Researcher productivity in the pandemic

There was a big boost in ARC funding apps last year

The Australian Research Council  reports 11,446 applications last year for 2020-21 National Competitive Grants Programme funding. This was up from 5031 in 2019, which was marginally down on 2018’s 5283.

People were particularly busy at Monash U, where apps increased from 469 in ’18, 463 in 2019 to 1133 last year, at UNSW (527, 499 and 1166) and QUT, where there were 141apps in ’18, 129 in 2019 and 349 last year.

All up, a learned reader points out, 2020 applications from 29 universities were more than twice those of 2019.

How come? The learned reader, wise in research metrics, suggests it might be due to the pandemic – with people searching for funding wherever they could. Or perhaps it is an anomaly easily explained by the ARC experts. Whatever the cause researchers kept busy in 2020.