The ARC is responsible for administering Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), Australia’s national research evaluation framework. ERA identifies and promotes excellence across the full spectrum of research activity in Australia’s higher education institutions.

Please read the ERA FAQs for general information in relation about the ERA process

ERA is a comprehensive quality evaluation of all research produced in Australian universities against national and international benchmarks. The ratings are determined and moderated by committees of distinguished researchers, drawn from Australia and overseas. The unit of evaluation is broadly defined as the Field of Research (FoR) within an institution based on the Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification (ANZSRC).

ERA is based on expert review informed by a range of indicators. The indicators used in ERA include a range of metrics such as citation profiles which are common to disciplines in the natural sciences, and peer review of a sample of research outputs which is more broadly common in the humanities and social sciences.

The set of discipline-specific indicators has been developed in close consultation with the research community. This approach ensures that the indicators used are both appropriate and necessary, which minimises the resourcing burden of ERA for Government and universities and ensures that ERA results are robust and broadly accepted.

The first full round of ERA occurred in 2010 and the results were published in early 2011. This was the first time a nationwide stock take of discipline strengths and areas for development had ever been conducted in Australia. There have been two subsequent rounds of ERA in 2012 and 2015. The results from each ERA round are published in the ERA 2010 National Report, the ERA 2012 National Report and State of Australian University Research 2015-16: Volume 1 National Report, which are available online in ERA Reports.

The Australian Government released its National Innovation and Science Agenda on 7 December 2015. One of the measures within the agenda is for Australia to introduce a national impact and engagement assessment, which will assess the benefits flowing from university research. In 2016 the ARC will work with the higher education research sector, industry and other end-users of research to develop quantitative and qualitative measures of impact and engagement. A pilot assessment will take place in 2017. The first national assessment and reporting will take place in 2018. For more information please view the ARC National Innovation and Science Agenda page.

 ERA Frequently Asked Questions ERA Reports