UNSW has received more than $33 million for research in the latest round of Australian Research Council grants.

The funding, to commence in January 2009, was announced in Canberra today by the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr.

UNSW has received $27.3 million for 78 Discovery Projects, representing almost ten percent of a total $288 million in funding for such projects Australia wide.

Discovery grants are awarded to support innovative research that will broaden Australia's knowledge base and enhance Australia's international competitiveness.

The largest Discovery grant awarded to UNSW is $1.6m over five years for a project led by Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, Director of the Institute for Health Innovation. It will evaluate communities of practice and social - professional networks in the area of public health, with the aim of improving behaviours and attitudes, and therefore health outcomes.

Professor Rose Amal from the School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, in the Faculty of Engineering, leads a project that has attracted a Discovery grant of $1.3m, also over five years. This research is aimed at efficiently harnessing and converting solar energy to hydrogen through novel photocatalytic systems, while remediating waste water - an ultimately clean solution to the core issues of energy and water supply.

The University will also receive $5.9 million in Linkage Project Grants, funding 20 projects. These grants are for collaborative research between higher education institutions and other organisations, including industry. Partner organisations are contributing a total of $10.5million.

The largest of these grants is $900,000 over three years for a project led by Dr Sue Hand and Professor Mike Archer from the Faculty of Science. The project will examine the geology of Northern Australia and its biotic and climatic events over the past 25 million years in order to better anticipate the climatic threats facing our natural and cultural communities. Partners are Xstrata Copper North Queensland, the Queensland Museum, Outback at Isa and the Mt Isa City Council.

Under the ARC International Fellowships scheme UNSW received $143,000 for two projects involving collaboration with overseas researchers.

"This is a very good result for UNSW," says Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Les Field.

"These grants will support an enormous amount of exciting research. Our success rate is among the highest in the nation and reflects the quality and relevance of the research being undertaken at UNSW".

Media Contact: Judy Brookman | 9385 3249 | j.brookman@unsw.edu.au