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Globe-spanning awards for Monash-Warwick Alliance

Professor Andrew CoatsThe Monash-Warwick Alliance is celebrating a double awards success from both UK and Australian funders for research into the worlds of Italian culture and of ageing and pensions.

The Alliance is part of a £1.8 million (AU$3m) joint research award from Australian research funding body Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for research on superannuation and ageing societies.

Academics at Warwick and Monash will also collaborate as part of the £1.8 million award from the UK-based Arts and Humanities Research Council for research looking at how modern Italian culture has developed around the world.

Vice-President of the Monash-Warwick Alliance, Professor Andrew Coats said:

These are great successes and demonstrate the value of the unique Monash-Warwick Alliance. By combining the efforts of two research -intensive Universities more can be achieved than either would be able to alone. The value of the combined strengths of Monash and Warwick is recognised by awards such as these across the breadth of the Universities."

Social scientists at Warwick's Institute of Employment Research have collaborated with colleagues at Monash to win the multi-million dollar CSIRO award.

Aimed at addressing two key themes of Superannuation and the Economy, and Australians Over 60, the research cluster brings together researchers from Warwick, Monash, Griffith University and the University of Western Australia.

At Warwick, Bernard Casey will work on annuities and annuity markets as well as the potential for using pension savings for investment in infrastructure, an innovation the Australian government is keen to encourage.

Noel Whiteside works on governance issues: who has the authority to mediate between state and industry in a context of market and political uncertainty, to guarantee solvency while protecting both savers and the retired. She also investigates gender issues consequent on personal funded retirement incomes.

Robert Lindley is analysing employers and older workers. While all agree that longer working lives offer a solution to the problems of pension finance, little work has been done to see whether employers are happy to hire older workers whose health may be poor and capacity for retraining limited.

The AHRC project will support a new research project looking at how modern Italian culture has developed around the world, in which researchers in Italian at Warwick, Jennifer Burns and Loredana Polezzi, take a central role.

From the insights it develops into transnational Italian cultures, the project will forge a new framework for the discipline of Modern Languages as a whole, one which puts the interaction of languages and cultures at its core.

The project will look at the Italian communities established in the UK, the US, Australia, South America, Africa and at the migrant communities of contemporary Italy. It will focus on the cultural associations that each community has formed.

As part of the project, researchers from the Universities of Warwick, Bristol, St Andrews and QMU will examine a wealth of publications and materials – journals, literature, life stories, photographs, collections of memorabilia and other forms of representation – from these communities identified as Italian, looking at different types of linguistic and cultural translation and examining the impact they have on notions of national identity.

They will study community groups who experience translation, both linguistic and cultural, on a daily basis. This research will develop our understanding of how people respond creatively to living in a bi-lingual or multi-lingual environment. Activities such as photography, drama, and creative writing will invite school students and adult learners to explore vernacular practices of translating culture.