Regional research set to get digital boost

April 07, 2021
Dr Lining Arnold Ju, University of Sydney. Image: supplied.

The Australian Academy of Science along with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER), today congratulates the 26 recipients of the Regional Collaborations Programme COVID-19 Digital Grants.

Just over $250,000 in funding has been awarded to early-career and mid-career researchers to increase connectivity and engagement between Australian and Asia–Pacific economies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Jin Han. Photo: supplied.

Dr Jin Han, an early-career researcher from the Black Dog Institute, will use her $8,940 grant to deliver an online mental health course, aimed at helping international university students develop effective stress coping strategies and psychological resilience post COVID-19.

“International students are more prone to social isolation with less access to public resources due to potential financial, informational, language or cultural barriers,” said Dr Han.

“This project will address an important gap in the current Asia–Pacific regional economics and public health.”

Professor Tanja Junkers. Photo: supplied

Professor Tanja Junkers, a mid-career chemist from Monash is also a grant recipient. Her $9,000 grant will go towards building a machine-readable cloud database of chemical reactions that can be combined by different laboratories around the world.

“This project is a completely new way of collaboration and interaction in the chemical space, be it across laboratories in one country, or across borders in the Asia–Pacific region,” said Professor Junkers.

This funding initiative, part of the Australian Government’s Global Innovation Strategy under the National Innovation and Science Agenda, supports projects that utilise digital methods of collaboration to address shared regional challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery.

The Regional Collaborations Programme (RCP) is managed by the Australian Academy of Science on behalf of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

The grant recipients are:

Recipient Name

Project Title

Grant Amount

Dr Kiki Maulana Adhinugraha, La Trobe University

How can digital innovation transform people’s behaviour in response to the COVID-19 restrictions in Indonesia?


Dr Thushari Atapattu, University of Adelaide

MindSpace: Mental wellbeing and emotion awareness tool


Dr Venkatakrishnan Balasubramanian, Federation University Australia

AI-based alarm to predict the sudden deterioration of health in COVID-19 patients


Dr Siva Chandrasekaran, Swinburne University of Technology

Classification of nCov using deep learning CNN models on lung x-ray images


Dr Narelle Cox, Monash University

Easing health-service burden during COVID-19: Supporting implementation of remote rehabilitation in chronic lung disease


Dr Amirhossein Eslami Andargoli, Swinburne University of Technology

COVID-19 and virtual Healthcare: The barriers, enablers and drivers in Australia vs Pakistan


Dr Kelley Graydon, University of Melbourne

Audiology digital training modules for low resourced settings


Dr Jin Han, Black Dog Institute

Online mental health education for international students


Dr Hassan Hosseinzadeh, University of Wollongong

Patient experience with telemedicine: A risk reduction approach to COVID-19 management in Bangladesh


Dr Guangming Jiang, University of Wollongong

Development of a machine learning platform to estimate COVID-19 community prevalence through wastewater-based epidemiology


Dr Lining Arnold Ju, University of Sydney

Hemodynamic analysis for COVID-19-on-a-chip model of blood clotting with integrated computational fluid dynamics simulation and particle image velocimetry.


Professor Tanja Junkers, Monash University

Cloud-based chemical synthesis: Breaking barriers and redefining international collaboration in the chemistry space


Dr Kishan Kariippanon, University of Wollongong

Surabaya mental well-being check in (Surabaya tangguh: platform kualitas hidup penyintas COVID-19)


Dr Arutha Kulasinghe, Queensland University of Technology

Understanding the immunopathology of COVID-19 infected myocardial tissue


Dr Christopher Lowbridge, Menzies School of Health Research

Strengthening health systems capacity to respond to public health threats through digital education


Dr Iderlina Mateo-Babiano, University of Melbourne

The Gender and Transport Assemblage of Learning and Knowledge (GTALK)


Dr Sajib Mistry, Curtin University

Geo-spatial transfer learning data analytics to detect COVID-19 misinformation in the social media.


Dr Davoud Mougouei, University of Wollongong

Reducing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy by integrating public sentiments in vaccine communication: a machine learning framework


Dr Soon Hock Ng, Swinburne University of Technology

Web platform for remote data analysis and processing of synchrotron data


Dr Siddhi Pittayachawan, RMIT

Cloud-based disaster relief coordination and optimisation platform: a proof of concept for Vietnam and beyond


Dr Derrick Roberts, University of Sydney

‘Self-immolative’ commodity plastics for single-use medical PPE


Dr Shazia Ruybal, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Fit-for-purpose analytical tools to support COVID-19 sero-surveillance in Papua New Guinea


Dr Chin Wee Tan, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Computational bioinformatics of COVID-19 digital spatial profiling in lungs


Dr Kamala Thriemer, Menzies School of Health Research

Interactive digital capacity building for clinical trial staff and research institutions


Dr Johanna Wapling, Menzies School of Health Research

Streamlining systems for remote support of SARS-CoV-2 testing at the National Health Laboratory of Timor-Leste


Dr Laurence Wilson, CSIRO Health and Biosecurity

Developing a COVID-19 genetics platform for data-driven decision making


Other activities being undertaken with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources in response to COVID-19 include a project examining the impact of the pandemic on women in STEM in the Asia-Pacific and a series of webinars discussing how science, technology and innovation are assisting in the response to the pandemic.


The Regional Collaborations Programme COVID-19 Digital Grants aims to build strong regional linkages in the Asia–Pacific by funding multi-partner activities that facilitate greater collaboration in science, research and innovation and delivering innovative solutions to shared regional challenges.

These activities will reduce collaboration barriers and promote an open approach to science, research and industry collaboration through Australian-led projects and multilateral fora.

This investment in collaborative engagement will help establish enduring and impactful networks.

Read more about the Regional Collaboration Programme COVID-19 Digital Grants.

© 2024 Australian Academy of Science