Western Sydney University celebrates early career researcher achievements

Five emerging early career researchers have received prestigious Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (ARC DECRA) totalling $1.9million, to focus on priority areas of research for the benefit of Australia and its international communities.

The ARC DECRA scheme provides focused research support for early career researchers to foster excellence in foundational and applied research. The scheme also supports national and international research collaborations; builds scale and focus of research in Australian priority areas; and promotes enhanced opportunities for diverse career pathways for emerging researchers.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Research, Enterprise and International) Professor Deborah Sweeney congratulated the recipients on their outstanding achievements in critical research areas.

“These grants serve to strengthen the direction of research impact in priority areas for Australia and internationally and will continue to shape excellence in early career research at Western Sydney University,” said Professor Sweeney.

“I congratulate the researchers on these funding successes and look forward to the continuing evolution of research directions that benefit all of our communities.”

ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards

DECRAs are awarded to promising early career researchers (ECRs) who have been awarded a PhD within five years, or longer if combined with periods of significant career interruption. The award gives ECRs an opportunity for diverse career pathways in both teaching and research, and in research-only positions in high quality and supportive environments with a broadened aim to expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability.

Congratulations to the following researchers on their ARC DECRA success:

Institute for Culture and Society

  • Dr Michelle Fitts ($442,500), ‘Invisible disability: Indigenous women living with traumatic brain injury’

Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment

  • Dr Eleonora Egidi ($438,428), ‘Small but bold: harnessing microbes to boost drought tolerance in grasses’
  • Dr Mingkai Jiang ($335,528), ‘Assessing Eucalyptus forest responses to rising CO2 and climate change’

Centre for Infrastructure Engineering

  • Dr Cheng Jiang ($396,958), ‘Reusable fire-resistant column rehabilitation with fibre reinforced polymer’

School of Science

  • *Dr Shi Dai ($345,000), ‘Discovering the most extreme pulsars with the next generation radio surveys’


5 November 2020

David Thompson
Research Media and Communications Officer
0429 951 552