Building a sustainable research model

A message from Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Abid Khan:  

The achievements of ACU’s research community continue to be recognised in areas of great relevance to the emerging needs of our community,
during a dynamic time of change across our sector.

In the past month alone ACU researchers have been awarded over $1.5 million through various public and industry sources and many of our staff have won prestigious awards:

Various partnerships have further developed, including with St Vincent’s Institute which now includes a new collaborative Australian Research Council Future Fellowship led by Dr Kim Loh, aimed at advancing metabolic research.

Work has also commenced on ACU’s human metabolic chamber at the Melbourne campus. The first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, this new research platform will unlock future avenues for academic and industry partners in metabolic disease, exercise and dietary research.

Pertinently, the need for such platforms that support community engagement and delivery of solutions has been identified as a critical priority for government as the latest Intergenerational Report forecasts. Other research and engagement platforms at ACU, such as the Aged Care Workforce Alliance and the Australian Centre for the Advancement of Literacy, demonstrate our relevance and capacity to have an impact on the major challenges facing our communities.

The reorganisation of the Research and Enterprise portfolio helps to support our research community at ACU through a more integrated model that leverages the skills of our colleagues in other portfolios.

This coincides with Minister Clare releasing the government’s response to the final report of the ARC review this week. Together with the Universities Accord interim report released in June, these reviews are reshaping the future of research and education for the sector in Australia.

These recommendations, alongside ACU’s recent Thematic Review of Research and Research Training, provide some of the inputs that will inform ACU’s transition to a sustainable research model.

I am also pleased to welcome Dr Julie Rothacker to our portfolio next month as Director, Major External Projects (Government) to support the development of a much deeper engagement with State and Federal Governments. Julie has previously coordinated an array of research platforms at Monash University, engaged closely with government and its funding mechanisms at various levels and together with our experienced Enterprise team, will drive and implement major research initiatives to address the challenges faced in society and industry.

We are also in the process of recruiting the new Director of ACU’s Graduate School to support our HDR strategy to further enhance our capacity to conduct research and engage government and industry.

In service of our mission, our commitment to pursuing human dignity and the common good, leveraging all of ACU’s research, education, enterprise and service capabilities, is central to enabling an inclusive culture with fuller participation from students, academics, stakeholders and partners.

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