Research Collaborations

JCU is committed to collaboration with business, industry, government and the community to create lasting benefits for our region and a brighter future for the tropics generally.

One of the greatest challenges facing regional universities like JCU is establishing a critical mass to address the significant research issues facing the region. To this end, the University has entered into several partnerships to consolidate strengths, particularly in tropical science and innovation, and build capacity by co-locating key research staff and infrastructure.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies undertakes world-best integrated research for sustainable use and management of coral reefs.

Funded in July 2005 under the Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence program this prestigious research centre is headquartered at JCU’s Townsville campus.

The Centre is a partnership of JCU, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), Australian National University (ANU), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), The University of Queensland (UQ) and the University of Western Australia (UWA). Collectively, the Centre creates the world's largest concentration of coral reef scientists.

The Centres of Research Excellence scheme funds teams of researchers to pursue innovative, high quality collaborative research activities in priority areas.

JCU was awarded $2.5 million (2010) to establish a national centre of research excellence to improve management of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Led by Professor Jonathan Golledge, the centre brings together experts in PAD, clinical trials and guideline development and implementation from more than a dozen universities and hospitals throughout Australia.

The Cairns Institute, established in 2009, focuses on advanced studies in the social sciences, humanities, law and business studies. It embraces more than 20 academic disciplines.

The Institute complements and adds a vital human, social and cultural dimension to other renowned JCU research centres whose work has impact on the lives of communities in the region. The Institute will work to build an evidence base for policy, service and program development to enhance quality of life in Australia and overseas.

The Cairns Institute has partnered to create

The JCU-CSIRO Partnership aims to strengthen the connections between the two organisations and work collectively to deliver research and innovation benefits for the region. The partnership brings together complementary strengths in diverse disciplines, knowledge and research approaches, including a commitment to building Indigenous research capacity.  We work with communities in the region on projects to address challenges, including reducing biosecurity risks and infectious disease vulnerabilities and making the transition to net zero.

JCU operates in close corporation with the Australian Institute of Marine Science through its joint venture partnership AIMS@JCU.

This agreement facilitates and fosters an increased capacity for world class tropical marine research, by integrating the strengths, synergies, infrastructure and expertise of the two parent institutions, so that they collectively address the national and international priorities with leading edge science outcomes that would not have been possible by either institution on its own.

Post-graduate students have joint supervision between AIMS and JCU and work on projects in the fields of Aquaculture, Coastal Processes and Modeling, and Stress in Tropical Marine Systems to address national and international priorities in understanding and sustainably managing marine resources.

The Australian Tropical Herbarium brings together the tropical plant specimen collections of the Australian National Herbarium (Atherton), the Queensland Herbarium (Mareeba) and the JCU Herbarium to form one of Australia’s largest and most diverse collections of tropical plant specimens.

This joint venture partnership between JCU, CSIRO and the Commonwealth and Queensland governments incorporates a state-of-the-art molecular biosciences laboratory and has the potential to develop into the world’s premier centre for discovering, describing and building an understanding of the plant and fungal biodiversity of tropical rainforest systems.

Importantly, the ATH provides outstanding training opportunities for the next generation of plant and fungal taxonomists and biodiversity scientists.

The Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program is an Australian Government funded initiative which funds industry-led collaborations between industry, research and end-users.

JCU is currently involved in:

This CRC aims to de-risk the development landscape and enable the sustainable economic growth of Northern Australia with a focus on three areas

  • Agriculture and food (including aquaculture, horticulture and forestry)
  • Northern Australia health service delivery
  • Traditional Owner-led business development

This is the only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled health research institute, working for the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and supporting a new generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers.

Funded by the Commonwealth, the National Environmental Science Program (NESP) funds environmental and climate research.

Phase 1 of the program funded 6 research hubs of which JCU was involved in 3 hubs:

Phase 2 funds via four multi-disciplinary and applied research hubs, of which JCU is a participant in two of these hubs:

This informs the management of Australia’s marine and coastal environments, including estuaries, coast, reefs, shelf and deep-water, including biodiversity and taxonomy, environmental monitoring systems and decision support tools.

Informs management of Australia’s terrestrial and freshwater habitats to promote resilience and sustainability, including a focus on bushfire recovery, invasive species, and assisting land managers with environmental monitoring systems and decision support tools.

The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) is a partnership between the Australian Government and Griffith University, with a consortium of funding partners drawn from across the country. NCCARF is based at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus, working in close partnership with the wider Australian climate change adaptation research community.

JCU is one of the key partners and also hosts the NCCARF Natural Ecosystems Network, led by Professor Stephen Williams from the JCU Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change. The Centre plays a significant role in the national adaptation of terrestrial biodiversity to global climate change.

This alliance between James Cook University, Central Queensland University and Charles Darwin University collaborate to deliver a shared vision for the sustainable development of Northern Australia.

The alliance works to

  • Develop and retain crucial skills and education for the people of Northern Australia.
  • Shape future policy and investment for Northern Australia by Commonwealth, State and Territory governments.
  • Build research capabilities that support progress for Northern Australia’s industries and communities.

TERN measures key terrestrial ecosystem attributes over time from field sites across Australia.  JCU partners with TERN to deliver monitoring at two SuperSites:

the Daintree Rainforest Observatory and Fletcherview Tropical Rangeland .

This collaboration, led by Curtin University and the University of Queensland encourages the translation and commercialization of university research, delivering real-world impact with the resources technology and critical minerals sector.