The Group of Eight (Go8), comprising Australia’s leading research-intensive universities is calling for significant changes to the structure and governance of the Australian Research Council to ensure the sustainability of Australia’s world class research.
In its submission to the Review of the Australian Research Council, the Go8 makes five key recommendations aimed at improving support for basic research and adopting international best practice in the grants process.
- Strengthening the governance of the ARC.
- Explicitly codify support for basic research.
- Adoption of the international best practice Haldane Principle to ensure independent evaluation of funding decisions.
- Discontinue Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) in its current form.
- Increase the number and breadth of expertise in Executive Director positions.
Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said the Albanese Government’s review of the role and function of the ARC was essential to the nation’s long-term interests.
“The Go8 is the major stakeholder in ARC funded research having overall received 67 per cent of ARC National Competitive Grant Program funding commencing since 2002 and 69 per cent of funding for projects scheduled to commence in 2023.
“Go8 members undertake 70 per cent of Australia’s university-based research and collectively invest over $7.2 billion in research each year.
“The Go8 has long called for a review of the ARC and is committed to working with Government and stakeholders to ensure the ARC is fit for purpose with appropriate governance structures in place.
“Australia’s future prosperity depends on the capacity of our world-class researchers to undertake cutting edge research to meet our national priorities and support our economy and society,” said Ms Thomson.
The Go8 submission is available here.