Research that is making a difference

From the transformation of the nation’s legal appeals system, to the development of food and fuel from marine bioproducts – the inaugural national assessment of the engagement and impact of university research shows Flinders University is delivering research that is making a difference.

The Australia Research Council’s Engagement and Impact (EI) assessment evaluates how universities are translating their research into economic, environmental, social and other benefits and the way in which universities are engaging with end-users of research.

Flinders was reviewed in 19 areas and found to have medium to high EI in some 90% of the Units of Assessment analysed.

17 of the 19 of the Units of Assessment demonstrated impact that made a significant contribution beyond academia, and another 17 of 19 demonstrated effective engagement, defined as interactions between researchers and research end-users beyond academia for the mutually beneficial transfer of knowledge, technologies, methods and resources.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Saint says it’s testament to the success of Flinders’ focus on ensuring that our research creates tangible benefits for our society.

‘Our strategic plan Making a Difference – The 2025 Agenda set out a vision to be internationally recognised as a world leader in research, and a mission of changing lives and changing the world. These results further confirm that we are on the path to achieving both’ Professor Saint says.

‘With our recent announcement that we’ll invest an additional $100 million into our research over the next five years we expect to build upon this solid foundation.

‘Our internationally renowned efforts to address school bullying and violence were recognised as having high impact, as was our conservation management of aquatic resources, our genetic testing for cancer patients, our work on reforming legal rights of appeal and our work on modelling guidelines for Australia’s precious groundwater reserves.

‘Our support for those at the end of their lives and our research in chemistry and technology stood out for their engagement with end users.

‘The University’s proactive approach to creating impact was exemplified in areas such as technology, IT and engineering’ Professor Saint says.

The results follow the release of the 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia findings which saw Flinders double its fields of research receiving a ‘well above world standard’ 5 rating.

Full details of the ARC’s EI report can be found here.

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