Universities Australia welcomes the Government's announcement of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative, a metrics-based system to replace the Research Quality Framework.
"The Minister for Innovation, Industry Science and Research, Senator the Hon Kim Carr, suggests metrics will combine with expert review, which will help to ensure that evaluation metrics are interpreted by those well placed to judge quality and merit," Universities Australia Chief Executive Officer Dr Glenn Withers said today.
"The ERA initiative will also assist with the development of evaluation for less quantifiable disciplines, for example the arts," Dr Withers said.
"Universities Australia is also pleased to see that emerging areas of research are recognised. Senator Carr has indicated a discipline-based system of research quality evaluation and Universities Australia would be keen to ensure that this system does not disadvantage interdisciplinary research," Dr Withers said.
The announcement by Senator Carr does not yet detail the links between evaluation and university research funding, including how this will relate to the introduction of proposed compacts funding.
"While this early definition of the ERA is welcome, Universities Australia now seeks active consultation with Government on the development of the ERA system, the linkages to funding and how the so called `hubs and spokes' model will operate," Dr Withers said.
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