Welcome to the fourth edition of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Making a difference publication, in which we draw together a diverse sample of outcomes from ARC-supported research projects that have occurred over the previous year. In 2020 the ARC celebrates 55 years of competitive grants delivery to the research sector. While we have existed in our current legislated form since 2001, it was in May 1965 that we first came to shape the delivery of government research funding as the Australian Research Grants Committee. From the very beginning, the ARC has supported research projects of dazzling variety and scope, on both fundamental and applied research themes. In this edition, we feature stories of research to uncover the hidden secrets of neutron stars and radio signals from deep space, of efforts to revive the world’s damaged coral reefs, and industry-focussed projects that are reducing agricultural methane emissions, and bringing new life to the humble old pair of jeans. The legacy of Australia’s first Archbishop is unpacked, as is a scheme to double the number of Indigenous entries in the Australian Dictionary of Biography . All of this, and much, much more, is made possible with the funding support of the ARC, which often flows through a multitude of individual grants and across different schemes. Entire research teams are supported at multi-million-dollar ARC Centres of Excellence and Industrial Transformation Training Centres and Research Hubs, which often additionally make use of equipment and facilities purchased through successful A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO
ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grants. Individual researchers are supported at different career stages by ARC fellowships—ten stories in this publication are the product of a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award. And of course, funding from ARC Discovery Projects and Linkage Projects is woven through many researcher careers, nurturing ambitious research projects and creating collaborations with industry and beyond. This ecosystem of research support helps to create a rich and varied landscape of innovation and knowledge production, which in turn supports our industries, our higher education sector, and the wider Australian community. I hope this snapshot of projects gives you a rewarding insight into the socially transformative and productive work of Australian researchers.
Professor Sue Thomas Chief Executive Officer Australian Research Council
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