a major objective of social development set by the United Nations and many countries. Social scientists and policy makers have recognised that people’s family, friendship and other social connections matter for their social wellbeing. However, it remains unclear why networks are important and what kinds of positive and negative effects they might have on subjective wellbeing such as life satisfaction and happiness. Extant research has also been confined to developed countries. This project conducts in-depth interviews to investigate the processes and mechanisms through which social networks affect subjective wellbeing in China, aiming to produce new empirical data, enrich the study of Chinese guanxi networks, and contribute evidence-based findings from the largest developing country to the global academic literature. This project has significant policy implications and provides practical insights to inform governments and community organisations for program design and delivery in areas relating to social wellbeing.

Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh, Early Career Development Fellow, Business School, ASSC

Exploration of Employability Experiences of La Trobe Alumni in China

International students from China seek international education primarily to add value and improve their employment opportunities. The recent trend shows that Chinese international students are returning to their home country for mainly professional and personal purposes. Little is known about La Trobe alumni’s  employability experiences and employment prospects in China. This project seeks to understand and explore La Trobe alumni employment experiences with a particular focus on how is  human capital (knowledge, skills and know-how) and global citizenship skills are applied in  their workplaces and how alumni are navigating their international networks (social capital) in their positions at workplace when they return home to China. This project will contribute theoretical and empirical understanding of these employment trends, while also providing recommendations to enhance post-repatriation programs, strengthening alumni international networks with Australia and facilitating employability skills of Chinese alumni to match the needs of Chinese employment practices and policies.

Dr Ruth Gamble, David Myers Research Fellow, La Trobe University and Dr Samantha Grover, Research Fellow, Department of Animal, Plant and Soil Sciences, La Trobe University

Bridging Scientific and Local Knowledge on Tibetan-Plateau Wetlands

Most of Asia’s largest rivers descend from the Tibetan Plateau, and almost half of the world’s population lives in its watershed. But this watershed is under threat from climate change and increased human activity. One of the least understood but most valuable parts of this water system is the Tibetan Plateau’s wetlands, which include extensive peatlands. The proposed project will work with government, NGO and industry partners to establish community-based, peatland conservation programs in Sershul County (Ch. 石渠县 Shiqu Xian), Sichuan, China, on the headwaters of the Yangtze River. The researchers developing this program will combine scientific assessments of the region with investigations of its environmental history and sacred geography. This inter-disciplinary approach will establish ways indigenous knowledge about the Plateau can be used as a source of information for scientists and, conversely, as a tool to explain and contextualise scientific and historical data.

Dr Paul Watters, Associate Professor in Cybersecurity School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, College of SHE

Learning Analytics for Chinese Language and Cyber Security

Learning analytics is an emerging discipline which is of significant interest to universities and the corporate sector, since it can provide timely feedback on student engagement and success, and also predict - very early during a course - whether a student is likely to succeed. Two areas are of key interest to researchers at La Trobe University and Nanjing Normal University: (1) online Chinese language learning, and (2) cybersecurity awareness and training. These two areas are of critical mutual interest during the 21st Century to both nations, given the trade relationship. This joint research programme will focus on developing core algorithms in learning analytics, and implementations which can be plugged into common Learning Management Systems, such as Moodle. The research programme will also engage with external partners, such as the Confucius Institute (for Chinese language learning) and the Anti Phishing Working Group's "Stop Think Connect" awareness programme for cybersecurity.

Dr Richard Peters, School of Life Sciences, College of SHE

Chasing the dragon: deploying a robotic lizard to assess signal function in a Chinese lizard

Territorial behaviour in animals arises when animals compete for an area of space that contains valuable resources. In many species, contests begin with an exchange of signals that are often sufficient to resolve the dispute. The Qinghai toad-headed agama are dragon lizards from China that compete for ownership of burrows. These resources are so important for survival that females engage in territorial behaviour to the equal of males, which is unusual in lizards and makes this species particularly informative. Burrows are defended using tail displays that presumably encode information about signaller quality, but the details of these relationships are not known for this species, or for dragon species worldwide. Manipulative field experiments are required but existing methods are unsuitable. We will develop robotic lizards to provide new knowledge of the link between motion signal structure and signaller quality and develop new technology that will have broad appeal.

Dr Nadia Rhook, Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of ASSC

The Power of Healing: New Political Histories of Chinese Herbalists in Victoria, 1890-1930

The history of medicine in Australia has often been imagined as the exclusive domain of British and Australian-born white men. From the 1850s gold rushes, however, Chinese practitioners were part of the daily fabric of health and medical practice, and remained so even after the 1901 institution of the White Australia Policy effectively limited Chinese immigration. This research will challenge historic and contemporary stereotypes about Chinese doctors as ‘quack’ herbalists. Drawing on local stories from across Victoria, and thinking through and beyond the herbal, it aims to map the political history of Chinese practitioners, and memories thereof. It will survey the activities of Chinese practitioners in the urban and regional centres of Melbourne, Bendigo, Ballarat and Ararat, from the mid to late 19th century. Doing so, it will identify the strategies by which Chinese medical practitioners wielded power in regional Victorian communities.

