February 20, 2023

IRU event to assess research assessment

This week, the Innovative Research Universities (IRU) is bringing an international guest to Canberra to share insights into what Australia can learn from recent developments in the UK on research metrics and impact.

Professor James Wilsdon, Director, Research on Research Institute and Professor of Research Policy, University College London, will be speaking at an event as part of the IRU’s 20th anniversary celebrations that will ask, Where next for responsible research assessment?

IRU Executive Director Paul Harris said the topic of the event, which is being held in partnership with the Australian National University’s Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, is particularly timely as the government reviews the Australian Research Council and the Excellence in Research for Australia.

“Many countries are aware of both the possibilities and pitfalls of using metrics as proxies for research quality and impact,” he said.

“James comes to us with a wealth of experience about how these issues are being tackled in the UK and can provide ideas and inspiration for Australia’s next steps in research assessment.”

Professor Wilsdon will consider the lessons we can draw from ongoing debates in the UK and Europe, and what insights Australia might offer in return.

“Research assessment needs to be designed in such a way that it delivers on an agreed set of purposes, while not creating unsustainable pressures on researchers,” he said

“In assessment systems worldwide, we are seeing moves beyond questions of metrics and measurement to consider healthy workplace culture, research integrity, and open scholarship with embedded principles of equality, diversity and inclusion across the research community.”

The free event Metrics, Merit & maximising impact: where next for responsible research assessment? will be held on Thursday 23 February at the National Convention Centre, Canberra. Registrations via