Hallmark Research Initiatives

Addressing significant local and global challenges that cannot be solved by one discipline alone.

A man in a purple jacket and turban leans against a wrought iron fence and looks smiling at camera

The Hallmark Research Initiatives address significant local and global challenge that cannot be solved by one discipline alone. Research includes:

  • ensuring adequate supply of affordable housing for Australian communities
  • meeting the future nutritional needs of a growing local and global population
  • increasing environmental sustainability in the building industry
  • supporting the UNHCR by addressing gaps in research relating to stateless populations.

The initiatives encourage the maturing of interdisciplinary research communities through research projects, workshops, fellowships and events.

Researchers work with industry, government and not-for profit organisations in Australia and internationally. In turn they challenge current thinking and offer new solutions to change our world

With scientific rigour and creativity we can use nature to solve almost any problem – from the nanoscale to the global. We call this bioinspiration.

Professor Devi Stuart-Fox
Co-Chair, BioInspiration Hallmark Research Initiative

Banner: ‘The Triumph of Death’ by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1562)/ Wikimedia Commons

Other awful years in history

It's been a bad year, but there have been worse.

Experts from Creativity and Wellbeing as well as science, history and literature highlight other awful years in human history to help put things into perspective.

Read more on Pursuit

Hallmarks in action

Our Hallmark Research Initiatives bring together researchers from across the University to work on some of the most pressing local and global issues.

We're working on projects such as:

  • making sustainable building material – with mushrooms
  • alternative sources of protein production such as cell-based meat, insects and algae
  • stateless children of migrants in Lebanon
  • LGBT rights and public health in Indonesia

Explore the initiatives and find out how you, your organisation or community group can get involved.

A mum sitting on the couch with her baby and toddler looking at an ipad

Affordable Housing

The Affordable Housing initiative is working across disciplines to create new insights into the supply of affordable housing.

close up of iridescent peacock feathers


The Bioinspiration HRI works with institutes and industry partners to find bioinspired solutions to technological and design challenges.

pieces of cheese, fruit and vegetables cut into squares and arranged in a checkerboard pattern

Future Food

The Future Food initiative nurtures interdisciplinary research in the area of sustainable and healthy protein production.

Two women standing facing a colourful street mural

Creativity and Wellbeing

The Creativity and Wellbeing Hallmark Research Initiative is uncovering ways that creativity can help people live happier and healthier lives.

Flat top white mushrooms with long stalks grow in red soil

Making sustainable building material – with mushrooms

Cladding is used to protect and insulate buildings. Usually, cladding ‘sandwich’ panels are made with aluminium and synthetic materials. This makes them cheap, light and easy to install. But they leave a large carbon footprint.

Mycelium, a network of fibres from which mushrooms flower, has the required properties for sandwich panels while being biodegradable. It is used in packaging and interior building linings and fittings. But its not yet been developed as a viable composite system for use in exterior environments.

Explore Bioinspiration

Former Hallmarks

  • three older people linking arms and walking down the street


    The Ageing Hallmark Research Initiative researched creative solutions to the challenges that come with an ageing population.

  • diverse group of children playing outdoors, a girl in an orange tank top is centered

    Children’s Lives

    The Children’s Lives Hallmark Research Initiative put the voices of children at the centre of the research and policy agenda.

  • Molecular model of protein indicating shape of protein backbone. Image by CSIRO.

    Computational Biology

    The Computational Biology Hallmark Research Initiative strengthened cross-disciplinary and external collaborations in computational biology.

  • bioengineered arm for person with disability. The person is sitting on a wheelchair.


    The Disability Hallmark Research Initiative brought disciplines together to focus on changing the social, economic and physical environments that impact people with disability.

  • Marchers and young Indigenous people at the Invasion Day rally in Melbourne Australia waving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags


    The Indigenous Hallmark Research Initiative built a stronger Indigenous research cohort within and beyond the University.

  • A blue tones image of particles linking. the particles are made with blue glass.


    The Materials Hallmark Research Initiative supported interdisciplinary research and development in scaleable nano to meso-materials.

  • A printhead bioprinting a square-shaped construct in a petri dish. Image by Philip Ezze via Wikimedia Commons.

    Therapeutic Technologies

    The Therapeutic Technologies Research Initiative focused on new applications of mechano-pharmacology and organ-on-a-chip technology to transform drug screening processes.