Interdisciplinary research

We’re challenging current thinking and translating knowledge through unexpected connections.

To overcome society’s biggest challenges, research must embrace interdisciplinary collaboration.

Working together, researchers, industry, community and government can translate knowledge and discovery into advances in sustainability, global resilience, health, and economic and social empowerment.

The Hallmark Research Initiatives and Melbourne Interdisciplinary Research Institutes support vital research, challenge current thinking and offer new solutions to change our world.

A male and female designers look at an architectural model

Melbourne Interdisciplinary Research Institutes

Transforming the social and economic wellbeing and health of people with disability. Shifting from a fossil fuel-based economy to a clean energy economy. Building resilience in our food systems to fire, drought and flood. Centring Indigenous knowledges, perspectives and experiences. Addressing social inequity in health, education, housing and work.

The Melbourne Interdisciplinary Research Institutes address these issues and more.

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What responsibility do we have to preserve our shared heritage?

Rock shelters dating back 46,000 years at Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara, Western Australia, were destroyed in May 2020 as part of a Rio Tinto mine expansion. The site was of great cultural and archaeological significance and one of the earliest occupied locations in Australia.

Professor Marcia Langton AO, Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies, and Aurora Milroy, Institute Manager of the Indigenous Knowledge Institute, spoke with ABC’s The Drum on corporate responsibility, repatriation of Indigenous artefacts and safeguarding Indigenous cultural heritage.

Watch the episode

An explosion of rock by a mining company
Hydroponic crops are grown in pipelines

Hallmark Research Initiatives

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

  • Ensuring the 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.

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Making sustainable building material with mushrooms

Mycelium, the network of fibres from which mushrooms flower, is porous, hard, lightweight, and easy to grow in any size and shape. It can also be produced in a way that's environmentally sustainable.

Researchers in the BioInspiration Hallmark Research Initiative are investigating whether mycelium could be used to develop a more sustainable technology for protecting and insulating buildings.

Explore BioInspiration

Mycelium fungus bricks