Page MP Janelle Saffin has welcomed the announcement of grants totalling $7,132,724 to support higher education research at Southern Cross University.

The funding is part of $1.42 billion in Research Block Grants Australia-wide announced this week by Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr.

“The grants continue the Rudd Government’s strong support for higher education research and research training,” Ms Saffin said.

“At Southern Cross University this includes more than $3.4 million in tuition support for Phd and Masters by research students, through the Research Training Scheme.

“As well, the Australian Postgraduate Award Scheme will provide scholarships to 19 exceptional students who will commence postgraduate research at SCU in 2010. The scholarships have also been increased by 10 per cent to $22,500 per year.

“Under the Rudd Government’s new Sustainable Research Excellence program, Southern Cross University will receive more than $445,000 to help meet the indirect costs of research.

“The 2010 Research Block Grants together give effect to the Government’s commitment to encouraging the brightest local students to continue to higher degrees.”

Ms Saffin said the boost to the number and the amount of Australian Postgraduate awards, along with the new Sustainable Research Excellence program, are part of the Rudd Government’s Powering Ideas research and innovation agenda.