Smart politics slow start: just two uni’s ARC research grants announced

The government wants the glory on research announcement to go to local members

On Friday USQ reported two Discovery Early Career Research Awards, in a statement as overstated as it was inelegant, “young researchers win big bucks.” (The amount is $1.4m).

The university attributed the news to Education Minister Dan Tehan and it was followed by an announcement from the Australian Research Council quoting the member for the local electorate of Groom, cabinet minister John McVeigh (Lib Nat).

This is the way it is done now, as the Australian Research Council explains, “announcement may occur via media release or other public statement or announcement by the minister and/or government representative.”

Education Minister Dan Tehan’s political strategy is sound (CMM November 7). MPs love announcing money and what’s not to like about research, such as for money USQ’s Min Hong (electricity by energy conversion) and Fabian Zander (air-breathing supersonic engines)?

The Liberal member for Higgins, Katie Allen, certainly gets it. On Friday Dr Allen (a medical researcher) launched the Australian Research Council’s Training Centre for Medical Implant Technologies. “The Morrison Government is funding research that fosters collaboration between Australian universities and industry to deliver outcomes that benefit everyone,” she said.

Good-o, but with two DECRA announcements a week so far (Griffith U grants were on Tuesday) researchers will be well into projects before the last is announced.


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