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Funding boost for research

Bond academics have secured three significant external research grants totalling over $1.4 million within the last month, continuing the great momentum of research activity at the University.

In one of the largest nationally competitive grants that Bond has received, Associate Professor Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik and Dr Donald Staines were awarded $831,037 over four years by the Mason Foundation to advance their ground-breaking research into identifying the cause and possible treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

As part of Bond’s Public Health and Neuroimmunology Unit (PHANU), they will partner with Queensland Health, Stanford University and Incline Village Medical Centre in Nevada for what will be the largest ever collaborative international CFS project.

The grant was part of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) program.

Associate Professor Julia Henker was also recognised by the ARC, obtaining a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) for her project investigating factors intended to prevent financial asset price bubbles and crashes. Her successful grant application follows her receipt of a Bond University Vice Chancellor’s research grant for 2010-2011 as seed funds to pursue a pilot study.

Also successful in their application to the ARC were Professor Patrick Keyzer, Associate Professor Dietrich Joachim and Betul Sekendiz of the Faculty of Law, who were awarded an ARC Linkage grant of $212,459 to investigate Australian laws, policies and practices designed to manage legal risks and liabilities in the fitness industry. This research project will be carried out together with industry partners Fitness Australia and Sports Medicine Australia.

The University’s success in such highly contested national grants is demonstrative of the credibility and momentum of Bond’s research portfolio; a portfolio that has undergone immense growth under the leadership of retiring Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Stable.

Since joining Bond in 2004, Professor Stable has championed an increasing focus on research that has seen Bond University record a very high rate of growth in research income and a strengthening of research culture in recent years.

During his tenure, external research income has increased 20-fold, research publication output has almost tripled and Bond now has more Higher Degree Research students than ever before.

The improvements have not gone unnoticed, with Bond’s burgeoning research portfolio attracting international researchers to the University and the Australian Universities Quality Agency praising the University’s “significant improvements” in the areas of research and research management over the last five years, commending the research time provided to research-enabled staff through dedicated research semesters.

An initiative Professor Stable is particularly proud of is the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Grants which he established early into his tenure.

“In the case of Associate Professor Julia Henker, she was able to turn her $10,000 seed funding into $375,000 in the space of two years… that is phenomenal,” said Professor Stable.

“Without that initial grant, perhaps that wouldn’t have happened. We have had a number of similar successes whereby the seeding grant has made possible winning a much bigger grant. That is exactly why I wanted to set up the scheme and to see its success gives me great personal satisfaction.”

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