Three of this year's Australian Research Council Federation Fellowships for scientific research have been awarded to UNSW researchers. UNSW placed equal first in the number of new Fellowships announced and equal second in the total number of Fellowships announced.

Professors Robert Clark, a world leader in quantum computing, John Hodges, a dementia expert from the UK and Ian Petersen, a top researcher in control theory of quantum systems at ADFA have been honoured.

They are among 20 recipients of the 2007 Fellowships, announced in Canberra on Tuesday.

The Commonwealth Government's Federation Fellowships are the most prestigious, and the richest, publicly funded research fellowships to be offered in Australia.

Professor Clark, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computer Technology, has been awarded with a Federation Fellowship for the second time, having held one of these highly coveted fellowships from 2002-2006. Professor Clark and his team have made ground-breaking contributions towards the creation of the world's first silicon-based quantum computer.

Ian Petersen, Professor of Electrical Engineering at UNSW@ADFA, is a world-renowned expert in control theory, with this fellowship giving him the opportunity to develop an entirely new theory of robust and distributed feedback control for quantum systems.

Professor Hodges, a Clinical Neuroscientist and MRC Professor of Behavioural Neurology at Cambridge University, has accepted an appointment as Professor of Cognitive Neurology at UNSW, and will be based at Sydney's Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute (POWMRI).

Professor Hodges is one of the world's leading researchers in the field of dementia, and has proposed an innovative research program that will substantially advance Australia's fundamental knowledge of cognitive processes. Importantly, his research program has a strong translational component through the development of improved methods for rehabilitation and health outcomes in patients.

POWMRI's Executive Director, Professor Peter Schofield said his fellowship reflects the strong relationship between UNSW and POWMRI in building Australia's internationally competitive research capacity in cognitive neuroscience and behavioural neurology.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Les Field, said "It is tremendous to see that Professor Clark has received a Federation Fellowship for a second time, that Professor Petersen has been recognised for his ground-breaking work and Professor Hodges will add considerably to the critical mass of research excellence at UNSW. I congratulate Professors Clark, Petersen and Hodges on their success in receiving these highly prestigious fellowships."

The Australian Research Council's Federation Fellowships are designed to attract to Australia and retain outstanding researchers, build and strengthen Australia's world-class research capacity, support ground-breaking internationally competitive research, and develop strong links among researchers, industry and the international research community.

The Federation Fellowships are awarded over five years, with each Fellow receiving an indexed annual salary of around $230,000. The Fellowships are funded under the Australian Research Council's National Competitive Grants Program. Up to 25 Fellowships are available to be awarded in each year of the scheme.