ACDS submission to the ARC Amendment Bill 2023

Acds Submission

The Australian Council of Deans of Science Inc. (ACDS) has made a submission to the Senate inquiry into the Australian Research Council Amendment (Review Response) Bill 2023 and welcomes proposed reforms to the ARC Act. The detailed submission followed consultation with ACDS member university Science Deans (or equivalent), the full submission is available here.

In summary the ACDS welcomes the potential of the amendments to enhance Australia’s research landscape, while emphasising several important points including:

  • Clarifying the ARC’s Research Advisory Role: We highlight the need for explicit clarity regarding the ARC’s advisory role in ‘research’, given the diversity of Australian Government agencies with research programs and interests.
  • Legislating Peer Review: We advocate for peer review to be legislated as a central element in the grant allocation process, ensuring its pivotal role in funding decisions, aligned with the Haldane Principle and addressing university scientists’ concerns.
  • Coordination Across Agencies: Addressing Australia’s highly fragmented research landscape, we stress the importance of establishing a legislated mechanism to coordinate agencies and entities contributing to diverse research policy and program initiatives.
  • Enhancing Governance and Transparency: We support reforms aimed at strengthening governance through the establishment of the ARC Board but call for further certainty regarding Board membership and clarity and transparency in Board operations.