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Victoria University scoops 21 Marsden grants

29 October 2013

Victoria University scoops 21 Marsden grants

Victoria University researchers have scooped 21 prestigious Marsden grants, the largest number ever received by the University.

The Marsden Fund supports research excellence, allowing New Zealand’s best researchers to explore ideas at the forefront of their disciplines.

Victoria researchers received 21 out of 109 grants funded nationwide, worth $11.2 million. The funding consists of 13 standard grants and eight Fast Start grants for emerging researchers.

Of the 21 successful Victoria researchers, 16 are in the Faculty of Science and five of those are in the School of Biological Sciences.

Professor Charles Daugherty, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research), says the results are confirmation of the strength of research capability at Victoria.

“The successful projects demonstrate the diversity and breadth of research being carried out at Victoria, as evidenced by Victoria’s Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) ranking, in April of this year, as first among New Zealand universities based on the research performance of its academic staff.

“Particular highlights are the enhancement of Victoria’s growing reputation as a leader in the sciences and further evidence of the calibre of our Law School. This is the second year in a row that a Marsden grant has been awarded to one of Victoria’s law staff which is an outstanding achievement.

“We are also particularly pleased with receiving both Standard grants, to support outstanding senior researchers, and eight Fast Start grants as they support New Zealand’s researchers of the future.”

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Projects to win funding range from research into invasive wasps, seismic risk, climate change and human fertility to the personal impact of religion and spirituality, young people’s mental health and New Zealand’s Bill of Rights Act.

Victoria University recipients of Marsden grants (distributed over three years):

Standard grants:
Professor Phil Lester (School of Biological Sciences): Using interaction networks to explain invasion success and community dominance: wasps in an old and new world, $826,087

Professor Tim Naish (Antarctic Research Centre): Drilling back to the Pliocene in search of Earth’s future high-tide, $782,609

Dr Franck Natali (School of Chemical and Physical Sciences): Semiconductor-based spintronics: can rare-earth nitrides and group III-nitrides get it together?, $782,609

Dr Joseph Bulbulia (School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies): The personal consequences of spirituality and religion: a twenty year longitudinal study, $769,565

Dr Janet Pitman (School of Biological Sciences, with Professor Ken McNatty): What makes a good egg?, $756,522

Professor Tim Little (School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, with Professor Diane Seward): Using the world's most rapidly slipping normal fault to understand the mechanics of low-angle normal faults and the dynamics of continental extension $739,130

Associate Professor John Townend (School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences): Locked and loaded? Effects of deep seismic and aseismic deformation on Alpine Fault earthquakes, $717,391

Dr Gina Grimshaw (School of Psychology): Hemispheric differences in emotional control, $652,174

Associate Professor Karen Salmon (School of Psychology, with Dr Paul Jose): How is overgeneral memory related to the development of psychopathology in young people?, $652,174

Professor Dean Hyslop (School of Economics and Finance): Modeling the extensive and intensive margins in earning dynamics, $608,696

Professor Claudia Geiringer (School of Law): New Zealand Bill of Rights Act under the microscope, $504,348

Professor Geoff Whittle (School of Mathematics, Statistics and Operations Research), Matroid minors, $521,739

Professor James Noble (School of Engineering and Computer Science): CAPE: making capability policies explicit, $521,739

Fast Start
Dr Adam Day (School of Mathematics, Statistics and Operations Research): Computability theory in the constructible universe, $300,000

Dr Monica Gruber (School of Biological Sciences): Making a rod for our own backs: do human actions select for traits that promote invasiveness in animals?, $300,000

Dr Alexander Bukh (School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations): Territorial disputes and civil society in east Asian democracies, $300,000

Dr Huw Horgan (Antarctic Research Centre): Can ice sheets help themselves? Investigating self-stabilisation and instability in Antarctica, $300,000

Dr Alex Usvyatsov (School of Mathematics, Statistics and Operations Research): Model theoretic techniques in Banach spaces and combinatorics, $300,000

Dr Ruzica Dadic (Antarctic Research Centre): Improving ice core records—understanding the link between rapid changes of greenhouse gases and temperature, $300,000

Dr Rachael Shaw (School of Biological Sciences): The evolution of intelligence: evaluating the heritability and fitness consequences of cognition in wild North Island robin, $300,000

Dr Christian Boedeker (School of Biological Sciences): A novel system for sympatric speciation: a species flock of green algae from ancient Lake Baikal, $300,000


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