ARC staff at trade booth at AIATSIS conference 2019
25 October 2019

The ARC was proud to sponsor and participate in the 2019 Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) National Indigenous Research Conference, which was held at Queensland University of Technology from 1 to 3 July 2019. 

Ms Sarah Howard, Branch Manager, and Ms Millennia Pullen, Assistant Director, from the ARC’s Research Evaluation Branch, spoke to conference delegates about the 2018 Engagement and Impact assessment introduced as part of the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda. 

For the first time in a national assessment of university research, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research was treated as its own discipline. Universities provided impact studies outlining the type of research undertaken, described the benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and the ways in which universities supported Indigenous-led research and outcomes outside academia. These impact studies were assessed by an expert panel of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders in research, business and community. 

Research office finance
25 October 2019

The ARC held a finance workshop in Canberra on 7 August 2019 for Research Office staff to learn more about the ARC post-award functions and processes.

It is the second year that the ARC Post-award team have led this type of workshop—this year especially for the finance staff in research offices.

Over 50 participants attended, representing 31 universities. All ARC Post-award staff participated, including relevant ARC senior executive staff.

Professor Sue Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of the ARC, welcomed all attendees and spoke about the importance of Research Office staff, as stakeholders of the ARC. This event is part of the ARC's ongoing commitment to continue building effective working relationships with Research Office staff around Australia.

wordcloud streamlining square
25 October 2019

Since the last update, we have been working to update the application form, grant guidelines and associated documents to prepare for the opening of grant schemes.  We have received valuable and insightful feedback over the last year and this has helped to finalise the changes we will progressively make to all of these items.

The objectives and assessment criteria in the grant guidelines have been reviewed and updated to ensure they reflect the expectations of government, are standard across schemes where relevant, and that there is clear line of sight between the intended program and scheme outcomes and the information required for assessment in the application form.

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’.