Urban Informatics Lab among winners in government funding
Dr Christine Satchell from QUT's Urban Informatics Lab received more than $370,000 over three years under the Discovery Early Career Researchers Award Scheme to develop mobile technology to help people feel safer in the city.
The funding came as part of the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) grants.
"I went to the clubs bars, cafes, mothers' groups, dog walking parks, train stations - you name it and immersed myself in the city to find out what problems people have that we could solve with technology and the thing that was abundantly clear was that people don't feel safe at night," Dr Satchell said.
"We then looked at different archetypes that use the city at night and how they protect themselves in different ways.
"One of the interesting things that came up was the very presence of a mobile phone allows people to feel more secure and in itself it provides a security measure, especially for women.
"They often said they felt empowered through a mobile phone because it does potentially represent some connection to help."
A further 14 research projects at QUT received funding in the latest ARC round.
An organisation headed by QUT that will enable more Indigenous people to move into the academic sphere was also given a kick-start as part of the funding.
As part of the announcement, QUT was named as the lead organisation for a National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network that will develop a connection between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers throughout Australia.
Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson from QUT's Indigenous Studies Research Network (ISRN) will head the new Government research body, which received $3.2 million in ARC funding.
"The network is designed to facilitate the development of Indigenous researchers. It will allow us to bring people together to network and setup relationships with external partners and undertake joint projects," Professor Moreton-Robinson said.
"The network will encourage more Indigenous people to move into the academic sphere and enable us to run professional development workshops and programs for Indigenous students."
QUT is partnering with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Studies (AIATSIS), along with other universities and organisations to help lift the profile of Indigenous academics.
"There needs to be more Indigenous researchers," Professor Moreton-Robinson said.
"Those we have now are primarily involved in education, law and health but we also need more in social sciences and, science and IT.
"We should have more PhD students enrolled and more post-doctoral fellows as well as more collaborative research teams."
Dr Christine Satchell will develop mobile technology to help people feel safer in the city.
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