Australia's research training system under review

Thursday, 21 May, 2015

Minister for Education and Training Christopher Pyne has commissioned the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) to undertake a review of Australia’s research training system to ensure that it meets our research needs in the 21st century.

ACOLA will engage with higher education and research institutions, peak bodies, industry and government agencies to identify opportunities to improve research training in Australia. It will comprise four learned academies - the Australian Academy of Science, the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, the Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

The council’s review will engage higher education and research institutions, peak bodies, industry and government agencies to gather information regarding opportunities to improve Australia’s research training system and deliver evidence-based findings. It also aims to deliver on the government’s commitment to boosting the commercial returns from research by ensuring that researchers are better equipped to work with industry and bring their ideas to market.

“Other countries are already exploring new research training models, with more structured PhD programs, greater industry engagement and alternative entry pathways into a PhD,” Pyne said.

“Australia’s research training system will fall behind if our research training models are not comparable with the best in the world. This review will help ensure our system is truly world class and capable of underpinning our capacity for learned inquiry, innovation and productivity.”

A report will be provided by ACOLA to the Minister for Education and Training in March 2016. For more information on the council, visit

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