Research priorities in place

With the political flummery finished the deep state can get back to governing

Back in February the government commissioned a review of how the nine national research priorities are covered by research funding (CMM February 20). The priorities were adopted, in 2015 reported by CMM here.

In April, the Australian Research Council helpfully published a paper on the issues submissions to the review should address (CMM April 2).

Which the learned Innovative Research Universities may, or may not, have read in producing its, as usual, policy astute response.   The IRU advocates:

* not allocating specific research funds to priorities: “disadvantaging research outside the priority areas clearly contradicts the principle of funding the highest quality projects”.

* funding for priority areas is “appropriate”: the 70 per cent of national competitive grant programme funding that goes to priority areas; “reflects the responsiveness and contribution our universities make towards areas of critical needs and importance. It also reflects the important signalling effects of priorities in a very competitive system, where many high- quality projects are not funded.”

* a role for HASS: while the priorities are inter/cross-disciplinary, “limited reference is made to how HASS and other enabling disciplines can contribute.” The priorities could include projects’ potential impact, IRU suggests.


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