Regional research set to get digital boost

April 13, 2021

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

Image: 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), 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 NameProject TitleGrant Amount
Dr Kiki Maulana Adhinugraha, La Trobe UniversityHow can digital innovation transform people’s behaviour in response to the COVID-19 restrictions in Indonesia?$9,980
Dr Thushari Atapattu, University of AdelaideMindSpace: Mental wellbeing and emotion awareness tool$10,000
Dr Venkatakrishnan Balasubramanian, Federation University AustraliaAI-based alarm to predict the sudden deterioration of health in COVID-19 patients$10,000
Dr Siva Chandrasekaran, Swinburne University of TechnologyClassification of nCov using deep learning CNN models on lung x-ray images$8,199
Dr Narelle Cox, Monash UniversityEasing health-service burden during COVID-19: Supporting implementation of remote rehabilitation in chronic lung disease$9,998.65
Dr Amirhossein Eslami Andargoli, Swinburne University of TechnologyCOVID-19 and virtual Healthcare: The barriers, enablers and drivers in Australia vs Pakistan$10,000
Dr Kelley Graydon, University of MelbourneAudiology digital training modules for low resourced settings$10,000
Dr Jin Han, Black Dog InstituteOnline mental health education for international students$8,940
Dr Hassan Hosseinzadeh, University of WollongongPatient experience with telemedicine: A risk reduction approach to COVID-19 management in Bangladesh$9,990.90
Dr Guangming Jiang, University of WollongongDevelopment of a machine learning platform to estimate COVID-19 community prevalence through wastewater-based epidemiology$10,000
Dr Lining Arnold Ju, University of SydneyHemodynamic analysis for COVID-19-on-a-chip model of blood clotting with integrated computational fluid dynamics simulation and particle image velocimetry.$10,000
Professor Tanja Junkers, Monash UniversityCloud-based chemical synthesis: Breaking barriers and redefining international collaboration in the chemistry space$9,000
Dr Kishan Kariippanon, University of WollongongSurabaya mental well-being check in (Surabaya tangguh: platform kualitas hidup penyintas COVID-19)$9,970
Dr Arutha Kulasinghe, Queensland University of TechnologyUnderstanding the immunopathology of COVID-19 infected myocardial tissue$10,000
Dr Christopher Lowbridge, Menzies School of Health ResearchStrengthening health systems capacity to respond to public health threats through digital education$10,000
Dr Iderlina Mateo-Babiano, University of MelbourneThe Gender and Transport Assemblage of Learning and Knowledge (GTALK)$9,976
Dr Sajib Mistry, Curtin UniversityGeo-spatial transfer learning data analytics to detect COVID-19 misinformation in the social media.$10,000
Dr Davoud Mougouei, University of WollongongReducing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy by integrating public sentiments in vaccine communication: a machine learning framework$9,998
Dr Soon Hock Ng, Swinburne University of TechnologyWeb platform for remote data analysis and processing of synchrotron data$10,000
Dr Siddhi Pittayachawan, RMITCloud-based disaster relief coordination and optimisation platform: a proof of concept for Vietnam and beyond$10,000
Dr Derrick Roberts, University of Sydney‘Self-immolative’ commodity plastics for single-use medical PPE$9,245
Dr Shazia Ruybal, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical ResearchFit-for-purpose analytical tools to support COVID-19 sero-surveillance in Papua New Guinea$10,000
Dr Chin Wee Tan, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical ResearchComputational bioinformatics of COVID-19 digital spatial profiling in lungs$10,000
Dr Kamala Thriemer, Menzies School of Health ResearchInteractive digital capacity building for clinical trial staff and research institutions$9,660
Dr Johanna Wapling, Menzies School of Health ResearchStreamlining systems for remote support of SARS-CoV-2 testing at the National Health Laboratory of Timor-Leste$8,870
Dr Laurence Wilson, CSIRO Health and BiosecurityDeveloping a COVID-19 genetics platform for data-driven decision making$10,000

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.

First published by the Australian Academy of Science

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