Assessing engagement and impact in university research


Australian Government National Innovation and Science AgendaAs part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the Government will introduce the first national engagement and impact assessment, assessing non-academic impact as well as industry and end-user engagement.

Image: Yvan Paquot. Dr Michaël Roelens (Finisar) and Dr Jochen Schröder (University of Sydney) working with the WaveShaper in the CUDOS Tbit/s laboratory at The University of Sydney

This initiative will incentivise universities to improve their collaborations with industry and other end-users of research and focus on research that delivers direct benefits for Australia.

In 2015–16, the Australian Government is investing approximately $3.5 billion in university research. While Australia’s research ranks highly in the OECD on indicators of quality, we rank last for industry-research collaboration.

The national assessment will show how universities are translating their research into economic, social and environmental impacts.

The exact measures will be determined through extensive consultation with university, industry and community stakeholders. This will build on the work that has already been done by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

The impact and engagement assessment will be conducted by the Australian Research Council (ARC), as a companion exercise to Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

In 2016, the ARC and the Department of Education and Training will work with the higher education research sector, industry and other end-users of research to develop quantitative and qualitative measures of impact and engagement.

A pilot assessment will be undertaken in 2017. The first national assessment and report will be in 2018.

Engagement and Impact Consultation Paper

The ARC is seeking the views of stakeholders on the framework for developing the national assessment of the engagement and impact of university research. The paper is available to download from the ARC website.

Feedback is invited from all stakeholders including the higher education research sector, industry and other end-users or beneficiaries of university research.

Stakeholders are asked to provide their views on the questions listed in this document. Please use the feedback template provided at Appendix A. Feedback should be provided by emailing the ARC at The due date for stakeholder feedback is 24 June 2016.

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For more information on the ARC, visit ARC NISA Measures.