Keep the ARC Discovery Project Scheme and the ARC Independent

The results of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Projects scheme 2022 round were announced on 24 December 2021, with successful projects to commence on 1 January 2022. It subsequently became public knowledge that six ARC Discovery Projects recommended for funding by the ARC College of Experts after a best practice, expert review process, were rejected by the Acting Minister for Education.

The ACvA supports the numerous open letters that call for a clear policy position, backed by legislation that protects the independence of the ARC and prevents arbitrary political decisions regarding the funding of research proposals, independent of the peer review process.

The ACvA also strongly support calls to ensure that the timing of announcements leaves sufficient time to implement employment contracts, respects the work–life balance of applicants and is supportive of excellence in the development of the research proposals – excellence that can be compromised by unrealistic timeframes.

As is clear from the sites below, there is a rallying of support for the ARC to remain independent and for agreed and understood processes, supported by expertise, to be protected. The ACvA joins concerned colleagues in seeking both independent and fully transparent arrangements in funding allocations.

Article published in the Australian Financial Review

Open letter from ARC Laureate Fellows

Open letter from the ARC College of Experts 

Open letter from the Australian Council of Deans of Science