A year in review

UOW Research and Innovation

Welcome to a year in review: 2022

As 2022 draws to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate the great achievements in the Research and Innovation space this year. UOW continues to contribute strongly towards the University's sustainable future goals.

Firstly, I want to thank you for a great year. 2022 has been both challenging and fruitful for the University. We have overcome significant health and financial challenges and have emerged through a global pandemic with our 2023 enrolments looking strong.

It seems fitting that we will come together in 2023 under the new title of Research and Sustainable Futures and I very much look forward to what the next year brings.

Research Reputation 

  • UOW academics named as the best in Australia in 14 fields of research in The Australian newspaper's annual list.
  • Strong rankings performance based on excellence in teaching and research across multiple subject areas.
  • UOW's commitment to sustainability was recognised through its ranking =70th in the world in the Times Higher Ed (THE) University Impact Rankings 2022 and 85th Globally in the QS World University Rankings: Sustainability. 

Equity and Inclusion 

  • VC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Transformation funding of $51,718.92 was awarded to 12 successful applications. Watch Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patricia M. Davidson discuss her commitment to equality, diversity ad inclusion at UOW.

Excellence and Leadership

  • Professor Justin Yerbury received many accolades including the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research; honoured with Keys to the City of Wollongong; and the NSW Premier's Prize for Science and Engineering.
  • Eight UOW researchers were acknowledged for their exceptional contribution to knowledge through the Highly Cited Researchers 2022 list. Distinguished Professor Shi Xue Dou, Distinguished Professor Shujun Zhang, Associate Dean Jun Chen, Distinguished Professor Hua Kun Liu, Distinguished Professor Yoshio Bando, Honorary Distinguished Professor Yang-Kook Sun, Professor Shahriar Akter, and Professor Anthony Okely.
  • Associate Professor Nicholas Flament was awarded the prestigious David Syme Research Prize.
  • UOW researchers are collaborating with more than 70 organisations to fight Antimicrobial Resistance as part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Solving Antimicrobial Resistance in Agribusiness, Food and Environments (CRC SAAFE)
  • Associate Professor Deidre McGhee traveled to the international women's cricket competition in Dubai to boost global awareness research intro breast injuries.
  • Tara Alexander and Professor Ping Yu were recognised in the 2022 Brilliant Women in Digital Health Awards.
  • Associate Professor Jenny Fisher was awarded the Anton Hales Medal and Professor Kerry Lee Rodgers was awarded the Frederick White Medal by the Australian Academy of Science in recognition of their outstanding contributions to climate and environmental science.
  • UOW PhD candidate Sarah Vogel competed in the Asia Pacific Finals of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition with her presentation focussed on "Treating brain cancer with one shot." She won the UOW chapter of the 3MT Competition which secured her a place in the Asia Pacific Final.

Research Funding 

  • Early Start Research received $1.2 million in Prevention Research Support Program funding from the NSW Ministry of Health.
  • Associate Professor Shane Ellis was awarded $1.85 million funding by the prestigious international Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Research Grant for a research project investigating the role of lipids (fats) in ageing and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease.
  • Four mid-career researchers, Professor Karen Charlton, Professor Thomas Astell-Burt, Associate Professor Fuchun Guo and Associate Professor Jiakun Liu were awarded 2022 Future Fellowships, and close to $4 million in total funding, under the Australian Research Council (ARC) funding scheme.
  • Three early-career researchers, Dr Elyse Stanes, Dr Anna Farmery, and Dr Yannan Li, were announced as recipients of the ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) scheme, receiving $1.3 million in funding across three projects.
  • An ARC Training Centre for Innovative Composites for the Future of Sustainable Mining Equipment worth $5 million was established at UOW led by Distinguished Professor Zhengyi Jiang.
  • Excellent outcomes in the ARC Discovery Project scheme with 14 visionary UOW projects awarded more than $6 million.
  • Three UOW led projects awarded $1.2 million in ARC Linkage Project grants. 
  • Major commercial contracts won totaling $29 million, including a $3.5 million protein research partnership by Molecular Horizons with Protein Evolution INC, a young start-up company based in the United States.
  • Professor Lezanne Ooi and Associate Professor Shane Ellis awarded $1.3 million from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research and the Shake It Up Australia Foundation (SIUAF) for stem cell research into Parkinson's disease.
  • Professor Mirella Dottori was awarded a US$250,000 grant from Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), to advance therapies for a rare neurodegenerative disease, Friedreich's ataxia.
  • Launch of the iAccelerate Rise Program in May. iAccelerate was last year awarded $999,570 from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund (BLER) to bring the progam to 10-bushfire-affected regions, including four Local Aboriginal Land Council areas. The initiative will deliver education programs to support 90 entrepreneurs and business owners in bushfire-affected areas to create 300 new jobs.
  • Internal grants such as AeGIS, EMCR Enabling, Open Access High Impact, Partnerships, Global Small Research were awarded to over 130 UOW researchers and projects valued inexcess of $1 million.


Thank you all for your commitment, collegiality and support over the past year.

Please take the time to switch off and recharge over the break.

I hope the festive season and New Year will be filled with peace, rest and happiness for you and your loved ones. 

Warmest wishes, 

Professor David Currow FAHMS

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Health and Sustainable Futures)

Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)