Australia’s Learned Academies have voiced their concerns over highly-recommended Australian Research Council (ARC) applications that were revealed recently as being subject to non-transparent Ministerial veto under former Education Minister Simon Birmingham.
Australian researchers face many hurdles in establishing a stable career in their field, including the award of competitive research funding. Australia’s research funding system and the award of highly competitive grants incorporates rigorous peer review assessment from Australia’s most eminent experts. The Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) believes that the transparency and integrity of this process should be upheld.
According to ACOLA President Professor Glenn Withers: “ACOLA values excellence in research and believes that expertise across all disciplines and fields is vital to the attainment of a healthy, sustainable and productive nation”.
Education Minister Dan Tehan has directed the CEO of the ARC, Professor Sue Thomas, to review aspects of the ARC’s existing science and research priorities provisions and some related matters. The Minister has also affirmed a policy of transparency for ministerial intervention in such grants.
There is also the ongoing matter of an impact and engagement research strategy established by this government.
Responses from Australia’s Learned Academies to these and future developments can be accessed via the links below.