Torture’s effects on the brain, the next generation of high-efficiency solar cells, and new approaches to iron making are among 20 UNSW research projects funded in the latest round of industry-backed Australian government Linkage Projects scheme.

UNSW was awarded $5.8 million for the 20 projects by the Australian Research Council (ARC), topping the state and ranking second nationally. Significantly, the projects received the highest level of industry support nationally with $15.1 million pledged from partner organisations.

The aim of the Linkage scheme is to foster collaboration between researchers, industries, and communities to find solutions to some of our most pressing problems.

The largest grant – $560,000 – went to Professor Stuart Wenham, from the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy, to develop improved photovoltaic devices with higher efficiency and lower cost .

Other successful projects include:

  • $559,467 to a team led by Professor Richard Bryant, from the School of Psychology, to identify the effects of torture on the brain.
  • $467,493 to a team from the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research, led by Professor Dennis Del Favero, to utilise cutting-edge visualisation technology to explore ways to communicate and understand the collective experiences and memories of war.
  • $199,257 to a team led by Associate Professor Bettina Meiser, from the School of Psychiatry, for a randomised controlled trial of an educational GP-based intervention for people with a family history of depression.
  • $120,000 to a team led by Dr Anthony Newall, from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, for a post implementation economic assessment of childhood vaccination programs.

The funding is part of Round 2 of the government’s Linkage Projects schem, and will commence in July 2012.

For a full list of the successful grants and a university breakdown go to the ARC website

Media contact: Denise Knight, UNSW Media Office | 02 9385 8920