ARC Special Research Initiative funding awarded to MCDS Convenors

Congratulations to two MCDS Academic Convenors, A/Prof Irma Mooi-Reci and Dr Martin Tomko, for securing funding in the recent Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative 2020 round.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Special Research Initiatives (SRI) scheme provides funding for new and emerging fields of research and builds capacity in strategically important areas. The objective of the SRI scheme is to support high-quality research which will assist in advancing Australia’s research excellence to be globally competitive and deliver benefits to the community. This extends, but is not limited, to supporting research-related activities which will respond to emerging opportunities or changing priorities.

The funded research projects for MCDS Academic Convenors:

A/Prof Mooi-Reci will be researching Casual Fertility Consequences: The Role of Non-Standard Employment (NSE). The project aims to investigate the role of temporary, casual, part-time paid work (non-standard employment) on Australians’ fertility behaviour (childbirth intentions and outcomes). It expects to use high-quality longitudinal data, engage in novel quasi-experiments (policy changes) to identify new causal mechanisms and pathways between employment types and fertility. Expected outcomes include a novel interdisciplinary theoretical framework, most up-to-date empirical evidence on this topic in Australia, high-quality research outputs and training, and clear work and family policy recommendations. This should significantly benefit families, communities, governments and organisations to lift productivity.

Dr Tomko's project explores Indigenous Engineering: interpreting engineering foundations of Budj Bim. The Budj Bim World Heritage Cultural Landscape is internationally recognised for preserving the world’s oldest aquaculture system, which provided an economic and social base for the Gunditjmara people of South-western Victoria for more than six millennia. This project aims to elucidate the engineering processes that enabled the Gunditjmara to site, plan, construct, operate and maintain this aquaculture complex, to show how it may have evolved over time, and how it responded to changing social and environmental circumstances. This project will develop geospatial methods to uncover and document the technological foundations of the aquaculture complex, and contribute to the understanding of the Gunditjmara technological knowledge and history.

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