DECRA Funding Success for VC Fellows

Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor’s Researchers Dr Tijl Grootswagers (left) and Dr Benjamin Hanckel (right).

Dr Tijl Grootswagers and Dr Benjamin Hanckel from the University of Western Sydney have each received an Early Career Research Fellowship (DECRA) from the Australian Research Council (ARC), attracting a combined total of more than $850,000 for the university.

Dr. Tijl Grootswagers, of the MARCS Institute and VC Fellow under the University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Fellowship Program, has been awarded $447,683 for the project, The Dynamics of Object Representations in the Brain human.

“It is still unclear how the brain effortlessly recognizes and categorizes objects. This project capitalizes on cutting-edge advances in artificial intelligence and neuroscience to address the spatio-temporal dynamics of object processing in the human brain,” said Dr Grootswagers.

“The results will be a step change in our understanding of the nature and development of neural object processing and will ultimately facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders and accelerate the development of intelligent machines.”

Dr. Benjamin Hanckel, of the Institute for Culture and Society and a VC Fellow through the university’s Vice-Chancellor’s Fellowship program, has been awarded $434,212 for the Examining Youth Digital Wellbeing in Australia project, and the Philippines.

“Digital technologies are being harnessed for their potential to improve health and well-being. How digital health interventions provide support across national borders in the “real world” and the lives of young people are key questions in achieving global health,” said Dr Hanckel.

“Focusing on sexual health and mental health interventions for marginalized youth, this project will examine the promise of cross-national digital health interventions from the perspective of marginalized youth in Australia and the Philippines.”

Professor Kevin Dunn, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research, Enterprise and International) of Western Sydney University also welcomed the funding.

“The DECRA program is essential not only for expanding Australia’s knowledge base and research capacity, but also for developing future research leaders like Dr Hanckel and Dr Grootswagers. The University welcomes funding for its future-oriented projects, which reflect the University’s commitment to research excellence and impact on the communities we serve,” said Professor Dunn.
The Australian government has this year awarded $85 million for projects under the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) program. The program enables early career researchers to develop and apply their research skills on projects that benefit Australians and help them progress in a research career.

ENDS

September 19, 2022

Media Unit

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