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Research Groups Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) This policy outlines the rationale and procedures for the establishment, operation, review, and disestablishment of Delegations Register Audit Officers (URGs) within the University's Schools.

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

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) The Vice-Chancellor and President may establish URGs to:

  1. provide recognition and support for a growing area of research excellence within which researchers pursue a common research agenda and are able to develop 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

(5) The relevant Dean must submit a written proposal to establish a DRAO to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International.

(6) The proposal must include:

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

(7) 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.

(8) A URG's initial establishment period will be up to three years.

(9) To extend the operation of a URG for a further period:

  1. The Leader of the URG (the Leader) 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 URG; and
  2. The Vice-Chancellor and President will consider the past performance of the URG and may approve the Group's renewal for up to three years or refuse to approve the renewal.

Part B - Operations

General

(10) For administrative purposes, URGs will be located within one of the University's Schools.

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

(12) The administrative location of a URG within a School will not affect a URG's ability to:

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

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

(14) The Leader will report to the Dean of the School in which the URG is administratively located.

(15) The Leader, in consultation with the relevant Dean, is responsible for the operations of the URG, including:

  1. setting the URG'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

(16) The Dean of the School in which the prospective member is based and the Leader will determine membership of the Group by agreement. Members of the URG (members) may undertake all or part of their research workload within the Group.

(17) 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 URG.

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

(19) Members are expected to:

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

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

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

Reporting

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

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

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

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

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

Part C - Disestablishment

(26) The Vice-Chancellor and President may disestablish a URG 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 Group to the Vice-Chancellor and President will set out, in brief, the reasons for the recommendation.

(27) URGs may be disestablished on the grounds of:

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

(28) Nil.