Education Minister Jason Clare has just released a highly anticipated review into how research is funded in Australia.
A major review of the Australian Research Council follows years of concerns about political interference, tedious red tape and inadequate funding.
The new federal education minister has kicked off what could be a major reset of university research funding in Australia, with a review and stern letter to the Australian Research Council.
Australian researchers will welcome the newly announced review of how their main source of non-medical federal funding, the Australian Research Council, operates. There’s a lot to consider.
A Senate committee is discussing a bill designed to shore up the independence of the Australian Research Council, after recent high-profile cases of ministers vetoing research grants.
Decisions on research funding are too complex for a pub test. Assessing grant applications requires a high level of expertise and diligence, which the minister simply disregarded.
Basic research is best when it’s allowed to proceed on merit, rather than with political interference, says an open letter from 63 leading researchers protesting government interference in ARC grants.
After years of government rhetoric about boosting the commercial benefits from university research, Australia’s record is still among the worst in the developed world.
Preprints are scientific papers made available before being published in a peer-reviewed journal. The Australian Research Council has banned researchers from citing them in grant applications.
After 11 years of Excellence in Research for Australia, the time and costs for universities and the value it creates for other sectors (none of which made submissions to a recent review) are unknown.
Did the minister or any of his staff read our application or any of the other ten he chose to reject?
Projects submitted to the Australian Research Council are vetted heavily by panels of experts. Minister Birmingham’s decision undermines this process.
The decision to refuse the ARC and academic researchers a right of reply appears to be a straightforward breach of the News Corp Australia code of conduct.
It’s hard enough to get research funding in Australia, so what if your work falls outside one of the areas declared a “priority”?
Research institutions don’t have a monopoly on innovation. In fact, most innovation comes out of business, and it’s this sector that needs more attention in innovation policy.
Government departments often commission research to help them understand and respond to policy issues. But they impose contract conditions that threaten to undermine the integrity of the work.
Science communication and outreach can be motivated in ways other than reforming research funding bodies.
If we want scientists to spent time sharing their discoveries with the general public, then we need to change research metrics to reward them for their efforts.
The Future Fellowships scheme is a great success. Scrapping it would hurt Australia’s future as a smart nation.
Scrapping the ARC Future Fellowships scheme would have a significant impact on the Australian research community, with knock-on effects for innovation, the economy, and society at large.