24 June 2019

The ARC held its Major Investments Forum in Canberra from 12 to 13 June 2019.

This annual event was attended by over 140 senior research Directors, Chief Operating Officers and Centre Managers from ARC Centres of Excellence, Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP) Training Centres and Research Hubs, and Special Research Initiatives.

The Major Investments Forum provides participants with a valuable opportunity to meet, network and share information on recent successes and challenges; to receive updates from ARC staff about ARC processes and policy expectations; to discuss broad issues of establishing and managing a research centre; and engage with key ARC staff.

Originally solely attended by Centre Directors of ARC Centres of Excellence, in 2015 the format was broadened to include attendees from all ARC Major Investments. The event,now in its fifth year, was split across two days:

Day one focused on sessions with ITRP Directors and parallel sessions for Chief Operating Officers and Centre Managers. 

On day two, Directors of the ARC Centres of Excellence and Special Research Initiatives joined the ITRP Directors, Chief Operating Officers and Centre Managers. Several Directors took part as panel members or speakers across four sessions throughout the day.

Several guest speakers, including representatives from the research sector, industry and Government,shared their advice on key topics, such as the future research workforce, big data, and how researchers can best convey research evidence for policy and decision makers.

The ARC provided an update on the Major Investments Working Group, comprised of Research Office staff, Chief Operating Officers and Business Managers. This group has been working with the ARC on ways to better support Major Investments, including the development of guidance material and toolkits.

The Major Investments Forum was also an ideal opportunity to launch the Women in Research (WIRe) website developed by 2016 ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellow, Professor Sharon Parker, from Curtin University. WIRe aims to advance the contributions and voice of women in research and offers a myriad of resources, tools, and importantly, a network for women in research. We encourage all researchers to take a look!

Images: (top) Professor Joanne Tompkins speaking at the Major Investments Forum, (bottom) Attendees at the Major Investments Forum. Credit: ARC.