13 Australian Universities to Collaborate With German Counterparts on 28 Projects

The Australia – Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme launched by Universities Australia and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), this year will fund projects for international collaboration on digital health solutions, combatting superbug infections as well as sustainable recycling.

According to a media release issued by Universities Australia, early career researchers from 13 universities across Australia will have the chance to collaborate with their counterparts at German universities on a total of 28 projects, Erudera.com reports.

The amount of over $600,000 has been promised by member universities, aiming to offer support to the Australian researchers, meanwhile, an equivalent amount will be offered by the DAAD.

Universities Australia Chief Executive, Catriona Jackson, said that the scheme on the joint research between Australian universities and their German counterparts shows how universities in Australia are an important part of the global research collaboration.

“Research success depends on open minds and open collaboration. The projects funded through this scheme will have far-reaching benefits across the world – not just in Germany or Australia,” Jackson said.

She further pointed out that both parties have shown very strong interest to collaborate with one another, despite the challenges triggered by the pandemic, adding that the application round this time was “highly competitive.”

The Australia-Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme began in 2015. Since then, more than $15 million has been allocated to some 426 projects.

The release also highlights that the funding of previous projects affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions was carried forward, and Australian researchers are hoping to start working with their German colleagues once the pandemic restrictions are finally lifted.

The initiative aims to strengthen the research collaboration and its quality as well as to support the exchanges of researchers from member universities so they can move to universities in Germany, while German researchers can spend their time at an Australian university.

“Researchers must be working on a joint research project with their German counterparts, rather than furthering their individual research in Germany. The inclusion of early career researchers (ECRs) is a significant focus of this scheme,” Universities Australia has noted.

Early career researchers mean the following:

  • PhD or Research Masters students enrolled at a university in Australia;
  • A researcher whose Research Masters or PhD was completed within five years of the date of application
  • A researcher who got the award more than five years prior to the date of application but who has had less than the equivalent of five cumulative years of research experience due to career interruptions

Applications for the scheme should be submitted with a nominated project leader.

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