March 27, 2019

ERA proves Australian research is worth investing in

The Innovative Research Universities (IRU) group has congratulated Australia’s researchers for the improved 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) results released today, which the IRU says proves the benefits of continued investment in the sector.

The seven IRU universities demonstrated a significant rise in quality over 2015 figures, with their aggregated detailed research assessments jumping from 82 percent at or above world standard in 2015 up to 89 percent in 2018.

The improvements again demonstrate the world-class quality of Australia’s university research and proves that investment in the higher education research is being used wisely and efficiently.  It is foolish to reduce that investment as the Government has done from 2018, cutting the base research funding schemes.

The Engagement and Impact assessment to be released later in 2019 will provide the first comprehensive guide to how well the good research demonstrated in ERA is translated into action by business, Government agencies and community bodies.

IRU has previously argued for the two to alternate, one every three years to maintain the focus on public measurement while balancing the workload for researchers and universities.

Commenting, IRU Executive Director Conor King said:

“The IRU congratulates the researchers in our universities on their excellent results, which yet again prove the world-class quality of IRU members’ research.

“Over its decade of assessments, the ERA has encouraged universities to ensure research investment is well directed to produce quality outcomes. This has narrowed the spread of results across the sector as all universities have shown their true capabilities.

“I look forward to seeing the results of the Engagement and Impact assessment, which will examine how university research is translated into economic, social and other benefits, through working with external partners.

“The two combined will provide a comprehensive guide to the return from investment in research.”