Dr Heng (Jason) Jiang, School of Psychology and Public Health, College of SHE

Self-medication behavior and its influence factors: an empirical study in China

Self-medication is the selection and use of medicines by individuals to treat self-recognized conditions, which has a rapidly increasing trend in China over the last decade. Reasonable self-medication allows a patient to take responsibility and build confidence in managing their own health, save time in waiting for the doctor, reduce treatment burden in facilities and medical costs. However, it may increase certain risks such as incorrect self-diagnosis, delays in seeking medical advice when needed, drug resistance and interaction, use of excessive drug dosage, adverse drug reaction and polypharmacy. The present study is to evaluate self-medication practice and its associated factors, by using cluster sampling method, through questionnaire survey on residents from four districts in Wuhan City, China. The findings of this proposed study will provide key research evidence and suggestions in order to inform health policy and medication practice to reduce related risks of self-medication among Chinese residents.

Dr Clare D'Souza, Associate Professor, School of Business, ASSC

An Ethnocentric view of graduate skills and employability: the experience of Chinese learners

The intended aim of this project is to identify the global employability skills required of business students, to work effectively in China. The aim of this creative and innovative project proposal is to adopt a theoretically robust means to examine and describe what these global graduate employability skills are, including soft and hard skills, cultural competencies and work readiness. The collection of data will be conducted through interviewing a sample of employers located in China and comparing La Trobe University’s Business curriculum program and graduate capabilities with our Chinese partner universities. China has been selected given that China continues to be the largest single nation contributor to the international student population in Australia. The outcome of this research will inform our understanding of intercultural aptitudes, formal and informal curricula, pedagogy and other approaches for the delivery and development of graduate global employability skills. These skills can then be embedded not only into future Business degree programs but also across programs across the University to better prepare our students for the global employability market.


Dr Ashley Franks (Lead CI), Eleanor Egidi and Wuxing Liu: Working Together: Fungal-plant Interactions for Improved Removal of Hydrocarbon Contamination from Soils

Research Project Summary

Remediating polluted soils is an impelling priority for many industrialised countries, including China and Australia. To meet this demand, new innovative ideas and methods are required. In collaboration with the Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing China, La Trobe University’s Applied and Environmental Microbiology Laboratory will investigate the structure and functional abilities of the hydrocarbon-degrading microbial community associated with contaminant-tolerant grasses. These interactions can be utilised to improve the removal of contaminants from soils by balancing naturally occurring microbes and with native grasses in an environmentally sustainable manor. This study will provide new insights for developing an efficient and environmental-friendly alternative for Chinese and Australian contaminated soils remediation using plants and their associated microorganisms.

Associate Professor James Leibold (Lead CI) and Dr Yangbin Chen: China Pivots West: Ethnic Contact & Conflict Along the New Silk Road

Research Project Summary

This project interrogates the tension (both physical and discursive) between interethnic contact and conflict along the eastern corridor of China’s “Silk Road Economic Belt” – a rugged and remote hinterland comprising 1/4 of Chinese territory. It will assemble a multidisciplinary team of international experts and Australia-based to explore how elements of ethnic, religious, cultural, and ecological diversity complicate statist narratives and projects in China, while analysing their implications for human security in the world’s largest nation-state. This application seeks funding for the first phase of this project: an international symposium at La Trobe, which in turn will lead to the following outcomes: 1) an iTunes U digital master-class on the eastern corridor of the New Silk Road; 2) a series of SSCI journal special issues on specific sub-themes related to interethnic contact and conflict; and 3) a research grant application to fund the second phase of this project.

Dr Lisa Tam (Lead CI), Dr. Chen Lyu, Dr. Soojin Kim, Dr. Jeong-Nam Kim: Gao Guanxi in China: A Model of Relational Public Diplomacy

Research Project Summary

Relational public diplomacy is a relationship (“guanxi”)-centered approach to reaching long-term goals in international relations – a country’s positive relationships with foreign publics could generate support for its foreign policies. The Chinese culture has been identified as being relations-oriented and values relationship cultivation (“gao guanxi”) for advancing organisation-public relationships. In response to calls for more empirical research on relationships in public diplomacy, this study advances the study of guanxi from the organisational level to the country level. In the context of relations-oriented China, this study examines how multilevel relationships (i.e., individual, organisational, country and international) contribute to Chinese publics’ overall relationship with a foreign country and explores the possible associations between relationships and supportive behaviours. With empirical data from China, this study proposes and tests a model to help public diplomats understand what constitutes guanxi in the Chinese context and how to best invest resources into building long-term relationships with Chinese publics.

