UOW boosts its research excellence rating

2018 Excellence in Research for Australia report confirms university’s world-class research profile

The University of Wollongong’s standing as a world-class, research-intensive university has been reinforced by the 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) report, announced today (Wednesday 27 March 2019) by Federal Minister for Education the Hon. Dan Tehan.

Published by the Australian Research Council (ARC), the ERA report benchmarks the university’s research against national and international standards.

UOW received the top rating of “well above world standard” in 23 research areas (up from 21 in the previous ERA round in 2015; from seven in 2012; and from three in the first ERA round in 2010). A further 22 research areas were assessed as “above world standard” (up from 11 in 2015, 19 in 2012 and 14 in 2010).

In total, 90 per cent of all UOW research was rated as being “at world standard” or better, 73 per cent was rated “above world standard” or better, and 37 per cent was rated “well above world standard”.

UOW researchers performed exceptionally well across the sciences, as well as in mathematics, engineering, health and medicine, and archaeology.

In the broad research field of Chemical Sciences, as well as in all six individual research areas it was rated in (analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, macromolecular and materials chemistry, medicinal and biomolecular chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry) UOW received the top rating.

UOW’s research was also given the top rating in the field of Physical Sciences (and in the individual areas of condensed matter physics and “other physical sciences”).

All three research areas that UOW was assessed on in the Biological Sciences (biochemistry and cell biology, ecology, and plant biology) received the top rating.

In Medical and Health Sciences, the top rating was given to the areas of neurosciences, nursing, and pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences.

Other research areas to achieve the highest rating were environmental engineering; materials engineering; applied mathematics; statistics; atmospheric sciences; geology; environmental science and management; data format, and archaeology.

In the humanities and social sciences, research areas ranked as “above world standard” included human geography, sociology, psychology, specialist studies in education, visual arts and crafts, literary studies, historical studies, philosophy, and law.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Professor Jennifer Martin AC congratulated the University’s researchers for an outstanding result.

“This is well-deserved recognition that so much of our research is truly world-class,” Professor Martin said.

“As well as the exceptional performances in UOW’s long-standing research strengths such as chemistry, engineering, mathematical sciences, earth sciences and archaeology, it is particularly pleasing to see the University’s performance improve so well in areas such as physics, biology, health and medicine, and information and computing science.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE welcomed the ARC’s evaluation of UOW’s research and the continuous improvement in research quality that it revealed.

“The Excellence in Research for Australia report shows a sustained upward trajectory in our research performance,” Professor Wellings said.

“To go from three research areas receiving the top rating in 2010 to 23 in 2019 is a remarkable achievement, and the result of a lot of hard work and an ongoing commitment to high-quality research.

“With the University’s strategic investment in research institutions, including Molecular Horizons, the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institution, and the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials, we are determined to continue that upward trajectory.”

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