SEI Researchers Receive 2020 ARC Discovery Project Grant

Congratulations to the USYD staff and SEI researchers, including David Schlosberg, Beck Pearce, Sophie Chao and Elspeth Probyn, who have received 2020 ARC Discovery Project grants.

Two projects lead by SEI researchers have been announced today as recipients for funding from the Australian Research Council. The 2020 Discovery Project grants are awarded based on innovation and nation-wide research impact addressing problems in areas including health, infrastructure, economics and the environment.

SEI Director David Schlosberg, along with Dr Rebecca Pearse and Associate Professor Lauren Rickards (RMIT) have been awarded a grant for their project Environmental Justice and the Making of Just Food and Energy Policy. The project aims to improve these two key areas of environmental policy by investigating the meaning of environmental justice and how it is best implemented. It will generate a significant new framework of the idea of environmental justice in Australia, and work with local and state governments on making policies on urban food security and energy transition more just. Overall, the project should provide guidance on how to work with communities to construct of more just policies on two key environmental issues facing Australia.

Another project, lead by Professor Elspeth Probyn and Dr Kale Fajardo (University of Minnesota), builds on research originally conducted as part of the Sustainable Fish LabSelling the Sea: a comparative cultural analysis of urban fish markets aims to conduct the first comparative interdisciplinary ethnographic study about how urban fish markets act as vital infrastructures connecting the oceans and cities, fishers, buyers, tourists and consumers. Through three case studies of the fish markets in Sydney, Dakar, and Manila, the research expects to generate new knowledge about the local impacts of the global issues of overfishing, ocean warming, and geo-political disputes about fishing regulations. The expected outcomes include new cross-cultural knowledge about the roles of fish markets, and enhanced international interdisciplinary collaborations. The rich theoretical and empirical results should provide significant benefits to academia, industry, and government policy-makers.

Dr Sophie Chao, who also won the Australian Anthropological Society PhD Thesis Prize 2019 this week, received a grant with Dr Eben Kirksey from Deakin University for their project, The Promise of Justice. The project will undertake collaborative ethnographic research in Indonesia, focussing on the province of West Papua, a region plagued by conflict, to reconceptualise the notions of justice and make recommendations with regards to the environment, human rights and health.

Congratulations to the project leads for all their immense hard work, and to all the other successful researchers from across the University. We look forward to seeing how these projects evolve over the next years, and we wish those who are currently preparing for the next round of funding all the best with their applications!