Dr Nadia Rhook (Lead CI): Touched beyond Herbs: Chinese Medical Practice in Victoria, 1850-1900

Research Project Summary

The history of medicine in Australia has often been imagined as the exclusive domain of British and Australian-born white men. From the 1850s gold rushes, however, Chinese practitioners were part of the daily fabric of health and medical practice, and remained so even after the 1901 institution of the White Australia Policy effectively limited Chinese immigration. This research will challenge historic and contemporary stereotypes about Chinese doctors as ‘quack’ herbalists. Drawing on local stories from across Victoria, and thinking through and beyond the herbal, it aims to uncover new historical understandings about the role of Chinese practitioners. It will survey the activities of Chinese practitioners in the urban and regional centres of Melbourne, Bendigo, Ballarat and Ararat, from the mid to late 19th century. Doing so, it will identify ways in which European settlers and medical practitioners interacted with, contested, and benefited from, Chinese medical practice and knowledge.

Dr Debbie (Mei-Tai) Chu (Lead CI): Alibaba and Innovation

Research Project Summary

The leading question of this project is how Chinese companies accelerate innovation. Alibaba Group offers a good example as the Chinese ecommerce leader. Their distinctive capabilities to speed up innovation with large scale at low cost in e-business present both threats and opportunities to many mainstream competitors. Building on the literature, this study aims at identifying the relationships in knowledge sharing, service innovation capabilities and the moderating effect of organizational culture in three sites (Alibaba Headquarter, Alibaba Hong Kong and Alibaba Taiwan). Case study and in-depth interviews are used and followed by a conceptual model to signify the research variables and hypotheses. This study is influential to unpack the success of Alibaba Group to rethink or confirm the existing theories and practices of conventional innovation.

Research Project Summary

This project investigates the psychological and neural processes through which Chinese and Australian people deal with the issue of mortality. Modern Chinese and Australian attitudes towards death are believed to differ considerably, with Chinese people showing greater fear of death and avoidance of its discussion, which is deeply rooted in Chinese philosophies and tradition. Paradoxically, recent empirical research by psychologists has also shown that Asians tend to reveal lesser psychological reactions to deathreminding stimuli compared to Europeans, and moreover, neuroscience evidence has shown that collectivist worldviews that emphasise interdependence may help Asians to deal with death anxiety efficiently. In this Australia-China collaboration project, researchers aim to shed new light on the neural and psychological processes that mediate the relationship between fear of death and psychological reaction to death reminders from a cultural psychology perspective and by using sophisticated existential neuroscience approach.

A/Professor Chaojie (George) Liu (Lead CI), Dr Stephen Duckett and A/Professor David Legge: Capacity development for the use of case mix metrics for measuring and funding inpatient care in China

Research Project Summary

China face shortfalls in the efficiency of inpatient care and hospital funding generally. The Chinese Government has committed to three pilot projects to explore the use of casemix funding to improve hospital efficiency. A pre-condition for implementing case mix funding is an assessment of institutional preparedness and capacity building to ensure that the approach can be implemented effectively and safely. Our team is familiar with health care in China, has relationships with managers, academics and officials and is also well placed to draw upon Australian expertise in casemix funding. The China Health Economics Research Institute, has invited La Trobe to join the proposed pilot studies, both as a research partner and in the provision of professional development. This initiative will support the development of several research grant applications, directed to evaluating preparedness and planning for necessary capacity building.

Dr Rachel Winterton (Lead CI) and Irene Blackberry: Impacts of rural-urban migration among older adults in China

Research Project Summary

This project contributes to the geographical gerontology literature by exploring the motivations for, and experiences of, rural to urban migration among Chinese seniors. The numbers of rural older adults relocating to urban areas to access care from families, or to care for grandchildren is increasing in China, due to increasing rural-urban service inequity and family migration to cities for employment. However, government regulations relating to household registration (hukou) in China will impact significantly on the ability of older rural-urban migrants to access appropriate health and social care benefits in urban regions. This research explores how these regulations, and the changing nature of family care provision in increasingly modernised Chinese cities, will impact on the health and wellbeing of older rural-urban migrants. These findings will contribute to policy and practice debates on how health and wellbeing can be achieved for an increasing number of older Chinese migrants.

Dr Deborah Gleeson (Lead CI), A/Professor Chaojie (George) Liu and Anne-Maree Farrell: International trade agreements and pharmaceutical policy and regulation in China

Research Project Summary

Building on existing research strengths at La Trobe University and applying them in a new context, this project will investigate the potential implications of two mega-regional trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region for pharmaceutical policy and regulation in China. A policy analysis study will be undertaken examining potential impacts of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement for China’s health system and generic medicines industry. Senior Chinese health policy makers, health service managers and academics will be engaged in exploring the impacts of these trade agreements on China’s health system, and developing methods and baseline measures for future impact assessment through two workshops. Outcomes of this project will be a manuscript submitted to an international journal and a draft proposal for a competitive research grant.