ARC awards $3 Million for WA marine science projects

Offshore foundations and kelp forest loss were the focus for more than $3 million in funding allocated to eight marine science projects in Western Australia through the Australian Research Council (ARC).

The research grant schemes covered under this latest round include:

  • Discovery Projects (DP) funding of $1.495 million for 4 projects
  • Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) funding of $1.1 million for 3 projects
  • Linkage Projects (LP) funding of $395,000 for 1 project.


The projects include:

  • $380,000 for Curtin Univeristy to develop a novel inerter-based damper to mitigate the excessive vibrations of offshore floating platforms (OFP), which are widely used in the offshore industry for oil exploration.
  • $335,000 for The University of Western Australia to develop a fundamental understanding of the response of saturated sand in seabeds during rapid penetration by offshore site investigation tools and foundation construction.
  • $320,000 for The University of Western Australia to investigate the process of lifting objects off the seabed.
  • $460,000 for The University of Western Australia to use ecological models and field experiments to uncover drivers and critical thresholds for turf expansion. Habitat loss is a leading threat to goods and services from the oceans. Globally, kelp forests are collapsing and being replaced by persistent unwanted algal ‘turfs’.
  • $414,814 for The University of Western Australia to apply a comparative experimental and analytical approach to quantify linkages among multiple stressors driving kelp forest loss and expansion of turfs across three continents.
  • $314,574 for The University of Western Australia to investigate the flow transition from laminar to turbulent in the wake of a circular cylinder subjected to steady current.
  • $386,552 for The University of Western Australia to develop rigorous, physics-based models to accurately predict hydrodynamics of floating offshore structures at different scales.

The federal government has announced that a new National Interest Test (NIT) will apply to future ARC grant applications. 

Under the new test, only those applications that meet the NIT definition and score highly in the competitive grants process will be recommended to the Minister for funding.

Applicants will be asked to explain ‘the extent to which the research contributes to Australia’s national interest through its potential to have economic, commercial, environmental, social or cultural benefits to the Australian community’.

A summary of successful Western Australian marine science projects is available for download here.

More information is available at