Flinders wins big in ARC announcement on campus

Professor Neil Brewer has been awarded a $275,000 grant from the Australian Research Council to improve the accuracy of police line-ups.
Professor Neil Brewer has been awarded a $558,700 grant from the Australian Research Council to improve the accuracy of police line-ups.

A record number of grants worth almost $7 million have been awarded to Flinders University in the Australian Research Council’s 2015 funding program – announced for the first time at Flinders University Victoria Square today (November 5).

The 2015 program, announced by Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne at Flinders University’s city campus this morning, includes $354 million nationwide for 941 projects, with South Australia sharing in $25.6 million across 69 projects.

Flinders researchers received a total of $6.9 million across 17 projects, including 13 Discovery grants worth $5 million; three Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards of $1 million and one Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grant for $860,000.

Recipient Professor Neil Brewer, the Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Psychology, will look at improving the accuracy of eyewitness detection in police line-ups by developing a universally applicable method for the photo spread of suspects that aims to optimise judgmental discriminability and curtail bias.

Professor Melanie Oppenheimer from the School of International Studies will provide the first historical examination of the Australian Assistance Plan, which was introduced in 1973 by the Australian Government under the leadership of Gough Whitlam to support local community organisations and foster community input in planning processes.

Other projects include an Australian-first study that will interview convicted gun crime users about the acquisition and use of firearms in criminal life, in the wider aim of reducing the impact of gun violence in Australia; an analysis of the potential impacts of disclaimer labels on Photoshopped magazine images; and the development of tools to predict aquifer replenishment after storms and future groundwater availability.

Flinders Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor David Day, said the University was delighted for the opportunity to host the ARC awards at its city campus for the first time, and was exceptionally pleased with the outstanding result for Flinders.

“November 2014 marks the fifth year of Flinders University Victoria Square; a modern, vibrant city locale facilitating the study of diverse disciplines including business, law, social and policy studies, international studies, language and health care management,” Professor Day said.

“As the University now prepares for its 50th anniversary in 2016, it’s a privilege for Flinders to host the ARC awards and we are thrilled with the significant investment of research dollars to the University.

Professor Day said the successful ARC projects reflect the breadth and extent of Flinders-driven research in helping to shape, develop and improve global communities.

“The talent, drive and commitment of Flinders University researchers are leading to tangible, real-world outcomes that bring benefits not only the nation but the world.

“This year we have researchers looking at gun crime, body image, adolescent sleeping patterns and an array of other important areas – it’s their efforts that keep Australia at the cutting-edge of world-class research.”

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