ARC sets out new research assessment requirements

The Australian Research Council has determined on the engagement and impact information universities will have to provide next year. The announcement follows a complex design process involving dozens of research policy experts and a sector wide pilot with universities submitting case studies.

This morning the ARC reports largely fine-tuning changes for the roll-out with the core pilot principles remaining; universities must submit data on key indicators plus reports that combine to demonstrate the impact of their research on society and the level of their researchers’ engagement with organisations outside higher education. They will report on research performance in a maximum of 25 fields.

Changes include:

# variations to assessment nomenclature; the previous rating of impact; “limited,” “emerging,” “mature” is replaced with “low,” “medium: and “high”

# the definition of engagement is simplified, and now reads “the interaction between researchers and research end-users outside academia, for the mutually beneficial transfer of knowledge technologies, methods or resources”

# the definition of impact is redefined to include “culture,” thus, “the contribution that research makes to the economy, society, environment and culture beyond the contribution to academic research”

# broadening coverage of medical and health sciences by splitting a field of research reporting code

# expanding quantitative engagement indicators

Qualitative assessment will be based on two statements, 750 words explaining indicators and a 1000-word engagement narrative, explaining research achievements.



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