Continuous Linkage Projects scheme

Under the continuous model, the assessment of proposals begins as soon as they are submitted in ARC’s Research Management System (RMS), allowing outcomes to be determined within a shorter timeframe. Rather than waiting for a scheduled yearly selection meeting, proposals will be assessed as they arrive and selection meetings will be organised as required so that high and low-ranked proposals can be fast-tracked and outcomes announced as early as possible after submission. Outcomes for all other proposals are expected to be announced approximately six months after submission.

While previously unsuccessful Linkage Projects proposals can be resubmitted under the continuous scheme, resubmissions must include different research ideas as well as a new series of aims and research methodology. In such cases, the ARC will provide the Selection Advisory Committee with the detailed external assessments and rejoinder of the original proposal along with the new proposal for assessment.

From January 2017 proposals to the Linkage Projects scheme will be submitted under new 2017 funding rules, which will be released later this year. Only minor changes to the funding rules are anticipated.

For more information about the continuous submission and assessment process for the Linkage Projects scheme visit the ARC website.

Research Engagement and Impact Assessment

In March 2016, an Engagement and Impact Steering Committee supported by two working groups—the Engagement and Impact Technical Working Group and the Performance and Incentives Working Group—were established to assist with the development of the engagement and impact assessment.

The Engagement and Impact Steering Committee, comprising higher education and industry leaders, is helping to develop a process that uses clear and transparent measures of non-academic impact, and industry and end-user engagement, to assess Australia’s university research performance and inform future funding structures.

The role of the Engagement and Impact Technical Working Group is to provide expert advice on the development of indicators that will support a national engagement and impact assessment. The Performance and Incentives Working Group will provide advice to the ARC about the potential incentive effects of the preferred model, including how the process and measures in the preferred model will influence the decisions of universities about the focus of their research activities.

From May to June 2016, stakeholders and the public were invited to provide feedback on an engagement and impact consultation paper. An overview of the Government’s policy rationale, parameters, and key issues regarding university research engagement and impact were provided in the paper.

The feedback derived from these and other consultation mechanisms will provide valuable insight to inform the development of the national assessment.

The engagement and impact assessment will include all 42 universities and all research disciplines. The assessment seeks to minimise the data collection burden on participating institutions.

Consultation and development of the assessment is being undertaken in 2016 and a pilot assessment will be conducted in 2017. The first full Engagement and Impact Assessment and reporting will take place in 2018, alongside Australia’s internationally renowned system for measuring research quality—Excellence in Research for Australia.

For more information about the Engagement and Impact Assessment visit the ARC website.