There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning Research Whisperer, Jonathan O’Donnell explains how crowd-funding research campaigns that don’t make target still succeed.

Curtin and UoQ’s go big in on-line business degrees

Curtin U and the University of Queensland are providing new on-line masters, via edX. They join seven US institution in a new edX range which offers, “top ranked graduate degrees, at a disruptive price, in a flexible way.”

Micromasters offered by edX partner universities, which now “stack” into campus based degrees are also credited for this new range.

Curtin is offering a masters in marketing for A$31 000. However, credits for the university’s edX marketing micromasters discount the price by 22 per cent.

The University of Queensland presents a new masters, leadership in service innovation. Including the units in the UoQ business leadership micromasters, which are mandatory, the final price is $A25 000,  according to the edX site yesterday.

The universities are offering these programmes at prices 50 per cent and plus below top-institute on-campus courses. Both UoQ and Curtin will start their courses in first semester 2020.

Last year CMM wondered whether the UofQ business micromasters programme could eat the university’s lucrative postgrad biz studies lunch (September 4 2017). It now seems it was always intended as an entrée.

Homage to Catalonia (in 280 characters)

Catalan universities will mark Open Access Week (October 22-28) with a guide (English and Catalan) to using OA, appearing on Twitter. No CMM is not tirar de la cama – details are at  Twitter, @ #OAMOOC18.

Every crowd-funded research dollar counts

So what is the University of Melbourne doing with the money raised by three crowd-funding research campaigns that did not meet target. Keeping it is what. CMM is puzzled how the $2400 raised for the SkyHopper cubesat will be much help, given it is only 18 per cent of the target.  But apparently it will help.

Every dollar raised for each project … will be used to support the researchers’ work in the subject matter areas and will significantly advance their efforts.” the university says. Last night UniMelbourne added that, “thanks to generous supporters we will be able to offer one paid internship in the SkyHopper team this summer.”

Even so, this isn’t the way some crowdfunding specialists work. Australian outfit Pozible, which had a string of successes with Deakin U says, “if the project doesn’t reach the target amount within the time limit, none of the pledges are processed and the project creator gets nothing.”

But Researcher Whisperer Jonathan O’Donnell says, the “keep it all” approach comes out of charity fundraising and is based on the principle that every dollar helps. On this basis the three UniMelb camaigns that did not make target (cubesat, bandicoot research and mobility aids) are as much successes as the one that did, biographies of women honoured for their work in the Victorian community and local government.  He makes his case in CMM Features this morning.

Digging for different dirt

A University of Southern Queensland professor “is digging up forgotten history with Ipswich Council,” USQ via Twitter, yesterday. The university is referring to the crypt of a 19th century politician, not more recent matters at the council, which the Queensland anti-corruption commission discovered.

Innovating unis: China’s on a roll but Australia does not rate

How fortunate for Karen Andrews as minister for industry, science and technology that “innovation” (so Malcolm Turnbull) is not in her title. It will save her from questions about the absence of Australian institutions from the 2018 Reuters innovative universities ranking.

The US accounts for 46 of the top 100 (there are two from Canada) this year –pretty much the same as last.

The top ten, starting with Stanford U are all in the US, excepting KU Leven from Belgium (7) and Imperial College London (8).

There are 27 innovating unis in Europe (in which Reuters charitably includes the UK) and 23 from Asia. Germany and Japan are the equal second rating countries with nine each – China has five, equalling the UK and France.

It’s the growth rate which makes China the country to watch, having one university on the list in 2015, two in 2016, and three last year.

The Reuters ranking is based on data from Clarivate Analytics (Thomson Reuters as was) including the Derwent patent index and Web of Science journal citation stats.

Appointments, achievements of the week

 WA Chief Justice Peter Quinlan joins the Curtin U law school advisory board.

The International Education Association of Australia has a new president, Melissa Banks (PVC I James Cook U). Emily O’Callaghan moves up to general manager. The indefatigable Phil Honeywood continues as CEO.

UNSW’s Martin Green has won the Global Energy prize for decades of work which have “revolutionised the efficiency and costs of solar photovoltaics, making this now the lowest cost option for bulk electricity supply”. The prize is funded by Russian energy companies. Professor Green shares the award with Sergey Alekseenko from the Russian Institute of Thermophysics.

Flinders U’s Sebastian Raneskold (PVC I) and colleagues have won the education and training category in the Business SA Export Awards.

The three 2018 winners of the Georgina Sweet Award for women in quantitative biomedical science are announced. Cornelia Landersdorfer (Monash U) works on combining doses of antibiotics to deal with multidrug-resistant bacteria. Ana Traven also atMonash U studies human fungal pathogens. Aleksandra Filipovska from UWA researchs in human mitochondrial genetics.

The Australian Academy of Heath and Medical Sciences has elected 37 new fellows, “in recognition of their outstanding contributions.

Ian Anderson Prime Minister & Cabinet. Amanda Baker, University of Newcastle. Gabrielle Belz Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Kim Bennell, University of Melbourne. Lynne Bilston, Neuroscience Research Australia. John Carlin, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. David Celermajer, University of Sydney. Enrico Coiera, Macquarie University. Mariapia Degli-Esposti, University of Western Australia. David Durrheim Health Protection, Hunter New England. Christopher Fairley, Alfred Health. Sean Grimmond, University of Melbourne. Margaret Hellard, Burnet Institute. Karin Jandeleit-Dahm Monash University. Cheryl Jones, University of Melbourne. Louisa Jorm, University of New South Wales. Jonathan Kalman, Royal Melbourne Hospital. Shitij Kapur, University of Melbourne. Anne Kelso, National Health and Medical Research Council. Stephen Kent, University of Melbourne. Martin Francis, University of Queensland. Stephen Leeder, Western Sydney Local Health District. Richard Lock, Children’s Cancer Institute. James McCarthy, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. John McHutchison Gilead Sciences Inc., California. John Miners, Flinders University. Donald Nutbeam, University of Sydney. Philip John O’Connell, Westmead Hospital.Marc Pellegrini, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Kelly‐Anne Phillips, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Christopher Proud, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. Bruce Robinson, University of Western Australia. Anthony Rodgers, The George Institute. Jo Salmon, Deakin University. Prashanthan Sanders University of Adelaide. David Thorburn, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Peter Wormald, University of Adelaide.

The proposed future battery Cooperative Research Centre has a CEO – Stedman Ellis, now WA COO of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association. The bid is short-listed for Round 19 funding and Mr Ellis is clearly keen on winning. Bid participant Curtin U reports he leaves APPEA Friday and starts with the proposed CRCnext Monday.

The International Education Association of Australia has announced its annual excellence awards, including; Gary Lee, City of Melbourne international student officer, David Riordan from the National Council for International Education, Anna Ciccarelli for career-long achievements, Amanda Muller (FlindersU), for a professional language development programme in nursing, Anton Crace, professional commentary, Daniel Toohey outstanding postgraduate thesis.