New funding to revitalise research impacted by COVID-19

New funding to revitalise research impacted by COVID-19

$1.4M from Federal Research Support Program supports emerging researchers and interdisciplinary teams

The University of Wollongong has announced more than 50 individual and team grants as part of its RevITAlise (RITA) Research Grants scheme.

As part of the Federal Government’s 2021 Research Support Program (RSP), more than $1.4M has been distributed via the grant scheme prioritising early career researchers and interdisciplinary teams impacted by COVID-19.

UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Jennifer Martin AC said the grants direct funds to researchers most impacted by the challenges of the pandemic.

“Given the disruptive nature of COVID-19 to research pursuits I am delighted that this support is provided to our emerging researchers and interdisciplinary teams,” Professor Martin said.

“We also have an ongoing commitment to gender equity at UOW, and I am pleased that more than 50 per cent of these projects are led by women researchers.

“Partnerships are also a key priority, and it is important to note that one in four teams are collaborating with external investigators from community and industry.”

The RITA grant scheme has acknowledged that not all academic staff are on the same level playing field, many have experienced career interruptions like disability, illness, parental leave and periods of part time work.

“With the added impact of COVID-19, researchers need support more than ever. Through RITA, we were able to direct funds to those most affected,” Professor Martin said.

“I’d like to thank everyone who put forward an application and everyone who shared their story about challenges they have faced.

“I also extend a huge thank you to the teams who reviewed the many applications for support. The process has given us new insight into the gaps in our research support structures and highlighted what we need to provide to bridge those gaps.”

Seventy-six per cent of individual RITA grant recipients are early career researchers and 54 per cent of the successful project teams are led by early career researchers. Fifty-four per cent of teams are interdisciplinary.

Succesful RITA Grants Scheme projects


An inquiry into colonialist and imperialist characteristics of Australia’s contribution to the International Court of Justice
Dorothea (Dora) Anthony (Faculty of Business and Law) 

Validation of a novel pressure measurement system for use at the residual limb-prosthetic socket interface of people with lower limb amputation 
Lucy Armitage (Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences) 

Cartan subalgebras of Fell bundle C*-algebras 
Anna Duwenig (Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences) 

New molecular imaging technologies to map metabolic heterogeneity in cancerous tissue
Shane Ellis (Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health)  

Identifying novel motor neurone disease (MND) therapies utilising small animal (C. elegans) models 
Nicholas Geraghty (Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health) 

Bayesian inference for the measurement of socioeconomic inequalities and deprivations in mental health in Australia 
David Gunawan (Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences) 

Systematic testing of concrete corrosion resistance to support sustainable and resilient wastewater infrastructure 
Guangming Jiang (Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences) 

Exploring and extending early childhood educator self-efficacy beliefs, skills and knowledge for visual arts pedagogy
Gai Lindsay (Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) 

Addressing miscarriages of justice in NSW
Kylie Lingard (Faculty of Business and Law) 

Educational technology and movements during geography learning in preschool children
Myrto Mavilidi (Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) 

Optimizing explainable artificial intelligence for face verification 
Sebastien Miellet (Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities)  

Experiences and stories of transition into community services, education and employment families: a study of refugees and migrants in the Illawarra region
Jacob Mugumbate (Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) 

A quantum approach to the emergence of self-similarity
Alexander Mundey (Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences) 

Treating depression during pregnancy and identifying novel treatment targets for depression: insights from animal and human models
Kelly Newell (Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health) 

Job Readiness beyond the cognitive domain: Decoding psychomotor and affective learning in the engineering laboratory 
Sasha Nikolic (Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences)    

Supporting integrated mental health care for new mothers using evidence-based tools: validation of the postnatal risk questionnaire-revised

Nicole Reilly (Faculty of Business and Law) 

Towards developing a model of care for people who use methamphetamine and other stimulants with weight-related concerns and disordered eating behaviours 
Laura Robinson (Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities)  

Towards flexible manufacturing in industry 4.0: A teleoperated robotic hand Emre Sariyildiz (Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences) 

Finding the sweet spot: establishing a cost-effective assay to model cell permeability in early phase drug development of anti-cancer and anti-biofilm agents
Danielle Skropeta (Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health) 

Build self-adaptive intelligence into cloud computing systems
Guoxin Su (Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences) 

How implicit theories shape consumer behaviours in the post-COVID-19 era: the role of growth mindset and fixed mindset
Beo Thai (Faculty of Business and Law) 

Thickness-independent scalable high-performance Li-S batteries with high areal sulfur loading
Nana Wang (Australian Institue of Innovative Materials) 

Reconstructing migration pathways between Australia and Asia since the death of the dinosaurs
Lloyd White (Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health) 

How much empathy do we expect from others? Development of the empathy bias measure
Tracey Woolrych (Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) 

Understanding the impact of social media information on stock market quality: A global perspective
Ivy Zeyang Zhou (Faculty of Business and Law) 


When will the law change? Storytelling, sexual harassment and public debate
Sarah Ailwood (BAL), Cassandra Sharp (BAL) 

Effectiveness of Quality Incentives in General Practice (EQuIP-GP) Trial health economic analysis
Andrew Bonney (SMAH), Utsana Tonmukayakul (External – Deakin), Grant Russell (External – External – Monash), Jan Radford (External – UTas), Gregory Peterson (External – UTas), Nicholas Zwar (External – Bond), Judy Mullan (SMAH), Christine Metusela (SMAH) 

Using online learning study to explore English language instructors’ application of neuroscientific principles in the classroom
Michael Burri (ASSH), Wendy Nielsen (ASSH), Joshua Amiel (External – Baradine Central School, NSW), Michelle Tan (External - University of British Colombia) 

