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Dr Fiona Cameron, Executive Director, Biological Sciences and Biotechnology Australian Research Council Centres – an overview
Background on Australian Government’s research investment. The National Competitive Grants Program and ARC centre grants What an ARC Centre of Excellence or ITRP Hub/Centre looks like General lessons learned from recent selection rounds Questions Topics
Commonwealth Investment in R&D 2013-14 Source: Budget 2013-2014 Industry and Innovation tables
Discovery Program Laureate Fellowships Future Fellowships DECRA Discovery Projects Linkage Program Centres of Excellence Co- Funded & SRI Linkage Projects Discovery Indigenous ITRP National Competitive Grants Program LIEF Discovery Program Funding 2013-14 - $ 551.4 million Linkage Program Funding 2013-14 - $332.4 million
ARC NCGP funding by 2-Digit FoR (%) 2006-2013
ARC Centres of Excellence $1-4 m a year for up to seven years Industrial Transformation Research Program –Hubs $500K to $1m a year for five years –Centres $600K to $1m a year for three years Co-funded and Special Research Initiatives – various funding and duration Investment in excellence for the longer term
The ARC Centres of Excellence – objectives a.highly innovative and potentially transformational research that aims to knowledge; b.interdisciplinary, collaborative approaches to c.develop relationships and build new networks d.build Australia’s human capacity in a range of; e.postgraduate and postdoctoral training f.large-scale problems over longer periods of g.points of interaction between unis, business, govt, private sector
ITRP – Hubs – Objectives a. encourage collaborative R&D projects to solve challenging industry issues through innovative research; b. attract investment from the local, global and international business community by underpinning the internationally- recognised excellence of Australian universities and their industry partners; and c. leverage national and international investment in targeted industry sectors
ITRP – Centres – Objectives a. foster opportunities for Higher Degree by Research candidates and postdoctoral fellows to pursue industrial training and to enhance competitive research in collaboration between universities and organisations outside the Australian higher education sector; and b. strengthen Australia’s Industrial Transformation Training Priorities to supplement the capabilities of industries and other research end-users. Hubs and Centres have Industrial Transformation Priorities that may change from round to round
Co-funded and Special Research Initiatives Often specifically requested by Government in one off research priority areas. Examples include: NICTA, Groundwater, ACPFG Stem Cells Australia, Bionic Vision, Policing and Security, Synchrotron, Indigenous Researcher Network, Science of Learning.
What the Centres need to look like The Centres are the largest investments of the ARC Grants Program Centres foster frontier interdisciplinary research – with innovative and highly integrated Research Programs Centres are critical for the next generation of researchers – capacity building Leading the way – international reputation Building on important collaborations Public benefits and research impact
Key lessons learned from previous selection rounds – the best of the best Do: –The whole must be greater than the sum of the parts –Allow plenty of time to prepare grant applications, organising reviews, and developing strategic and operational plans. –Aim to address all objectives of the scheme – workshop these with your senior team – vision is important – KPIs to support this –think about and address all selection criteria. Focus on the end game as competition is fierce –Mentor your key staff as an inspiration to others – a core institutional responsibility
Key lessons learned from previous selection rounds – the best of the best Do (cont.) –Know your competitors and collaborate as much as possible. Existing and new networks are highly valuable for future research –Address good governance to enhance the business of your Centre – resource and support your business and operational staff –Think about a diverse centre and how to communicate and manage it effectively –Ensure the whole interview team is across the bid –Ask for feedback –Acknowledge that Centre Directors are the superstars of the research community – we have high expectations of you being an inspiration as highly visible research leaders
Key lessons learned from previous selection rounds – the best of the best Don’t: –Don’t rely on past success –Assemble bids that appear to be a series of smaller projects with minimal integration fail –At interview a CD should neither answer everything nor delegate everything –Make assumptions as to why your bid did not get up
Do take the opportunity today to network with your peers Questions?
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