Making the case

The Menzies School of Health Research reports new US research that finds the more training young doctors do in rural/remote areas the more likely they are to practise in them.

Menzies is working with Charles Darwin U on its campaign for Northern Territory med school.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Angel Calderon (RMIT) on the ARWU ranking HERE

with David Chinofunga (James Cook U) on creating maths courses: remember to include what students already know. This week’s contribution to Commissioning Editor Sally’s Kift’s celebrated series, Needed now in teaching and learning.

plus Frank Larkins (Uni Melbourne) on Queensland public universities 2021 financials: good  results – for reasons that won’t all happen again.

Expert Opinion: opportunities in Indonesia

In the depths of COVID last year CQU VC Nick Klomp was in Indonesia signing a teaching partnership. There is, he says, more where that came from

In Expert Opinion (episode ten) this morning he talks about developing plans and building relationships to help meet Indonesia’s enormous appetite for education and training.

ARC bans preprints, again

But this time it’s obvious

The information pack for Excellence in Research for Australia 2023 advises that the Australian Research Council consulted on including preprints and feedback, “was overwhelmingly supportive of not including preprints as an eligible research output type.”

And lest anyone miss the point, “as a consequence, preprints will not be eligible for ERA submission.”

This follows last year’s fiasco when the ARC enforced a rule that many Research Offices had missed, banning pre-prints from grant applications, generating outrage on behalf of excluded applicants who did not know about it (umpteen CMM stories last year but September 23 covers it).

History by the book

Australian Historical Studies prefers print for reviews

“While some reviewers are happy to read digital copies, many are not” the journal’s board announces.

“This can make it difficult for AHS to secure a review and sometimes leads to lengthy communication between editors, publishers, reviewers and even authors.”

And so AHS “will now actively prioritise reviews of books provided in their paper versions.”


ARC’s new research ranking: maybe, maybe not

The Australian Research Council will use existing classifications for the next edition of its performance review – but give elite universities an alternative

Same again : Excellence in Research for Australia  2023 will assess institutions’ performance in fields of research by the existing five categories, from “well below” world standard to “well above.”

But with added oomph: However the ARC will pilot a new ranking, proposed in a March paper (CMM March 14). Categories start at “not at world standard,” and progress through “world standard”, “above …” , “well above …” to  “world leading,”  which is defined as “universities that are among the small number of the best of the high performing institutions worldwide.”

Unless there isn’t:  According to the ARC’s framework, released yesterday, institutions’ research units will be evaluated on the 2018 scales, with those fields of research rated four and five “reassessed”.

“If the pilot is successful, the ARC may present the pilot results as the final results in the ERA 2023 National Report.”

Where this comes from: There has long been talk that “world standard” no longer really rates and that Australian research should be judged only against European, North American and UK universities – and recently, elite PRC institutions.

The previous government’s acting education minister, Stuart Robert brought change on in December (CMM February 8). Mr Robert called on the ARC to create a“ benchmarking structure that is clear in its ambition and provides granular and meaningful reporting of the level of achievement across different universities.” He also wanted, a scale that, “sets the ‘world standard’ benchmark against those nations and universities that are at the forefront of research.”

Huge end for a big week at Monash U

The university announces a $30m gift for mental health research and treatments

It’s from the David Winston Turner Endowment Fund which has now donated $43m to the university since 2015.

The new money will fund a ten-year longitudinal study of a cross-section of the community of south east Melbourne, MU’s heartland. The intent is a “living lab,” “for preventing, monitoring and treating the signs of mental illness, dementia and other brain conditions.”

It follows Monday’s formal announcement that Moderna’s mRNA vaccine manufacturing plant will be based at Monash’s U Clayton campus.


Appointments, achievement

Rounak Manoharan (Electro Optic Systems company) wins the People’s Choice Award at the National Measurement Institute’s 2022 Metrology Awards.

Michelle Muchatuta joins Independent Higher Education Australia as policy director. She previously led a corporare risk team at the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.

Anaemia researcher Sant-Rayn Pasricha, from the MRI formerly known as Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, wins the Jian Zhou Medal, for mid-career researchers working on research translation.  The medal, from the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, is named for the late Dr Zhou, who worked with Ian Frazer on the Gardasil and Cervarix vaccines.