Maintenance, management and the mid-tier (3M): Resolving socio-technical impediments to building energy efficiency
Daniel Daly (EIS), Chantel Carr (ASSH), Matthew Daly (EIS), Elyse Stanes (ASSH), Pauline McGuirk (ASSH) 

Public transport in a new normal with COVID-19 impact: From response to recovery
Bo Du (EIS), Johan Barthélemy (EIS), Quan Zhou (BAL), Pascal Perez (EIS), Tingru Cui (External – UMelb), Yan Qian (EIS), Cheng Zhang (EIS), Talita Meira (BAL), Hao Hu (EIS), Emily Tinson (External – Liverpool City Council), Isabelle Ghetti (External – Wollongong City Council), Tianyang Qu (EIS) 

Balancing scalability and security for decentralised blockchain 
Dung Duong (EIS), Yannan Li (BAL) 

Preventing cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes: Personalising exercise timing to mitigate hyperglycaemic-induced vascular disease.   A randomised multidisciplinary clinical trial
Monique Francois (SMAH), Thomas Astell-Burt (ASSH), Lauren Roach (SMAH), Courtney Chang (SMAH), Geoff Melville (SMAH), Beenu Bastian (External – ISHLD) 

Towards Improved steel development and economically viable infrastructures 
Maina Garcia (EIS), Suk Chun Moon (EIS), Simon Ringer (External - UNSW), Frank Barbaro (EIS), Markus Apel (External – Access e.V.) 

Sustaining city and sea in crisis: Kelp farm for Wollongong 
Leah Gibbs (ASSH), Michelle Voyer (BAL), Sarah Hamylton (SMAH), Helen Wilson (External – Durham University), Kim Williams (ASSH) 

Assessing the impact of reducing food waste on antimicrobial resistance in scavenging wildlife
Bethany Hoye (SMAH), Kimberly Maute (SMAH), Martina Sanderson-Smith (SMAH) 

Lighting up sustainable chemical synthesis with abundant nickel catalysts
Sinead Keaveney (SMAH), Christopher Hyland (SMAH) 

Identification and quantification of illicit substances: Developing methodology for use in fixed-site pill testing facilities in Australia 
Celine Kelso (SMAH), Jody Moller (SMAH), Pill Testing Australia (External)  

Exploring the impact of plant-based eating for people with kidney disease: Improving both human and planetary health?
Kelly Lambert (SMAH), Karen Charlton (SMAH), Emma Heffernan (EIS), Xiaotao Jiang (External - Microbiome Research Centre), Hicham Cheikh Hassan (External – Wollongong Hospital, ISHLD) 

Toward listening to, and hearing, indigenous women in law and policy reform processes 
Rachel Loney-Howes (ASSH), Marlene Longbottom (BAL), Nan Seuffert (BAL) 

Bringing colour to radiotherapy: Developing next-generation x-ray imaging to guide radiotherapy
Peter Metcalfe (EIS), Saree Alnaghy (EIS), Nick Hardcastle (External), Tomas Kron (External), Anthony Butler (External) 

The incidence of delirium in older people undergoing emergency surgery in NSW hospitals: Understanding risk factors and health impacts to improve health outcomes
Jessica Nealon (SMAH), Ezinne Igwe (SMAH), Victoria Traynor (SMAH), Thomas Suesse (EIS), Pauline O’Shaughnessy (EIS), Valerie Wilson (External - ISHLD), Alera Bowden (External - ISHLD) 

Untangling reach enablers to achieve delivery of messages effectively (U READ ME) 
Alberto Nettel-Aguirre (EIS), Summer May Finlay (ASSH), Lisa Smithers (ASSH) 

Tuning in for transmission: Parental well-being and child development 
Judy Pickard (ASSH), Jane Herbert (ASSH), Adam Clarke (ASSH), Amy Bird (External – University of Waikato) 

Co-creating local solutions to ensure cultural humility in maternal health services 
Delia Rambaldini-Gooding (ASSH), Katarzyna Olcoń (ASSH), Luke Molloy (SMAH), Chris Degeling (ASSH), Barbara Atkins (External – ISLHD), Leissa Pitts (External – ISLHD), Sofia Lema (External - ISLHD) 

Re-walking and reawakening country
Lisa Slater (ASSH), Katharine Haynes (SMAH), Phillip Byrne (SMAH) 

Overcoming barriers to improve donor blood stem cell transplantation in blood cancers and other disorders
Ronald Sluyter (SMAH), Irit Alony (BAL), Samuel Lapkin (SMAH), Debbie Watson (SMAH), Neil Pennock (External – TLR Foundation) 

Advanced microdosimetry for particle therapy and space medicine
Thuy Linh Tran (EIS), David Bolst (EIS), Susanna Guatelli (EIS), Anatoly Rozenfeld (EIS) 

Risk-informed damage prediction and cost optimisation of residential roofs and rooftop solar panels exposed to hailstone hazards in a changing climate
Cao Wang (EIS), Lip The (EIS), Rabindra Nepal (BAL), Bruce Buckley (External – Insurance Australia Group) 

Selecting enforcement responses for environmental crimes: Do alternatives to prosecution serve the public interest?
Sarah Wright (BAL), Victoria Colvin (BAL) 

FEPLeadOpt: Large-scale free energy calculations to expedite lead optimisation in drug discovery 
Haibo Yu (SMAH), Richmond Lee (SMAH) 

Modelling and simulation for workplace health and safety risk assessment in using collaborative robots 
Tieling Zhang (EIS), Philip Commins (EIS), Grace Kennedy (EIS), Robyn Coman (ASSH), Trent Langley (external)