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STA welcomes ARC Review recommendations

Science & Technology Australia Media Release

The Australian Research Council Review released today is a “comprehensive, thoughtful blueprint for modernisation” of the key grants funding agency, the peak body for science and technology has said.

Its recommendations include putting in place tighter guardrails to prevent future political interference in awarding grants, safeguarding discovery research funding, a transformative shift to a two-stage application process, and deeper engagement with Indigenous researchers and communities.

Science & Technology Australia – which represents more than 115,000 scientists and technologists nationwide – commended the review panel on legislative and regulatory recommendations to strengthen ARC operations and independence.

“The ARC plays a crucial role in supporting Australia’s economy-boosting research sector. We’re delighted to see the expert panel have listened to the challenges faced by the sector and responded thoughtfully and cleverly,” said Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert.

“The proposed changes would create stronger guardrails to prevent future political interference in the awarding of grants, safeguard the crucial investment in discovery breakthroughs, and profoundly relieve one of the major stresses on Australia’s research workforce.”

“Shifting to a two-stage application would be a gamechanger for productivity, wellbeing and morale in Australia’s brilliant research workforce, which is why STA has championed this shift for several years.”

“It can free up researchers who currently spend hundreds of hours writing full funding applications – when around only one in five of those applications gets funded.”

“We also welcome the recommendations to create stronger guardrails against political interference in awarding research grants, and to safeguard Australia’s investments in discovery breakthroughs.”

About Science & Technology Australia

Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 90,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology. Our flagship programs include Science Meets Parliament, Superstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors.


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  1. Phil Pryor

    The very best of luck to them as they fight for better recognition, representation, rewards. STEM areas need all the support they can get. I’d put in a plug also for LASS subjects in a similar way, literature, arts, social sciences. Better broad thinking is the real key to human progress and personal development. Australia’s tertiary areas have been abused, neglected, often insulted, and it must stop.

  2. New England Cocky

    No R&D – NO Economic Future

  3. Clakka

    Agree PP. STEM and LASS are critical to a healthy society, and clear minded governance. Not to forget that they are both essential to a healthy sustainable economy. Since those moronic narrow-minded self-seeking morons in the LNP and that rsole Joe Hockey vacated the scene leaving a society of disenfranchised plodders gouged by multi-nationals, maybe we’ve half a chance of becoming the ‘clever country’ we’ve been shouting about for decades.

    Labor needs to reciprocate fast on these initiatives.

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