“Australia’s research system is one of the best in the world – it’s vital we keep it that way,” Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said.
“It is pleasing to see both a new Statement of Expectations for the Australian Research Council (ARC), as well as the details of the review of the ARC Act.
“The review panel will be chaired by Queensland University of Technology Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil, with panel members Professor Susan Dodds, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President Research and Industry Engagement from La Trobe University, and Professor Mark Hutchinson from the University of Adelaide.
“The panel brings an impressive depth of knowledge to this important task.
“The review is fundamental to ensuring we have the right policy settings to maintain Australia’s place in a highly-competitive global research environment.
“Australia needs a research council with strong governance, robust peer review and genuine transparency at its core.
“It is particularly pleasing to see issues with the National Interest Test, that were causing significant delay and uncertainty, addressed directly by the Minister in his refreshed expectations letter to the ARC CEO. We look forward to seeing the issues resolved.
“We are pleased the Minister has asked the ARC to develop a modern data driven approach, informed by peer review, for the important job of measuring the quality of Australian research.
“A concrete timetable for decisions and announcements will also bring much needed stability and predictability to the lives of researchers, industry and community partners across the nation.
“Minister Clare has also reinforced the fundamental importance of basic, curiosity-driven research.
“Investing in the brightest people and ideas returns significant gains to Australia’s social and economic prosperity, as well our global standing and competitiveness.
“For every dollar invested in research and development, five dollars is returned to the economy.
“A strong research system will ensure we can develop, attract and retain the top minds and cutting-edge ideas we need to advance our economy and society.
“We will continue to work with the Government, through the review process and beyond, to ensure Australians have the internationally competitive, robust research system we all deserve.
“We look forward to seeing the report in March next year.”