New fellowships to expand Flinders’ research focus

Matthew Flinders bust Bedford Park
The Matthew Flinders Fellowship program will roll out during the University’s 50th anniversary year in 2016.

How does DNA, stress and exercise affect mental health? How did World War events shape Australia’s relations in the Pacific? How did turtles get their shells and lizards lose their legs?

These and other questions will add to the high quality of innovative research at Flinders University in 2016 under the new Matthew Flinders Fellowship program.

The University’s 50th anniversary year will focus on Flinders’ world-class research efforts with the arrival of a dozen new leaders in a wide range of investigation.

The Matthew Flinders Fellowships are research intensive positions focused on strengthening Flinders’ research priorities.

Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling says the inaugural fellows will be a key strategic and dynamic cohort for the future of research at Flinders.

“The aim of the Matthew Flinders Fellowship program is to strengthen and invigorate the University’s areas of research strength and strategic importance, through the appointment of high performing researchers,” Professor Stirling says.

“Our successful fellows will be crucial to building research activity, including recruiting and training research by higher degree and honours students.”

The diverse areas of research, from medicine and health sciences to biological sciences, chemical and physical sciences, law and social and behavioural sciences, builds on the University’s proud history of research excellence.

The first three fellows, to commence in January-February, are:

Social and Behaviour Sciences –

  • genetic psychologist Dr Sarah Cohen-Woods, School of Psychology;
  • historian Dr Christine Winter, School of History and International Relations;

Science and Engineering –

  • evolutionary biologist Dr Mike Lee, School of Biological Sciences.

A further nine appointments – five in Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, two in the Flinders Law School, one in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences and another in the School of Biological Sciences will be announced during the year.

“The Matthew Flinders Fellowship initiative is fortuitous in coinciding with the Federal Government’s renewed focus on research, and will reinforce our already strong reputation for collaborative and innovative research that makes a real difference to people’s lives,” Professor Stirling says.

A range of special events are planned for Flinders’ 50th anniversary this year.

“These events and reunions in 2016 are a wonderful time to focus on our exciting aspirations for the future,” Professor Stirling says.

“Just as our namesake Matthew Flinders famously remarked he was not content to rest unnoticed in the middle order, Flinders as an institution has never been content with the status quo.”

Join us on our ground-breaking research journey of discovery in 2016 and beyond, as the Matthew Flinders Fellows move in the footsteps of the University’s namesake, the famous explorer of southern Australia, who said: “… my actions shall speak to the world”.

More details about Flinders’ anniversary can be found on our 50th website or at the anniversary preview Youtube video.

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