ARC reform will strengthen Australia’s research capability

21 March 2024

The passing of the Australian Research Council Amendment (Review Response) Bill 2023 will strengthen Australia’s research capability and help ensure the sustainability of our world class research.

Group of Eight Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said:

“The Go8, as the recipient of 70 per cent of ARC funding has driven the substantial governance reform of the ARC, in particular the establishment of an independent ARC Board to approve research grants within the National Competitive Grants Program.

“The importance of an independent Board cannot be overstated. Depoliticising ARC funding through an independent board strengthens the integrity of decision-making processes and minimises political interference, which has impacted the capacity of our universities to attract and retain world leading researchers.

“It brings the ARC into alignment with best practice in research funding around the world and with other Australian government research funders such at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Critically, it ensures that the highest quality research will be funded within the strategic imperatives set by Australian government to maximise the return to the public.

“The Government’s review of the role and function of the ARC was essential to the nation’s long-term interests. The reforms will modernise the ARC to better deliver basic and applied research that will safeguard Australia’s sovereign capability and underpin our social, economic and environmental future.

“It will also help to drive research and innovation broadly in the economy – to which the Go8 members contribute $7.7 billion annually.

“The Go8 looks forward to working with the ARC on implementing the reforms as well as the important upcoming review of the ARC’s National Competitive Grants Program.

“Australia’s future prosperity depends on the capacity of our world-class researchers to undertake cutting edge research to meet our national priorities and support our economy and society,” said Ms Thomson.

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