The evolutionary forces shaping bacteria, the fate of engineered nanoparticles leached into groundwater, and the psychology behind obsessive thinking and anger are among the research projects led by UNSW’s newest Future Fellows.

Ten UNSW researchers were awarded Future Fellowships worth $7.8 million in the latest funding round, announced today by Education Minister Christopher Pyne.

More than $115 million in total was slated for the Fellowships nationally.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) scheme provides funding of up to $1 million over five years to highly qualified mid-career researchers working in areas of critical national importance as an incentive to keep them in Australia.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Les Field said: "My congratulations to these excellent researchers, it's very pleasing to see their impressive work being recognised for its national importance."

"The breadth of fields covered by our newest Future Fellows highlights the University's research strengths.

"The Future Fellowship scheme is one of the few remaining schemes that support our early-to-mid career researchers and provide career opportunities in the in non-medical areas. It was a very welcomed initiative to see the Future Fellowships given a new lease of life in the last Federal budget and now recognised as a program that will continue in the ARC.”

UNSW’s successful applicants include:

  • Associate Professor Thomas Denson, from the Faculty of Science, who will identify the psychological and neural mechanisms behind the urge to hurt another person when angry.
  • Associate Professor Denis O'Carroll, from the Faculty of Engineering, who will quantify, for the first time, the fate and environmental impact of engineered nanoparticles that have leached out of commercial products into our groundwater.
  • Associate Professor Torsten Thomas, from the Faculty of Science, who aims to define the dynamics of gene transfer in bacteria and offer new understanding of how different evolutionary forces shape bacterial function
  • Dr Jessica Grisham, from the Faculty of Science, who will employ a novel, computerised experimental methodology to shed light on the core psychological mechanisms behind obsessional thinking. 

Read the full list of UNSW’s newest Fellowships at the ARC website.