Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Tehan meddles even more with research grants



Download PDFDownload PDF

SENATOR KIM CARR

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INNOVATION, INDUSTRY, SCIENCE AND

RESEARCH

SENATOR FOR VICTORIA

TEHAN MEDDLES EVEN MORE WITH RESEARCH GRANTS

Minister for Education, Dan Tehan MP’s announcement of a “National Interest Test

for” Australian research grants is just an attempt to spin his government’s way out

of trouble on its arbitrary decision-making regarding the awarding of research

grants.

A national interest test already exists.

The very terms by which the Minister described his test this morning are already

part of the application process, namely the impact of the research on the Australian

nation.

The Minister’s proposals remain highly subjective and personal, and do not protect

the research system from arbitrary politically motivated interventions.

The Minister still refuses to provide a public explanation as to why a grant would be

rejected.

Like so much of this government’s approach it’s about spin not policy substance

Under Minister Tehan’s proposals world leading researchers seeking funding

would never know the reasons why their proposals have been rejected. This will

still leave our world class researchers exposed to capricious veto by Ministers who

somehow think they know better - or who wish to pander to the extreme views in

the community.

Competition for grants is very stiff. Success rates have fallen from 31 per cent to

14 per cent in some fields under this government.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) already has one of the most rigorous and

comprehensive peer review process in the world when it comes to reviewing

research grant applications.

The Minister is due to make decisions on up to $300 million of new grants within

days. Will he resort to the subjective political interference favoured by Simon

Birmingham, or will he listen to the views of all of Australia’s universities, the

learned academies and civil society and respect the independence of the

Australian Research Council?

Whatever happens, it is clear that only Labor will restore independence and

integrity to the Australian Research Council and Australia’s research system.

WEDNESDAY, 31 OCTOBER 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: THOMAS MOORHEAD 0427 126 355