Strengthening Australia’s national research assessments

A major review has recommended key improvements to our national assessments of the quality, engagement and impact of Australia’s university research.

Australian Research Council (ARC) Chief Executive Officer, Professor Sue Thomas, today announced the release of the ERA and EI Review Final Report, following a comprehensive review of Australia’s university research assessments administered by the ARC – the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) and Engagement and Impact (EI) assessment.

The ARC has accepted all 22 recommendations from the review, and released the ERA and EI Action Plan, which outlines how the ARC will work with stakeholders to implement the review outcomes.

Professor Thomas said the review found that Australia’s university research assessment programs continue to reflect best practice in national research assessment and identified key opportunities to streamline and improve the programs.

Key recommendations from the review include:

  • adopting a new single, aligned vision and objectives for ERA and EI
  • streamlining ERA and EI to reduce the reporting burden for universities, through smarter use of technology and existing data collections
  • assessing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Indigenous research as a discipline in its own right
  • improving ERA and EI methodology to make the programs more robust and transparent
  • promoting greater insights from ERA and EI data to improve the value of the programs to a wider range of stakeholders.

“The recommendations will lead to major improvements to both assessments for universities, government, and research end users to ensure the programs remain relevant and sustainable into the future,” Professor Thomas said.

The review was led by an external Advisory Committee – comprising of experts drawn from universities, government and industry – and included extensive consultations with universities, researchers and end users.

“On behalf of the ARC, I would like to thank the universities and all who have provided valuable contributions to this comprehensive review,” said Professor Thomas. “I am also grateful to the ERA EI Review Advisory Committee and working groups for their dedicated work throughout the review.”

The full recommendations in the ERA and EI Review Final Report and the ERA and EI Action Plan are available on the ARC website

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