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Southern Cross University receives $4.6 million for new research collaboration


Brigid Veale
26 September 2011
Southern Cross University is partnering with three leading universities in a new program of research aimed at improving the wellbeing of children and young people, developing the nursing workforce and improving regional economic sustainability.

Southern Cross University has received $4.6 million through the federal government’s Collaborative Research Networks (CRN) program, which has been set up to support partnerships between regional and metropolitan based universities.

The University will be partnering with the University of Queensland, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the University of Sydney.

Southern Cross University’s Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Neal Ryan said the CRN funding was a turning point in higher education research in Australia.

“This funding enables Southern Cross University to partner with prestigious, research-intensive universities to develop its research capacity in policy related research concerning a range of social and economic issues in regional areas,” Professor Ryan said.

“This type of collaboration will improve research performance, particularly between regional and metropolitan based universities.

“Southern Cross University is now working in close partnership with nationally and internationally renowned researchers from the University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland.

“These are top performing universities and our shared goal is to utilise their expertise in improving the number of publications, grants and PhD activity flowing from our research activity in these areas.”

One of the key CRN project collaborations involves researchers from Southern Cross University’s Centre for Children and Young People (CCYP) and UNSW’s Social Policy Research Centre.

One of the first official activities of the CRN was a visit this week from three researchers at UNSW to plan the first phase of activities that will be undertaken jointly between the two Centres.

CCYP director Professor Anne Graham said the partnership would lead to increased research performance and a more robust research culture within Southern Cross University.

“We have a number of exciting opportunities available to us through this scheme including postdoctoral fellowships, PhD scholarships, staff exchange between institutions, mentoring of early career researchers, visiting international fellows and research training workshops,” Professor Graham said.

“The quality and quantity of our research concerning key areas of children’s lives will be substantially boosted through this partnership.”

Professor Deborah Brennan from the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW, said the Centre was delighted to be part of this initiative.

“The CRN will strengthen our partnership with the Centre for Children and Young People and provide wonderful opportunities for researchers at both institutions. We are already planning joint publications and grant applications and I am confident that new collaborations with international researchers will quickly emerge. The CRN will strengthen and deepen research focused on children and youth at both universities,” Professor Brennan said.

Recruitment is also under way for a number of new research positions associated with the CRN. Six PhD scholarships are also available.

Professor Anne Graham, director of Southern Cross University's Centre for Children and Young People, and Professor Deborah Brennan, from the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW, and staff from the two centres meet to discuss the joint research activities.