CQUniversity physical activity researcher awarded prestigious ARC-funded Future Fellowship

12 August 2021

The development of a physical activity chatbot driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve workplace productivity in sedentary office workers is among the aims of the $1.1 million project that a leading CQUniversity researcher has been awarded under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowships scheme.

Professor Corneel Vandelanotte was among 100 of the country's best researchers to be awarded the Australian Government funding that will focus on addressing key challenges.

With a success rate of less than 15 percent' Future Fellowships are highly sought after but very difficult to secure.

Prof. Vandelanotte said he was thrilled to have received the Fellowship which will focus on the development and evaluation of the AI-driven physical activity chatbot.

"Applying machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve health behaviours is highly innovative'" Prof. Vandelanotte said.

"The level of personalisation that can be achieved this way is unprecedented and may well revolutionise this field of research. It is like 'precision medicine' to improve behavioural outcomes' something few other researchers have attempted to date'" he said.

"There is a lot of work to be done' but this Fellowship gives me the best opportunity to be successful. I thank CQUniversity for all the support I have received over many years' as it has allowed me to build a competitive track record and be successful at the highest level."

CQUniversity Vice-President (Research) Professor Grant Stanley said the ARC grant reflected research being conducted at CQU that is innovative' creates impact and drives positive change for the regions aligned to the University footprint.

"The funding awarded to Prof. Vandelanotte recognises the high calibre of researchers working at CQUniversity and that by collaborating with the communities and industries we serve' some remarkable feats are being achieved across a range of research fields'" Professor Stanley said.

"Corneel started at CQUniversity as a postdoc and has now been awarded his third nationally competitive research fellowship. He previously secured NHMRC and NHF fellowships. Going on to now secure this ARC Future Fellowship highlights that it is possible to build and sustain a highly successful research career at a regional university.

"I congratulate Corneel on this magnificent achievement."

ARC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Professor Sue Thomas said the ARC Future Fellowships scheme was designed to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers who would undertake research in areas of critical national importance.

"These new Future Fellowships are awarded to outstanding mid-career researchers' who will receive funding support for the next four years to undertake their innovative research in Australia'" Professor Thomas said.