Math research spending: numbers still don’t add up to much

Maths peak bodies have updated their research funding report (CMM April 8) to include recent ABS stats on higher education research and development – the result remain not great

National universities maths partnership MATRIX and the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute add Australian Bureau of Statistics data on 2020 higher education R&D to find maths research took a $45m hit in 2020, adjusting for annual price changes. As a proportion of HERD funding, maths declined from 1.86 per cent in 2018 to 1.53 per cent in 2020. This is way down on the 2012 peak, 1.75 per cent.

Fundamental research “barely benefited from the funding surge earlier in the decade and declined in 2020” authors Jan de Gier, and Tom Keegan (MATRIX) and Maaike Wienk, (AMSI) warn.