$8.9m in DECRA grants awarded to Monash early career researchers

Twenty-one Monash researchers have been awarded more than $8.9 million under the ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) scheme.

The DECRA scheme aims to support Early Career Researchers with strengthening their research skills, enhancing national and international research collaboration and supporting high quality and supportive research environments.

The researchers include Dr Pirooz Zareie, from the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, who will use multidisciplinary collaborations to determine how T cells respond to antigens; Dr Kalin Stefanov, from the Faculty of IT, whose project aims to create the largest Auslan dataset to support the Australian Deaf community and promote advancements in this research area; and Dr Nicholas Ferns, from the Faculty of Arts, who will look into the connections between Australia’s post-war development and the decolonisation of Papua New Guinea that dictated post-war global politics.

The $8.9 million awarded to Monash University is among $85.8 million awarded to 200 projects by the Australian Government under the DECRA scheme.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Rebekah Brown congratulated Monash’s Early Career Researchers and their faculties on this year’s DECRA results.

“I am thrilled so many of our bright and talented Early Career Researchers have been recognised with these awards, which will enable them to pursue research with impact across a diverse range of disciplines. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

The funded projects include:

DECRA Candidate



Dr Pirooz Zareie


Redefining how T cell recognition drives T cell activation

Dr Jun Lu


Novel Hydroxide Ion Conductive Membranes for Advanced Ammonia Fuel Cell

Dr Kalin Stefanov


Towards automated Australian Sign Language translation

Dr Xin Zhang


Cryo-electron microscopy determination of G protein-coupled receptor states

Dr Rachael Lappan


Microbial life in the atmosphere

Dr Aurina Arnatkeviciute


Mapping the genetics of brain connectivity

Dr Meiling Han


Bacterial membrane remodelling and the interaction with peptides

A/Prof James Trauer


Strategies to minimise the societal impacts of zoonotic pandemics

Dr Hao Wang


Reliable Integration of Distributed Low-Carbon Energy Resources

Dr Nicholas Ferns


Australia and the World Bank: Financing Development and Decolonisation

Dr Christopher Stubenrauch


A novel bacterial secretion system for applications in nanobiotechnology

Dr Briony Hill


Reframing knowledge of preconception lifestyles: A socioecological approach

Dr Reza Nosrati


Fallopian tube on-a-chip for understanding mammalian reproduction

Dr Scarlett Howard


Investigating the responses of Australian native bees to climatic warming

Dr Praveena Thirunavukkarasu


Molecular insights into lipid-mediated T cell immunity

Dr Sean Bay


Cave microbial metabolism as a missing biogeochemical sink

Dr Reza Razzaghi


Accurate Fault Location Methods for Complex Power Networks

Dr Taissa Danilovich


Understanding the birth of new elements by observing dying stars

Dr Stanley Cheng Xie


Inhibiting adenylate-forming enzymes via a new reaction-hijacking mechanism

Dr Ludovic Scyboz


Bridging the accuracy gap: High-precision parton showers for colliders

Dr Ruben Loaiza-Maya


Variational Inference for Intractable and Misspecified State Space Models