Dr Moreau
25 October 2019

Driving change to advance women in the research sector is a priority for the Australian Research Council (ARC). The underrepresentation of women, across almost all disciplines and the consequent impact on achieving Australia’s research and innovation goals is widely recognised. The recently released Gender and the Research Workforce report provides a range of information on gender representation across the disciplines in the university research sector. The discrepancy in the workforce is reflected in the participation of women and men in the ARC’s research grants processes.

In collaboration with key stakeholders, the ARC has an important role in continuing to support and increase participation by women across all research disciplines. The Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP recently announced that the ARC will consult on three initiatives, outlined below, with the aim of addressing this disparity. 

ERA gender report webpage
25 October 2019

The ARC released its Gender and the Research Workforce report on Thursday, 10 October 2019.

ARC visits to PFAS Remediation Research Program (Round 1) projects
25 October 2019

ARC staff, along with colleagues from the Department of Defence and the Department of the Environment and Energy have undertaken a series of visits to the PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) Remediation Research Program (Round 1) grant holders. The visits presented the opportunity for staff and representatives from the wider government to engage directly with the researchers, and to tour the teams’ experimental facilities.

This Special Research Initiative aims to facilitate the development of innovative technologies to investigate and remediate PFAS contaminated media, including soil and other solid contaminated debris, groundwater, waterways and marine systems. It is part of a national program led by the Department of Defence to investigate and respond to the impacts of PFAS contamination, as a result of the use of firefighting foam on some of its bases around Australia.

Visits were made to The University of Queensland, The University of Newcastle, The University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Deakin University. The visits highlighted impressive cross-collaboration across ARC grant recipients and emerging strong working relationships between researchers and industry collaborators.

CABAH researchers using 3D laser scanning technology to examine a shell midden on Lizard island. Credit: CABAH.
16 October 2019

A deep shell midden created by Aboriginal people over thousands of years on a remote island off the coast of Queensland is helping researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) to learn lessons about the human and natural history of the continent.

Image: Twin GRACE-FO satellites follow each other in orbit around the Earth. Credit: NASA
9 October 2019

Featuring in the 2018-19 edition of the ARC’s Making a Difference publication, May 2018 saw the launch of the twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) satellites on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The satellites were carrying laser technology adapted from space-based gravitational wave detectors, developed by researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav).

planting the seed
20 September 2019

Professor Kingsley Dixon is a conservation biologist and restoration ecologist at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia, whose research has transformed the scientific basis of ecological restoration in Australia and around the world. Professor Dixon’s expertise spans many fields, including conservation practices for mine site restoration and the re-establishment of bushland plants, and saving threatened and ‘near-extinct’ species as part of rebuilding damaged landscapes.

Women in FLEET Fellow Dr Semonti Bhattacharyya, Monash University. Credit: Justin Turner.
19 August 2019

As highlighted in an ARChway article published for 2019 International Women in Engineering Day, women researchers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields are under-represented both in Australia and globally. The Office of the Chief Scientist in the Australia’s STEM Workforce report, found that in Australia only 16% of STEM qualified people are female. In physics, males made up 82% of all graduates and 86% of doctoral graduates.

To help address this inequity, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies (FLEET) has set itself a goal to achieve 30% representation of women at all levels across FLEET, and has been trialling innovative approaches that would allow them to begin ‘shifting the dial’.

Yolngu artists (L to R) Gunybi Ganambarr and Garawan Wanambi at the site of the 1911 Gangan massacre, NE Arnhem Land, where their interviews were recorded for the Heart of Artness podcast, 2016.
18 July 2019

Siobhan McHugh is an Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Wollongong who specialises in the aesthetics and impact of crafted audio storytelling, to capture ‘the power of voice’. Her research is concerned with the power of sound, the production of intimacy, and the new knowledge that is accessed when oral history and journalism are creatively adapted for an aural format, such as in a documentary or podcast.

ARC Research Outputs diagram
24 June 2019

In October 2018, the ARC introduced new functionality within the Research Management System (RMS) to allow researchers to auto-populate their research output data into their RMS profile and application forms. The auto-population is possible through a number of methods, including ORCID, BibTeX and Digital Object Identifier (DOI), or by manual entry. While an initial investment of effort is required to set up and collate each researcher’s research outputs using the new functionality, once completed, this information is stored in RMS for re-use in future grant application rounds. The ARC greatly appreciates the efforts of the sector in adapting to this new functionality. Overall, the uptake by the sector has been very positive, with 11,670 researchers uploading 1,331,803 research outputs into their user profiles, with 95% automatically uploaded from ORCID, BibTeX or DOI. 

Kakadu National Park
24 June 2019

The ARC’s assessment of engagement and impact of research—conducted for the first time in 20I8—shone a spotlight on impact studies that allowed universities the opportunity to literally ‘tell the stories’ of the impact of their research. The many highly-rated impact narratives published as part of the inaugural Engagement and Impact (EI) Assessment provide a rich source of information beyond the results alone. In this International Year of Indigenous Languages, we take a closer look at impact studies that were part of EI 2018, along this theme.