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:

  • Meeting the future nutritional needs of a growing local and global population
  • Combating racism at both the interpersonal and structural levels
  • Understanding how technologies are profoundly shaping the nature of work, workplaces and working lives
  • Addressing the dynamic interdependencies between fire, climate, society, and the environment

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

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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:

  • The intersection of race, gender, education, class and indigeneity in the digital and spatial distribution of work
  • Making sustainable building material – with mushrooms
  • Alternative sources of protein production such as cell-based meat, insects and algae
  • LGBT rights and public health in Indonesia

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

Anti-racism banner on municipal building


In collaboration with government, community organisations and businesses, the Anti-Racism Hallmark Research Initiative undertakes and disseminates solutions-focused anti-racism research and interventions to combat racism at both the interpersonal and structural levels.

close up of iridescent peacock feathers


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

New growth from a tree after fire

Wildfire Futures

The Wildfire Futures HRI is a future-focused research program that takes an interdisciplinary approach to link new ways of predicting changes in fire, climate, and ecosystems with the preferences and knowledge of communities.

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.

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.

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.

  • A graphic of people walking through a public park in a city

    Economic and Social Participation

    The Economic and Social Participation Hallmark investigated how to achieve population participation in work, education and social networks.

  • 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.

  • Girls pump water in Balukhali refugee camp


    The Statelessness Hallmark Research initiative worked across disciplines to understand gaps in understanding of stateless populations.

  • 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.