2016 Imaging CoE Summit
7 November 2016
Dr Fiona Cameron

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Commonwealth Investment in R&D 2015–16 (%)

Pie chart showing Commonwealth Investment in R&D 2015–16 ($m):

  • ARC—7.40%
  • NHMRC—8.35%
  • Other Health—2.52%
  • CRCs1—1.49%
  • Rural—3.11%
  • Energy and the Environment—3.06%
  • Other R&D—2.07%
  • CSIRO—7.82%
  • DST Group (formerly DSTO)—4.35%
  • Australian Government other R&D—6.79%
  • Business Innovation and Other R&D—2.02%
  • Industry R&D Tax Measures—31.07%
  • Block Funding—19.61%
  • Higher Education R&D—0.33%

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Objectives

  • Undertake highly innovative and potentially transformational research that aims to achieve international standing in the fields of research envisaged and leads to a significant advancement of capabilities and knowledge
  • Link existing Australian research strengths and build critical mass with new capacity for interdisciplinary, collaborative approaches to address the most challenging and significant research problems
  • Develop relationships and build new networks with major national and international centres and research programs to help strengthen research, achieve global competitiveness and gain recognition for Australian research
  • Build Australia’s human capacity in a range of research areas by attracting and retaining, from within Australia and abroad, researchers of high international standing as well as the most promising research students
  • Provide high-quality postgraduate and postdoctoral training environments for the next generation of researchers
  • Offer Australian researchers opportunities to work on large-scale problems over longer periods of time
  • Establish Centres that have an impact on the wider community through interaction with higher education institutions, governments, industry and the private and non-profit sector

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Centres of Excellence 2014

  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course
  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers of Big Data, Big Models, New Insights
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics
  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis

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Centres of Excellence 2017

 

  • ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions*
  • ARC Centre of Excellence of Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes*
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems*
  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science
  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery
  • ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research*
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology*

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Centres of Excellence 2017: Success by Discipline

Bar chart showing Centres of Excellence 2017: showing EOIs, Proposals submitted and funded by Discipline group.

BSB = Biological Sciences and Biotechnology; EMI = Engineering, Mathematics and Informatics; HCA = Humanities and Creative Arts; PCE = Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences; SBE = Social, Behavioural and Economics Sciences.

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Selection Criteria

Full proposals were considered against all five criteria:

  1. Research program—quality and innovation 20%
  2. Investigators 20%
  3. Institutional support 20%
  4. Governance, leadership and mentoring 20%
  5. Outcomes and linkages 20%

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Why we do mid-term reviews?

  • Mandated in the Funding Rules
  • As these are large investments we need to report to government on their progress
  • Insights from the reviews inform future Funding Rules and Funding Agreements
  • Reviews provide a point of focus for a Centre to take a step back and reflect upon progress
  • Constructive feedback from the Review Panel can assist with preparing for a future bid

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Broad observations arising from Centre reviews

  • Instituting a culture of integration of a national centre—connection with nodes and wider community.
  • Strategic planning and getting engagement from staff in the process.
  • Increased translation planning—engaging with wider community, partners and policy decision makers.
  • Increasing collaboration as an entity, not just researcher based.
  • Professional development—breadth of student training
  • Thinking about succession planning and research leadership—a leading team.
  • Governance matters—committees—match membership to ongoing needs and getting regular advice on looking to the future.

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Nodes and international collaboration

  • Centres as an entity
  • The whole is greater than the sum of the parts
  • Is it a world-leading Centre, not just leading in Australia?
  • What is the Centre’s position in the global environment?

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The process

  • You have given us your preferred dates for the site visit
  • Soon your university will receive formal notification of the review and the date for the site visit
  • This will include information on the Terms of Reference, submissions and the site visit
  • You should start preparing now
  • Start organising who should put in submissions (key partners)
  • Things to think about include governance, integration across nodes, scheme objectives, Centre objectives and succession planning
  • You have given us your preferred dates for the site visit
  • Soon your university will receive formal notification of the review and the date for the site visit
  • This will include information on the Terms of Reference, submissions and the site visit
  • You should start preparing now
  • Start organising who should put in submissions (key partners)
  • Things to think about include governance, integration across nodes, scheme objectives, Centre objectives and succession planning
  • You have given us your preferred dates for the site visit
  • Soon your university will receive formal notification of the review and the date for the site visit
  • This will include information on the Terms of Reference, submissions and the site visit
  • You should start preparing now
  • Start organising who should put in submissions (key partners)
  • Things to think about include governance, integration across nodes, scheme objectives, Centre objectives and succession planning
  • Submissions due six weeks prior to the site visit
  • You will have the opportunity to nominate anyone that you do not want to be on the Review Panel
  • The Review Panel—an ARC Executive Director (Chair) and up to two non-ARC (external) expert members
  • Up to two ARC secretariat staff
  • We will let you know who the members of the Review Panel are early in 2017

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CE14 mid-term reviews

All reviews will take place in the second half of 2017
An expert Panel will be appointed to review your Centre
The Review Panel will look at:

  • whether the Centre is meeting the scheme objectives and its own objectives – based your review submissions and a site visit
  • progress against targets and milestones
  • the quality of outcomes to date
  • effectiveness of the operations, management and governance of the Centre
  • Make recommendations on any observations which must be addressed by the Centre.

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Draft Terms of Reference for the CE14 reviews

  1. Centre performance with respect to the objectives outlined in the ARC Centres of Excellence Funding Rules for funding commencing in 2014.
  2. Centre performance against the specific Centre objectives as set out in the Centre Proposal and the specific performance targets or milestones identified in the Centre Proposal or Funding Agreement. 
  3. The effectiveness and efficiency of the Centre, namely: 
  • governance including the quality of leadership, strategic planning, succession planning and management oversight
  • administrative, financial and operational arrangements
  • intellectual property management
  • organisational and staff structure
  • research environment including accommodation, infrastructure and equipment
  • compliance with the principles of ethical conduct in research.

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Site visit draft agenda

  • Review Panel (closed discussion)
  • Centre Director (including presentation)
  • Centre Management—Chief Operating Officer (or equivalent) and Administrative staff
  • Centre Senior researchers –representative CIs and PIs
  • Morning Tea
  • Centre postdoctoral researchers
  • Centre students 
  • Stakeholder Group 1—representatives of Collaborating Organisations
  • Lunch
  • Stakeholder Group 2—representatives of Partner Organisations
  • Inspection of Centre facilities
  • Centre Advisory Board/Committee
  • Afternoon tea
  • Review Panel (closed discussion)
  • Centre Director—during this session the Centre Director will have the opportunity to respond to issues that remain unclear to the Review panel.
  • DVC(R), Administering Organisation (or nominee)
  • Review Panel (closed discussion)
  • Departure of Review Panel

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Review Report

  • Following the site visit a review report will be prepared by the ARC secretariat in consultation with the review panel
  • The report will be approved by the ARC Chief Executive Officer
  • The report will be sent to the Administering Organisation DVCR and the Centre Director approximately two months after the site visit
  • The Administering Organisation and the Centre will be asked to submit a response to the review report, including plans to address any recommendations

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Likely Process for Centres of Excellence 2020

  • A three-stage process beginning in 2018
    • Expression of Interest (EOI)
    • Full proposal
    • Interview
  • All EOIs and full proposals assessed by multi-disciplinary Selection Advisory Committee (SAC) plus senior international experts
  • Opportunity for applicants to submit rejoinders after each assessment period
  • EOIs shortlisted by SAC
  • All full proposals interviewed by SAC
  • Comprehensive feedback provided to all unsuccessful proposals