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CEO STATEMENT

 

 ARC committed to research workforce diversity

 

The Canberra Times has published an article, ‘Australian National University researcher Sophie Lewis details parental leave woes’, critical of the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Chief Executive Officer of the ARC, Professor Sue Thomas, responds:

“I regret to learn of the difficulties Dr Sophie Lewis and her family have experienced.

“I take the allegations published in the Canberra Times today very seriously.

“The ARC is currently looking into these allegations, as I expect that all ARC funding will be applied on merit, fairly and without prejudice and in accordance with Commonwealth legislation.

“The ARC is committed to research workforce diversity and aims to contribute to a strong and sustainable Australian research workforce through our policies and programs. We actively seek to support all researchers whose careers are interrupted by carer responsibilities.

“A range of mechanisms have been put in place in recent years to support research workforce diversity across the National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP), including:

  • provision for paid maternity and parental leave
  • unpaid leave and part-time work
  • targeted awards
  • extending eligibility periods to take into consideration career interruptions for parental and caring responsibilities
  • selection criteria that take into consideration career interruptions for parental and caring responsibilities.

“While the ARC is not an employing organisation for the purpose of administering research projects, if any issues related to employment conditions arise during the course of an ARC-funded fellowship or award, and are brought to the attention of the ARC, the ARC has mechanisms in place to follow-up with the relevant administering organisation.

“The ARC also monitors the outcomes of our policies and programs and is committed to a process of continuous improvement.

“Individuals are encouraged to follow the ARC Feedback and Complaints Handling Process and/or ARC Research Integrity and Research Misconduct Policy if they wish to report an issue to the ARC.”

 

Media contact

ARC Stakeholder Relations
0412 623 056 or communications@arc.gov.au