Review of university research funding and policy

Wednesday, 08 July, 2015

Minister for Education Christopher Pyne has announced that the Australian Government will undertake a review of university research funding and policy as part of its plan to boost commercial returns from research.

Pyne said the government is committed to enhancing the contribution that research in universities plays in building Australia’s capacity for innovation, productivity and growth. He noted, “Australia undertakes a great deal of truly world-class research, but we lag behind comparable countries in how well we translate this into practical and commercial results.”

The review will enable the government and the university sector to work together to identify how the world-class research undertaken by Australian universities can be translated into economic advantage and social benefits for the nation. It will examine how to maintain the quality and excellence of university research and training; achieve simpler and more transparent approaches to the allocation of research funding; and encourage better engagement and collaboration between universities and industry.

Pyne announced that Dr Ian Watt AO, the former Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, will undertake the review. He will be assisted by a small working group comprising the following individuals:

  • Professor Peter Coaldrake AO, vice-chancellor of the Queensland University of Technology
  • Professor Edwina Cornish AO, provost and senior vice-president of Monash University
  • Professor Sandra Harding, vice-chancellor of James Cook University
  • Conor King, executive director of the Innovative Research Universities group
  • Professor Steven Schwartz AM, executive director of the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and former vice chancellor of Macquarie, Brunel, and Murdoch universities

The review will report to the minister by November 2015.

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