La Trobe ARC linkage grants success

srgeThe research deals with major areas of national concern relating to agriculture, public health, disability, multiculturalism and sport.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor Keith Nugent, said this was the University’s best funding outcome under the scheme in three years.  

It represented a four-fold increase in ARC funding – and three-fold increase in La Trobe’s success rate – compared with 2012.

‘La Trobe has a long-standing history of engaging with industry and connecting with the community,’ he said.

‘These projects demonstrate the strong relationships developed by La Trobe researchers and will deliver mutually beneficial outcomes for all of our partner organisations, the University and the Australian community.’

Funds for the four projects comprise a total of $1.17m from the ARC matched by $1.4m in partner organisation contributions of $432,120 cash and $976,576 in-kind.

The success places La Trobe fourth in Victoria, and fourth among Australia’s Innovative Research Universities.

Congratulating the successful research teams on their achievement, Professor Nugent said La Trobe also achieved a high ratio of funding versus the amounts sought.

‘All four projects received more than 80 per cent of the funding requested, which is above the national average of 75.5 per cent.’
He said the projects were strongly aligned with the University’s new Research Focus Areas (RFAs).

The projects

  • Professor Christine Bigby, awarded $261,933, will lead the project Enabling Engagement and Inclusion: Organisational Factors that Embed Active Support in Accommodation Services for People with Intellectual Disability which is aligned with the Building Healthy Communities.  Partner Organisations are Golden City Support Services, Greystanes Disability Services, Endeavour Foundation, Annecto Inc, Yooralla, Jewish Care (Victoria) Inc, Karingal Inc, and Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Home.

    The project will investigate the necessary processes and structures to ensure frontline staff deliver high quality support to people with intellectual disability so they can engage in meaningful activity.

    The research team consists of Professor Christine Bigby (La Trobe), Professor Teresa A Iacono (La Trobe), Dr Julie D Beadle-Brown and representatives from the Partner Organisations.

  • Dr Ramon F Spaaij, awarded $200,000, is collaborating with Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, the Australian Football League and Centre for Multicultural Youth on the project Participation versus performance: Managing (dis)ability, gender and cultural diversity in junior sport.

    Playing sport can benefit young people but by its nature is competitive. This research examines whether junior sports clubs manage the need for success alongside as well as providing an inclusive environment which welcomes people of all backgrounds and abilities.

    The research team includes Dr Ramon F Spaaij (La Trobe), Associate Professor Karen Farquharson, Dr Ruth Jeanes, Dr Sean E Gorman, Dr Dean S Lusher, Ms Sue Clark, Ms Sue McGill and Ms Carmel Guerra.

  • Professor Marian K Pitts, awarded $410,565, is leading a project titled Strengthening community responses to hepatitis B in collaboration with Relationships Australia South Australia, Health Promotion Services, Hepatitis Victoria, Hepatitis SA Incorporated, Hepatitis Australia, Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, Australasian Society for HIV Medicine and Cancer Council of Victoria.

    Australians born overseas often have high rates of chronic hepatitis B. People with hepatitis B and those who provide them with health and social services will be interviewed to understand individual responses to the infection and identify barriers to effective health care delivery.

    The research team includes Professor Marian K Pitts (La Trobe), Mr Jack Wallace (La Trobe), Dr Alexander Thompson, Dr Jacqueline A Richmond (La Trobe), Ms Helen Tyrrell, Ms Enaam Oudih, Ms Levinia Crooks, Ms Kerry Paterson, Ms Alison Coelho, Ms Melanie Eagle and Ms Chris Enright.

  • Professor Terence W Spithill will lead a fully funded project, awarded $260,943, and aligned with the Securing Food, Water and the Environment RFA, entitled Development of a novel vaccine targeting parasite tegument proteins for liver fluke disease in livestock in collaboration with Virbac (Australia) Pty Ltd.

    Liver fluke parasites cause serious economic losses for livestock producers in southeast Australia, but resistance to existing drugs threatens parasite control and economic productivity in rural communities.

    The research will use new technologies to identify lead vaccine candidates for improved fluke control. The research team includes Professor Terence W Spithill, Dr Glenn R Anderson, Dr Robert P Dempster.

For interviews with researchers or further information please contact:
Ernest Raetz
0412 261 919