Vice Chancellor's Research Excellence Award winners for 2017


The award for excellence in research leadership was awarded to Professor Nam-Trung Nguyen, Director of Griffith University’s Queensland Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre.

Professor Nguyen is a pioneer researcher in the field of microfluidics and is considered an international authority with one of his 10 authored books used as a text book in universities across the world. Professor Nguyen has an impressive publication record with a H-index of 53, a number of patents, and research income of approximately $1.9M through ARC Linkage, Discovery, LIEF and IMCRC grants.

As the QMNC Director, Nam-Trung has established numerous research strategies and collaborations which have improved the volume and quality of publications and exceeded targeted performance of centre members. He is currently supervising 14 HDR candidates and has supervised 9 PhD students to completion since starting at Griffith in 2013. He is editor in chief, editor and associate editor of various established journals and is a serving member of the ARC College of Experts.


Dr Amanda Ullman from the Menzies Health Institute Queensland is the winner of the award for excellence for an early career researcher.

Dr Ullman conducts research on improving the use of central venous access devices in paediatric patients to prevent complications such as infection and currently has an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship to support this research.

Since commencing the Fellowship in February 2017, Amanda has been awarded over $1.4M as a Chief Investigator from competitive grant bodies including the NHMRC, Children’s Hospital Foundation, RBWH Foundation, and the US based Association for Vascular Access Foundation to further develop this work.


Professor Rod Barrett from the School of Allied Health and the Menzies Health Institute Queensland, was recognised for his distinguished record in research supervision.

In addition to achieving excellent results as a supervisor where he has supervised 20 PhD, 4 Research Masters, 9 Honours student to completion, Professor Barrett has also contributed to HDR research education at the School, Group, and University level. As the Deputy Head of School Research, he led the development of the School of Allied Health Sciences HDR candidate recruitment plan and in building the HDR research culture of the School. At the Group level, he has contributed by taking up the important position of HDR Convenor where he has worked closely with the Health Group HDR Convenors in all aspects of HDR education. At the University level he led the development of the University’s Principles to Promote Excellence in HDR Supervision Practices at Griffith University which now forms the basis of HDR supervision training in the University.


Cancer Survivorship Collaborative Research Group – Team members: Professor Suzanne Chambers, Professor Tamara Onsworth, Associate Professor Stefano Occhipinti, Professor Paul Scuffham, Dr Shu-Kay Ng and Professor David Shum

The Cancer Survivorship Collaborative Research Group team jointly led by Professors Suzanne Chambers and Tamara Onwsworth from the Menzies Health Institute Queensland won the award for Research Group/Team.

The Cancer Survivorship Collaborative Research Group are leaders in cancer survivorship research and has a clear vision: to undertake high quality research in the health and behavioural sciences that will deliver to the community effective and accessible psychosocial and survivorship care for people affected by cancer. The Group focuses on prostate, lung, breast and colorectal cancer that relates to the high prevalence of these cancers and on brain cancer as a disease that has a notably high patient and family burden. Their approach involves psychology, health economics, neurosurgery, exercise physiology, specialist oncology clinicians, nursing, epidemiology, sociology, vocational rehabilitation, dietetics and they collaborate with clinical groups and universities across Australia and globally including the major Cancer Councils and Cancer funding agencies.

Mid-Career Researcher Awards

The awards for excellence for an individual mid-career went to Dr Lara Herrero, from Institute for Glycomics and Associate Professor Guillermo Diaz-Pulido from the Australian Rivers Institute.

Dr Lara Herrero

Dr Herrero is a Research Leader and NHMRC Research Fellow at the Institute for Glycomics where she leads a group primarily focused on studying the glycobiology of viral inflammatory diseases.  Her research has examined the pathobiology of emerging mosquito-borne viruses such as Chikungunya, dengue, Ross River and Barma Forest. Her research involves various aspects of virus and cell interactions with a particular focus of the role of glycans and is aimed at developing new treatment strategies.

Since joining Griffith in 2013 Dr Herrero has either been a lead or co-investigator on ARC and NHMRC grants valued at over $2 million.

