Collaborative research projects between the University of Queensland and the University of Western Australia have received a total of more than $425,000 in the second round of UQ-UWA Bilateratl Research Collaboration Awards funding.


The awards offer up to $20,000 to support joint research projects between the two universities.


UQ's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Max Lu, said in the scheme's first year it had already played a key role in projects of national and global significance.


“We now have leading researchers from both sides of the continent working together on important projects in areas such as genomics, astronomy, literature and ecology,” Professor Lu said.


He said UQ and UWA had many synergies, as well as complementary research strengths and similar research cultures.


“We are each based in vast States that have strong resource industries, rich biodiversity and major sustainability challenges,” Professor Lu said.


Under the accord signed in October 2009, UWA and UQ agreed to “promote staff and student interchanges, especially of post-graduate students, post-doctoral and early-career researchers, collaborative research projects, joint workshops and the exchange of expertise and information on a regular basis”.


In the second year of the scheme's operation, 27 projects have been funded from 46 applications received.

New research projects to be led by UQ include:

  • The conversion of gas to stars on all scales (Professor Michael Drinkwater, working with UWA's Prof Gerhardt Meurer) $15,177
  • Engineering biochars for restoring and sustaining soil-plant systems- from mined land to crop fields (Dr Longbin Huang, working with UWA's Professor Hong Yang) $19,160
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy to treat anxiety and depression in Parkinson's Disease (Professor Nancy Pachana, working with UWA's Professor Sergio Starkstein) $20,000
  • The Politics of Climate Change in Australia (Dr Matt McDonald, working with UWA's Professor Mark Beeson) $14,621
  • The airway epithelium in paediatric respiratory diseases (Professor Peter Sly, with UWA's Professor Stephen Stick) $16,300.

New research projects to be led by UWA include:

  • Stateless stakeholders: facilitating participatory governance in the Coral Triangle (Assistant Professor Julian Clifton, with UQ's Dr Wolfram Dressler) $19,220
  • Historical and cultural studies of WA/Qld goldfields and arid lands (Winthrop Professor William Taylor, with UQ's Professor John Macarthur) $19,918
  • Self-assembling peptide nanoscaffolds as a three-dimensional wound healing platform (Dr Killugudi L. Swaminatha-Iyer, with Dr Annette Dexter from the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at UQ) $13,885
  • Bioenergy from microalgae grown in wastewater and coupled to anaerobic digestion (Dr Wenxu Zhou, with UQ's Associate Professor Peer Schenk) $18,720
  • Gas Workshop and Related Activities to Develop a National Centre of Excellence in Gas Processing and Utilisation (Assistant Professor Thomas Rufford, with UQ's Dr Greg Birkett) $18,800