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Research Centres Policy

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Section 1 - 1 Purpose and Context

(1) This policy outlines the rationale and procedures for the establishment, operation, review, and disestablishment of University Research Centres within the University's Schools.

(2) Centres established through an externally-funded competitive process, such as Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence and Collaborative Research Centres, are not within the scope this policy.

(3) This policy does not restrict the appointment of research intensive academic staff to Schools.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(4) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) The Vice-Chancellor and President may establish Research Centres to:

  1. provide recognition and support for a distinct area of research excellence within which researchers pursue a common research agenda and are able to demonstrate a critical mass of research;
  2. increase the quality and intensity of the University's research outputs, including traditional academic publications, Higher Degree Research completions, research impact and non-traditional research dissemination.
  3. facilitate collaboration with external partners, particularly through funded research activities;
  4. increase the opportunities for and effectiveness of research funding applications.
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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Establishment

(6) A written proposal to establish a Research Centre must be submitted to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International by the relevant Dean.

(7) The proposal must include:

  1. the proposed centre's business plan, including a strategy for engaging the public, private and community sectors;
  2. the proposed centre's research plan; and
  3. targets for external research income, HDR load, publication quality, publication volume international income, research engagement and impact.

(8) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International will consider the proposal along with any other relevant factors as he or she determines and make a recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(9) A Research Centre's initial establishment period will be up to five years.

(10) To extend the operation of a Research Centre for a further period:

  1. The Director, University Research Centre (the Director) must seek the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International's approval following the same process as that for establishing a centre; and
  2. The Vice-Chancellor and President will consider the past performance of the Research Centre and may approve the Centre's renewal for up to three years or refuse to approve the renewal.

Part B - Operations

General

(11) For administrative purposes, Research Centres will be located within one of the University's Schools.

(12) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International will determine the School in which a Research Centre will be based.

(13) The administrative location of a Research Centre within a School will not affect a Research Centre's ability to:

  1. engage members from outside the School in which they are administratively located; or
  2. engage in an interdisciplinary research agenda.

(14) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International will appoint the Director in consultation with the relevant Dean.

(15) The Director will report to the Dean of the School in which the Research Centre is administratively located.

(16) The Director, in consultation with the relevant Dean, is responsible for the operations of the Research Centre, including:

  1. setting the Research's strategic direction;
  2. compliance and reporting, both within the University and externally, if required;
  3. the research performance and management of academic staff; and
  4. financial management.

Membership

(17) Membership of the Research Centre is determined by agreement between the Dean of the School in which the prospective member is based and the Director. Members of the Centre (members) may undertake all or part of their research workload within the Centre.

(18) The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation will make a final determination in relation to any dispute arising in relation to an appointment to a Research Centre.

(19) Members appointed from a School will continue to report to the Dean of that School or nominee as their line manager.

(20) Members are expected to:

  1. meet individual research performance targets established by the Director; and
  2. conduct research that aligns with the Research Centre's research focus.

(21) For the purposes of performance reporting, Schools will include data from members with whom they retain an affiliation.

(22) Members are expected, within the reasonable confines of their appointment and workload, contribute to the activities of the School with which they are affiliated.

External Advisory Board

(23) A Research Centre will establish an External Advisory Board.

(24) The Chair of the Board will be appointed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International on the advice of the Director.

(25) The External Advisory Board will provide the Director with advice concerning:

  1. the Centre's strategic direction;
  2. the relevance of the Centre's research to the public and/or private sector;
  3. sources of external funding;
  4. the Centre's performance;
  5. any other matter referred to the Board by the Director.

Reporting

(26) Research Centres are required to submit an annual report to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International detailing:

  1. research performance; and
  2. HDR load and completions; and
  3. staffing; and
  4. finances; and
  5. progress against performance indicators; and
  6. forecasts and performance indicators for the next reporting period.

(27) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International may request a report be prepared by the Director into any aspect of the Research Centre's activities at any time.

(28) The Director will comply with any reporting request from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International within a reasonable period.

(29) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International may, at any time, direct the Research Centre to submit to external review.

Part C - Disestablishment

(30) The Vice-Chancellor and President may disestablish a Research Centre acting on the written advice of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International. The written advice recommending the disestablishment of a Centre to the Vice-Chancellor and President will set out, in brief, the reasons for the recommendation.

(31) Research Centres may be disestablished on the grounds of:

  1. economic viability;
  2. performance;
  3. changes to the University's strategic direction;
  4. changes to the University's fiscal position.
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Section 5 - Guidelines

(32) Nil