Associate Professor Guillermo Diaz-Pulido

Associate Professor Diaz-Pulido’s research is devoted to understanding the biology and ecology of algae and coral reefs, and how human activities affect these organisms and ecosystems. His research at the Australian Rivers Institute has generated new knowledge that is important for the sustainable use and management of coral reefs, particularly in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Associate Professor Diaz-Pulido has an outstanding track record of attracting competitive research grants with a total value of $2.5 million in research funding from the ARC and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Remarkable minutes competition winning entries

Dr Diana Tolmie

Explore the lives of musicians who contribute to the economic and cultural growth of Australia.

Dr Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore

Women in tourism and gender equality.

Previous award winners

Research Leadership Award

2016Professor Paul Tacon Director, Place, Evolution and Rock Art Heritage Unit
2015Professor Ron Quinn AM Foundation Director, Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery
2014Professor Huijun Zhao Director of the Centre for Clean Environment and Energy, Deputy Director of the Environmental Futures Research Institute
2013Professor Wendy Chaboyer Centre of Research Excellence in Nursing, Menzies Health Institute Queensland
2012Professor Mark Von Itzstein Director, Institute for Glycomics
2011 Professor Debra Bernhardt Director, Queensland Micro and Nanotechnology Centre
2010Professor Stuart Bunn Director, Australian Rivers Institute
2009Professor Patrick Weller Director, Centre for Governance and Public Policy
2009Professor Ron Quinn Director, Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery

Research Supervision Award

2016Professor Cordia Chu Centre for Environment and Population Health, Menzies Health Institute Queensland
2015Professor Donna Pendergast School of Education and Professional Studies
2014 Associate Professor Michael Haugh School of Languages and Linguistics
2013Professor Jane Hughes Australian Rivers Institute

Mid-Senior Career Researcher Award

2016Professor Vicky Avery Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery
2015Professor Shanqing (Eddie) Zhang Centre for Clean Environment and Energy, Environmental Futures Research Institute
2014Professor Diego de Leo AO Director of the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention
2013Professor Geoff Pryde Centre for Quantum Dynamics
2012Professor Adrian Wilkinson Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing
2011Professor David Lambert Australian Rivers Institute
2010Professor Alfred Lam Griffith Health Institute
2009 Professor Lyn Griffiths Griffith Health Institute

Early Career Researcher Award

2016Dr Lyndel Bates School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
2015Dr Lauren Ball Menzies Health Institute Queensland
2014Dr Kyra Hamilton School of Applied Psychology
2013Dr Olivera Simic Socio-Legal Research Centre
2012 Dr Wendy Steele Urban Research Program
2011 Dr Jennifer Whitty Population and Social Health Research
2010Dr Keith Townsend Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing
2009Dr Elena Marchetti Socio-Legal Research Centre

Research Group or Team Award

2016 Laboratory for Vaccines for the Developing World, Institute for Glycomics Led by Professor Michael Good
2015 Centre for Applied Health Economics Led by Professor Paul Scuffham
2014 Advancing Life-Course Criminology, Queensland Linkage Project, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Led by Professor Anna Stewart
2013 Applied Cognitive Neuroscience - Improving Human Functioning by Understanding Brain-Behaviour Relationships, Behavioural Basis of Health Led by Professor David Shum
2012 Highly Commended: Assessment, Literacy and Equity team; and   Led by Professor Joy Cumming
2012 Highly Commended: Enhancing treatment outcomes for childhood anxiety disorders: A multidisciplinary approach to innovative interventions Led by Associate Professor Alison Waters
2011 Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre Led by Professor Huib Schippers
2010 Quantum Information Science, Centre for Quantum Dynamics Led by Professor Howard Wiseman
2009 Health Places Healthy People research program Led by Professor Elizabeth Kendall

Outstanding Research Achievement Award

2014Associate Professor Maxime Aubert Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution, Environmental Futures Research Institute
2014Associate Professor Adam Brumm Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution, Environmental Futures Research Institute

Remarkable Minutes Competition Winners

2017Mr Chris Little School of Engineering and Queensland College of Art for 'Creating Windows Into our Past'
2017Dr Jason van de Merwe Australian Rivers Institute for 'Marine Wildlife Cell-based Toxicology'