$2.3m injection for Humanities and Social Sciences

Tuesday, 29 June 2004

The University of Adelaide's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences is the big winner in research funding announced today by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

The faculty has received $2.3 million over four years from the current round of the Linkage Projects program that funds collaborative projects between university researchers and partner organisations.

The University of Adelaide received a total of $3.71m in funding, with a 65 per cent overall rate which exceeds the national average of 51.8 per cent. The funding is for 2004 through to 2007.

Within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Geographical and Environmental Studies is the major benefactor receiving $910,396 towards cross-disciplinary research on Obesity, Health, Social Disadvantage and the Environment in Australia.

"This is a fantastic result especially when you consider researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences applied for 10 grants and received eight, giving them an exceptional success rate of 80 per cent," said Professor Neville Marsh, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). Of the other faculties that applied for grants, the Faculty of Sciences received $872,589 and the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences $574,942.

"Equally important is the cross collaboration between disciplines within the University, the community and industry partnerships. An excellent example is the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Sciences who received $434,859 for a project that involves the South Australian Museum and industry," Professor Marsh said. "This is yet another example of the success of the collaboration being fostered under our Memorandum of Understanding with the SA Museum."

Professor Marsh said the funding for the obesity research would enable the researchers to make significant progress in this area.

"The association between excess body fat and numerous health problems has been well documented. The significant increase in the proportion of Australians obese and overweight in the last 20 years has important implications for the well being of Australians and the costs of the health system.

"Developing effective policies to reverse this trend is dependant upon achieving better understanding of the inter-related social, economic, environmental and medical causes of obesity and its effects. This study seeks to extend this understanding through innovative analysis of a unique survey of 4,000 adults in north western Adelaide and develop recommendations for effective policy intervention," Professor Marsh said.


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