Managing Large and Complex ARC Projects
 ARMS University Research Office Directors SIG Meeting
11 May 2017
Dr Fiona Cameron and Ms Liz Visher

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ARC Active Major Investments

  • We currently have 89 Major Investments funded under Linkage Program
  • 36 ARC Centres of Excellence
  • 23 Industrial Transformation Research Hubs
  • 22 Industrial Transformation Training Centres
  • 8 Special Research Initiatives

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Overview of ARC Major Investments

  • Multi-institutional participation (national and international)
  • Multi-disciplinary research (blue sky and applied)
  • Leveraged funding arrangements and complex third party collaborative agreements
  • Significant public investments with expectations of excellent research impact and public outcomes
  • Best practice entity management

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Insights on successful delivery

  • Research Leadership—and the leadership team
  • Strategic planning and risk management—managing success and mitigating risks. Effective translation of research outcomes. 
  • Enabling integration—collaboration across geographically distributed participants (people and organisations)
  • Capacity building—research training and professional development

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Common Challenges

  • Managing People
  • Managing Organisations
  • Managing change—success, failure and emerging research opportunities
  • Implementing policies—innovative solutions that challenge institutions

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Effective Governance

  • The Administering Organisation—a critical role in supporting the centre
  • Benchmarking science—international scientific advisory committee
  • Benchmarking entity management—Advisory Committee versus a “Board” model
  • Researcher led or industry led??
  • The Centre is a national entity not a sub-department of a university school or institute…
  • Central administration versus a part time distributed model…
  • University administration—a tale of red tape
  • Networking—sharing success and risk mitigation strategies—COO regional groups, Centre Directors Forum, empowering Research Office contacts that specialize in Major Investments
  • An ARC Major Investments working group being established
  • Centres Directors needing mentoring, coaching and support—DVCR and Director of RO roles
  • Future advice—Membership of Advisory Committees should be rigorously refreshed and skill sets sought for emerging challenges

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The centre life cycle

  • A smooth establishment of a Centre - key tips
  • Engaging end users from beginning to end
  • Embedding a culture of self review and performance management—reporting and early warning of issues
  • A national presence—outreach and dissemination—being policy ready—STA and ARC event
  • Mid term reviews and responding to ARC feedback
  • Start early—applying for future funding
  • Planning for Centre wind down 
  • Research impact and centre legacy
  • Can we keep the name please??